SANTA ANA, Calif. - CJ Brown shutdown No. 1 ranked Saddleback (16-4, 4-1) for 5.2 innings and Austin Haller hit another late homerun to lift the Santa Ana Baseball team to a 11-6 win in game two of their series.
The Dons (13-8, 3-2) picked up a much needed win after dropping game one (11-4) on Monday afternoon.
In the bottom of the second inning, SAC found their rhythm at the plate as they unloaded for seven runs. Troy Kent put the Dons on the board first with a long two RBI single off the left centerfield fence to bring home Haller and Sebastian McSherry. After a Mikey Rocha single, Matthew Dobson added on with his own single to left, driving home Mario Tostado.
A fortunate bounce on a ball hit by Jimmy De Anda resulted in another single which scored Kent for the fourth run of the inning. Next, Michael Poot recorded his eighth RBI of the season with a fielder's choice to drive in Rocha. Finally, Eddie Pelc put an exclamation mark on the inning with a two run double to left center, giving the Dons a 7-0 lead.
Although the big inning gave the Dons all the momentum, the Bobcats would not go away quietly. In the top of the third, Saddleback rallied for four runs and added one more in the fourth to cut the deficit to just two at 7-5.
But Santa Ana countered by inserting CJ Brown, who was electric with two strikeouts, a walk and an unearned run over the last 5.2 innings. The freshman right-hander out of Pacifica improved his record to 5-1 and dropped his earned run average to 3.51.
In addition, the Dons were able to bring home some insurance runs as Haller doubled to score Poot in the sixth and then put the game out of reach with a three run shot to right center in the eighth.
SAC will try to win the series on Friday as they go on the road for game three. Freshman left hander Jaxton Andeel is the expected starter for the Dons while Saddleback will likely throw freshman C.J. Zwahlen. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m.