SANTA ANA, Calif. – Joel Casillas led the Dons (16-6, 6-1) to a 7-3 game one victory in his fourth start and 13th appearance of the season against the Cypress Chargers (17-7, 2-5) on Tuesday afternoon.
Santa Ana's winning streak extends to five games and keeps them in the hunt for an Orange Empire Conference championship while the Chargers continue to slip, falling to 2-5 in OEC play.
The Dons leaned on its pitching staff in this one, as they limited the Charger offense to three runs on four hits.
Casillas has taken over a starting role after a couple of injuries to the Santa Ana pitching staff, and has adjusted smoothly. He earned the win by going six innings with five strikeouts and two hits. He is now 2-1 with an ERA of 2.23 and a team high 35 strikeouts in 36.1 innings pitched.
In the seventh, Hoskins came in with two men on but worked his way through the jam, producing a fly ball out and an inning ending 543 double play. Hoskins finished the game to record a three inning save, his first of the season.
Cypress bridged the game with a couple runs in the fourth before Villanueva responded with a two out dinger over the left field fence to bring home Drake Wood and make it a 5-2 game.
The Dons scored a couple more for insurance and walked away with a big 7-3 series opening win.
The series will continue on Thursday as the Dons travel to Cypress for game two at 2:00 p.m.