Baseball team's late rally falls short in loss at Golden West

Baseball team's late rally falls short in loss at Golden West

Irvine Valley's baseball team tried to rally late, but it wasn't enough in a 7-5 loss at Golden West on Thursday afternoon.

The Rustlers captured the Orange Empire Conference series with the victory.

The final game of the series is on Friday at Irvine Valley at 2 p.m.

Golden West, which defeated Irvine Valley, 10-5, on Tuesday, improved its record to 14-9 overall and 3-5 in conference. Irvine Valley saw its record slip to 16-8-1 overall and 2-6 in conference.

Golden West held a 5-0 lead after five innings.

But Irvine Valley scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning to get back into it.

The Lasers scored two runs on an error and then got a groundout to bring in a run from freshman right fielder Dane Nakatsuka. Freshman second baseman Luke Armstrong capped IVC's scoring for the inning with a sacrifice fly.

Golden West came back with a run on a sacrifice bunt by Eli Stuart in the bottom of the sixth to go up, 6-4.

Irvine Valley got a run back in the top of the seventh when sophomore center fielder Ben McConnell scored on a passed ball to make the score 6-5.

But that was the final run of the game for IVC.

Golden West added a run in the bottom of the eighth and held on for the win.

Seth Nelson led Golden West, going 3 for 4 with a walk and three RBI.

Micah Wallette got the start and win for the Rustlers and threw five-plus innings. He gave up four unearned runs on five hits while striking out two.

Reliever Alfredo Silva pitched the Rustlers out of a jam in the sixth inning giving up no hits and striking out one.

Closer Josh Ibarra came in and shut the door on a potential rally as he threw the final three innings, giving up one run on one hit while striking out seven batters.

For Irvine Valley, McConnell was 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Sophomore right fielder Michael Hascup, Nakatsuka and Armstrong each drove in runs.

Sophomore right-hander Justin Dunham started for the Lasers and went seven innings. He gave up six runs (four earned) on 10 hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

Sophomore Chad Burchit pitched the final two innings and gave up one run on two hits.

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