A Night to Swiftly Forget

IRVINE, CA- Everyone on the Arroyo Seco Saints (8-6), except maybe Josh Livingston (Wichita State) certainly wants to push everything about Friday night’s loss against the OC Riptide (10-6) out of their minds.  

The Saints got two runners on in the top of the first but couldn’t manage a first inning run. Luckily, Arroyo Seco’s starting pitcher Danny Veloz (Hawaii) faced the minimum in the bottom of the first thanks largely to an athletic double play turned by Tyler Gordon (Miami Ohio), taking the ball to second base himself for the first out and flinging the ball with a Derek Jeter-esque jump throw on to first for the second out.  

The second inning was also scoreless for both teams. Veloz ran into a bit more trouble as he gave up a pair of singles, but helped by two strikeouts looking he emerged from the inning unscathed.  

After a third consecutive scoreless inning to open the game, it was beginning to look like a dead-even pitcher’s duel in Irvine.  

The Saints looked as if they were going to dispel that narrative in the top of the fourth. Josh Livingston (Wichita State) made the hardest contact of the early innings for the Saints with a booming opposite field double, and after two walks the Saints had the bases loaded with two out. The rally knocked the otherwise-dominant Riptide starter out of the game but didn’t produce a run as the Saints left ‘em loaded.  

And to make matters worse, it was the Riptide who broke the scoreless tie with a three-run rally. The Riptide only really had one big hit amongst the rally, an RBI triple, but played good small ball on the basepaths to build a solid lead.  

The Riptide kept rolling in the fifth, adding a run, while the Saints continued to struggle at the plate.  

However, they got a run back in the top of the sixth after Livingston crushed a solo shot to right field for his third hit of the game. The homer also put Livingston a triple away from the cycle, so however the rest of the game went, it was clear Livingston’s at-bats were going to be must-see TV.  

To keep the mojo going, Jake Vargas (Azusa Pacific) worked his way out of a bases-loaded nobody out jam without giving up a single run. With the score still 4-1, the game felt within reach for a signature late-inning Saints rally.  

The Saints offense seemed to have a bit more momentum in the bottom of the seventh after how the past inning had gone, getting a couple hits and putting a runner on third base with less than two out. But again, it was a frustratingly empty rally and the score stayed 4-1. 

 And, the momentum stalled there. Fielding errors haunted the Saints again as they gave up two more runs and fell further into a 6-1 deficit.  

Livingston blasted a ball in the bottom of the inning, and off the bat it looked like he may have a chance for his cycle. But when the ball fell to earth, it looked like it landed in the left-fielder’s glove. The ball did fall out, allowing Livingston to reach base for a fourth time, but it was ruled a missed-catch error and Livingston only made it to second base anyway.  

And the Saints again couldn’t score. Frustrations perhaps boiled over for them a bit as tensions rose on the field between the Saints and Riptide, but it didn’t escalate beyond some heated words.  

But the Riptide added insult to injury in a big way in the bottom of the eighth, putting together an eight run eighth and expanding their lead to 14-1. There was no way to sugarcoat what turned into the toughest night of the season for the Saints.  

They couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the ninth to build on for the next game, and the final score was an unsightly 14-1. 

But even though there was much that made Saints fans want to look away, the loss illustrated two beautiful things about baseball.  

For one, even on a night the Saints were thoroughly beaten, they could celebrate the superb offensive efforts of Livingston. 

And for another, they could look ahead to a rematch with the Riptide the very next day to hopefully get revenge and quickly and painlessly turn the page on their trip to Irvine.  

Spencer Seid (UC San Diego) is likely to start Saturday night for the Saints. Gametime will be 6:05pm back home at Jackie Robinson Field.  


  • Saints reporter Ethan Inman (Southern California) 
  • Saints photographer Armando Jacobo (Long Beach) 






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Nick Gorman | (805) 252-7954 |

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