City College baseball wins tenth straight, remains undefeated

Tyler+Gilbert+%28No.12%29+goes+into+his+windup+at+the+Vaqueros%E2%80%99+home+game+against+East+Los+Angeles+College+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+20%2C+at+Pershing+Park+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.++City+College+went+on+to+win+the+game+11-6.+

Aasa Haleby

Tyler Gilbert (No.12) goes into his windup at the Vaqueros’ home game against East Los Angeles College on Thursday, Feb. 20, at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. City College went on to win the game 11-6.

Jameson Swain, Sports Editor

The Vaqueros baseball team remains undefeated after beating East Los Angeles College 11-6 on a sunny Thursday afternoon at Pershing Park.

The Vaqueros are off to their hottest start in recent memory and are the only remaining unbeaten team in Southern California.

“Early we were clicking on all cylinders and everything was going our way,” head coach Jeff Walker said.

Sophomore starting pitcher Tyler Gilbert (No. 12) threw seven strong innings, striking out nine batters while only allowing one hit and one run.  Gilbert got off to a hot start and set the pace early for the Vaqueros, striking out the first two batters on six pitches.

With a handful of Major League Baseball scouts scattered behind the backstop, Gilbert delivered his best start of the season and improved 4-0.  He breezed through the first five innings without allowing a base runner.

City College scored in the bottom of the first inning when leadoff hitter Brandon Evans (No. 14) singled and came around to score on a groundout by Trey Barrett (No. 44).

City College’s offense erupted in the bottom of the second inning, scoring seven runs and sending 12 men to the plate. Patrick O’Brien (No. 27), Matt Henderson (No. 6), and Dallas Bacon (No. 7) all singled to start off the inning and all three would come around to score.

Barrett, on his 22 birthday, had the key hit of the inning when he doubled to left-center field bringing home Bacon and Spencer Erdman (No. 5).  The Vaqueros added two more runs when Jimmy Brakka (No. 9) and Barrett scored on wild pitches.

Gilbert returned to the mound after the long half-inning and went on to strike out the side.

“I was just trying not to focus on the score and go out and do what I’m capable of,” Gilbert said.

Brakka hit a double down the right field line with the bases loaded in the fifth inning scoring Noeh Martinez (No. 26), Evans and Bacon.  The Vaqueros went into the sixth inning up 11-0 and Gilbert still not having allowed a base runner.

“It definitely crossed my mind,” Gilbert said.  “When you think about it bad things happen though. I tried to not focus on the score.”

The Huskies recorded their first hit in the sixth inning when right fielder Zachary Ashford singled sharply to right field.  Gilbert was able to get the next batter to ground into a double play and finished the inning with a strikeout.

Barrett returned to the lineup after missing the last three games because of a shoulder injury and batted fourth for the Vaqueros.  After tearing his ACL early last season, he was worried the shoulder injury might be another season ender.

“It freaked me out really bad,” Barrett said.  “It’s a spooky feeling to have [my arm] come out and pop back in.”

The Huskies got on the board in the seventh inning when Gilbert walked leadoff batter Kevin Rodriguez who came around to score on a groundout to shortstop.  Cameron Jones (No. 25) made a diving catch in center field that ended the inning.  Gilbert pointed to Jones as the outfielder got to his feet after the spectacular catch.

The Huskies scored five runs in the ninth inning as James Chadband (No. 35) struggled to find the strike zone and hit the first three batters.  He recorded one out, and Noah Villegas came on in relief and got the final two outs, but not before giving up a bases loaded double to Michael Aguilar.

The Vaqueros play East Los Angeles again at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at East Los Angeles.