Steve Gill’s first-inning home run helped Cypress College put Fullerton in a hole and the Chargers went on to a 12-4 victory in an Orange Empire Conference baseball game Saturday at Fullerton.
Mitch Kaylor opened the game with a single, Jason Friedman walked and Gill hit a hanging breaking pitch well over the right-field fence. The home run was Gill’s eighth of the season, tops among community college players in Orange County.
Cypress starter Rich Lodding struggled enough to keep Fullerton in the game until Cypress (16-6 overall and 4-2 in conference play) scored six runs in the sixth to take a 12-3 lead.
Lodding hit three consecutive hitters with one out in the third and appeared to hit a fourth, but the base umpire ruled the ball went off John Mele’s bat. Mele hit a sacrifice fly and Lodding then worked out of the inning with a 4-1 lead.
Lodding (5-2) worked six innings for the victory. Fullerton starter Norm Hunter (1-2) lasted two-plus innings to take the loss.
Cypress opened the sixth with six consecutive hits and sent 11 batters to the plate in scoring six runs. Mike Neal, Jim Berry and Bobby Thome had RBI singles, Kaylor walked with the bases loaded and Friedman had a sacrifice fly.
Friedman had a third-inning single to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. John Connolly had two hits and two RBIs for Fullerton (7-10, 2-4).
In other Orange Empire Conference games:
Golden West 10, Riverside 4--Golden West (11-5, 5-1) scored five runs in the first and four in the ninth at Riverside. Ken Lynch had pair of doubles and three RBIs and Steve McKowen, Mark Magrann, Craig Paquette and Frank Herman had two hits each for Golden West. Dave Turner (3-0) worked six-plus innings for the victory.
Rancho Santiago 13, Saddleback 1--Host Rancho Santiago scored nine runs in the eighth to blow open a 4-1 game. Jack Bailey (5-0) pitched a four-hitter for Rancho Santiago (12-7, 5-1). Danny Ontiveros had a two-run double and Marty Neff had a two-run single in the eighth for Rancho Santiago. Tim Reynolds had three hits, reached base six times and scored four runs for the Dons. Justin Pysar hit a home run for Saddleback (8-5, 2-4).
In a nonconference game:
Cerritos 9, Orange Coast 2--Scott Talanoa had two hits and scored two runs for visiting Orange Coast (13-6-1).