Week 6 Recap: Saints Surging Toward CCL Playoffs

PASADENA, CA – The Arroyo Seco Saints won yet another week in pursuit of clinching their spot in the CCL Playoffs. The team also caught up on some much-needed rest, playing only four games this week. In their four games, the Saints won three, winning the week with a 3-1 record.

The week started with a home-and-away series with the Santa Barbara Foresters. With the first game of the series at home, the Saints had an opportunity to even the season series at three games apiece; they did just that.

En route to a 5-1 victory on July 18, their pitching staff blessed the team with a fantastic night. The Gilbert Lopez (Biola) and Jacob Henderson (Iowa) duo were nearly untouchable on the mound.

Gilbert Lopez pitched the first four innings of this matchup. In his four innings, the right-hander allowed only three hits and one run while striking out three batters. It was his second consecutive outing in which he was on top of his game.

Lopez did run into a bit of trouble in the fifth. After walking the first two batters he faced in the inning, the Saints elected to head to their bullpen. Coming into a sticky situation, Jacob Henderson did not bat an eye. The right-handed reliever did what he has been doing all Summer for the Saints, dominate. Not only was Henderson able to get out of the inning, he would stay in to pitch the final five innings for the team.

In what possibly could have been his final outing for the Saints this Summer, the Iowa Hawkeye pitched five scoreless and hitless innings while also striking out eight batters. His effort kept the Foresters at one run throughout this game, giving the Saints plenty of opportunity to outscore Santa Barbara.

The Saints took the lead early in this game and never looked back. After scoring three runs in the bottom of the third, the rest of the runs in this ballgame were purely insurance runs. A Connor Bradshaw (Pepperdine) double would score the teams’ fourth run in the fourth, and a Mason Hammonds (Tarleton State) sac-fly would bring in the teams’ fifth run in the fifth.
The Saints would go on to win this matchup 5-1.

With the season series tied at 3-3, the Saints traveled to Santa Barbara on Thursday. Unfortunately for the team, Arroyo Seco dropped that matchup 0-4. Instead of hanging their head in defeat, they got right back after it in a weekend series on the road against the San Luis Obispo Blues.

The Saints would get back in the win column Friday night in San Luis Obispo in an extra-innings thriller.

Caleb Reyes (Cal Poly Pomona) stepped onto the mound once again against the Blues to start this game. If there is one thing sure, the Blues’ fans love to holler at Reyes’ pitching form. Unfortunately for them, the squat was on full display and dealing.

While the Blues mustered two runs while Reyes was on the mound, both were unearned, giving Reyes his seventh straight outing without allowing an earned run. With the starter exiting the game after four innings pitched, the Saints grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fifth.

Jared Quandt (Hawaii) delivered with an RBI single, scoring newcomer Thomas Golbranson. Jordan Rogers (Wichita State) would then drive in two more runs with an RBI double. The Saints grabbed their first lead and did not trail the remainder of the game; however, the Blues did tie things up in the bottom of the ninth.

After a scoreless tenth inning, both teams added runs in the eleventh. Luckily, the Saints scored two in the top half of the inning, and the Blues only scored one in the bottom half.

Thomas Golbranson, playing in only his third game for the Saints, drove in the go-ahead run. The Saints’ second run of the inning came thanks to a balk by the Blues pitcher, bringing in Raider Tello (Iowa).

The winning pitcher in this matchup was Kevin Warunek (Longwood). The left-hander was dealing in his first appearance since the CCL Showcase game. Five of his six outs came through strikeouts, giving him 25 strikeouts in 12.1 innings.

After their 6-5 extra-innings thriller of a win Friday night, the team stayed up North for their first summer overnight trip. With a quicker than usual turnaround, the Saints struggled early on Saturday. Trailing 0-4 through four innings, Arroyo Seco found life at the plate in the fifth.

After three walks loaded the bases, Alex Birge (Wichita State) delivered. His bases-clearing double put the Saints within one of the Blues, then Birge would score on a fielders choice later in the inning.

With the game tied and momentum swinging in the Saints’ favor, Creighton Hanson (Xavier) came through big on the mound. In his longest outing of the Summer, the right-handed flame thrower went 3.2 innings, allowing only one run.

Despite allowing a run to give the Blues the lead back in the bottom of the fifth, the Saints responded and scored five more runs in their next two at-bats. Thomas Golbranson continued to impress his new teammates in these middle innings, scoring two of the five runs and driving in two as well.

With a 10-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Blues tried to rally late. After scoring a pair to cut the Saints’ lead to three, Reece Marley (Case Western) put their comeback efforts to rest, ending the Saints’ week with a 10-7 victory.

Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Saints are in a prime position to clinch their playoff birth in the coming days.

Be sure to follow all the late-season drama on our social media accounts!


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





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

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