Jones Posts 13K Pitching Performance of the Summer; Swift, Klein and Mercado Lead Blues

Updated: July 17, 2019

July 17, 2019
Irvine, CA

Nick Jones (Georgia Southern) struck out the first eleven batters he faced and thirteen overall in a five-inning hitless and scoreless start, and Dylan Rock (UT San Antonio), who hit a solo home run in the first inning, hit a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to drive in the winning run as the Orange County Riptide beat the Academy Barons 5-4 tonight at Great Park Stadium in walk-off fashion. Obviously, Jones was dominant tonight. He pounded the strikezone, throwing 13 first pitch strikes to the 18 batters he pitched to and faced only four full-count situations. The first batter to reach base against him came when, after striking out eleven, he hit the twelfth batter on an 0-2 count. He then retired the next batter on three straight strikes. He did issue a pair of two-out walks in his last inning of work, the fifth, but struck out batters on either side of the walks to finish his hitless outing. The only two outs Jones didn’t record by strikeout were two groundball outs, one in the fourth inning and one in the fifth. By the time his start was finished the Riptide had posted a 4-0 lead. After Rock’s home run in the first inning, Orange County scored once in the second when two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases and a groundball out produced their second run, and twice in the third when Antonio Cruz (Rice) hit a two-out two-run home run. But after Jones left the game the Barons rallied, scoring three runs in the sixth inning on two walks, a wild pitch, an RBI-single by Jaylen Heard (Heartland) and an RBI-triple by Christian Lucio (Eastern Kentucky) to get within one, and then tied the game in the eighth when Basiel Williams Jr. (Jones JC) tripled and scored on a wild pitch. Trevor Sutt (Long Beach CC), the second reliever into the game for the Barons, came in to pitch after the score was tied and struck out the first two batters he faced and held the Riptide scoreless in the eighth inning and struck out the first batter he faced in the ninth before Michael Peabody (UC Irvine) singled to put the potential winning run on base. Sutt struck out the next batter for the second out which brought Rock to the plate. And, crucial to the story, before Rock’s plate appearance was decided, Peabody stole second base to get into scoring position. Rock then hit his single and Peabody scored the winning run. AJ Stinson II (Lawson St JC) started on the mound in this game for the Academy and threw three innings, allowing four runs on four hits while striking out five before turning the pitching duties over to Josh Landry (Cypress JC) who held the Riptide scoreless over four innings of relief, allowing only one hit and striking out six. Taylor Pendley (Howard) was the first reliever into the game for Orange County, starting the sixth inning in relief of Jones and allowing three runs on two hits while striking out four over two innings of work. Cole Samuels (St. Louis) pitched one inning, allowing the Barons’ fourth run on one hit, and Ryan Sublette (Texas Tech) pitched around a leadoff walk and an a one-out single in the top of the ninth inning, assisted by an inning-ending double play, to pick up the win.

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Elsewhere around the CCL today:

Thousand Oaks, CA

Hunter Swift (Oral Roberts) doubled twice, scored three runs and pitched an inning of scoreless relief, Ruben Mercado (San Jose St) had two hits and two RBI, Brian Klein (Texas Tech) had a pair of run-scoring singles and starting pitcher Mitchell Scott (Cal) threw five shutout innings to lead the San Luis Obispo Blues to a 7-1 win over the Conejo Oaks today at Sparky Anderson Field. Swift, batting in the leadoff spot in the San Luis batting order, scored the first run of the game after being hit by a pitch to lead off the game, advanced to second on a sacrifice and scored when Taison Corio (Delta JC) hit an RBI-single. Corio then stole second base and scored when Klein hit the first of his RBI-singles to give the Blues all the runs they would need. Scott took the early run support and made it stick throughout his start, striking out three and pitching around two singles and four walks over his five-inning start to keep the Oaks off the scoreboard. By the time his outing was complete the Blues had increased their lead to 5-0, scoring twice in the third inning on Klein’s second RBI-hit and an RBI-double by Ford Sherrington (Hendrix), and once in the fourth when Swift hit a two-out double and scored on a Mercado single. Kai Janowicz (UC Davis) entered the game in the sixth inning in relief of Scott and after retiring the side in order in that inning, surrendered the Oaks only run of the game in the seventh when a leadoff walk, a single and a sacrifice fly plated one. Janowicz pitched around another single in the eighth inning to hold Conejo scoreless before Swift came on to pitch the ninth and struck out two of the three batters he faced in the inning to close out the win. Jacob Flores (San Diego State) started on the mound for the Oaks and suffered the loss, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out three over three innings of work. Reece Mathieson (Glendale JC) was the first reliever in for Conejo and struck out three over two innings but surrendered the fifth Blues run on two hits before Aidan Dolan came on to start the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings before Swift and Mercado hit back-to-back two-out RBI-doubles in the eighth to post the final score. Bailey Holbrook relieved Dolan to get the final out in the eighth inning and then pitched a scoreless ninth to finish the game for Conejo.

