The GCCL Bucs hosted a doubleheader against the Coastal Dodgers at Los Angeles Valley College on Friday, splitting the first two games of their three game set. The Bucs were squandered all around by the Dodgers, dropping the first game by a final of 12-0 in less than four full innings of play. The second game saw pitcher Ryder Edwards go the distance, tossing a complete game in a 6-1 win.
Playing in their first game since their win over the Crescenta Valley Falcons on Sunday, the Bucs were looking to keep the momentum going. The Bucs sent right-hander Hunter Edwards (L, 0-2) to kick off the doubleheader, and he was soon met with trouble after a smooth first inning. After giving up a sacrifice fly in the second inning, the Dodgers struck thunder, lighting up seven unanswered runs in the third inning, chasing Edwards out after just 2 ⅓ IP.
The Bucs were unable to extinguish the Dodgers bats the next inning, as a four-spot in the fourth inning proved to be way too much for the Bucs, and the game was called in the middle of the top of the fourth inning. The Bucs hitters were unable to provide much of anything, grabbing just one hit and reaching base only twice in three innings of offense.
After a disastrous first game, the Bucs looked to turn things around quickly in Game 2, by starting right-hander Ryder Edwards (W, 1-0). Edwards was able to escape early trouble as catcher Michael Choi nabbed a runner trying to steal second base in the first inning. From that point on, Edwards dominated on the mound, not allowing a single hit through his next 4 innings of work.
The Bucs batters, despite collecting a combined five base hits in the doubleheader, were able to put runners on base in any way they could. After putting three runners on and scoring without a hit needed, Bucs shortstop Yahir Garcia unloaded on the first pitch he saw for a three run missile in the third inning, giving the Bucs a 4-0 lead.
“Well, every single at bat I have, I’m always looking for a first-pitch fastball, and I was looking to be more aggressive at the plate so I took advantage of that,” Garcia said after connecting for his first home run of the season.
Edwards was able to get all the run support he needed on that swing alone, as he continued to dominate against the Dodgers. Edwards was able to finish his night with a strikeout, en route to notching his first win as a Buc, and tossing a complete game in the process. Edwards finished with a final statline of 7 IP (CG), 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 5 K while tossing 96 pitches.
“I’m pretty fired up right now… My pitches are being executed well, I’m throwing a lot of strikes, my catcher is doing his job behind the plate, so I just feel really fired up now,” Edwards said.
The Bucs will travel to Cal State LA to take on the SoCal Saints in a non-league game Tuesday, July 19 at 4:00 p.m.