Cuesta got off to a roaring start in Friday’s baseball battle between the top two teams in the WSC North at Pershing Park. Dustin Miller and Jacob George opened with back-to-back triples and the first nine Cougars reached base in a six-run, six-hit first inning.

 Cuesta (20-9, 13-4) routed SBCC (14-16, 11-7) by a 13-1 count with Louis Raymond (6-2) tossing eight innings of one-run, four-hit ball. Right fielder Nick Burnham was 3-4 with four RBIs in the first three innings as the visitors built an 8-0 lead.

Ian Clark replaced SBCC starter Davis Messer (2-6) after eight batters with his team trailing 5-0. Cuesta had runners on second and third and Clark gave up an RBI single to Nate Javine before getting Miller to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

In two games vs. Santa Barbara this week, Cuesta scored 21 runs on 30 hits. The Cougars have a 2½-game lead over the Vaqueros with six games left for SBCC and seven for Cuesta. The Cougars have won seven straight and 11 of their last 12.

 “We’ve had better days, for sure,” said coach Jeff Walker. “That’s a tough way to start with two straight triples. Davis didn’t have his ‘A stuff’ and they were pretty dominant. They’ve been playing very well the last few weeks.

“They’re a hot team and we caught them at a bad time. We’re still trying to figure it out on our end.”