The Fullerton Hornets drop to (5-10) (0-1) on the season after losing game one of conference play this week. This was after a big win over the red-hot Cerro Coso Coyotes.
The Hornets lost 4-1 in their Orange Empire Conference home opener to the Saddleback Gaucho’s (11-5) (1-0). This was game one of the three games set against the Saddleback Gauchos for the season.
Fullerton’s sophomore pitcher Patrick Showalter (0-1) took the mound for the Hornet’s and the Gaucho’s countered with Zak Herbers (1-0).
Showalter coasted through the first two innings allowing only two hits and stranding three baserunners. Trouble hit in the third inning when Saddleback’s Willie Lajoie lined a single to right center field scoring two runs. Lajoie later scored on a throwing error giving the Gaucho’s a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning.
Fullerton got on the board at the bottom of the 5th inning when sophomore Alex Gonzales singled up the middle to score Ryan Penalber. The inning ended when sophomore Tyler Becker grounded out to the shortstop.
In the top of the 7th inning, the Gaucho’s added another run when Saddleback’s Casey Downs took a walk with the bases loaded to score a run.
Fullerton failed to score another run in this game. They were silenced by the dominating pitching of the Saddleback Gauchos.
In the bottom of the 9th inning, the Hornet’s threatened to score with runners on first and third. Freshman pinch hitter Eddie Ureno stepped in for outfielder Richard Canales and grounded out to the first baseman that ended the game.
Fullerton got a strong start by Patrick Showalter but that was not enough as Saddleback’s pitching was just a tad better for this game.
Patrick Showalter’s final pitching line was 6.2 innings pitched, 3 earned runs, and 3 strikeouts. Relief pitcher Alex Castaneda pitched 0.2 innings with 3 walks and 1 strikeout. Harrison Nation hurled a solid 1.2 innings of work with 2 strikeouts, 1 walk, and no earned runs.
Next up: The Hornets (5-10) (0-1) start game two of the three-game series at Saddleback (11-5) (1-0) on Thursday, March 7th. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 pm pending inclement weather.