Saints break bad habits but lose extra innings heartbreaker

PASADENA- The Arroyo Seco Saints (12-10) fought until the bitter end, coming from behind but ultimately falling short against the MLB Academy Barons (9-14) in extra innings.  

The starting pitcher for the Saints, Trajan Lee (Trinity) did not allow a baserunner in his first inning of work, striking out the final batter of the inning looking making it look to everyone at Jackie Robinson field like he was already in a rhythm.  

To make things even sweeter for Lee, the Saints immediately got him some run support. Left fielder Easton Elliot, who committed to Long Beach State mere hours before Tuesday night’s game, celebrated his accomplishment with a one-out double and then came around to score when he stole third base and advanced home on a throwing error by the Barons’ catcher. The lead stood at 1-0 at the end of the first.  

However, the second inning was significantly less smooth for Lee as three singles loaded the bases with one out. The Trinity hurler responded with a strikeout, already his third of the game, but then allowed a frustrating bases-loaded walk on a full count. He then induced a playable ground ball that looked like it would end the inning with the score tied, but a fielding error allowed a run to score and extended the inning. Lee did well to induce a flyout and finally end the inning, but the Saints were trailing for the first time all game, 2-1.  

The Saints couldn’t get those runs back in the top of the second. The top of the third felt like the second for Lee, who loaded the bases on a walk and two singles, this time with nobody out. But Lee, who’d been there before in the game already, stayed calm and got out of the trouble himself, striking out three straight Barons to keep the tally at 2-1.  

Elliot did his part to get the Saints offense going in the bottom of the third, reaching via a bunt single for already his second hit of the game. He also stole his second bag of the game, but did not come around to score as the Saints stranded him at third.  

Kobe Minchey (Dallas Baptist) came on in relief of Lee in the top of the fourth and surrendered a run, making the score 3-1 going into the Saints’ half of the inning. 

The Saints were fortunately able to get that run right back at the plate. Adrian Lopez (Southern California) led off the inning with a double, and advanced to third on a single by Josh Livingston (Wichita State). He then scored on an infield single by Crew McChesney (Brigham Young), but the Saints still trailed 3-2 at the end of four.  

Unfortunately, the Barons got that run right back on a pair of doubles, but Minchey limited the damage by getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the top of the fifth. This time though, the Saints unfortunately couldn’t get that run right back, going down in order.  

Minchey fully settled in in the top of the sixth, striking out three Barons while allowing only one baserunner.  

Lopez set the table again in the bottom of the sixth, hitting another double. After stealing third without a throw, Lopez scored on a sac fly hit by Peter Werth (Portal).  

 Ahmad Harajli (Miami Ohio) came in and pitched a clean inning for the Saints in the top of the seventh to keep their deficit at one.  

The importance of setting the table and manufacturing runs was key for the Saints again in the bottom of the seventh. Elliot reached base for the third time by drawing a walk, then stole his third bag of the evening and advanced to third on another throwing error. He was right there for Nick Lazzara (Trinity) who poked a ground ball into center field for the game-tying single.  

Harajli pitched another key scoreless inning to keep the score there heading into the bottom of the eighth.  

After two straight strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth for the Saints, Peter Werth (Portal) hit a ground ball that looked like it would end the inning with the score still tied. But the Barons made a costly error, allowing Werth to reach first and McChesney an opportunity to hit.  

McChesney shined in the big moment, hitting a ball down the line that the speedy Werth and equally fast McChesney turned into three bases of running time. When the dust settled, McChesney was on third and Werth had scored the go-ahead run. The Saints led 5-4 going into the ninth. 

But, a game-tying homer on the first batter of the top of the ninth by the Barons ended the Saints mojo quickly. Jace Presley (Portal) limited the damage with three straight strikeouts, but the Saints couldn’t score in the bottom of the ninth and the game went to extra innings for the first time this Saints’ season.  

The Barons capitalized on their momentum from the home run, knocking in their ghost runner with two outs in the top of the tenth. Lopez laid down a good sac bunt to advance the Saints’ ghost runner to third with one out in the bottom of the tenth, and the next two Saints batters made incredibly hard contact, but both times the ball went right to a Barons fielder. When the game finally ended, the Saints were at the wrong end of a heartbreaking 6-5 loss.  

The Saints will look to rebound tomorrow night back at Jackie Robinson Field at 6:05 PM versus the CCL South Division-leading Santa Barbara Foresters. Brady Nelson (Arizona Western) is in line to start for the Saints.  



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





Aaron Milam | (626) 695-6903 |
Nick Gorman | (805) 252-7954 |

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