After the fifth inning of Saturday afternoon's South Coast Conference game between Santa Ana and Cypress colleges, the operator of the manual scoreboard at Cypress Field packed his number placards and called it a day.
Had he lost track of Santa Ana's runs, or was he simply a victim of fatigue? Probably both, because by that time the Dons had built a 17-0 lead.
Santa Ana scored six more runs in the final four innings that were a mere formality on the way to a 23-0 victory over the Chargers, who went into the game tied with Santa Ana for second place. They are in fourth place after the loss.
Santa Ana (13-8 in conference and 27-11 overall) is a powerful hitting team, and the Dons took little time proving it against Cypress (12-9, 22-12). Santa Ana scored 10 runs in the first inning--seven runs coming before losing pitcher Bob Goodall (6-5) got an out.
Santa Ana also had a six-run fifth inning, and had 24 hits, five by shortstop Vince Shinholster, who had two home runs and a triple and drove in five runs.
"I think we're going to go out and recruit some pitching," said Scott Pickler, the Cypress coach, after watching the Chargers absorb the most decisive defeat of any SCC team this season with the exception of Compton.
Pickler, too, was a victim of fatigue, considering all the trips he had to make to the mound to change pitchers. Cypress used six in all--Goodall, Bob Blankenship, Brian Leonard, Jeff Mooney, John Reid and Randy Bowman--and none was effective.
Santa Ana, meanwhile, had one of its best-pitched games of the season. Mike Schwabe (11-5) went the first six innings to get the win, and combined with Mike Sanders, Ed Calderon and Wayne Gillis on a four-hit shutout.
The first inning, a 40-minute adventure that increased both the Santa Ana team batting average and the Cypress team earned-run average, began humbly. Leadoff batter Gary Thomason took two strikes, then four balls to draw a walk. Steve Scarsone got on thanks to an error by Charger second baseman Jeff Nicks and Shinholster, attempting to sacrifice, beat out a bunt to load the bases.
Ruben Gonzalez drove in the game's first run with a single, and the rout was on. Mike Lindsten followed with a two-run single, Brent Ryhlick and RBI double and Doug Maher a three-run home run--his seventh homer--to knock Goodall out of the game.
Blankenship, Goodall's successor, struck out the side, but not before Shinholster, who played for Pickler at Loara High School, hit a three-run home run to make it 10-0.
The Dons got a single run in the second and six more in the fifth. Scarsone led off with his third home run of the season and Maher had the other big hit, a two-run single, to give him five RBIs on the day.
Matt Beltran added his first home run in the sixth and Shinholster capped his big day with his ninth home run--and Santa Ana's fifth of the game--with a man on in the seventh.
In other South Coast Conference action:
Golden West 7, Fullerton 4--The Rustlers (13-9, 22-10) rallied from a 2-0 deficit with a four-run third inning to beat host Fullerton (9-12, 23-18) to end their four-game losing streak.
Orange Coast 31, Compton 6--The Pirates (12-10, 17-16) scored 11 runs in the first inning, eventually bludgeoning the Tartar pitching staff for 27 hits on the way to their ninth victory in 11 games.
Pirate right fielder Gene Roumimper hit his 12th and 13th homers of the season to break a school record.