Saints end losing streak with dismantling of Barons.

PASADENA, CA-  For the first time all season, the Arroyo Seco Saints were in the midst of a losing streak. The streak didn’t last long.

The Saints threw that losing streak out the window as they dismantled the Barons in an 18-1 win for their best all-around game of the summer.

Manager Aaron Milam believed the Saints missed an opportunity in their loss to the Conejo Oaks given who pitched for the Oaks. The offense took advantage of nearly every opportunity presented on Sunday against the Barons.

After one pitch, it seemed like some of the Saints’ struggles would continue into this game. designated hitter Alejandro Torres (Hope International)  took the game’s first pitch from Saints’ starter Caleb Reyes (Cal Poly Pamona) deep to left to give the Barons a 1-0 lead.

After allowing a single from center fielder Tyler Freeman (Ohio State), Reyes rebounded by striking out two and picking off Freeman from first.

Both teams struggled to do much on offense after the Freeman single, as Reyes and Barons’ starter Nathan Mertens retired 14 out of the next 15 batters, with the only baserunner coming on a double from Barons first baseman (Cal State Fullerton) in the top of the second.

Saints left fielder Peter Werth (Charleston Southern) snapped the dominant run by the pitchers with a leadoff single in the bottom of the third inning, which would kick start a big inning for the Saints offense. Werth’s single was the first of three straight with third baseman Easton Elliot (Oral Roberts) and center fielder Crew McChesney (BYU), who drove in the game-tying run, also hitting singles.

McChesney started the summer as the leadoff hitter, but after missing a few games has moved down to the bottom of the order. Despite the change in lineup position, McChesney, who went 3-5 with four RBI, has the same approach at the plate; the only difference is that he sees one pitch more often.

“In the nine-hole, you kind of see a lot more fastballs, which I don’t mind at all,” McChesney said. “But it’s the same approach, just trying to drive the ball hard through the gap.”

The next batter, designated hitter Jakob Schardt (Cal State Fullerton), grounded out to second, but Elliot scored to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. Second baseman Cam Conley (Pepperdine) followed Schardt and hit a sacrifice fly to score McChesney to add to the lead. The Saints would go on to score in every inning the rest of the game.

Following the three-run inning, Reyes finished his outing by retiring the Barons in order while recording two strikeouts. Despite the leadoff homerun, Reyes had a solid outing with four innings, three hits, only one run, no walks and six strikeouts.

Arroyo Seco added to its lead in the fourth after first baseman Ryan Scott (Incarnate Word) doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Adrian Lopez (USC).

In the fifth, the Saints added three more runs with a McChesney double, a Schardt double and a sacrifice fly by catcher Nick Lazzara (Trinity) to give the Saints a 7-1 lead.

The sixth inning was a change in how they manufactured their run, with this one coming from small ball as right fielder Eli Watson (undecided) stole third and scored after the throw sailed over the outstretched reach of Baron third baseman Roberto Bueno.

The Saints put up a six-run inning in the seventh with Conley scoring on a walk by Watson, Lazzara scoring on a walk from Werth, Lopez and Watson scoring on a single from Elliot and Werth and Elliot scoring on a double from McChesney. By the end of all that, the Saints were up 14-1.

Even with all of the runs, Arroyo Seco had yet to hit a home run, which changed with the first batter of the bottom of the eighth as Lazzara hit his first home run of the year.

Lazzara said the home run “felt absolutely amazing” and thought it was robbed before realizing it was gone.

After the Lazzara home run, the Saints added three more runs, with Lopez and Scott scoring on a single from Elliot, who arguably had the best offensive performance for the Saints with four hits and four RBI. The final run of the game came on a single from Schardt, who scored Watson. At the end of it all, the Saints won 18-1, which is by far their most significant margin of victory this season.

The pitching staff also deserves recognition for not giving up a run after the first inning. After Reyes, the Saints received five shutout innings from their bullpen. Spencer Seid (UC San Diego), Aisea Ahokovi (Azusa Pacific), Damian Pasillas (Azusa Pacific), Jake Vargas (Azusa Pacific) and Aiden Pollock (Dallas Baptist) all pitched a scoreless inning.

Seid, Pasillas, and Vargas all made their debuts. Lazzara said that he had caught bullpen sessions from them prior to them taking the mound.

With the win, the Saints improve to 7-4 and will enjoy a day off Monday before heading to Compton to face these same Barons on Tuesday, with Trajan Lee (Trinity) making the start for the Saints.


  • Saints reporter Dylan Gonzales (Fresno State)
  • Saints photographer Elijah Hickman (Cal Baptist University)





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

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