John McTaggart got a mistake--a hanging breaking pitch--and turned it into a two-run home run in the ninth inning that gave Rancho Santiago a 9-7 victory over Cypress in an Orange Empire Conference baseball game Wednesday at Cypress.
The home run, McTaggart’s second in two days and fourth of the season, came off Jeff Patterson and broke a 7-7 tie. Cypress got a lead-off single from Doug Yates in the bottom of the ninth and a two-out walk to Bobby Thome, but Jim Short flied out to end the game.
Patterson (5-1), who is one of the top pitchers in Orange County, struggled most of the game.
He allowed 10 hits, including two home runs. He also threw wild pitches to allow two runs and balked in another.
Sean Ramos hit a solo home run in the fourth off Patterson, who had a 2.02 earned-run average coming into the game.
“That wasn’t the real Jeff Patterson,” Cypress Coach Scott Pickler said. “He battled the whole game, but he just didn’t have very good stuff.”
Rancho Santiago pitcher Willie Navarrette (4-2) was only a little better.
He allowed nine hits, including a home run and four doubles, but also pitched a complete game.
“He stayed with it the whole way through,” Rancho Santiago Coach Don Sneddon said. “We needed him to go nine innings to alleviate the pressure on the rest of the staff.”
Because of rainouts last week, conference teams are playing four games this week instead of three.
Rancho Santiago opened a 6-2 lead going, but Cypress scored four runs in the fifth. Jason Friedman hit a two-run home run, and Short had a two-run double. It was Friedman’s fifth home run of the season and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Each team scored a run in the seventh.
Rancho Santiago (11-6 overall, 4-0 in conference play) moves into first place. Cypress (15-5, 3-1) falls to second.