The Hornets outhit the Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros 11 – 7 and struck out 13 Vaquero batters despite losing 14 – 7. Sophomore first baseman, Tony Accordino, lead the Hornets’ offense going 4 – 5 with four hits and a run scored.
“I feel like I did my part, but baseball is a team sport,” insisted Accordino. “It’s a team loss, so I’d be happier with a win, but you take what you can get.”
The Vaqueros despite being the victors, mustered together seven hits and struck out seven Hornets batters.
What seemed to be a mediocre performance by the Santa Barbara bullpen, turned out to be a productive outing. Only three of Santa Barbara’s pitchers were used throughout the game compared to the excessive eight pitching changes from the Hornets.
“It wasn’t a great game,” lamented Vaqueros Head Coach Jeff Walker. “There were a lot of walks, a lot of hit-by-pitches. We just won the strike-throwing contest a little bit more than they did.”
The same could be said about the performance from the Hornets’ bullpen. Altogether, they gave up 11 walks, hit five Vaquero batters and gave up three runs on a passed ball and two wild pitches.
“It wasn’t a matter of getting banged around the yard,” stated Hornets Assistant Coach John Sothern. “It was as simple as we didn’t throw strikes. We gave too many free bases.”
The game started with the Hornets stinging in the bottom of the first when freshman, Sawyer Chesley, belted a deep RBI double that bounced off the left-field wall allowing freshman, Ryan Lamastra, to score from second base putting the Hornets on top, 1 – 0.
The Vaqueros quickly shot back at the top of the second inning when freshman, Owen Crevelt knocked an RBI single through the left side scoring the sophomore baserunner, Jarred Greene, from second base tying the game at 1 – 1.
The Vaqueros continued their attack when freshman, Noah Williamson, reached base safely on an off-target throw from Hornets’ freshman shortstop, Brock Denbo. Vaqueros baserunner, Trevor Davis scored from third base on the error, giving the Vaqueros their first lead of the game; 2 – 1.
The Hornets managed to take back their lead at the bottom of the second inning putting the score at 3 – 2.
The next three innings would be a see-saw battle between the offenses with both teams swapping leads during the third and fourth innings. By the end of the fifth inning, the Vaqueros maintained dominance over the Hornets, 8 – 6.
Despite the valiant efforts by the Hornets batters to keep their team in the game, the bullpen couldn’t deliver crucial outs in the top of the seventh inning.
Sophomore reliever, Blake Hearne, walked two batters and hit one batter to load the bases. Shortly after Hearne was taken out of the game, sophomore relief pitcher, David Baer, gave up a grand slam to Kyle Froemke, pushing the Vaqueros farther ahead, 13 – 6.
Denbo tried to start a late-game offensive rally in the bottom of the seventh with an RBI single to center field pushing the Hornets closer 13 – 7. Unfortunately, the next Hornets batter, freshman Marco Malerba flew out to center field to cap the Hornets scoring for the rest of the game.
The final nail in the Hornets’ coffin was hammered in the top of the ninth inning with Froemke scoring off a passed ball by Hornets freshman catcher, Ivan Miranda that rolled to the backstop leaving the final score at 14 – 7.
After this non-conference game, the Hornets’ overall record dropped to 4 – 8 – 1.
The Hornets will next host the West LA College Wildcats this Friday at 2 p.m.