France Homers Past Power

Game Recap 6/4/16 from So. Cal. FCA Baseball on Vimeo.

By Keaton A. Moore - Sports Information

On the brink of losing their second game in a row to the Palm Spring Power, the Southern California Catch rallied in the top of the ninth. Not only did Jaiden France (Orange Coast College) launch his first homer of the season, he shut down the Power in the bottom of the tenth to secure the Catch’s 10-9 victory.

Nicolas Cumpston (Eastern Kentucky University) pitched his second start of the summer, leading the Catch through five innings with three hits and two runs. Contrary to his start in the season opener, Cumpston pitched much farther into the game and only threw six more pitches than in his first start.

The Power struck first with two runs in the bottom of the third with back-to-back RBI hits off Cumpston, putting the Power up 0-2 over the Catch. However, Josh Rojas (University of Hawaii-Manoa) gave the Catch their first lead of the series with a three-run home run in the fifth. With two home runs, Rojas is well on his way to hit more home runs this summer than he did in 2015 when he hit three with the Catch.

Their lead was short lived as the Power jumped on right-handed pitcher Jacob Gonzalez (La Mirada High School) in the sixth and seventh, scoring six runs and taking their commanding 3-8 lead into the top of the ninth. However, as everyone who watches baseball knows, the game isn’t over until the final out.

Josh Barrick (Liberty University) led off the ninth with a single, which sparked a five-run, game-tying rally. With the bases loaded, Jacob Hathaway (University of San Francisco) hit a sacrifice fly and two batters later, Ethan Lopez (University of Hawaii-Manoa) brought the Power’s lead down to two with an RBI single. After Austin Bull (Grand Canyon University) hit a sacrifice fly, bringing the Catch up 7-8, a wild pitch scored the game-tying run with two outs in the top of the ninth.

Right-handed pitcher Nick Wernke (California State-Dominquez Hills) held the Power to one hit and sent the game into extra innings. With a runner at third and one out, France hit his first home run of the season, giving the Catch a 10-8 lead. At Orange Coast College, France batted .245 without hitting a home run and as the designated hitter in the lineup, he went 2-4 and drove in the game-winning runs.

After Wernke struggled in the bottom of the ninth, walking the first two batters, France resumed his primary role as pitcher and entered the game with runners on second and third with no outs. Although he gave up an RBI groundout, which brought the game within one-run, France maintained the lead and saved the Catch’s 10-9.

The Catch play a rubber-match game against the Power on Sunday, June 5 at 7:00 p.m.