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SBCC Battles Back to Tie Orange Coast, Then Loses in 9th

After erasing a four-run deficit to tie the game 6-6 in the seventh on Friday, SBCC gave up a pair of runs in the ninth and No. 2 Orange Coast pulled out an 8-6 nonconference baseball victory at Pershing Park.

The Pirates, ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 1 in Southern Cal, improved to 26-7. The Vaqueros, who blanked OCC 1-0 on Thursday, fell to 20-14. Santa Barbara is ranked No. 12 in the Southern Cal coaches’ poll.

The Vaqueros fell to 12-3 at home.

The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the first and the Vaqueros responded with two of their own in the first four batters. Reinhard Lautz walked, then was picked off first but avoided a tag by the shortstop and went to second. John Jensen doubled him home and Tyler Rosen followed with an RBI double to right-center, tying the game at 2-2.

Orange Coast went ahead 6-2 in the third when SBCC starter Jayden Metz gave up a two-out single to Dominic Donato, then walked three straight batters to force in a run. Steven Elliott replaced Metz and the first batter, Jacob White, greeted him with a three-run double to left center.

SBCC chipped away at the deficit with Jensen blasting his fourth homer, a solo shot in the fifth. The Vaqueros got two more in the sixth on two singles, a double play that scored Jake Holton and an RBI single by Shane Hersh.

They tied it at 6 in the seventh when Lautz walked, went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a groundout and scored on Rosen’s sacrifice fly to center.

Connor Brewster, the fourth of five Vaquero pitchers, went two innings and gave up two runs on one hit to suffer the loss. Austin Moore got the win with three innings of one-run, one-hit relief.

“We didn’t play catch and we walked too many guys,” said sixth-year coach Jeff Walker. “When you fall behind like we did today, it’s tough. Brewster did an excellent job and Rosen and Jensen swung the bat well.

“It was a disappointing week because we went 1-2 but there’s still a lot of positives.”

Jensen’s homer in the fifth was a towering blast that went over the right-center fence about 380 feet. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games and he’s batting .350 for the season.

“Orange Coast is a good team,” said Walker. “They’re 26-7 for a reason.”

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