The Saddleback baseball team is once again selling Christmas trees as a part of their annual fundraising efforts. You can select either a Douglas Fir or Noble Fir, in the five to nine-foot range.
The fresh-cut trees from Oregon can be purchased by clicking on the following link and will be available for pickup on December 3 at the baseball field. Order forms must be returned to the baseball office by November 16.
This year’s fundraiser also comes with a twist, as you can also buy a tree to be donated to the needy or a Saddleback veteran student.
Please see the following links for information on the trees and the Christmas Tree Order Form.
Tree Order Form
The Saddleback baseball team finished the 2011 season on a high note, winning six of its last seven games and just missing out on the regional playoffs. Five members of the team have made decisions on their future, and will play at four-year universities.
The Gaucho coaching staff announced on Wednesday that Elliott Martin, Matt Paradise, David Wylie, Dylan Christensen and Jordan Helmkamp have all made decisions on where they will continue their respective baseball careers.
Martin will play baseball at Valparaiso University, located in Valparaiso, Indiana. He played in all 36 games for Saddleback in 2011, batting .301 and leading the team with 44 hits and 104 assists in the field. Valparaiso plays in the Horizon League and finished 25-31 overall in 2011.
Paradise played in 33 games for the Gauchos in 2011 and will continue his career at Penn State University, located in University Park, Pennsylvania. He batted .291 for the season, leading the team with eight sacrifice hits. Penn State plays in the Big Ten Conference, and finished 32-22 overall on the 2011 season.
Wylie will continue his career at the University of Oregon, located in Eugene, Oregon. He appeared in 15 games, leading the team with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings of work. Oregon plays in the Pac 12 Conference, and finished the 2011 campaign at 33-26 overall.
Christensen decided to take his act to Cal State Bakersfield, located in Bakersfield, California. The two-year starter played in all but one game in 2011, batting .293 with a team-leading 14 bases-on-balls and nine stolen bases. Cal State Bakersfield plays an independent schedule and finished the 2011 season at 33-22.
Helmkamp was the opening-day starter for Saddleback and finished the season 6-5, leading the team in innings pitched (90.2) and strikeouts (55). He will continue his career at Cal State Monterey Bay, located in Monterey, California. Monterey Bay plays in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, and finished the season at 21-28 overall.
The Saddleback baseball team had two players named to the All-Orange Empire Conference Team for 2011. Both Lee Casas and Elliott Martin were named to the team this past week by the coaches in the conference.
The Gauchos (20-16) finished the season on a high note, winning six of its final seven gams of the season and just missing out on a playoff berth. Both Casas and Martin were huge down the stretch for a Saddleback team that finished in fifth place in the Orange Empire Conference.
Casas led the team in home runs (5), RBI (25), total bases (61) and slugging percentage (.604) while committing just one error in the field and batting .327 for the season.
Martin was a model of consistency for Saddleback, starting all 36 games and batting .301 while leading the team with 104 assists in the field. He will continue his career at Valparaiso University, in Valparaiso, Indiana.
The Saddleback baseball team gave head coach Jack Hodges a great going away gift on Thursday when it beat Orange Empire Conference champion Santa Ana College, 3-0, at Doug Fritz Field. The Gauchos scored three times in the seventh inning and made it stick as Hodges ended his 22-year career as the Gaucho skipper with 580 wins.
Hodges goes out on a high note, defeating a program that has been a thorn in his side for most of his days wearing cardinal and gold and finishing his career with a win against the state’s all time leader in managerial wins, Don Sneddon.
Saddleback received a sensational performance from pitcher Dylan Christensen, who pitched 6 1/3 innings of 3-hit ball before giving way to Chasen White (pictured). The left-handed reliever (White) proceeded to strike out five batters over the final 2 2/3 innings of work, mowing down Austin O’Neal in what would be the final out of the Hodges era.
The Gauchos scraped across three runs in the seventh inning, which would prove to be all they would need. Tanner Gore led off the inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by the shortstop. After advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Forkel, Christensen then walked to put runners at the corners with one out. The big blow would come from Elliott Martin, who then doubled down the left field line to give Saddleback a lead it would never relinquish. The Gauchos would score two more times, one as a result of a wild pitch and another coming on a sacrifice fly.
Saddleback finishes the season at 20-16 overall, winning six of its final seven games of the season.
