Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Hornets rally in the ninth to walk it off against the Pirates

Fullerton College scores six runs in the final frame to steal a win from Orange Coast College, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Danielle Rivera
Sophomore left fielder Diego Franco celebrates with teammates and after hitting a walk-off grand slam to win the game for the Hornets, 6-4.

Fullerton College used late game heroics in a monster 9th inning to topple Orange Coast College 6-4 in an OEC showdown Tuesday afternoon at home.

Sophomore pitcher Matt Romero was electric to start the game, striking out eight through the first three innings. Sophomore infielder Ryan Kirk kept the Hornets (18-11, 6-4) alive with two diving stops at the hot corner, keeping the Pirates offense off the board. The Hornets offense was in a stalemate all game long facing Pirates sophomore pitcher Diamond Loosli.

Coming back on the mound in the fourth inning, Romero allowed three runs on five hits in the frame. The Pirates added an extra run thanks to a home run from sophomore center fielder Owen Wessel, taking a commanding 4-0 lead in the 7th inning. That ended Romero’s time on the bump.

Sophomore relief pitcher Andrew Carren pitched the final two innings for the Hornets, shutting down Orange Coast.

Down to their final three outs, Fullerton led off the ninth inning by way of a single from recent LSU commit, freshman first baseman Trevor Schmidt. Kirk and sophomore outfielder Rudy Gonzales stepped up to the plate with great patience, earning back to back walks against freshman relief pitcher Jackson Gilles, which put the Pirates (12-17, 6-4) in trouble with a bases loaded no outs situation.

After sophomore catcher Andrew Pyle struckout to make the first out of the inning, Gilles then walked sophomore second baseman Noe Romero and sophomore shortstop Landon Runge, allowing the Hornets to score two runs which brought the Hornets closer at 4-2. That was the end of the line for Gilles, as freshman reliever Parker King was called on to close the door on the Hornets.

With the bases still juiced, up came sophomore outfielder Diego Franco, he was seen taking a deep breath before the first delivery. Franco put the bat to the ball and sent the ball to deep left field. The crowd roared, “Keep going ball! DIEGO! Get out ball!” It was a much needed moment for the team and career highlight for Franco as this home run ultimately won the game for the Hornets, snapping a three-game losing skid.

Fullerton sets sail to Orange Coast to play game two of a three game set at 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 2.

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