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Orn's 2-run single lifts Vaqueros over Wildcats in home opener

Left fielder Zach Orn delivered the game-winning hit with a two-out, two-run single to right in the fourth inning. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Left fielder Zach Orn delivered the game-winning hit with a two-out, two-run single to right in the fourth inning. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Kyle Froemke blasted a two-run homer in the first and Zach Orn delivered a two-out, two-run single in the fourth on Saturday afternoon to spark SBCC to a 4-3 win over West L.A. in the baseball home opener at Pershing Park.

The Vaqueros (2-0) won their home debut for the fourth straight year.

Hunter Call walked to lead off the bottom of the first and Froemke pounded a homer over the left-field fence. It was the second two-run homer in two days for the 6-4 sophomore shortstop from Round Rock, Texas.

The Vaqueros got an extra out in the fourth when catcher Jordan Durrell threw high to first after Brandon Lawrence struck out. Zach Jensen singled to left and Lawrence and Jensen pulled off a double steal, setting the stage for Orn's clutch hit through the right side that made it 4-2.

Orn, a sophomore infielder/outfielder from Hamilton, Indiana, went 2-for-4 and Jensen was 2-3 for the second straight day. The Vaqueros managed to win, despite being outhit 9-5 and striking out 13 times.

Orn, batting in the 9-hole from the left side, stroked a single past a diving second baseman Josh Carrillo with two outs in the fourth, scoring Lawrence and Jensen with unearned runs.

"I was looking for a fastball I could hit, preferably hard and on the ground because we were popping up a lot," said Orn. "He gave me the pitch, I was in the right spot and I made it happen. I wish we had played a little better but we still got the win. There's still some things to work on. We just have to keep getting better day-by-day."

Four Vaquero pitchers held the Wildcats to nine hits and were stung by a pair of Jensen throwing errors at second base that led to all three runs. Jensen scooped up a grounder with two outs in the second and made an errant throw to first, allowing Julian Huerta and Anthony Angel to score, tying the game at 2-2. With two outs in the seventh and Angel heading to second, Jensen dove for an infield hit by Will Barth and then bounced a throw wide right of third base to bring home Angel.

Toby Spach tossed the first two innings. Mason Metcalfe was the star pitcher, throwing five innings (third to the seventh) and allowing one unearned run on five hits with three strikeouts.

Bryan Golnick got out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the eighth by picking Julian Mungarro off first and getting pinch-hitter Noah Matsumoto on a flyout to left.

Jake McBride came on in the ninth and surrendered an infield single to Huerta. After a sacrifice bunt, McBride picked up his first save by tipping a hard-hit ball and getting leadoff hitter Damien Johnson on a pop-up to short. With Huerta on second, Barth drove a liner toward the mound and it glanced off McBride's glove right to Froemke who threw to first for the second out.

"I knew I had to pick up my team after giving up that leadoff single," said McBride, a 6-5 former Dos Pueblos High star. "I was worried when I tipped that ball because I thought bad things can happen when you tip the ball. I got lucky that it went right to Kyle, who's an outstanding player and we're lucky to have him.

"On the third out, I heard them cheering in the dugout trying to get noise but that only fuels the fire for me. It's always fun to get the last out for a win. I like to do whatever they put me in -- opener, extender or closer. As long as I get to compete, I'm happy."

The Vaqueros were held to five hits, one day after scoring 11 runs on 10 hits.

"It was a good competitive game," said SBCC's ninth-year coach Jeff Walker. "It was good to win a game like this, especially early. We need to play a little bit better catch and put the ball in play more.

"Mason was the player of the game. They had times when momentum was on their side and he kind of neutralized it with a big strikeout or flyout."

The last five hitters in the Vaquero lineup had 11 of the 13 strikeouts.

"That was certainly disappointing to strike out 13 times but not surprising after yesterday's game because our swings were getting long," said Walker. "It's early in the year and a lot of guys are playing in their first college games. It was a valuable experience. We'll regroup and make some adjustments to remedy those things."

The Vaqueros will play a three-game series at Saddleback in Mission Viejo, starting Friday at 6 p.m.