Cypress College pitcher Rich Lodding struggled early, but recovered to help the Chargers to a 7-2 victory over Golden West in an Orange Empire Conference baseball game Thursday at Golden West.
Lodding, a sophomore right-hander from Western High School, allowed eight hits and two runs in the first five innings.
Josh Bammer had a two-out single in the fifth for Golden West, but that was the last hit the Rustlers got. Lodding (5-2), using a rising fastball and a consistent breaking pitch, retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. He struck out the side in the ninth for Cypress (20-9 overall, 6-4 in conference play). Lodding finished with nine strikeouts and two walks.
“The way he (Lodding) finished was very encouraging,” Cypress Coach Scott Pickler said. “He cut down his stride on the mound in the middle of the game and it gave him better control. He was able to get the ball down after that.”
Steve Gill opened the fourth with a home run for Cypress and Brett Gregory also had an RBI single in the same inning as Cypress tied it, 2-2. It was the ninth home run this season for Gill and his first since March 12.
Joey Gonzales hit his third home run leading off the fifth to give Cypress a 3-2 lead.
Cypress added a run in the sixth when Jason Friedman singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Mike Neal.
Friedman had a single in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 20 games.
Mike Scott had an RBI single in the eighth to give Cypress a 5-2 lead and Friedman singled in Cypress’ final two runs in the ninth.
Terry Tewell opened the ninth with a double. Gill singled and stole second before Friedman singled both runners home.
Friedman and Gill had three hits and scored two runs each for Cypress.
Toby Foreman (4-4) pitched eight-plus innings and took the loss for Golden West (12-9-1, 6-4).
Craig Paquette had a two-out single and scored on double by Bammer for Golden West in the first inning. Paquette then tripled to start the third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Dan Villegas for a 2-0 lead.
Bammer and Paquette each had two hits for Golden West.
Orange Coast 7, Saddleback 3--Marty Cordova had a solo homer, Ted Savage went three for four and Eddie Pierce was two for five with two RBIs for host Orange Coast (20-7-1, 7-4-1). John Douris (5-1) gave up 12 hits in eight innings for OCC.
Riverside 4, Rancho Santiago 3--Riverside (5-16-1, 2-8-1) built a 4-1 lead after four innings and held on at Riverside. Jim Patterson pitched nine innings for the victory, allowing six hits. John McTaggart went two for four for Rancho Santiago (17-10, 7-3).