Vaqueros grab dramatic win in last home game of the season

Diyari Karadaghi, Channels Contributor

City College baseball scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday, April 25, to beat the L.A. Pierce Brahmas 7-6 in the last home game of the season.

This win gives the Vaqueros an automatic berth to the Southern California Regionals and will be the third year in a row for City College to make it this far.

The Vaqueros got off to a good start scoring three runs in the first four innings, giving them an early 3-0 lead.

Standout pitcher Brendon Shoemake (No. 35) cruised along, allowing no runs through the first six innings. He used a 90-mph fastball on a strikeout to keep the Brahmas at bay to the end of the fifth inning.

“I was pretty fired up,” Shoemake said after the game. “I started picking it up in the fourth [inning].”

City College was without head coach, Jeff Walker, winner of the Western State Conference North Coach of the Year award in 2012. Assistant head coach Justin Aspegren stepped in for the game.

“Ultimately he’s (Walker) taught us everything,” Mark Jebbia (No. 11) said. “We know how to compete on our own, and we have great assistant coaches.”

L.A. Pierce’s bats came alive in the seventh inning,  and some key mistakes by the Vaquero defense made for five runs. Ventura took the  5-3 lead.

The Brahmas added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning, pushing their lead to 6-3 and taunting Shoemake. Freshman pitcher Ryan Massengale (No. 34) stepped in and ended the Brahmas’ scoring spree, sending the game into the bottom of the ninth.

“I think just us having our backs against the wall, knowing that our season could be over if we lost, clicked in the last inning.  And we fought through it,” Jebbia said.

A comeback by the Vaqueros didn’t look promising.  But Payton Milone (No. 8) tied up the game at 6-6 with a bases-loaded single up the middle.

“We just needed base runners in the ninth,” said Tyler Sharp (No.21).

Brahmas’ pitcher Kevin Torres hit his first two batters, Anthony Simon (No. 23) and Sharp, on two straight pitches. This forced home the game-winning run for the Vaqueros.

“I’m pretty stoked we stayed alive,”  Zachary Zehner said. “Hopefully, we get the top seed in the playoffs. I would like to take down the best team if we can.”

The Vaqueros beat L.A. Pierce 12-1 Friday, April 26, to finish off the regular season. City College improved to a 20-16 overall record, 11-5 at home, and 12-8 in the Western State Conference North.

L.A Pierce dropped to a record of 13-23 and 7-13 in the WSC North.

Playoffs start Tuesday, April 30, with a best-of-three scenario.

 

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