SANTA ANA, Calif. – Sophomore first baseman Drake Wood came up clutch for the Dons, muscling a single through the middle of the infield in the seventh inning to bring home the go ahead run in Santa Ana's 3-2 win against the Irvine Valley Lasers on Tuesday.
Wood went 1-4 on the day but had some big at bats that led to a couple runs for the Dons in their Orange Empire Conference opener.
Santa Ana held on for the victory after a planned bullpen day, using relievers throughout the game until turning to Jack Owens, who finished things off in the ninth. Owens earned his first save of the season, going a scoreless inning and a third with two strikeouts. He has yet to give up an earned run in eight appearances (10.2 innings) and has seemingly taken over the closer role for the Dons.
Joel Casillas got the start for the Dons and gave up two unearned runs with four strikeouts in three innings of work. Jacob Ayala took over from there, striking out two in the next 2.2 innings before giving way to Kyle Hoskins, who provided another two outs for the Dons.
Nathan Cachu came away with his second win of the season after getting some crucial outs when the Dons needed it. He lasted 1.1 innings and only allowed one hit on the day.
Offensively, the Dons hit some balls hard and saw eight hits but really benefited from Laser's three errors, as two of their three runs were unearned.
STAT OF THE DAY
Although the SAC pitching staff had a quality outing, the Dons broke the all-time school record in hit batters with six. The previous record was five from three different teams (2011,1994,1986).
On Thursday, the Dons play game two of their series with Irvine Valley on the road. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. They'll be back at Don Sneddon Field on Saturday for the series finale starting at noon.