Fullerton College baseball took to the diamond to play the last game of the regular season against Saddleback College. With the final score of the Friday home game 12-3 Saddleback, the Bobcats ultimately outscored the Hornets 46-4 across the three games series.

Fullerton College coaches and bench watch their team intently

Fullerton College coaches and bench watch the team intently during the last game of the regular season. The final score of the Friday home game was 12-3 Saddleback College. Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

In the first couple of innings, Jon Sarmiento (1-5) a freshman from Fullerton, and Connor Wilford (9-2) a sophomore from Saddleback, got into a pitcher’s duel. Neither pitcher let a single run-through leaving the score 0-0 until the third inning.

It was at the top of the third that the problems began for Fullerton. After scoring the first run, the Bobcats were poised with bases loaded when Cole Koniarsky, a freshman outfielder, hit a grand slam out past center field.

Despite Saddleback scoring five runs in the beginning of the inning, Fullertons problems did not end there.

Amidst pitching challenges, including walking three batters, there was also a pair of Hornet fielding errors that led to a total of three unearned runs in the inning. One fielding error was from Kaipo Haole, #26, a freshman third baseman, and the other from RJ Vanderhook, #9, a sophomore infielder.

Saddleback closed out the third inning with a score of 8-0.

Jacob Sharp (#19) connecting on a swing to make a run for first

Jacob Sharp (#19) from Fullerton College connects on a swing to make a run for first at Friday’s home game. The final score was 12-3 Saddleback College. Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

Fullerton did their best to stifle the momentum by focusing on their defense and rotating pitchers to Joe Linehan, #39, a right-handed freshman. After three strikeouts Fullerton managed to put a stop to Saddleback’s offense through the next few innings. Linehan finished the season with 34 strikeouts in 17 games.

The Hornets offense didn’t kick in until the seventh inning when sophomore Miguel Ortiz, #35, an outfielder scored the first run.

This was quickly followed up by another run by Garet Crenshaw, #24, a freshman outfielder. When the inning closed 12-2 Saddleback, Fullerton still had quite a mountain to climb if there were any hopes of a late-game comeback.

Garet Crenshaw (#24) up to plate in the 7th inning

Hornet Garet Crenshaw (#24) up to plate in the seventh inning of the last game of the regular season against Saddleback College. The final score of the Friday home game was 12-3 Saddleback. Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

Fullerton’s defense held firm in the final innings, not allowing any further runs from Saddleback (32-8, 17-4). Hornet Isaiah Marquez, a freshman outfielder scored a final run in the eighth inning but the team’s offensive play was not enough to close the gap.

The game ended 12-3 Saddleback which was the closest score that Fullerton had during the entire three-game series.

Fullerton finished the regular season with an 8-13 record in the Orange Empire Conference and 20-20 record overall.

Head coaches Chad Baum and Sommer McCartney shaking hands on the match.

Chad Baum, Fullerton College’s men’s baseball head coach, and Sommer McCartney, Saddleback College’s head coach shake hands after the home game loss Friday. The game was the last game of the regular season and marks the end of the 2022 baseball season. Photo credit: Valerie Strummer

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