Hodges finished his career with 580 victories at Saddleback (580-362-4) and over 900 victories in his entire coaching career (920-522-6). He led Saddleback to 13 post-season playoff appearances including two state runner-up seasons (1998, 2003) and one state championship season (2004).
Congratulations Coach Hodges, you left the same way you came in…a WINNER!
The Saddleback baseball team had a tall task in front of them on Tuesday at Santa Ana if they were going to extend a five-game winning streak and keep their think playoff hopes alive. In the end, the Dons scored two late runs in defeating the Gauchos, 5-4.
Jack Hodges and Don Sneddon are two of the winningest coaches in the history of California community college baseball and it only made sense that the Hodges era would likely to come to an end against his old sparring partner, who recently had the field named after him at Santa Ana. Sneddon got the best of Hodges on Tuesday, but will again battle on Thursday in what is supposed to be the final game of the Jack Hodges era, barring any intervention at the playoff seed meeting this coming weekend.
Saddleback had its chances on Tuesday and with the kind of ball it has been playing down the stretch, many thought they would continue their roll and plead their case at the seed meeting. The Gauchos led the Dons for the majority of the game and Santa Ana kept battling back, looking to wrap up their fifth straight Orange Empire Conference title. In the end, Santa Ana’s conference MVP candidate Gary Apelian doubled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as the Dons outlasted Saddleback in a critical battle with playoff implications.
Santa Ana tied the game in the eighth inning at 4-4 after Marcus Meraz led off the inning with a double and later came in to score the tying run on a wild pitch. The Gauchos threatened to take the lead back in the top of the ninth inning when Spencer Kuehn entered the box with two runners on base and two out. Kuehn drove a ball to deep center field, but Santa Ana center fielder Dylan Jones ran it down to preserve the tie, sending the game to the bottom of the ninth.
Saddleback fell to 19-16 overall on the season and 9-11 in conference play with the loss. The Gauchos will host the Dons on Thursday in the regular season finale. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM.
Hodges enters the game on Thursday at 579-362-4 in 22 seasons at Saddleback. He has won more games than the rest of the previous baseball coaches combined for the Gauchos and recently passed Bill Brumel (men's basketball) to take over the No. 1 spot for wins by a Saddleback coach.
The Saddleback baseball team picked a fine time to get hot in making a clean sweep of the three-day valley tour with a 13-5 win over Bakersfield College on Thursday. The Gauchos improved to 19-15 on the season in their late-season push for a playoff berth as Saddleback exploded for 19 hits against the Renegades.
Saddleback entered the 3-day tour of the Central Valley with its backs against the wall. The Gauchos were three games below .500 and on the outside looking in at the playoffs. Saddleback may have turned things around just in time as they entered the Wednesday matchup with College of the Sequoias with the No. 18 RPI in the southern half of the state, a number that will likely improve with two more wins on Wednesday and Thursday.
Saddleback was trailing 4-0 on Thursday entering the fifth inning when they exploded for six runs, sending 11 batters to the plate. After scoring single runs in the seventh and eighth innings, the Gauchos once again batted around the lineup in the ninth inning, scoring five more times.
Dylan Christensen put on a show for Saddleback, pitching 5 1/3 innings in picking up the win before re-entering the game as an outfielder. He also finished 3-for-4 at the plate, driving in two runs on offense as the Gauchos touched the Renegades for 19 hits on the afternoon.
Saddleback has two games remaining on the 2011 regular season schedule against Orange Empire Conference leading Santa Ana College. A split with the Dons would seem to give Saddleback a puncher’s chance at making the 18-team Southern California playoffs, which start on May 3. The Gauchos will travel to Santa Ana for a 2:00 start on Tuesday before facing the Dons at home on Thursday at 2:00 PM.
Saddleback College head baseball coach Jack Hodges has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season, ending a 22-year run as head coach of the Gauchos and over 40 years of coaching baseball in Southern California.
Hodges started his coaching career at Rowland High School (Rowland Heights, CA) in 1971 and moved to south Orange County in 1980 when he began coaching at Laguna Hills High School. He took over as head coach at Saddleback College prior to the 1990 season and has guided that program for 22 years. He was the fifth head baseball coach in Saddleback history, coaching longer than the previous four coaches combined (21 years).
