SANTA ANA, Calif. – Santa Ana's Gabe Armstrong recorded seven strikeouts in seven innings but took the 5-3 loss in Saturday's series finale against the No. 4 Saddleback Gauchos.
Armstrong was cruising in a tie game with just two earned runs until running into trouble in the eighth inning. The righty from Sonora gave up a leadoff double and a walk before being relieved by Jacob Ayala. Saddleback used two hits and a walk to pick up three runs in the inning to go up 5-2 going into the bottom of the eighth.
The Dons responded by putting some pressure on the Gauchos with two baserunners and then scored on a throwing error to make it a 5-3 game. Santa Ana had one more shot to add on, as runners sat on second and third, but couldn't capitalize on the opportunity.
With both teams going scoreless in the last inning, the Dons fell to the Gauchos to drop the series 1-2. Santa Ana is now 18-16, 6-9 and Saddleback moves to 24-10, 9-6.
Santa Ana heads into their second to last series of the regular season on Tuesday next week against the Golden West Rustlers. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Golden West College.