Huntington Beach, CA – Sophomore Luke Mattson pitched an effective six innings, but the Golden West College baseball team couldn't produce enough offense in a 5-2 loss Thursday against visiting Fullerton College in an Orange Empire Conference game.
Mattson scattered three runs on three hits with four strikeouts over his six innings, but the Rustlers offense could not fully solve Fullerton pitchers Garrett Molnar and Kevin Foley.
Freshman Ezele Wicks (Cypress High) singled off starter Molnar in the bottom of the first inning for Golden West's first hit of the game and Nick Dayton reached immediately after via an error, but the Rustlers (10-7, 1-1) were held hitless until the 4th inning.
Wicks led off the bottom of the fourth inning, snapped the team's hitless drought and put Golden West on the scoreboard with a solo homerun to left. Two batters later catcher Austin Schell tripled to center, but he was stranded when Fullerton recorded the third out.
The Rustlers put together a small rally in the bottom of the ninth inning, when they had the bases loaded with no out. Pinch-hitter Josue Lopez grounded into a 4-6-3 double play that scored Anthony Marquez from third, but the rally was ended when Fullerton recorded the final out.
Wicks, Schell and freshman DH Trent Whitaker (Trabuco Hills High) each went 2-for-4 to lead Golden West.
The Rustlers conclude their series with Fullerton at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Fullerton. They return home to begin a three-game series against Irvine Valley College at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13.