Solid efforts all around as baseball team wins opening series

Solid efforts all around as baseball team wins opening series

Irvine Valley's men's baseball team won the series decider, beating Long Beach City, 8-4, on the road on Tuesday afternoon.

Long Beach City was ranked No. 18 in So. Cal. in the preseason coaches' poll.

Irvine Valley won both games on the road in the series.

On Tuesday, the Lasers scored early to take control.

IVC scored three runs in the top of third inning to take control.

The innings started with a groundout for an RBI by freshman leftfielder Kyle Dobson.

Pu'ukani De Sa drove in a run with a single to right field and then sophomore catcher Ryan Santa Cruz had an infield RBI single.

The Lasers never trailed after that and just continued to build to their lead.

Sophomore second baseman Trent Whitaker came through with a two-run single to center in the top of the fourth and sophomore center fielder Ben McConnell had a RBI infield single in the top of the fifth to make it a 6-0 game.

Long Beach City answered with an RBI single by Travis Aversa and a run-scoring single by David Balboa in the bottom of the sixth to pull within 6-2.

But the Lasers put the game away in the top of the seventh inning with two more runs to take a 8-2 lead.

Freshman shortstop Robert Haw reached on an error to score a run and then freshman right fielder Dane Nakatsuka drove in a run with a sacrifice fly for IVC.

Long Beach scored a run in the bottom of the seventh, but that was it.

Irvine Valley got a very strong performance on the mound from freshman right-hander Brennen Farber. He went 6.0 innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

Sophomore standout closer Noah Bradford closed out the game with a scoreless ninth inning. He didn't give up a hit and struck out one.

McConnell and Santa Cruz each had two hits and one RBI. McConnell also scored three runs. Whitaker drove in two runs for the game for IVC. De Sa also reached base three times with a hit and two walks.

The Lasers play again on Thursday, weather permitting, at a tournament at College of the Desert. IVC is slated to take on San Diego City at 2 p.m.