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Jake Holton’s Walk-off Single Powers SBCC to Victory

Jake Holton singled through the left side to drive in Reinhard Lautz in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday at Pershing Park, lifting SBCC to a 6-5 walk-off baseball win over No. 2 Reedley and a sweep of their two-game series.

It was the fifth straight come-from-behind win by the Vaqueros (9-7), who trailed 2-0 in the first and 5-4 in the eighth. Reedley, ranked No. 2 in Northern Cal, dropped its third straight game and fell to 12-3.

Reinhard Lautz paced SBCC’s 10-hit offense by going 4-for-5 and scoring two runs. Joseph Hamilton was 2-5 with a two-run homer in the third and Holton went 2-4 with two RBIs.

Lautz, a freshman outfielder from Agoura High, sliced a double down the right-field line to open the bottom of the ninth against Joe Riley. He went to second on a groundout. After a strikeout, Holton drove a two-out grounder to the left of the shortstop for the walk-off hit.

”As a team, we did our job 1 through 9 and our pitchers threw strikes for the most part,” said Holton, a freshman infielder from Los Gatos who got his second walk-off hit and leads the Vaqueros with 12 RBIs. “I was just trying to pick up the guys before me in the ninth, I knew I was going to get a hit. It felt awesome, it’s so fun to celebrate with the guys and stay unbeaten at home. We’re jelling at just the right time, right before league starts.”

The Vaqueros have won five in a row and are 6-0 at home this season. They went 4-0 in the last four days and they’re 8-2 in their last 10 games.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Donavan West and Tony Riley.

“We had them right where we wanted them when we fell behind 2-0,” joked SBCC coach Jeff Walker. “We pulled a bait-and-switch, letting them go ahead 2-0 and then again at 5-4. That’s happened a few times this year. Not a real strategic way to go about it but a win’s a win.

“Jake Holton came through and that was big. Jo-Jo got his first homer. We answered back after they got a 2-0 lead and Basch settled down. They’re a very good team and we beat them two days in a row.”

The Vaqueros went ahead 4-2 in the third when Shane Hersh bunted to first base and dove over the bag for a single and Hamilton followed with his first homer of the year to left field. Lautz singled, John Jensen was hit-by-a-pitch and Rosen doubled to left, scoring Lautz.

Holton singled behind third base and Riley had no play, allowing Jensen to score for a 4-2 Vaquero lead.

Reedley tied it in the fifth off starter Kyle Basch. Sawyer Pittman singled with two outs and Cooper Morrison walked, bringing in David Appleby from the bullpen. Pittman scored on a bad-hop single by West and Morrison brought in the tying run on a passed ball.

Basch pitched 4.2 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits with two walks.

The Tigers looked like they were going to go ahead 5-4 in the seventh when Grant Ferris doubled off  the right-field fence against reliever Jake Keily. But Lautz, the right fielder, jumped on the ball, fired it to Hersh, the second baseman, and he sailed it to Schatz who applied the tag on a surprised Riley at the plate.

The Tigers took a 5-4 lead in the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Juan Parra. The Vaqueros tied it in the bottom of the inning when Holton and Andrew Schatz walked, Holton went to third on a wild pitch and scored on sacrifice fly by Shane Hersh.

Steven Elliott (4-0) pitched the ninth and got out of a first-and-second jam by getting Kevin Page to ground out to second.

The Vaqueros open their 20-game WSC North campaign with a two-game set against Hancock – Tuesday at Pershing Park at 2 p.m. and Thursday in Santa Maria, also at 2 p.m.

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