Baseball battle in blustery wind terminates in 0-3 loss for SBCC

Starting left hand pitcher Jake Villar (No. 7) gives it his all even with a losing scoreboard. Villar throws the ball as the Cougar player awaits the pitch. The Vaqueros lost 0-3 against the Cuesta College Cougars at their home game at 2 p.m. On Feb. 21 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara Calif.

Allison Budde, Sports Editor

City College’s baseball team battled Cuesta College in 23 mph winds at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Pershing Park. With a very successful pre-season under their belt, the Vaqueros (9-2, 0-1) entered the game eager to take home their first conference win but fell short 0-3. 

Both teams started out the game with lots of energy. The players bantered with one another from opposing dugouts, creating a fun environment while remaining competitive.

At the top of the first inning, City College’s starting pitcher, Jake Villar, gave up four hits giving Cuesta an early lead in the game. The Vaqueros defense responded efficiently but couldn’t stop the opposing team from scoring. By the end of the top of the first, the score was 0-2. 

“I just want to win and give the team a chance to win,” said Villar, who had six strikeouts this game. “It didn’t go that way this game but we have a lot of season left.” 

In the bottom of the first, City College had three hits. The lead-off, Daniel Hirose had a deep hit to right field that was caught mid-air. Second in the line-up, Matty Fung, had a solid hit down the middle but was picked up by a Cuesta player helping them to earn their second out of the inning. Freshman Patrick Walsh was fourth in the batting line-up and followed the trend of pop-flys. He hit the ball deep into right field, but was grabbed by Cuesta giving them their third out. City College wrapped up the first inning 0-2. 

“The weather wasn’t favorable for an offensive type of day,” Head Coach Jeff Walker said. 

With the winds blowing straight in, the Vaqueros had trouble getting on base. They had 31 at-bats and only 5 hits by the end of the ninth inning. 

“One thing we pride ourselves on is having quality at-bats,” sophomore Carson Cahoy said. 

“It’s never fun when it’s [wind] blowing straight in but that’s the part where good at-bats come in. Bunting and other stuff, you know the grittier side of baseball.” 

The second inning was quick, both teams couldn’t score and each got three outs from three at-bats. In the top of the third inning Cuesta’s bats stayed hot. They hit a triple followed by a single RBI to bump up the score 0-3. 

“Probably the biggest thing [we didn’t do] is not making adjustments during the game,” Coach Walker said. 

The Vaqueros defense worked hard during the last six innings to keep Cuesta from scoring any more runs. They had auspicious hits but no one could finish through home-plate, leaving City College with zero runs. 

“I think we kind of waited around a little bit, they scored and they jumped out early,” Coach Walker said. 

Sophomore Seth White came in to pitch the last 3 innings and close out the game. Despite the cold and windy conditions, he gave up zero hits and had 3 strikeouts. 

“Seth came in, threw zeroes and did his job,” Coach Walker said. “We just couldn’t punch it across.”

Starting left hand pitcher Jake Villar (No. 7) pitches to a Cuesta College batter with the Santa Ynez mountains as a backdrop to the Vaqueros vs. Cougars game on Tuesday, Feb. 21 in Santa Barbara Calif.
Starting left hand pitcher Jake Villar (No. 7) pitches to a Cuesta College batter with the Santa Ynez mountains as a backdrop to the Vaqueros vs. Cougars game on Tuesday, Feb. 21 in Santa Barbara Calif. (Yarrow Hogan)

The three runs City College gave up in the first three innings was the difference this game. As the wind picked up and the sun began to set, energy on the team was falling low. 

“I think we needed a lot more energy,” Villar said. “We were kind of flat today and hit a lot of balls hard that didn’t go our way. The wind definitely took it out of us.”

The Vaqueros are looking ahead to their upcoming season and games, honoring the things they did well in this game and working to improve on their hitting. 

“Our defense has been great so as long as that continues to go, our bats will come back,” Cahoy said.

The Vaqueros will face Cuesta College again at their next home game at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Pershing Park.