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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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The Vaqueros dominate the Ventura Pirates 10-4 in conference opener

Claire Geriak
Jake Villar pitches to the Ventura College Pirates on March 12 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. Villar contributed to the win for the Vaqueros during the game, with the final score ending 10-4.

The Vaqueros baseball team kicked off their three-day conference against the Ventura Pirates on Tuesday, March 12, at Pershing Park, winning 10-4.

“We haven’t played Ventura since last fall,” Assistant Coach David Martinez said. 

With a current season score of 11-7, City College expressed their high determination and aggression during their first game against the Pirates.

The top of the first inning began with Ventura at bat, and City College on the field with left-hand pitcher Jake Villar on the mound. City College attempted to keep the Pirates off bases, with Villar striking out two players back to back.

After a flawless three-out inning by Villar, City College received the game’s first point.

Outfielder Patrick Welsh scored a run after a wild pitch by Venturas’ Pitcher Luca Staiano at the bottom of the second. After a hit-by-pitch and two walks given to City College, the bases were loaded. Staiano’s pitch ricocheted off the catcher’s knee pad, sending the ball up in the air for about 45 seconds, giving Welsh the perfect amount of time to slide from third to home base before the ball was retrieved.

“If not you, then who?” outfielder Zach Torres screamed as Welsh assumed the batting position.

With City College in the lead at 1-0, the Vaqueros were on the field with infielders Daniel Ghiorso and Presley Kosciusko, who got two opponents out at base. The score remained 1-0 as the bottom of the third inning began.

Kevin Katragadda is up to bat with his Vaqueros supporting from the dugout during their match against Ventura College on March 12 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. Callouts from the dugout included, “come on two-four” and “there’s no one better,” to encourage and energize their teammate. (Claire Geriak)

Staiano was consistent in getting Vaquero Ethan Rodriguez off first base after he walked due to an error by the pitcher. As Kosciusko stepped up to bat, Staiano threw three of his pitches to first base, where Rodriguez was able to run to second and eventually third base because of the Pirates’ lost possession.

“We have to win this,” Rodriguez said, addressing the dugout.

Kosciusko hit a single, gaining their second point while sending Rodriguez home. As final batter Welsh stepped up to bat, he accomplished a hit to first base, sending Kosciusko home, yet he was out before reaching the base by catcher. 

The Tigers returned fiercely at the top of the fourth inning. Ventura began with a hit by Peter Dufau to first base, followed by Bryce Elias, who hit a double, sending Dufau home. Ventura scored a second point by Elias after the double, tying the score.

The Vaqueros didn’t let the score discourage them. As the bottom of the fourth hit, Kevin Katragadda showed the crowd a showstopping bunt, sending Vaquero Vince Gamberdella from first to third base. Peter Hellekson scored his first collegiate home run, making the score 2-4 and putting the Vaqueros back in the lead.

The Vaqueros dugout watches Parker Hellekson up to bat during the game against Ventura College on March 12 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Vaqueros won 10-4 during the sunny Tuesday match. (Claire Geriak)

Villar wiped out the Pirates at the top of the fifth, heading into the bottom with Sebastian Arguelles first to bat, who hit a double, followed by Walsh who hit a single. As Hellekson stepped up, he showed off an impressive bunt, filling the bases which wiped Ventura’s pitcher off of his feet.

Once Gamberdella was up to bat, his hit to single gave Arguello and Walsh the perfect amount of time to run home, scoring two additional points.

The score was 6-2, and Villar continued to strike out all opponents. 

City College hit many bunts, each one assisting the Vaqueros. Arguelles hit a bunt straight to first base which sent Ghiorso home and scored another point. 

As the seventh inning went into play, the Vaqueros continued to remove the Pirates from the bases, with Villar striking out opponents. Vaquero Hellekson was up to bat, and Ghiorso was able to get from first to third base without a hit. Gamberdella was hit by the pitch, sending Ghiorso home and making a score of 2-8.

Coleton Dahl filled Villar’s shoes for the last two innings. With Dahl on the mound, the Vaqueros got three Pirates out in a row, causing a quick turnaround to the bottom of the eighth inning.

“Coleton has only pitched two games,” Martinez said. “He’s been doing very well.”

City College had a big rally during the bottom of the eighth; Rodriguez scored the first point, thanks to Presley Kosciuszko’s hit to first base. Due to Ventura’s catcher multiple loss of possession, the Vaqueros were able to move bases with almost zero hits. Vaquero Torres hit to second, giving Kosciuszko a chance to run home, scoring another point.

The top of the eight began with the Pirates back up to bat. Ventura tried to catch up to City College but only managed to receive two points, ending the game with a score of 10-4.

The Vaqueros traveled down to Ventura this weekend for two more games against the Pirates.

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