The Saddleback baseball team won its third straight game on Tuesday with a 5-3 victory over Cypress College at Doug Fritz Field. The win gave the Gauchos a season-series sweep of the Chargers in Orange Empire Conference play, moving them into a tie for third place.
The streak of games decided by two runs or less hit nine on Tuesday, as Saddleback opened up a 5-1 lead after six innings but had to hold on for a 5-3 win. Seth Pedersen had another stellar performance on the mound, pitching eight solid innings before giving way to Anthony Shew in the ninth. Pedersen surrendered seven hits but no walks in improving to 2-2 on the season. Shew pitched a perfect ninth inning in picking up his third save of the season and still has yet to allow a run the entire year. In 12.1 innings of work, Shew has given up just four hits and four walks on the year for a perfect 0.00 ERA.
The Saddleback offense also showed up, connecting for 12 hits on the day. Jeff Butler (pictured) was 3-for-3 while Josh Fuentes broke out of a semi-slump with two hits and his second home run of the season. The Gauchos struck for three runs in the bottom of the second inning when they connected for four hits and a walk to take a 3-1 lead. Cypress would never recover.
For Saddleback, it was the first sweep of the Chargers in Orange Empire Conference play since 2009, when they finished 15-9 in the OEC.
The win vaulted the Gauchos into a tie for third place with Orange Coast College, who was a 6-2 loser to Golden West College on Tuesday. The Gauchos are one game back of Riverside City College and two games back of Fullerton College in the OEC standings as the teams approach the midway point of the conference schedule.
Saddleback will play again on Thursday when they travel to Irvine Valley College for a 2:00 PM game. The Gauchos lost a close one to the Lasers 2-0 on March 2 in their first meeting of the season.