Dons Battle to Reach SoCal Regional Finals, Set for Matchup against No. 2 Palomar

Dons Battle to Reach SoCal Regional Finals, Set for Matchup against No. 2 Palomar

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - No. 6 Santa Ana College Baseball has earned a spot in 3C2A Southern California Finals after battling through the three team, double elimination Super Regional Tournament that included the host No. 3 Golden West College (31-14, 15-6) and the No. 10 seeded Santa Barbara City College (30-14, 19-5). 

Although the Dons (33-12-1, 12-9) started off the tournament with an uncharacteristic 18-1 loss to the SBCC Vaqueros, they quickly got back on track with a 14-3 win over Golden West to stay alive on day one. 

Jaxton Andeel came up with another quality start and win as he struck out seven batters while giving up three runs in five a ⅓ innings. 

Joey Iglesias was handed the ball in the sixth inning with one run lead and came up clutch as he got GWC lead off hitter Kaleb Duncan to ground into a double play to end the inning. The right hander out of San Diego went two and ⅔ innings and struck out three for the Dons. 

The Dons then added some insurance runs, posting a six spot in the top of the seventh inning. 

Michael Rocha led the charge with three hits and six runs batted in on the day. Jake Long collected two hits and his own RBI while five other recorded hits to contribute to the win. 

On day two, the Dons were scheduled for a rematch against Santa Barbara City, who lost their first game of the tournament to GWC just 40 minutes prior. 

Jack Meek did his job and gave the Dons a chance with five and ⅓ innings of solid work on the mound. 

CJ Brown entered under stress but managed to weather the storm, earning his fourth win of the season before handing the ball to Iglesias to finish the game. 

Offensively, the Dons came up big when they needed to once again as they scored five insurance runs in the eighth thanks to hits by Matthew Dobson, Connor Dietsch and Christian Altamirano

With the win, SAC eliminated Santa Barbara City to set up an All-Orange Empire Conference final against Golden West on day three. 

Despite falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Dons left no doubt of who was the better team as they defeated the Rustlers for the second time in the tournament and fourth time in the year. 

Alan Huerta was the star of the show in this one and led the Dons with an electric performance on the mound. 

The sophomore from Sonora High struck out 10 in seven ⅓ innings to earn the win in his first start of the season. SAC could not ask for more as both teams were short on arms on the final day of the tournament. 

Santa Ana will now prepare for a 3C2A Southern California Final matchup against No. 2 Palomar starting on Friday, May 17th at 2:00 p.m.