Dragon’s Blood ignites Vaqueros’ offense in 13-2 rout of L.A. Pierce

JONNY WALKER, Sports Editor

City College (12-4, 5-3) decisively broke out of their offensive slump, scoring nine runs in the first two innings on their way to a 13-2 blowout of L.A. Pierce (9-10, 6-4) Saturday at Pershing Park.

The Vaqueros had dropped their previous two games, enduring an offensive drought that spanned 17 straight innings without scoring a run. Head coach Jeff Walker decided to use an unorthodox method to cure his team’s offensive woes.

“We burned some incense on our bats,” Walker said. “Sage and Dragon’s Blood. We had a little séance yesterday to burn the evil off of our bats.”

City College seemed to reap the benefits instantly, scoring five runs in the first inning on L.A. Pierce pitcher Austin Peters. Sophomore Cam Jones (No.25), playing in the leadoff role for just the second time this season, was walked by Peters to start the game and immediately stole second to put himself in scoring position.

It was all downhill from there for Peters as he gave up five runs on two hits, four walks and three errors in the first. City College managed to bat their way through their entire lineup before the inning was over.

“One of our goals is always to get ahead and play with the lead,” Walker said. “We took advantage. It was nice to see the offensive output after the last two games we were a little thin.”

The Brahmas decided to send Peters back out in the second inning, but his pitching proved ineffective against the rejuvenated City College batters. Sophomore Matt Henderson (No.6) walked to open the inning, and then fellow sophomore Dallas Bacon (No.7) dropped a base hit past a diving Brahma centerfielder. Peters walked another Vaquero batter to load the bases, and it was clear the pitcher was in trouble again.

With the bases loaded, sophomore James Hill (No.15) ripped a double that scored both Henderson and Bacon giving the Vaqueros a 7-0 lead.

Sophomore Jimmy Brakka (No.9) would single later in the inning to drive home two more runs for City College, giving the team a comfortable 9-0 lead.

L.A. Pierce would change pitchers in the third inning, but the damage was already done.

City College would score four more runs over the next six innings, forcing the Brahmas to change pitchers over and over in an attempt to slow the Vaqueros’ batting assault. City College batters faced six different pitchers over the course of the game.

Sophomore Justin Bruce (No.11) had another solid start for the Vaqueros, pitching seven innings of shutout ball before being replaced by closer Kit Larson (No.18). Bruce improved his record to 3-1 on the season.

“They brought their A game to try to compete with him, he got the better end of them a couple times last year,” Walker said. “He rose to the challenge.”

“I was happy to see the run support,” Bruce said. “I just had to get out there and throw strikes, then let (my teammates) hit the ball.”

The Vaqueros sit at third in the WSC North conference after the victory, trailing Oxnard and Cuesta. L.A. Pierce fell from first to fourth.

City College’s next game is at 2:30 on Tuesday, March 10 at Ventura.