Hodges currently has 576 victories at Saddleback (576-363-4) and over 900 victories in his entire coaching career (916-523-6). He has led Saddleback to 13 post-season playoff appearances including two state runner-up seasons (1998, 2003) and one state championship season (2004).
“Coach Hodges has developed Saddleback College baseball into a highly regarded program. Not only from the standpoint of being very competitive athletically, but also in the expected behavior of his student-athletes. We have often been commended by the respect and courtesy that our teams have shown when they are off-campus representing Saddleback,” said Athletic Director Tony Lipold. “Jack has given his heart and soul to our baseball program. His leadership and guidance of our student-athletes will always be remembered and appreciated. It will be hard to replace him.”
Hodges will coach his final game at Saddleback on Thursday, April 28, when the Gauchos host Santa Ana College in the Orange Empire Conference finale. Game time is 2:00 p.m.
Assistant coach Sommer McCartney will take over as head coach of the Saddleback baseball program when Hodges retires. McCartney has served as an assistant coach under Hodges for nine seasons, including the past five as a full-time instructor on campus. McCartney served as the head coach at Aliso Niguel High School (Aliso Viejo, CA) from 2001 through 2005.
The Saddleback baseball team has decided not to go quietly into the night, and after two days in the valley appears to be making a late-season push for a playoff spot. The Gauchos defeated the No. 6 rated team in Northern California on Wednesday, College of the Sequoias, 4-2.
Saddleback looks like a team ready to give head coach Jack Hodges a going-away present as the 22-year skipper announced earlier this month he was retiring at the end of the year. Their gift to the record-setting manager is that they aren’t about to go away without a fight, a hallmark of the Hodges era.
Saddleback struck for two runs in the first inning as Lee Casas doubled in a run and later scored on a single to give the Gauchos an early 2-0 lead. With the game tied headed into the 7th inning, Casas once again struck with a towering home run to put Saddleback back out in front for good against a Sequoias team that entered the game at 25-8 on the season.
Jordan Helmkamp silenced the Giants’ bats for most of the afternoon, pitching into the eighth inning before giving way to the bullpen in picking up his sixth win of the season. Bobby Castellano came on in the ninth inning to pick up the save, as all three Sequoias outs were recorded on fly balls to left-fielder Ryan Forkel.
Saddleback now stands at 16-17 overall on the season and still holding on to hopes of making a late run at the playoffs. It was the fourth straight win for the Gauchos, with three games remaining in the regular season.
Saddleback will continue its road trip in the valley with a final game at Bakersfield College at 12:00-noon. A win would get Saddleback back to .500 for the first time since March 31. The game can be heard live on web stream, courtesy of KSBR.
The Saddleback baseball team is still hanging on to playoff hopes and got a big victory on Tuesday when they defeated Reedley College, 5-4. Zach Nuno pitched five solid innings as the Gauchos held on for the narrow win after leading 5-0.
Nuno surrendered two earned-runs in five innings of work, picking up his sixth win of the season. The Gauchos gave Nuno some room to work with early, when they scored three runs in the first inning and carrying a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth. Reedley would score twice in the fifth, and two more times in the sixth to cut the Saddleback lead to 5-4. The score remained the same until the bottom of the ninth inning when Reedley loaded the bases with two outs, only to see David Wylie struck out David White to end the game, thus preserving the win.
Saddleback sprinted out to a 3-0 lead when Matt Paradise had a bases-loaded double in the first inning to score all three runs. Dylan Christensen and Macaulay Anderson also picked up RBI’s on the day.
Saddleback now stands at 15-17 on the season and would likely have to win three of its last four games to have any shot at qualifying for the Southern California playoffs, which start on May 3. They will play College of the Sequoias today at 1:00 PM. The game can be heard live on web stream, courtesy of KSBR.
Saddleback fell from third place in the conference standings to seventh place over the past three weeks as the team struggled to find the offensive fire-power it enjoyed early in the season. That offense showed up again on Thursday as the Gauchos snapped a seven-game skid by beating Golden West, 12-4.
The Gauchos scored one run in the bottom half of the first inning as Elliott Martin stroked a two-out double and then scored on Lee Casas' single to put Saddleback on the scoreboard. The team put up four more runs in the fourth inning on three hits and two walks, jumping out to a 5-0 lead.
