SANTA ANA, Calif. – Through five and a half innings, things weren't looking good for the Santa Ana baseball team, as the No. 9 Dons trailed 4-0 in game three of their series with the No. 5 Irvine Valley Lasers.
The Dons had squandered a couple early scoring opportunities, grounding into double plays in crucial situations, but rallied with two outs in the sixth to cut the lead in half by scoring two runs.
After Grant Askins reached on an error, Drake Wood made the Lasers pay with a shot to right center field to bring in Santa Ana's first run. Copper Hansen added to that with a bloop single over the Lasers' shortstop to drive in Wood.
In the top of the seventh, Jake Owens was called on to keep the momentum in the Dons favor, which he did with a 1,2,3 inning. Santa Ana followed that with another two out rally, this time scoring three runs to take the lead.
Neither Derek Sims or Brayden Howell started the game but came up with big singles early in the inning to give the Dons some baserunners. With two outs, Frank Garcia hit another single to score Sims, giving Askins a chance to swing with runners on.
A wild pitch helped Howell and Garcia advance to second and third, putting a little more pressure on the Lasers as they pitched to one of the Dons most dangerous bats. That pressure seemed to get to them, as Askins saw a pitch he liked and pulled it through the right side for a two RBI single to put the Dons on top 5-4.
The Dons turned to Joel Casillas in the eighth and he delivered with a two inning save to secure the series for Santa Ana.
SAC baseball moves to 12-6, 2-1 while the IVC Lasers drop to 15-4-1, 1-2 with the loss.
Next week, the Dons will match up with No. 7 Golden West (12-6,1-2) in a three game OEC series starting on Tuesday. Santa Ana will host the first game at Don Sneddon Field at 2:00 p.m.