SBCC got plenty of baserunners on Friday afternoon but couldn’t bring any of them home in a 1-0 baseball loss to San Diego City at Pershing Park.
The Vaqueros (3-3) came within inches of tying the game in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, pinch-hitter Zach Orn was hit by a pitch and Hunter Call walked. Leadoff hitter Ryan Guardino hit a sharp single to left and Orn was waved home. He slid head-first but was called out at the plate on a relay from left fielder Chris Barkley to shortstop Alejandro Velasco to the catcher Israel Tafolla.
Dylan Vaughn, who had just entered the game to pitch to Orn, struck out Jarred Greene for the final out.
SBCC struck out 12 times and left 11 on base.
“We had bugaboos all around,” said SBCC coach Jeff Walker. “We were missing half our lineup all week with the flu. That’s no excuse but I literally had to wait to see who would show up today before I could write out the lineup.
“We struck out too many times, that’s the bottom line. That was one of the better games we’ve played this year as far as taking care of the baseball.”
What about the play at the plate in the ninth?
“We probably shouldn’t have sent him in that situation,” said Walker. “We don’t teach them to dive headfirst at home. It gives the catcher a lot of cushion to work with and it also slows down the runner. It was bad all the way around. The only good thing was the hit from ‘Dino. … We were trying to do everything we could to score.”
Barkley went 3-4 and scored the only run in the fourth. He led off with a double down the left-field line, went to third on a groundout and scored on Carlos Oquito’s RBI single up the middle.
The Vaqueros loaded the bases with one out in the sixth but pinch-hitter Zach Jensen popped up to second on the first pitch and reliever Conner Guise struck out Shane Hofstadler to end the threat.
Quinn Oliver pitched the first 5.1 innings for the Knights (4-3) and four pitchers combined on a five-hitter with 12 strikeouts. Oliver held the Vaqueros to four hits while striking out five and walking one.
Blake Consentino was equally effective for the Vaqueros, going the first six innings and allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts and a walk.