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Pasadena, CA

The Santa Barbara Foresters hit six consecutive one-out singles and seven overall to generate six first inning runs and Spencer Jones (Vanderbilt) had a three-hit game, one of which was a two-run home run, to lead the Foresters to an 11-5 win over the Arroyo Seco Saints tonight at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The first inning rally was highlighted by a two-run single by Ross Cadena (Wichita State), who would also triple in his next at bat, and RBI-singles by Zach Presno (Fresno State), Jones and Ryan Cash (Oral Roberts). Santa Barbara added one run in the second inning when a walk, a stolen base, a passed ball and a groundball out scored one, one in the fourth when Eric Kennedy (Texas) tripled and scored on Christian Franklin’s (Arkansas) second single of the game, one in the fifth when Dru Baker (Texas Tech) led off the inning with a single and eventually scored on a Kennedy sacrifice fly, and two in the ninth when Jones hit his home run. Caden Monke (Arkansas) started on the mound for the Foresters and went three innings, striking out two, allowing four hits and surrendering one run in the third when Andy Garriola (Old Dominion) hit a two-out RBI-double. Drake Greenwood (Rice) was the first reliever in, starting the fourth in relief of Monke and struck out five over two innings but allowed three runs on three hits, including an RBI-single by Morgan Allen (St. Edwards) and a two-run single by Pete Derkay (Tennessee), both in the fifth inning. Kevin Larson (Fresno State) pitched two innings hitless, allowing the fourth Saints run unearned after two walks and two errors made the score 9-5 after seven innings before Elijah Trest pitched the last two innings for Santa Barbara and retired six of the seven batters he faced, four by strikeout, to secure the win. Alex Cornwell (USC) was the starting pitcher for Arroyo Seco and suffered the loss, allowing eight runs on ten hits while striking out five over four innings. Isaiah Ramos (Antelope Valley JC) pitched the last five innings in relief of Cornwell and struck out seven, allowing three runs on three hits.

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Alameda, CA

Wellington Balsley (Solano JC), Eric Robles (Sterling College) and Justin Banks (Coppin State) each hit RBI-doubles in the seventh inning to erase a 1-0 deficit and lead the Solano Mudcats to a 4-2 win over the San Francisco Seals today at Alameda College and spoil a nine strikeout, four inning performance by Seals’ starting pitcher Sam Gomez (Citrus JC). Trailing 1-0 heading into the seventh inning after stranding six baserunners in scoring position over the first six innings, the three double rally was started when the leadoff batter of the inning walked. After the next batter grounded out, Balsley hit his double to tie the score, Robles hit his double to give Solano the lead and, one out later, Banks hit his double to drive in Robles with what would prove to be the winning run. Gomez struck out three and stranded three runners in the first inning, struck out three and stranded two runners in the second and then retired the side in order in both the third and fourth innings, striking out three more. He allowed two hits and issued two walks but used the strikeout to hold Solano scoreless. Julius Raval entered the game to start the fifth inning in relief of Gomez and struck out two to keep the shutout going and pitched around a walk and a Christian Harkey (Savannah State) double to throw a scoreless sixth before allowing the three-double rally in the seventh. Coby Eckstein pitched the last two innings for San Francisco and allowed four hits and the fourth Solano run when James Harwell (Sonoma State) led off the eighth inning with a single, advanced on a passed ball and a single before scoring on another passed ball. Cody Switzer (Napa Valley JC) started on the mound in this game for the Mudcats and picked up the win, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out four over six innings of work. Switzer held the Seals scoreless until Alex Schmitz (Oral Roberts) hit a two-out RBI-single in the sixth. Eric Waldichuk (Willamette) pitched two hitless, scoreless innings in relief of Switzer, entering the game after Flynn Morrison (Redwoods JC) tripled off of Switzer to leadoff the seventh, Morrison scoring when Waldichuk got a groundball out for the first out of the inning. Waldichuk struck out two in his two innings before Nate Freeman (UC Davis) struck out two to pitch a scoreless ninth and secure the Mudcats’ win.

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