With a late surge, the Golden West College baseball team finished tied for second in the Orange Empire League and advanced to the state playoffs starting this week.
The Rustlers posted an overall record of 23-13, 12-9 in OEC play, tied with Cypress College. GWC overcame a four-game skid – including getting swept by conference champion Saddleback in three – by taking two of three from Cypress to knot up the second spot.
Southern California Regionals will start Friday and state championships will be played May 27-29 at Fresno City College.
After the stumble against Saddleback, GWC bounced back with a 7-1 win over Cypress at home on April 26. John Shattles homered, and Dillon Persinger each doubled in the win. Persinger ended up with four hits and two runs scored.
Tyler Tungate (7-2) worked seven innings, giving up 11 hits but only one run. He struck out five batters and walked one.
In the second game of the series, the Rustlers again came out in top, beating the Chargers 4-3 on their home field on April 28. It was a stirring come-from-behind victory. Trailing 3-0, GWC put together four runs in the top of the ninth to get the win. Daniel Maguire, Junior Aguilar and John Shattles drove in runs in the epic rally.
Cody Marshall threw seven strong innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs. He struck out five batters and walked just one. The win went to Taylor Franzman (3-0) in relief, with Joshua Gogue earning his sixth save.
The final game against Cypress went to the Chargers, who beat the Rustlers 7-5. Cody Marshall had two hits and two RBIs for GWC. Shattles and Maguire added a pair of hits each as well. Brett Mays (4-2) took the loss, going 5.2 innings and yielding five runs on eight hits. He walked four batters and struck out one.