Irvine Valley's baseball team had its chances to salvage the final game of its three-game series with Santa Ana.
But the Lasers couldn't come up with the right plays when they needed them and lost to Santa Ana, 6-5, in 11 innings in an Orange Empire Conference game at Irvine Valley on Thursday afternoon.
Santa Ana (23-7, 10-5) won all three games in the series over Irvine Valley (11-19, 4-11).
The Dons scored the deciding run in the top of the 11th on a hustle play by Andy Peterson. With one out, Peterson reached on a bunt single and moved to second on an error.
With two outs, Dylan Jones hit a grounder up the middle. Irvine Valley sophomore second baseman Scott Kaplan stopped the grounder deep behind the bag. Jones not only went to third, but he continued all the way home and beat Kaplan's throw to IVC freshman catcher Ryan Wagner for the winning run.
Irvine Valley had a big opportunity to win the game a half of an inning earlier.
The Lasers loaded the bases against Santa Ana relief pitcher Matt Blanchard on a double by Wagner, a walk to Kaplan, a sacrifice bunt by sophomore shortstop Sean Guite and an intentional walk to freshman third baseman Jordan Geiger. But Blanchard struck out both IVC freshman designated hitter Eric Peruzzi and freshman right fielder Colby Neal-Tan to get out of the jam and end the inning.
Irvine Valley held a one-run lead heading into the seventh inning. The Lasers scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 5-4 advantage.
With one out, Geiger singled up the middle. Peruzzi walked and Neal-Tan promptly doubled off Santa Ana reliever Richard Diaz to drive in one run.
Peruzzi then scored and Geiger moved up to third base on a wild pitch by Diaz to make a 4-4 game. Freshman left fielder David Stone then squeezed home Geiger with the go-ahead run.
Santa Ana tied it up at 5-5 in the top of the seventh inning on Brandon Baxter's two-out RBI double.
Irvine Valley led, 2-0, after the first inning. Santa Ana scored a run in the top of the second and then added three runs in the top of the fourth to take an early 4-2 lead.
Blanchard picked up the win on the mound for Santa Ana. He went three innings scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks with four strikeouts. He improved his record to 1-0.
Santa Ana starting pitcher Bryan Clough pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Dons ended with 11 hits. Baxter was 3 for 4 with two RBI, Jones went 2 for 4 with one RBI and Trevor Magno went 2 for 5.
Freshman Paul Lang (0-1) took the loss for IVC. He pitched a solid five innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
IVC starting pitcher Jason Euler pitched six innings and gave up four runs (two earned) on six this with four walks and three strikeouts.
Irvine Valley had eight hits on the day. Geiger was 2 for 4 with two RBI. Wagner and Guite each went 2 for 4 and freshman first baseman Danny Jimenez was 2 for 6.
Irvine Valley hosts Riverside in a conference game on Saturday at noon. Riverside is currently tied for third place in the conference with Golden West. Orange Coast is on top with Santa Ana in second.