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COMMUNITY COLLEGE ROUNDUP

Elliott Connects for Big Homer as Santa Ana Defeats Riverside

March 27, 1998|STEVE KRESAL

With each push and pull of the suction pump, Santa Ana Coach Don Sneddon wondered if the effort would pay off as he and his staff dried the field for Thursday's Orange Empire Conference baseball game with first-place Riverside.

There was little incentive for Sneddon to get his field ready after Wednesday's storm because it meant his team would face right-hander Cody Trask, who leads the conference in victories with seven and was also on a five-game winning streak.

But Trask was no match for the streaking Dons, who got a key three-run homer from Chad Elliott and won, 10-4. It was Santa Ana's third consecutive victory after three consecutive losses.

"This makes it worth all the work to get the field ready," Sneddon said. "You hate to do all that work and lose."

Thursday's victory takes Santa Ana (22-6, 9-5) from being two games out of first a week ago into a virtual tie for the top spot with Riverside (19-6, 8-4). Riverside is ranked second in the state and Santa Ana is third.

Elliott, who was playing in place of starting right fielder Michael Vinto who is injured, capped a seven-run third for Santa Ana. Vinto hurt his hand in Tuesday's victory over Riverside and could miss as a little as a week.

Cory Williams drove in the first two runs of the third with a double down the right-field line and Rick Gonzalez and Christian Popoff added run-scoring singles before Elliott hit his fifth homer of the season.

Santa Ana freshman Greg Young (5-0) gave up seven hits and three runs (two earned) in seven-plus innings to get the victory. Young had five strikeouts including getting Jaeme Leal, who leads the conference in homers with 11, three times.

Trask, who gave up nine hits and 10 earned runs in seven innings, is 7-2.

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