Home Runs Help Vigilantes Win
Mission Viejo got consecutive home runs in the sixth by third baseman Manny Gagliano and left-fielder Phil Kernan to break a tie, and the Vigilantes went on to defeat the Grays Harbor Gulls, 6-2, Tuesday night before an announced crowd of 1,765 at Saddleback College.
Most deserving of his first victory was right-hander Kirk Irvine (1-2), who gave up seven hits over 7 2/3 innings and struck out four.
Irvine made his only mistakes early and both of them left the yard. In the second, Gull catcher Jon Fuller drove his fifth home run more than 380 feet to right-center field. In the third, second baseman Lino Connell lined his first home run over the right-field wall.
But Irvine held the Gulls there, giving his team a chance to catch up.
“The guys have been putting up runs, but we haven’t always put it together with pitching,” said Irvine, who played at Cal State Fullerton. “If we can put it all together like this, we will be successful.”
Grays Harbor left-hander Keith Barnes (0-2) kept the Vigilantes hitless for 4 2/3 innings. But two walks between two infield outs put runners on second and third for Brian Grebek, who slapped a sinking liner to left. The ball skipped in front of outfielder David Sanchez for a double, and scored Tim McDonnell and Dwain Bostic to tie the score.
That paved the way for the back-to-back home runs by Gagliano, his first, and Kernan, his fourth. The Vigilantes added two runs in the eighth.
The home run was especially gratifying for Gagliano, who had missed the last six games because of an injured right shoulder.
“I’m hoping this is the breakout game we’ve been looking for,” Gagliano said. “If we can all get healthy and start swinging the bats well, we’ll be all right. We’re beginning to bond as a team, not just be a bunch of individuals trying to play.”
John Homan, who relieved Irvine with two out in the eighth, finished up for his second save.
Infielder Tracy Edmondson will have X-rays taken of his sore right wrist today. Edmondson injured the wrist during Sunday’s game against Bend.