Tuesday blues bite SBCC, Allan Hancock dogs Vaqueros in 9-6 loss

Third+baseman+Ricardo+Amavizca%2C+No.+29%2C+hustles+from+first+to+third+base+following+a+wild+pitch+on+Tuesday%2C+April+26+at+Pershing+Park+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+Amavizca+scored+next+following+shortstop+Gabe+Baldavinos%2C+No.+13%2C+single+through+the+left+side.

Luke Fipps

Third baseman Ricardo Amavizca, No. 29, hustles from first to third base following a wild pitch on Tuesday, April 26 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. Amavizca scored next following shortstop Gabe Baldavino’s, No. 13, single through the left side.

Eric Evelhoch, Sports Editor

Inconsistency in opening games of the week has dogged the City College baseball team since the beginning of Western State Conference play.

So when the Vaqueros lost 9-6 to Allan Hancock College on Tuesday, April 26 at Pershing Park, it was a familiarly frustrating feeling for the red, black and white.

“We couldn’t match how excited they were to play us, which has been kind of the case all year, but our goal doesn’t change,” head coach Jeff Walker said.

City College also let slip an opportunity to pick up a game on WSC-North leader Cuesta College, who lost 12-3 at Moorpark College. If the Vaqueros win out in their final three games of the season they will win the conference and host a first-round regional.

Starter Aiden Garza (5-3) gave up four unearned runs in the top of the fifth inning, the only runs allowed in five innings of work that saw him allow eight hits with five walks and three strikeouts.

Shortstop Gabriel Baldavino had an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth and catcher Tyler Imbach had a three-RBI double in the seventh, but the Vaqueros were unable to pull back to level with the visiting Bulldogs.

“We got the big hit but not the bigger hit,” Walker said. “We weren’t very good in two-out situations… we hang our hat on pitching and defense, and we just did not do a very good job of throwing strikes or playing defense.”

Players wave goodbye to the opposing pitcher following a visit to the mound Tuesday, April 26 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. Both teams displayed heated emotion in the late back and forth game.
Players wave goodbye to the opposing pitcher following a visit to the mound Tuesday, April 26 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. Both teams displayed heated emotion in the late back and forth game. (Luke Fipps)

Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth, right fielder Pearce Blaney and first baseman Owen Crevelt hit back-to-back first-pitch singles to start the inning. Blaney would score when third baseman Ricardo Amavizca’s hotshot skipped between the shortstop’s legs, then Crevelt scored on a wild pitch by Hancock starter Matthew Gonzales. Bladavino’s one-out single scored Amavizca to trim the deficit to 4-3, then reliever Lucas Earle (3-1) came in to get the final two outs of the inning by strikeout.

Hancock tacked on three more in the top of the sixth, pushing the visitors’ edge out to 7-3.

Pinch hitter Carson Cahoy reached on an error with one out to kick off the Vaqueros rally in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Luke Kovach. Baldavino singled, then Mark Hernandez pinch hit for designated hitter Andrew McKenna and got hit by the pitch to load the bases. Imbach delivered a bases-clearing double down the right field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Kovach induced a flyout and notched a strikeout to end the threat.

The Bulldogs added two more runs in the top of the ninth to close the scoring.

“We reacted a little bit instead of making them react to us and when you’re reactionary it’s generally not going to be on the positive side,” Walker said. 

The Vaqueros bounced back by wiping out LA Pierce College 14-2 on Thursday. They were designated as the away team for the game but hosted it at Pershing Park due to the Brahmas home field being unplayable.

City College is on the road to face the Raiders at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29 at Moorpark College. They close out the regular season against Cuesta at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 at Pershing Park.