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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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SBCC baseball defeats Oxnard despite windy conditions

Vanessa Martinez
Zack Stockton (No. 12) jumps to second base, while the second basemen from Oxnard College attempts to tag him out on Thursday, March 15, at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. Stockton successfully stole second base.

City College baseball beat Oxnard 3-2 on Thursday afternoon at Pershing Park with dominant pitching and a clutch game-winning hit despite windy conditions.

Starting pitcher Brett Vansant (No.23) came up big for the Vaqueros. In 6.2 innings of work he gave up just six hits and one run while an error also led to an unearned run. He also struck out six batters.

“Oh the pitching was massive. Brett gave us a great start. He came out and threw only ten pitches in the first inning, which was huge cause we haven’t had an inning like that in a long time,” said Mitch Sancier (No.34). “His offspeed was going well, he was able to locate his fastball really well and he gave us a lot of good first pitch outs, which really helped us too.”

After a quick first inning, the Vaqueros scored in the second off of good baserunning and Oxnard miscues. After a Jake Holton (No.29) single, Boston Hubbard (No.6) singled to put runners on first and second with one out. He then stole second base, forced a bad throw and took third base. This drove one man home to put the first run on the board. The next play Zach Stockton (No.12) walked. He stole second, advancing to third on the throw while another run scored to give the Vaqueros a 2-0 lead after a wild inning.

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“Yeah that’s our style of offense. Just trying to put pressure on the defense,” said head coach Jeff Walker. “We are blessed with some good athletes and they want to play an aggressive style so that’s where we score a lot of runs.”

Despite 12 hits on the day, the Vaqueros offense struggled to produce runs as did their opponent. Sometimes this can put a lot of pressure on a pitcher, but Vansant has been in the situation before.

“It makes me more locked in. I’ve slid in my last couple starts,” said Vansant. “If my offense is up early then I kinda get lackadaisical and relax a little bit and that’s when they start scoring runs and get back into the game. So honestly, it keeps me more focused and more locked in and keeps me in the game which is a lot better.”

The game got interesting in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Oxnard scored on a sacrifice fly. Then on the next play, an error loaded the bases again. Oxnard tied the score on a ground ball that resulted in two outs. The game went into the eighth inning tied 2-2.

“I thought Vansant was good but our defense got away from him in the seventh,” Walker said. “But that was his best outing. That was exciting to see.”

The Vaqueros were put into a position to win in the eighth after a Patrick Caulfield (No.9) single and Holton getting hit by a pitch. Sancier stepped up to the plate with one out and hit a single to deep right field that scored the eventual game-winning run.

“I was just trying to get a pitch to drive,” said Sancier. “I wasn’t really getting my pitches to hit today. I finally got one. It was kinda in so I turned on it and was just worried about getting my hands to the ball and swinging hard.”

After several days off from rain, the team didn’t have much in the way of preparation coming into the game.

“We’ve been off since Friday. Got rained out on Tuesday’s game and it’s a difficult thing,” Walker said. “We had no batting practice, no drills, we’ve just been working to get the field ready to get a game in.”

With the win the Vaqueros improve to 12-9 and have now won three games in a row. They will play Oxnard again on Saturday and return home for a conference game against Cuesta at 2:30 p.m. on Monday.


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