Strong fielding and clutch pitching lead the City College baseball team to a 1-0 non-conference victory over Orange Coast College on a windy afternoon at Pershing Park.
Orange Coast is ranked second best in California, but could not get a single run against the City College pitchers. The Vaqueros held them to only five hits for the game.
“It’s a huge win,” Jake Holton said (No. 29). “Hopefully we can take the momentum into tomorrow and the rest of conference.”
There were two runners on in the top of the ninth inning when Holton struck out the final batter to secure the victory for City College. Holton picked up his first career college save in his second appearance of the season.
Each pitcher who stepped on the mound was solid. They had good command of pitches and dominated the Orange Coast hitters.
Kyle Wade (No. 23) got the start for the Vaqueros. He pitched five solid innings, gave up just three hits and struck out five batters. Daniel Buratto (No. 43) and David Appleby (No. 21) also provided solid innings of relief after Wade was taken out.
City College scored in the fourth inning after Tyler Rosen (No. 11) drove in Reinhard Lautz (No. 2) with a single. Rosen had two hits and a walk in the game.
“It gives us confidence,” said Rosen on beating the second ranked team in the state. “We feel that we can beat anyone.”
City College had its chances to stretch the lead in the fifth inning. They loaded the bases in the only one out, but failed to score a single run.
Despite the low offensive game, second baseman Shane Hersh (No. 8) had a solid day swinging the bat as he had a team high of three hits. He also made some key plays with the glove.
One of those plays came in the third inning when Hersh dove towards the middle to catch a line drive and took a hit and run away from Orange Coast.
Coach Jeff Walker seemed very pleased with his team’s effort and the way his pitchers and defense made plays when needed to.
“That was a well played game,” Walker said. “We touched home plate one more time than they did.”
Rosen and Lautz have been swinging the bat very well in recent weeks. They have been reaching base more often and showing some power by hitting a few home runs. Rosen leads the team currently in home runs with six and runs batted in with 23.
The Vaqueros picked up win number 20 on the year as they improve its record to 20-13. They currently sit on top of the Western State Conference with a 10-5 record and look to win another Western State Conference North title.
City College’s next game will be Friday, April 14, at 2:30 p.m. against Orange Coast at Pershing Park.
The Vaqueros will continue its conference play with a home game next week on Tuesday, April 18, at 2:30 p.m. against Oxnard.