Vaqueros lose pitching duel to Oxnard, fall to second place

Oxnard+College+catcher+Daniel+Barnett+%28No.12%29+tags+out+City+College+catcher+James+Hill+%28No.+15%29+at+home+plate+in+the+second+inning+Thursday%2C+March+26%2C+at+Pershing+Park.+The+Vaqueros+lost+to+Oxnard+College%2C+4-2.

Malin Ensgård

Oxnard College catcher Daniel Barnett (No.12) tags out City College catcher James Hill (No. 15) at home plate in the second inning Thursday, March 26, at Pershing Park. The Vaqueros lost to Oxnard College, 4-2.

JONNY WALKER, Sports editor

City College pitchers gave up just three hits, but plagued themselves with walks in a 4-2 loss to Oxnard Thursday at Pershing Park.

The victory gave Oxnard a one-game lead over City College in the Western State Conference. The teams have played four times this season, splitting the series 2-2. City College has eight games remaining to challenge Oxnard for the conference championship.

“It was a huge game,” said head coach Jeff Walker. “It’s disappointing.”

City College starter Sean Barry (No.12) gave up just one hit in almost eight complete innings, but it was a big one. After walking the first two batters of the game, Barry gave up a single that drove in both baserunners, giving Oxnard an early 2-0 lead.

“That first inning can’t happen, especially to a team like that,” Barry said. “They weren’t going to hit the ball all day.”

“That’s on me. I set a horrible tone.”

“He gave up two in the first,” Walker said. “You can’t do that.”

Barry didn’t allow another hit until he was pulled with two outs in the eighth inning, including a stretch during which he retired 18 straight Oxnard batters. He also added eight strikeouts. His 58 strikeouts is first in the Western State Conference. No other pitcher in the conference has more than 46 on the season.

“Sean did a nice job of settling in after the first,” head coach Walker said. “But it’s tough to play a whole game behind when you spot them a 2-0 lead.”

“It’s the second time we’ve done that against them, which is disappointing for me to see.”

Oxnard kept the Vaquero batters at bay with strong pitching from starter Blake Redman. Redman leads the conference with a perfect 9-0 record.

After falling behind early, City College was finally able to score on Redman in the bottom of the seventh. First baseman Jake Gagain (No.37) cracked an RBI double into deep left field to score Connor McManigal (No.24). Second baseman Spencer Erdman singled later in the inning to drive in another run, tying the game at two apiece.

City College’s rally would fall short, however, as closer Jake Keily (No.32) gave up three walks, two hits and two runs in the ninth. Redman retired the final three Vaquero batters, earning himself a complete game win with six hits allowed.

“It was a well-played game on both ends. We walked guys, and they benefitted from that,” Walker said.

City College will look to redeem themselves in the second of back-to-back games. The Vaqueros will host Cuesta at 2:30 Friday at Pershing Park.