SANTA ANA, Calif. - In a battle between two of the best programs in the state, the No. 4 seeded Santa Ana Baseball team came out on top against the No. 5 seeded Cypress Chargers (30-15) to advance to the California Community College Athletic Association (3C2A) Southern California Regional Finals.
After putting the Chargers on the verge of elimination with a 12-5 win on Friday afternoon, the Dons (31-15) tried to wrap up the tournament in game four on Saturday morning.
SAC came out swinging as they posted four runs in the top of the first as the designated away team.
Eddie Pelc drove home the first run of the day with a double down the left field line to score Christian Thompson. Mario Tostado followed that with an RBI single through the left side to bring in Pelc. A few batters later, it was Marc Schavone who picked up two RBI to stretch the lead to 4-0 on a double to left centerfield.
Despite the quick start for the Dons, the Chargers seemed unphased. Over the next five innings, they would chip away until finally tying the game on a Luke Honikel home run to start the fifth. Cypress put up three more runs in the inning and one more in the sixth to take an 8-4 lead.
In the seventh, Santa Ana showed some life as Troy Kent put a charge into a ball to send it over the right centerfield fence with a runner on, cutting the lead to 8-6.
Cypress answered right back in the bottom half of the inning to score what would be a critical run to give themselves a three run cushion.
The Dons started the eighth with three consecutive singles to put the pressure on Cypress with their season on the line. But Cypress reliever Josh Landry then came up big with an offspeed pitch to produce a ground ball double play which almost got him out of danger.
With two outs, and runners on second and third, Troy Kent came to the plate and delivered once again. The designated hitter out of Marina High blasted another homer over the right centerfield fence to send the Don dugout into a frenzy while tying the game at 9-9.
The Chargers continued to show how tough of an opponent they were as they responded with the go-ahead run in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single from Edgar Rosales. Landry managed to post a scoreless inning in the ninth, giving Cypress a 10-9 win and forcing a game five.
In game five, Santa Ana took control with their offense early and rode two pitchers to the finish line.
Kent hit his third consecutive home run to give the Dons a three run lead in the first. SAC followed up the next inning with five more runs to push their lead to 8-2.
Joey Iglesias got his first start of the season and came through for the Dons when he was most needed. The freshman from San Diego earned the win as he limited the Charger offense in five innings of work.
CJ Brown took over in the six and threw a perfect four innings. The righty from Pacifica struck out three while not giving up any hits to pick up a long save
The Dons went on to win game five by a score of 14-5, knocking out the Chargers and advancing the the 3C2A SoCal Regionals where they will host the No. 13 seeded Fullerton Hornets from May 19-21st.
GAME TIMES - All games at Santa Ana College
Friday, May 19th - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 20th - 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 21st - 12:00 p.m. (If necessary)