Golden West cut its deficit to just one run heading into the bottom half of the sixth inning, 5-4, but Saddleback went on a scoring barrage at that point. The Gauchos scored once in the sixth, twice in the seventh, and four times in the eighth inning to put the game away. Spencer Kuehn had a two-run double in the seventh to drive in both of those runs and Casas added a bases-loaded double in the eighth to drive in three runs.
Kuehn ended up with three hits on the afternoon while Casas (pictured) added two hits and four RBI. Martin had two hits and scored three runs. Jordan Helmkamp (5-5) went 6-2/3 innings to earn the victory for the Gauchos, recording five strikeouts without a walk.
Saddleback gave up one big inning early and the Gauchos' comeback effort started an inning too late as visiting Fullerton posted a 5-3 win over Saddleback on Tuesday at Doug Fritz field.
Saddleback, which is still in the hunt for a playoff berth, fell two games below .500 with the loss. Playoff teams need to be .500 or better to qualify.
Starting pitcher Zach Nuno posted five strikeouts within the first three innings and it appeared he would have no trouble keeping the Fullerton batters guessing, but the Hornets solved the puzzle in the fourth inning and scored four runs on five hits to break a 1-1 tie.
The Gauchos started a comeback in the eighth inning when Ryan Forkel led off with a double and Elliott Martin followed with a single. But a double-play ground ball dampened the momentum and the Gauchos were only able to push Forkel across the plate. Pinch hitter Gilbert Viera started off the ninth inning by reaching first on an error and advanced to third on a pair of groundouts. Viera scored on another infield error by the Hornets but the fifth consecutive ground ball of the inning was fielded cleanly to record the final out of the game.
Saddleback has three home games remaining. After taking to the road on Thursday (at Fullerton) and Saturday (at Irvine Valley), the Gauchos will be home next Tuesday (April 12) and Thursday (April 14) before wrapping up the regular season with a home-and-away series against Santa Ana at the end of the month.
Spencer Kuehn picked up three of Saddleback's eight hits on the afternoon while Martin and Tanner Gore each had two hits.
Saturday's Orange Empire Conference game was a bit strange and quite a bit interesting as Saddleback hosted Riverside in an 11:00 a.m. start. When it was over, the Gauchos had held on for a 7-5 win over the Tigers.
Sophomore Dylan Christensen (pictured left) was handed the ball for his first start on the mound Saturday and, although he didn't earn a decision, he pitched seven complete innings before giving way to the bullpen and resuming his normal role in center field.
He then caught a fly ball with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to record the final out of the game.
After batting in the bottom of the first inning, Christensen struggled a bit on the mound in the second inning as Riverside collected five singles to post three runs before hitting into a double play to end the rally. The Tigers added a run in the sixth inning on four more singles but ran themselves out of the inning when Saddleback catcher Tanner Gore gunned a runner out at third who had rounded the bag a little wide after the fourth single and a throw home.
Saddleback's offense came alive in the bottom of the seventh inning to try to help Christensen's solid pitching effort. The Gauchos collected six straight singles to tie the game at 4-4 and took a 5-4 lead on Tyler Pugmire's ground out to second base. Christensen was pulled at the start of the eighth inning, but the bullpen loaded the bases before sophomore Zach Nuno (pictured right) was summoned. Nuno got a ground ball to force an out at home before a sacrifice fly tied the score at 5-5. The Tigers then ran themselves out of another inning as Gore caught a baserunner trying to steal third.
Shortstop Elliott Martin led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice by Matt Paradise.
After Lee Casas was intentionally walked, Nuno (batting in the No. 7 position) rolled a ball up the middle which appeared to have "double play" written all over it before the Tiger shortstop kicked the ball into right field. That error allowed Martin to score the go-ahead run and Casas to take third. Casas would score on Mychal Kabeary's ground ball to second base as the Tigers tried to turn a double play but couldn't get the speedy Kabeary.
Nuno (5-3) recorded two strikeouts in the top of the ninth inning and gave up a triple before getting Riverside's Chad Erickson to fly out to Christensen to end the game. Martin had two singles and scored twice for the Gauchos while Paradise also had two singles and Casas added a triple and a single and scored two runs.
It was only one inning where nothing seemed to go right for the Gauchos, and that's all it took for Cypress to hang a 9-4 loss on Saddleback at Doug Fritz Field on Thursday.
