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Night time is right time for Vaqueros to gain a split

Conner Roberts was sharp in his first start of the season, holding Chaffey to two runs (one earned) on four hits in five innings. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Conner Roberts was sharp in his first start of the season, holding Chaffey to two runs (one earned) on four hits in five innings. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Conner Roberts pitched five solid innings on Saturday night and Joshua Perlmutter went 3-4 with three RBIs to lead SBCC to a 6-2 baseball victory and a split of its doubleheader with Chaffey at Pershing Park.

It was the first night game of the year for Santa Barbara (6-4).

The Panthers (10-3) outlasted the Vaqueros 11-8 in the first game, which featured 19 runs and 19 hits. Tommy Holguin went 2-4 with two RBIs and Boston Hubbard was 2-4 with a double and an RBI triple in the ninth.

Perlmutter was playing his second and third games of the year at designated hitter. He spent the first three weeks of the season recovering from an injury in the fall season. He's batting .417 in three games (5-12) with seven RBIs.

"We played hard the first game and it just didn't go our way," said Perlmutter, a sophomore infielder from Encino. "We knew we could beat these guys and our energy was much better in the second game. Conner was a big part of that game and our bats were much hotter."

The Vaqueros knocked out the starter Elias Jauregui after eight batters in the first inning. Seven straight Vaqueros reached base and they took their first lead of the day, 5-0. Perlmutter drove in two runs with a double down the left-field line and Jacob Bravo and Mason Metcalfe added RBI singles.

Roberts, a sophomore right-hander, went five innings in his first start of the year. He allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits. He struck out three, walked three, hit three batters and had three wild pitches.

Dylan Porter tossed three innings of one-hit ball and Ian Churchill came in to pitch the ninth. Chuchill got two quick outs, then hit a batter and walked Andy Otterson. He struck out Brad Chesterton to end a long day of baseball that spanned nearly 7 hours.

"It was good chasing their guy in the first inning and Conner Roberts did a fantastic job," said SBCC coach Jeff Walker. "We didn't take care of the baseball in the first game and that's really the first time that's happened this year. We made too many mistakes on the defensive end. We gave them four runs on passed balls and thrown away balls by our catcher and we made that key error in the outfield with two outs in the first."

Chaffey led throughout the first game, scoring three unearned runs in the top of the first after Hubbard dropped a long fly ball in center field. The Panthers went ahead 6-1 on a 3-run homer by Darren Taylor in the third. Then the Vaqueros erupted for five runs on five hits in the fourth to tie the game at 6-6.

Holguin delivered a two-run single and Caulfield had a two-run double after his hard shot caromed off the shortstop and into short center field. The Panthers regained the lead 8-6 with two unearned runs in the fifth with the first two batters getting on base on a hit-by-pitch and a walk. Taylor went to second on an error by the catcher, to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball. Chesterton drove in the other run with a sacrifice bunt.

The visitors extended the lead to 10-6 with a pair of unearned runs in the eighth. Seven of their 11 runs were unearned.

The Vaqueros, ranked No. 12 in the Southern Cal preseason poll, will host No. 1 Orange Coast (11-2-1) on Wednesday and Thursday with both games starting at 2 p.m.