Huntington Beach, Calif. - The Golden West baseball team used timely hitting and good defense to win game two against Irvine Valley 7-5 Thursday afternoon.
Lead off man, Seth Nelson had a great day at the plate going 3 for 4 with 3 RBI's and a walk to help propel the Rustlers (14-9, 3-5) to their third OEC win. The offense came out swinging early as they were able to take a early 3-0 lead and build some much needed confidence at the plate. Zakk Morgan put Golden West on the scoreboard in the first innning with a sacrifice fly to center field and then Nelson delivered a two out, two RBI triple in the bottom of the second inning to give the Rustlers the early 3-0 lead. The offense got it going again in the bottom of fifth inning as they were able to plate two more runs off the bats of Nelson Padilla who hit an RBI single and Morgan's fielders choice that lead to a run scored on the play.
The Lasers (16-8, 2-6) were able to score four runs in the top of the sixth inning to make it a one run ball game on three hits while taking advantage of the Rustlers lone error on the afternoon. Golden West would respond in the bottom of the frame with a perfectly executed safety squeeze put down by Ely Stuart to extend the lead to 6-4. Irvine Valley would then respond in the seventh as they would hit a one out triple and score a couple pitches later on a passed ball to make it a one run ball game again, 6-5. The Rustlers would add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning on a fielders choice ground ball by Nelson to allow the Rustlers to win 7-5.
Micah Wallette got the start and win for the Rustlers as he threw 5 plus innnings giving up 4 unearned runs on 5 hits while striking out 2. Reliever Alfredo Silva pitched the Rustlers out of a jam in the sixth inning giving up no hits and striking out one. Reliever/closer Josh Ibarra came in and shut the door on a potential rally as he threw the final 3 innings giving up one run on one hit while striking out 7 batters.
Golden West will travel to Irvine Valley tomorrow to try and complete the three game sweep with a scheduled first pitch at 2pm.