Saddleback sophomore pitcher
Jordan Helmkamp had a perfect game going through the first four innings before Cypress broke that up in the fifth inning with a double, a single, and a Saddleback error. But the Chargers remained scoreless when Helmkamp struck out the next batter and then the Gauchos turned in an inning-ending double play. However, the sixth inning would not be as fortunate for Helmkamp as everything the Chargers hit in that frame seemed to have eyes, finding a gap in the outfield, blooping over the infield, or dying on the wet infield grass. By the time it was over, Cypress had erased an early 4-0 deficit with eight runs on nine hits and left the bases loaded after 14 batters came to the plate.
The Gauchos had jumped out to an early lead while Helmkamp was cruising along. Tanner Gore singled to lead off the third inning to get the rally started and the Gauchos loaded the bases with two outs before third baseman Matt Paradise singled home two runs. Gore got things started again ini the fourth inning with two outs with another single and Ryan Forkel was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up on a balk by Charger pitcher Connor Haddock before Tyler Pugmire's double scored both runners for an early 4-0 lead. Saddleback had runners in scoring position in the fifth and seventh innings but could not get the runners home.
Gore was 2-for-3 and scored twice for the Gauchos while Paradise was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
The Gauchos will host Riverside on Saturday in an Orange Empire Conference contest starting at 11:00 a.m.
The Saddleback baseball team had an impressive outing on Tuesday, defeating Cypress College on the road by a 9-1 score with the help of two Lee Casas home runs and seven strong innings from starting pitcher Zach Nuno.
The Gauchos posted five runs
in the second inning as Elliott Martin singled with one out before Casas' first home run. Spencer Kuehn then reached base on an infield error and, with two outs, Tanner Gore singled and Ryan Forkel was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Tyler Pugmire singled to score one run and then Dylan Christensen singled in two more runs to account for all the production the team would need.
Saddleback added two more runs in the third inning after Martin was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kuehn singled to score Martin and then Mychal Kabeary singled to score Kuehn. The Gauchos added two more runs in the
fifth inning as Martin led off with a walk and Casas followed with his second two-run blast of the game. Casas ended up with three hits and four RBI while Martin scored three times, Casas scored twice, and Kuehn scored twice.
(4-4), pictured at right, pitched seven complete innings to record the victory, scattering six singles and one double. Christensen came on in relief to close out the final two innings.
Saddleback will host Cypress on Thursday at 2:00 p.m. at Doug Fritz Field and then host Riverside on Saturday, March 26, at noon.
The Saddleback baseball team won its third consecutive game on Tuesday when it defeated Golden West College, 10-5. With the win, head coach Jack Hodges became the all time leader in wins for Gaucho athletics with 570 wins, surpassing former men’s basketball coach Bill Brummel.
Saddleback jumped on Golden West early with five runs in the first inning and two more in the second for a 7-3 lead. After the Rustlers narrowed the lead to 7-5 through six innings, the Gauchos added an insurance run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to improve to 10-7 overall and 3-3 in Orange Empire Conference play.
Tyler Pugmire was the offensive star, connecting for four singles and three runs-scored. Matt Paradise accounted for two hits of his own while Lee Casas had a two-run triple to give Saddleback an early 2-0 lead.
The Gauchos used a number of pitchers throughout, but received great relief from Dylan Christensen, who recorded the final six outs of the game, striking out two while allowing just one hit.
For Hodges, it was his 570th win of his 22-year career at Saddleback, breaking the record of former men’s basketball coach Bill Brummel, who coached the Gaucho cagers from 1980-2008. Hodges now has 570 of the 885 all time wins in the history of the baseball program, which started in 1969.
Saddleback will play again on Thursday when it hosts Orange Empire Conference leader Santa Ana College at 2:00 PM.
The Saddleback baseball team posted a 5-0 shutout over San Diego Mesa College on Tuesday in one of the final tune-ups before Orange Empire Conference play begins on Thursday, March 3, when the Gauchos host Cypress College in a 2:00 p.m. contest.
In the victory over San Diego Mesa, both teams played to a stalemate for the first 5 1/2 innings until the Gauchos pushed a run across in the bottom of the sixth inning. Elliott Martin led off the bottom of the sixth with a double down the left field line, advanced to third, and then scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by left fielder Ryan Forkel.
