It was a tough way to end the season for the Irvine Valley baseball team on Thursday.
The Lasers had their chances to earn a win in the regular season finale at home, but Golden West scored the deciding run in the top of the ninth inning and came away with a 2-1 Orange Empire Conference victory.
The loss dropped Irvine Valley's record to 18-18 overall and 8-13 in conference.
Irvine Valley finished tied for fifth in the conference standings with Fullerton.
But the Southern California Regional Playoffs are a real longshot for Irvine Valley.
Fullerton won the season series over IVC, placing the Lasers sixth in the order of teams from the conference.
Santa Ana, Orange Coast, Riverside and Cypress are the teams likely to advance. IVC finished two games behind Cypress in the standings. Golden West played spoiler this week, knocking off Irvine Valley twice.
The Rustlers ended up 15-19 overall and 7-14 in conference after Thursday's win at Irvine Valley.
The Lasers hit into four double plays on the day, stranded seven baserunners and made three errors. Even in the ninth inning down, 2-1, freshman designated hitter Sean Guite hit a double to lead off the frame. But Irvine Valley couldn't bring him home.
Irvine Valley starting pitcher Ryan Goodbrand did his part, going 7 1/3 innings and allowing just one run (unearned) on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Goodbrand wasn't involved in the decision.
IVC's Daniel Levine took the loss, allowing the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning. Pinch-runner Nicholas Lum scored from third base on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Tyler Rinker. IVC left fielder Cody Inglis made a sliding catch on the play and came up throwing toward home. His throw was online, but hit Lum in the back and deflected away.
Irvine Valley took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning off Golden West starting pitcher Race Parmenter, who is headed to UC Irvine next year.
With two outs, Guite singled up the middle and then scored on a RBI double by sophomore right fielder Drew Williams.
Golden West tied the game with a run in the top of the sixth on a double, walk and an error.
Irvine Valley had a great chance to go back on top in the bottom of the seventh, putting runners on first and second with no outs, but a failed sacrifice bunt and then a double play ended the threat.
For Irvine Valley at the plate, Williams was 2 for 3 with one RBI and Guite went 2 for 4 with a run scored.
Golden West was led by, John Baccari, who went 2 for 3 and Josh Tucker, who was 2 for 4.
Cody Green earned the win for the Rustlers (his first of the year), pitching three scoreless innings. He gave up just two hits and had two strikeouts.
The Lasers did have a standout defensive play in the top of the eighth inning. Freshman center fielder Bryce Hara caught a fly ball hit by Blake Cooper in left center and fired to freshman shortstop A.J. Cardenalli. He relayed home to sophomore catcher Anthony Almeida, who blocked the plate and applied the tag on Cody Weber, who was trying to tag up on the play.
But in the end it wasn't enough.