May 3, 2013 8:50 PM by Andrew Masuda
A seven run third inning was more than enough for Orange Empire Conference Pitcher of the Year Stephen Kane as the Cypress College baseball team beat Cuesta 8-3 in the opener of their best-of-3 game Southern California Regional playoff series on Friday.
Ninth seeded Cypress improved to 24-14, while Kane improved to 12-0 on the season. Cuesta, the eighth seed, saw its 11 game winning streak snapped. The Cougars fell to 21-16 on the season.
Cuesta starter Andrew Nelson, the Western State Conference Pitcher of the Year, took the loss and fell to 10-5. Cypress sent eleven men to the plate in the third inning and took advantage of two Cuesta errors to score 7 runs against the right hander, only 2 of those runs were earned. Nelson threw a complete game with 9 hits allowed, 1 walk and 6 strikeouts.
Kane kept the Cougars off-balance at the plate. The freshman carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He finished with 8 strikeouts and allowed just 2 runs and 2 hits. He issued 2 walks.
The Cougars scored twice in the seventh on a RBI-single from Paso Robles High graduate Mac Stuart and a run-scoring groundout by Atascadero High grad Spencer Ruggles. The Cougars added a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Parker Hindle. Cuesta recorded just 5 hits, all of them singles. Andrew Montanari, Zack Domingues, Stuart, Ruggles and Nicolas Rosso had one hit apiece.
Lompoc High graduate Lucas Martin starts a must-win game for Cuesta on Saturday at 11 am. The lefty has won his last four starts and is 7-4 on the season. A win extends the series to a third and final game at 3pm on Saturday. A loss would end the Cougars' season.
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