Saints Drop Series Finale 9-8 to Riptide

PASADENA, CA- After Saturday’s pitcher’s duel at Great Park against the Riptide, it makes sense that both teams came out ready to swing the bats in Pasadena. In Sunday night’s matchup at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field, the two teams combined for 29 hits and 17 runs, compared to eight hits and one run on Sunday night. Unfortunately, the Riptide continue to have the Saints’ number this season, winning this matchup 9-8.

After a scoreless first inning, both teams’ offenses exploded in the second. After a costly mistake by the Saints’ defense kept the inning alive, the Riptide tallied five runs in the top half. With a deficit that large so quickly into this matchup, it would have been easy for the Saints to hang their heads and look forward to the next day, but that wasn’t the case.

Richie Morales (Arizona) would stay hot and get things going for the Saints in the bottom of the second. After reaching base on a single, Richie would take second and third on a wild pitch and then score on another wild pitch in the same at-bat. A single by Max Blessinger (Belmont) and a drawn walk by Julian Alvarez (Cal Baptist) kept the momentum alive in the inning.

Despite only playing in his fifth game this season, returning Saint Connor Bradshaw (Pepperdine) stepped into the box and delivered. His single would score Blessinger; Alvarez would later score in the inning on a fielder’s choice, and Bradshaw would round the bases and score off a single by Jared Quandt (Hawaii). Just like that, the Saints narrowed their five-run deficit down to one.

Bats would stay hot in the third, as Orange County would add three more runs. Luckily, Connor Bradshaw’s bat stayed hot as well.

After loading the bases with no outs in the inning, back-to-back strikeouts had the Saints in a pickle. What seemed like a no-doubt run opportunity now seemed like they were on their way to wasting it. While the Saints hoped to get more than one run in the inning, Bradshaw’s two-out RBI single was crucial here. He drove in Chase Meggers (Oregon), who led the inning with a double.

Meggers would find himself crossing home plate again in the fourth inning. After Raider Tello (Iowa) reached on an error, Chase Meggers would single to right, but the Riptide defense would commit yet another error in the inning, allowing him to go from first to third and Tello to score. Max Blessinger would single later in the inning to drive in Meggers.

Through four innings in Pasadena, the Saints and Riptide had combined for 15 runs; the score stood 8-7 Riptide.

Both teams’ defenses then settled in. For the Saints, this all started thanks to Gilbert Lopez (Biola) taking over on the mound. In a unique relief situation where the Saints had allowed eight runs before he stepped in, Lopez took control. He held the Riptide scoreless in his four innings pitched in this game.

While Lopez wasn’t dominating with strikeouts, he was putting the ball in places the Riptide clearly could not find any rhythm with. Even more impressive, Lopez had not stepped on the mound for the Saints since June 17. Coming into this matchup with the Riptide, the right-hander had only pitched four innings all season. His four scoreless innings kept the Saints in this ballgame.

In the bottom of the seventh, after Lopez’s final half-inning, the Saints tied things up. To no surprise, Connor Bradshaw, the team’s lead-off hitter, delivered again.

A double by Julian Alvarez to start the inning put the tying run in scoring position with no outs; Bradshaw wasted no time—his single drove in his third run of the game and the Saints’ eighth. Suddenly, the go-ahead run was on with no outs.

After a pitching change for the Riptide, an unfortunate double play resulted in two down in the inning. A single by Jared Quandt kept the inning alive, then a double by Raider Tello brought the inning fully back to life. Two outs, runners on second and third, go-ahead run 90 feet from home.

Unfortunately for the Saints, that opportunity to take the lead came up empty, and the Riptide would take the lead back in the top of the eighth. They would then maintain that one-run lead for the remainder of this matchup, winning 9-8.

For the Saints, losing by one run in their past two matchups against the Riptide is not ideal, but as they continue to move forward in CCL play, both games provided many positives.

On Saturday night, the Saints defense held the highest-scoring team in the CCL South to 1 run. On Sunday night, the Saints tallied their highest hit total of the season with 16. If the Saints can put things together moving forward, they will be a dangerous team come CCL Playoff time.

The Saints are back in action Tuesday night in Pasadena in a non-league matchup against the Philippines; first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. PST.

Tune into the matchup live on our Youtube Channel!


  • Saints Reporter Bennett Snyder (Ohio University)
  • Saints Photographer Sonny Tapia (Cal State Long Beach)





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