Ian Churchill pitched seven shutout innings on Saturday and catcher Alonzo Rubalcaba went 3-4 with a homer and a double as SBCC dominated Moorpark in a 9-2 baseball win at Pershing Park.
The Vaqueros outhit the Raiders 12-5 and scored in six of eight innings. SBCC is 12-8 overall and moved into a three-way tie for second in the WSC North at 5-4, one game behind Hancock. The Raiders (10-14, 4-5) dropped their fourth straight game.
Churchill, a sophomore left-hander who’s signed with Arizona, pitched seven strong innings for a third straight start and he’s only allowed two unearned runs on 10 hits in those 21 innings. He improved to 5-0 after allowing just two singles (leading off the 1st and 2nd innings) and striking out eight with two walks and two hit batters.
He skimmed .05 off his ERA and took over the state lead from teammate Conner Roberts. Churchill’s ERA is a sterling 0.21 and Roberts is 0.24 with both allowing just one earned run this year.
Churchill hasn’t allowed an earned run in 35.1 innings, since the second inning of the fifth game at Saddleback on Feb. 1. He got strikeouts to end the first, second, fourth and sixth innings. He’s fifth in the state in Ks with 58 in 42 innings.
The Vaquero pitching staff is fourth in the state with a 2.48 ERA.
Rubalcaba hit his first home run of the season with two outs in the first, a towering shot over the left-field fence. He singled and scored in the third and delivered a double to right-center in the seventh to score Tommy Holguin and make it 6-0.
Rubalcaba batted third in the order and Holguin moved from ninth to the second spot. Holguin, a former Santa Barbara High standout, was 2-4 with a two-run single in the eighth.
“I felt really good from the beginning and I saw the ball big,” said Rubalcaba, a 6-foot freshman from Fairfield, Calif. “I stuck to my approach and waited for the offspeed up. He gave it to me and I wanted to take it for a ride.
“Ian was amazing like always. I love catching the guy. He just sticks with what he has to do and I help him out as much as I can.”
The Vaqueros scored in five straight innings (fourth through the eighth). Logan Pollack made his first start at shortstop and went 2-3 with a double in the sixth. Pat Caulfield had a clutch two-run single with two outs in the fifth, boosting the lead to 4-0.
SBCC has outscored its opponents 46-16 in the first three innings. The Vaqueros are 9-1 when scoring six or more runs.
“Alonzo had a big day for us offensively and it was good to see because he struggled a bit last game,” said coach Jeff Walker. “He homered in the first and we never looked back. This is the first time we batted Tommy second and we did that because he’s been getting on-base a lot.
“Ian threw strikes and he doesn’t give up runs. He and Roberts have a nice thing going. The offense will pick up and the defense looked a little better today.”
The Vaqueros will complete the first round of WSC play on Tuesday when they travel to Moorpark for a 2:30 p.m. game.