Kyle Wade held Hancock to no runs on four hits with a season-high 10 strikeouts on Saturday as SBCC blanked the Bulldogs 9-0 in a WSC North baseball game at Pershing Park.
The Vaqueros won their third straight to improve to 17-11 overall, 8-4 in conference and 11-1 at home. They moved into a first-place tie with Cuesta after the Cougars suffered a 1-0 home loss to Moorpark.
Hancock fell to 11-17 and 4-8.
Wade turned in his longest outing of the year. He pitched the first seven innings and retired 14 of the first 15 batters. Only four runners reached base and the Bulldogs got one runner to third when Nash Ackerman and Nate Alcanter both singled in the fifth. Wade got Ryan Pienado to fly out to left to end the inning.
“I felt good, going into the day I thought it might be one of those days where I’d really have to rely on my command,” said Wade, a 6-2 sophomore right-hander from Chino Hills who’s 3-0 at home with a 1.48 ERA. “I loosened up as the game went on and started to fall back to what I’ve been doing all week. The biggest thing was getting ahead. Coach (Tyler) Heil told us if we can get ahead of these guys (in the count), they’re really not going to have much of a shot.
“I just went out there and competed and everyone made good plays behind me and our bats showed up. It’s a lot easier to throw when you’re up 5-0 and you kind of feed off of our offensive momentum. It’s nice to sit in the dugout and get a break every once in a while.”
Wade is 4-2 for the season and 2-1 in WSC games with a 1.85 ERA. He’s struck out 28 and walked only three in four conference games.
Joseph Hamilton went 2-3 with two RBIs and two runs, John Jensen was 2-4 and leadoff hitter Reinhard Lautz had a pair of doubles and two runs.
The Vaqueros went 3-0 for the week and completed a 4-0 conference sweep of the Bulldogs.
Santa Barbara grabbed an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.Lautz opened with a double to left-center and Hamilton walked. With one out, Lautz and Hamilton stole second and third and Tyler Rosen walked to load the bases.
Lautz scored on a wild pitch by starter Evan Sonny and Hamilton touched home on Jake Holton’s groundout. Wes Ghan-Gibson singled through the left side to score Rosen for a quick 3-0 lead.
They added four more in the fourth to boost the lead to 7-0. Zack Stockton walked and Andrew Schatz reached on a bunt that the pitcher threw past the first baseman, allowing Stockton to score all the way from first. Mason Harvey walked, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch that scored Schatz.
Hamilton delivered an RBI single through the left side and scored from first base on Jensen’s single to right-center. Hamilton was initially called out, then the umpire changed to safe when the catcher dropped the ball.
“Kyle gets better in every outing,” said SBCC coach Jeff Walker. “He had great intent with his fastball today and that was his longest outing of the year. We got on the board early and Lautz leadoff double was big because it changed their game plan right away.”
SBCC notched its second shutout of the season with David Appleby pitching the last two innings. He struck out four and walked one, boosting the Vaqueros’ strikeout total to 14 for the day.
Santa Barbara added two runs in the sixth on a triple to center by Schatz, a sacrifice fly by Harvey, a double to left-center by Lautz and an RBI double down the right-field line by Hamilton.
The Vaqueros are 10-3 this season when scoring six or more runs and 8-2 when they score in the first inning.
The Vaqueros will travel to San Luis Obispo to take on Cuesta in a first-place showdown on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. The teams will meet for the final time in conference on Thursday at Pershing Park, also at 2:30 p.m.