HS Baseball: Rancho Christian Defeats Temecula Prep 5-1

Juniors Cole Guerin and Elijah Goodwin Combine to Strike Out 14 Patriots

By Lynn Guerin

The Rancho Christian Eagles got back on the winning track Tuesday afternoon, handing the Temecula Prep Patriots a 5-1 loss. The win stopped an Eagles losing streak at 2 games. The victory also enabled Rancho Christian to even its season record at 4 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie.

The win felt like a momentum builder for Rancho, as they move into their league schedule and make a push to qualify foe CIF Playoffs for a third straight year.

Rancho was the visiting team at the Harveston #1 diamond and took an early 1-0 lead. Micah Gaukler singled ,went to second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on a double by Danny Meraz.

That first inning run was nearly enough to put Rancho in the win column.

Right hander Cole Guerin got the starting nod and gave an immediate indication that it might be a very good night for the Eagles pitching. Guerin worked around a first inning walk and an error by striking out the side.

The junior struck out 2 more in the second inning as well. In the third inning Guerin gave up the only Patriots run on 3 singles while striking out 3 more Patriots. He pitched shut out innings in the fourth and the fifth, produced two more strikeouts, giving Guerin 10 in five innings. Seven of the ten were called third strikes as sharp breaking sliders and dancing curves kept Patriot hitters off balance and guessing.

The Rancho Christian offense came to life banging out 11 hits. Jo Jo Saatzer had a big day with 3 hits,2 doubles a single and 2 runs scored. Danny Meraz had a double, 2 singles and a run scored. Micah Gaukler contributed two singles and 2 RBI’s.

Guerin left the mound after 5 strong innings and coach Eagles Tony Nobiensky put the game in the hands of hard throwing junior right hander Elijah Goodwin. Goodwin came in throwing the heat, pounding the zone and locking hitters up with breaking stuff of his own. Just what the doctor ordered.

Goodwin got a harmless fly to right and 2 strikeouts in the 6th.In the seventh Goodwin struck out the first two batters, gave up 2 singles putting runners at first and second. The next batter slapped one past the mound, but the pitcher made an outstanding back hand stab and fired to first, for the final out and the victory.

Rancho Christian seeks to continue its winning ways hosting another convocation of Eagles. The Bakersfield Christian Eagles comes to the Rancho Eagles Nest for a game on Saturday at 11 am. This of course depends on Mother Nature cooperating and keeping conditions dry enough to play.

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