Offensive Explosion by Riptide Leads to 17-8 Victory, Orange County Headed to State Championship Semi-Finals 

| August 5, 2022

(SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA) – After defeating the Crawdads, San Luis Obispo faced off against the Orange County Riptide for their second game of the day. An offensive explosion helped power the Riptide to a 17-8 win, eliminating the hometown Blues from championship contention. 

The first inning was quiet, with the pitchers for both teams facing the minimum in the opening frame. This would not remain the case for long, however. 

The Riptide broke the game wide open in the top of the second. The bases were quickly loaded as Nathan Manning (UC Berkeley) walked, Blake Penso (UC Irvine) singled, and Gavin Mez (UNLV) singled as well. 

Anthony Angel Jr. (CSULA) picked up the team’s third consecutive single in the inning, keeping the bases loaded as he brought in one run. 

Isaiah Morales (Saddleback CC) then sent a bases clearing double into the outfield, scoring Penso, Mez and Angel Jr.  

Morales has been a big run producer for the Riptide during the CCL Tournament, with five runs driven in and six runs scored so far. “Anything I can do to get the team going, keep getting the next guy up,” Morales stated. “Really just simplifying, just clear my head,” Morales said about his process during this hot streak. 

Gavin Haimovitz (Uncomitted) put the runners at first and third with a single. He proceeded to steal second, putting both runners in scoring position. 

Santino Panaro (UNLV) brought the runners around with a single, picking up his first two RBIs of the day. Panaro also made it to second on an error in the outfield. 

Dominic Souto (UC Berkeley) kept the train rolling and brought Panaro home with an RBI single, closing out scoring for the Riptide in the second inning. 

The Blues picked up a run of their own in the bottom half. Tate Samuelson (Cal Poly SLO) put a charge in one for his first homerun of the tournament. 

San Luis Obispo chipped away another run in the third. Nathan Cmeyla (Dartmouth) drew a two out walk, and scored after Kody Darcy (UTSA) sent a double into the gap. 

The Blues slow and steady strategy continued in the fourth, as Zach Toglia led off the inning with a double. Toglia reached third, and CJ Masciel (California Baptist) got him across the plate on an RBI ground ball. 

San Luis Obispo’s biggest inning came in the bottom of the sixth. Masciel led off the frame with a single, and Cole Gabrielson (USC) followed Masciel with a single of his own. After Collin Villegas (Cal Poly SLO) walked to load the bases, Cmeyla scored Masciel on an RBI ground ball. 

Kody Darcy then picked up a single that brought Villegas around to score and put Cmeyla on third base. The final run came when Darcy gave himself up in a rundown so that Cmeyla could bring the Blues within two runs. 

The Riptide struck back in the seventh inning, scoring a colossal six runs. Blake Penso (UC Irvine) led off the inning with a walk. The bases were then loaded when Gavin Mez picked up a single and Anthony Angel Jr. drew a walk of his own. 

Isaiah Morales again picked up a bases loaded knock, keeping the bases juiced and bringing Penso across the plate. 

With ducks on the pond, Gavin Haimovitz then sent a towering blast over the left field wall for the first grand slam hit in the 2022 CCL State Championship Tournament. 

“I knew he was going to leave something up with,” Haimovitz said about the at-bat. “I tried to just hitting it in there and getting one out.” 

One more run one come across to score as Shane Taylor (Utah Tech) hit a triple. He turned it into a little league home run, scoring on an error on the throw to third base. 

Noe Novella came into the game for the Riptide, and finished off an all-round team performance in the inning. Novella faced only four batters and struck out two coming in after the six-run inning. 

The eighth inning was dead silent, but the offenses erupted again in the ninth inning for a combined five runs. 

Shane Taylor led off the inning with a walk, and soon enough there were two men in scoring position. Blake Penso then stepped up and delivered a two-run single for Orange County.  

Anthony Angel Jr delivered the final run of the game for the Riptide. After putting a ball in play, an error by the shortstop allowed Blake Penso to cross the plate to give Orange County their 17th run. 

The Blues were not quite done yet either, with Samuelson leading off the inning with a double. After a Zach Toglia single, Samuelson was in position to score on a wild pitch.  

Toglia was brought around to score for the final run of the afternoon after CJ Masciel shot out a single. 

Haimovitz is proud of the way that his team has played thus far. “This is big for us; we’re fighting with limited guys right now. We’re trying to grind away at-bats and keep winning,” Haimovitz said. 

Riptide Head Coach Tim Brown echoed similar sentiments. “A lot of determination; there was some luck in there. We’re just glad to be here, we’re glad to be playing our last game,” Brown said. 

Brown also said that the Riptide will be looking for another offensive performance similar to the one in this game.  

Orange County will play again in the semi-final matchup on Saturday at 12 p.m. PST against the winner of the Oaks-Prune Packers matchup on Friday night. 

Impact Player of the Game: Gavin Haimovitz 

  • 3-5, 4 RBI, 2 R, Grand-Slam 


  • CCL Reporter Jackson Crawford (Texas) 
  • CCL Photographer Jacob Bramley (Citrus CC) 
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