The Gauchos added four runs in the seventh inning to put the game away as Cole Shidaki doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third following two walks. Shidaki later scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Dylan Christensen. The Gauchos got another run on an infield error by the Olympians with two outs and the bases loaded, and Forkel made them pay even more with a two-run single to account for Saddleback's final two runs.
Zach Nuno (2-1) picked up the victory on the mound as he was still the pitcher of record in the sixth inning when the Gauchos got on the scoreboard. Jordan Helmkamp pitched the final three innings to earn his second save of the season.
Matt Paradise collected a pair of singles for the Gauchos, helping his team to its sixth consecutive victory.
Saddleback is scheduled to make a road trip to Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo for a Saturday doubleheader before starting Orange Empire Conference play next Thursday.
The six-game winning streak is the longest since winning six straight a season ago from February 7 to February 18. A win against Cuesta on Saturday would give Saddleback its first seven game winning streak since the 2009 season when they won seven straight from February 21 through March 10.
The Saddleback baseball team had a slow start to the season, but things have heated up in recent weeks as the Gauchos have won five straight games over the past eight days. The latest win was a 6-4 victory over Compton College on Thursday, with pitcher Jordan Helmkamp improving to 3-0 on the season.
Helmkamp has been asked to do just about everything this season and on Thursday a new set of circumstances arose as he was asked to keep a winning streak alive. He rose to the occasion, pitching into the eighth inning as Saddleback improved to 6-2 on the season. Helmkamp left with one out in the eighth inning and leading 4-1, striking out four Compton batters along the way in picking up his third win. Dylan Christensen would preserve the win in the ninth inning in picking up his first save of the season.
Spencer Kuehn was the spark for the Gauchos on offense, picking up two doubles and three RBI in back-to-back innings late in the game. Kuehn’s first RBI double came in the seventh inning with the game tied at 1-1 and his second drove in two runners in the eighth, adding padding to what was a very narrow 4-3 lead at the time.
The five-game winning streak by Saddleback is the first since Saddleback won six straight games from February 7 to February 18 in 2010.
The Gauchos are scheduled for a game at home on Saturday against Mt. San Jacinto College at 12:00 PM. Rain is expected in the area.
The Saddleback baseball team won its fourth straight game and third straight road game with a 5-2 over Chaffey College on Tuesday. Seven pitchers combined on a 4-hitter and Dylan Christensen led the offensive attack, going 3-for-4.
Chasen White, David Wylie, Ian Parvin, Kevin Witt, Andy Powers-Davis, Lee Casas and Jordan Helmkamp held Chaffey scoreless in all but the third inning while the offense did its thing.
Gilbert Viera opened the second inning with a single and scored on a one-out single by Mychael Kabeary. The Gauchos struck for three more runs in the third inning on back-to-back singles by Dylan Christensen and Tyler Pugmire, a walk, a hit batsman, an infield out and a throwing error. Saddleback then scored one more run in the fifth on a leadoff double by Viera and one out sacrifice fly by Ryan Forkel.
Christensen led the Gaucho's 10-hit attack going 3-4. Pugmire, Viera, and Tanner Gore each collected two hits on the day.
Saddleback improved to 5-2 on the season with the win and will take on Compton College on Thursday at home. First pitch is set for 2:00 PM, whether permitting. The game will be broadcast live on the web by KSBR.
The Saddleback baseball team took its first road long trip of the season on Saturday when it traveled to Santa Barbara City College to take on the Vaqueros. The Gauchos came back all smiles after taking both games of a double-header.
Saddleback nipped Santa Barbara 4-3 in the opening game of the day but things looked ominous when they surrendered five runs in the opening inning of game two. The Gauchos, however, rallied for five runs of their own in the fourth inning to tie the game. After falling behind again 7-5 in the fifth inning, Saddleback then scored four unanswered runs, led by a Dylan Christensen 2-run homer in the eighth inning.
Saddleback improved to 4-2 on the season with the wins and now has a three-game winning streak on the season heading into a road game at Chaffey College this Tuesday. The Gauchos lost to the Panthers 10-3 last Tuesday and will be looking to return the favor this week. Game time is set for 2:00 PM, and it will be broadcast live on KSBR with announcers David Grant,
Pete Riccio and Shane Tatu.
After a brief two-game losing streak, sophomore Jordan Helmkamp was asked to go to the hill and end the early-season skid. Helmkamp delivered yet another solid performance on Thursday, leading the Gauchos to an 11-5 win over Palomar College at Doug Fritz Field.
