Saints Snap Skid at Six, Comeback Versus Conejo OaksBy Arroyo Seco Saints June 21, 2018 12:21am
By: Christopher D’Avanzo and Steven Baltierra; Photo: Emily Moran
THOUSAND OAKS – The Saints (3-8, 3-6 CCL) ended their season-long six game losing streak on Wednesday night with a comeback victory versus the Conejo Oaks (5-7, 3-6 CCL). Spirts were high after the victory as the win, the first for the club since June 10th, was much needed.
“Spirits are definitely up right now,” said closer Joey Steele, who earned the save and Player of the Game honors with an 1.2 inning effort in relief. “We haven’t won in awhile so hopefully we can build off this and win more ballgames. Staying positive is huge.”
After falling behind early, Arroyo Seco once again displayed the resiliency they have all season by fighting back to get into the game. Unlike in the past few contests, however, where were the margin was always just out of reach, the Saints tonight were able to take and hold the lead.
Arroyo Seco faced a 3-0 deficit into the 5th inning and still trailed 3-2 into the 8th, but kept battling and eventually claimed the lead.
“It’s a good thing to see, us down early being able to inch back, crawl back,” said coach Buller, “they found a way. Real proud of these guys.”
The Oaks got the scoring affair started in the bottom of the second inning when outfielder Michael Spears (Ole Miss) doubled down the left field line, scoring outfielder Tyler Ryan (Pacific). The Oaks would snag their second run of the ballgame in the bottom of the fourth inning when Spears stole home on a throw to second base by Saints catcher Mitch Kerner (Emory).
The Oaks would take a commanding three-run lead when outfielder Elijah Alexander (UT-Rio Grande) ripped a double into right field that scored infielder Will Pickets (Cal State Bakersfield).
However, Kerner would redeem himself in the top of the fifth inning, as he doubled down the right-field line to score outfielder Brennan McKenzie (Cal Poly Pomona) and cut the lead to 3-1. The Saints kept chipping away as infielder Gabe Chavez legged out an infield single that scored Kerner from third.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Saints would finally prevail as outfielder Christian Moya (USC) sliced a one-out double down the right-field line that would score first baseman Cooper Williams (New Mexico State) and tie the game at three.
Pinch Runner Jack Smith would score on a pass ball that gave the Saints their first lead of the game. However, Saints relief pitcher Reed Osborn (Howard College) would run into trouble in the bottom of the eighth inning, as the Oaks had runners on second and third with only one out; insert Joey Steele. Steele (University of San Francisco) would strike out back to back hitters to escape the jam and preserve the 4-3 lead.
Steele would go on to close the game out in the bottom of the ninth inning; stranding the tying run on second base.
The Saints return home to take on the Ventura County Buccaneers in a non-league matchup at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field at 6:05 PM, then have Friday off before heading to Santa Barbara to take on the Foresters in a two-game weekend set.