Saints Lose Game Two Against Healdsburg 5-4By Arroyo Seco Saints August 06, 2023 08:13am
THOUSAND OAKS, CA – One win away from claiming their first-ever CCL State Championship, the Arroyo Seco Saints found themselves on the wrong side of a comeback in game two of the series. The Saints have been the comeback kids all season, but a late rally by the Prune Packers was too much for the Saints to handle.
This game started about as exciting as a championship matchup could. With two outs in the top of the first, Raider Tello (Iowa) struck one into the right-center field gap, a place fans know he is comfortable hitting towards. An early two-out rally was capped with the next batter, Spencer Rasmussen (Azusa Pacific).
The left-handed first basemen has been red hot at the plate since joining the team on July 25; that stayed true here. Ahead in the count 1-0, Rasmussen connected with the second pitch of the at-bat, sending it over the right field fence. The 384-foot home run put the Saints in front 2-0 early.
On the mound for Arroyo Seco was right-hander Hayden Lewis (New Mexico State). Lewis struggled out of the gate, making only his second start of the Summer. The Prune Packers grabbed two in the bottom of the first, leaving two runners in scoring position as well.
This outing could have continued to nosedive for Lewis, especially in the season’s biggest moment, but that wasn’t the case. The Saints’ starter responded by tossing the next five innings scoreless, allowing them to take the lead in the top of the sixth.
Leading off the top of the inning was Kyte McDonald (Rice). McDonald has been one of the hottest bats in the lineup for Coach Milam as of recently. Here, McDonald dribbled a routine ground ball to short, a ball that looked like it would surely be the first out of the inning. Kyte was able to leg out an infield single, firing up his teammates and giving the ball club a much-needed jolt of energy.
Chase Meggers (Oregon) fed off this energy in the next at-bat. After Kyte advanced to second on a wild pitch, Meggers’ single into right field brought across the go-ahead run. Alex Birge (Wichita State) would also single in the next at-bat, putting runners on the corners and no outs in the inning. A Mason Hammonds (Tarleton State) sac-fly would score Meggers, increasing the Saints’ lead to a pair.
With a two-run lead, Hayden Lewis took the mound, hoping to make it through seven innings, the furthest a Saints pitcher would have made it all Summer. The Prune Packers found their rhythm in the bottom half of the inning. While the Saints had a two-run, two-out rally in the first, the Prune Packers had a three-run, two-out rally in the seventh. Their big inning gave them the lead 5-4 late.
While the Saints put a couple of hits on the board in the eighth and ninth, they could not bring the tying run across the plate; they would lose this matchup 5-4.
Now entering game three of the best-of-three series, the Saints and Prune Packers are back in action tomorrow in Thousand Oaks. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. PST.
Tune into the matchup live on our Youtube Channel!
- Saints Reporter Bennett Snyder (Ohio University)
- Saints Photographer Sonny Tapia (Cal State Long Beach)