SANTA ANA, Calif. - The No. 4 seeded Santa Ana Baseball team had its season come to an abrupt end as they fell 17-9 to No. 5 Palomar in game three of their CCCAA SoCal Super Regional matchup.
After forcing game three with a win on Saturday, the Dons (32-12-1, 13-8) seemed to have the momentum going into the rubber match on Sunday but in reality that wasn't the case.
Palomar (35-11, 21-4) made that clear as they came out red hot with two runs on a two-out single to strike first.
The game had all the makings of a slugfest after Santa Ana responded right away, scoring one in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly from Evan Leibl.
In the second inning, the Comets added one on an RBI double from Ethan Ellis before Santa Ana's offense got going in the bottom half.
Kyle Morrell and Thomas Williams singled to set up Ryann Stock, who drove a ball into the right centerfield gap and ran out a triple to tie the game at 3-3. Christian Thompson then grounded out to pitcher, doing his job to bring home Stock and giving Santa Ana a 4-3 lead.
Although the Dons had just grabbed the lead with timely hitting and great baserunning, the tide quickly turned as the Comet bats came to life.
Palomar's offense exploded in the third, scoring nine runs on eight hits to make it a 12-4 game which put a damper on Santa Ana's hopes to advance to the next round.
The Dons didn't bow out easily, making it a competitive game with five more runs before running out of gas.
SAC Baseball finishes a successful year with its second appearance in the CCCAA Super Regionals in the last five years. The 32 wins was the highest single-season total in the Tom Nilles era.