By: Jack Grimse
PALM SPRINGS, Calif.-
Game two of the SCCBL Championship series was do-or-die for the Palm Springs POWER, and they were able to beat the Orange County Riptide 8-2 to force a game three.
Luke Barker was on the mound for the POWER, and his opponent was Cassius Hamm. As usual, Barker didn’t need a ton of run support, but his teammates did more than enough at the plate to even the series at a game apiece.
Barker struck out the side in the first inning, and it was a sign of what was to come later as he allowed just seven baserunners.
The POWER were able to get on the scoreboard first, giving Barker the lead in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter Zach Davis singled, coming around to score after a groundout.
Ian McLoughlin tripled in the third inning to score Nick Jackson, doubling the POWER lead. Tyler Finkler singled and scored in the bottom of the fourth, and it was a 5-0 ballgame after Dillan Smith and Davis also came around on a base hit off the bat of Ryan Raslowsky.
Finally the Riptide did some damage against Barker, but it wasn’t until the eighth inning. Three consecutive hits from Brandon Munoz, Laine Huffman and Cole Gray allowed Orange County to get back in the game as two runs scored to make it 5-2.
However, the two runs the Riptide scored were cancelled out in the bottom of the frame when a Davis triple drove in Finkler and Harry Shipley. Jackson then singled and Davis scored, pushing the gap to 8-2.
And it would finish with that scoreline, as Barker finished the game on the mound, sparing a bullpen that had worked extensively on Friday night.
Sunday night will be the finale of this championship series, and is also giveaway day at Palm Springs Stadium. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m., so make sure to get to the ballpark.