Helmkamp once again went seven innings, surrendering eight hits while striking out seven. He walked none, and left with the Gauchos leading 9-1 over the Comets.
On offense, Saddleback had a balanced attack led by Tanner Gore and Matt Paradise, who both recorded two hits apiece. Gore and Spencer Kuehn both had two RBI in the game as the Gauchos capitalized on four Comet errors in the field. Kuehn also worked the final inning in relief on the mound, surrendering one hit.
Saddleback improved to 2-2 on the season with the win and will travel to Santa Barbara City College for a double-header on Saturday. The double-header against the Vaqueros is scheduled to be broadcast live on KSBR via web streaming. Just a reminder, however, it is live streaming, so the broadcast will not go live until the start of the game.
Saddleback committed three errors in the first four innings which led directly to seven unearned runs and the Gauchos were unable to comeback from the 7-0 deficit in falling to Chaffey College by a 10-3 count on Tuesday afternoon.
Dylan Christensen had a single and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in one run. Cole Shidaki hit a sacrifice fly to center field to drive in another run for the Gauchos (1-2). Elliott Martin, Spencer Kuehn, and Matt Paradise each had doubles for the Gauchos. Saddleback sent seven pitchers to the mound with Eddie DuPont getting the start. DuPont struck out three and walked three in 3.2 innings of work but the defense didn't hold up behind him, allowing six unearned runs while he was on the mound.
The Gauchos will host Palomar College at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10.
When the baseball season opened on Thursday with the Gauchos hosting San Diego City College, it appeared the Gauchos were going to make "little ball" the mode of the day. But that all changed by the end of the first inning and Saddleback was able to go on and rout the Knights 15-1.
After pitcher Jordan Helmkamp made quick work of the Knights on just about two handfuls of pitches in the top half of the first inning, the Gauchos tried to get something going offensively in the bottom half of the inning. Ryan Forkel led off with a walk and Tyler Pugmire beat out a bunt for a single followed by an infield single from Dylan Christensen. A fielder's choice, a hit batsman, and a sacrifice fly scored two runs to give the Gauchos a lead before designated hitter Lee Casas came to the plate. The 6'7" freshman hit the first pitch of his college career 30 feet over the fence in left-center field above the 373-foot sign for a 3-run home run and a 5-0 lead.
Helmkamp scattered singles in the third, fourth, and seventh innings to earn the victory on the mound. Christensen had four singles to pace Saddleback's 16-hit attack with Pugmire, Elliott Martin, Spencer Kuehn, and Matt Paradise each picking up two hits on the afternoon.
Saddleback and San Diego City will meet again on the field tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 4) in San Diego on the Knights' home field.
The Saddleback baseball program opens its 2011 season on Thursday against San Diego City College at 2:00 PM at Doug Fritz Field. The Gauchos are looking to rebound from a disappointing 17-19 season in 2010, when they finished tied for fifth place in the Orange Empire Conference. The game will be webcast live on KSBR.net.
Saddleback enters the season at No. 13 in Southern California, according to the Baseball Coaches Association. Other Orange Empire Conference programs listed in the rankings include Santa Ana (1), Cypress (3), Orange Coast (6), Riverside (14) and Golden West (18).
Head coach Jack Hodges enters the season at 560-346-4 through 21 seasons and says the Gauchos are young, but talented.
“What we lack in experience, we expect to make up for in enthusiasm and determination,” Hodges said. “We have some talented, young kids. Now we need to see how they grow up.”
Saddleback will start sophomore Jordan Helmkamp on the hill on opening day. Helmkamp finished 0-1 in 22 appearances in 2010, finishing fourth on the team in strikeouts. He will face sophomore Mike Geraci, who will take the hill for San Diego City. Geraci finished 4-1 in 2010, with a 3.83 ERA.
First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM. The game will be broadcast live on KSBR.net, brought to you by play-by-play announcer David Grant. Just a reminder, however, it is streaming audio so the game will not be available until the crew has gone on the air.
Coach Hodges and the baseball team are hoping fans will be asking Santa for an Orange Empire Conference title in 2011 but first things first, they must order a tree. The baseball team will be holding its annual Christmas Tree Fundraiser in the coming month so make your plans to order your Douglas or Noble Fir.
The following two PDF files will give you a description of the trees and the order form.