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Late Hancock rally foils Vaqueros, 3-2

Conner Roberts was dominant in the first five innings, throwing no-hit ball and striking out eight. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Conner Roberts was dominant in the first five innings, throwing no-hit ball and striking out eight. (Photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

Hancock scored three runs in the seventh on a windy Tuesday to rally past SBCC 3-2 in a WSC North baseball game at Pershing Park.

Conner Roberts (3-1) pitched an outstanding game for SBCC and was the hard-luck loser. He took a no-hitter into the sixth and Mike Mclean broke it up on an infield single with one out as he beat out a slow chopper to third base. Roberts, who was throwing in the high 80s and low 90s, allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and struck out nine in eight innings.

Roberts, a sophomore right-hander from Martinez, made five appearances as a reliever for UCSB in 2017. His ERA went up half-a-run to 0.93, which is No. 9 in the state.

"That was an outstanding job by Roberts, it's just the rest of team decided not to show up," said SBCC coach Jeff Walker.

The Vaqueros (9-6, 2-2) took a 2-0 lead on Jacob Bravo's RBI single in the first and a single by Nicholas Prainito and RBI double by Pat Caulfield in the third. Prainito went 2-3 and scored both runs.

The Bulldogs (10-9, 2-1) tied it in the seventh on a walk, a pinch-hit RBI double by Tristen Gutierrez and a two-out RBI single to right by Travis Welker. With runners on first and third, Walker started to steal second and catcher Alonzo Rubalcaba pump-faked to second and got Chris Tani to roam 20 feet off of third base. Rubalcaba fired it to third and overthrew Mason Metcalfe for an error, allowing Tani to score an unearned run that proved to be the difference.

"We had a runner at third with less than two outs and we struck out [in the fourth] and we had a runner in scoring position and we flew out," noted Walker. "It's just another game where we beat ourselves. Their guy was good and they played good defense behind him while we didn't.

"We're still trying to figure out how to be consistent in a year where it's been hard to get into a rhythm."

Trevor Garcia pitched a solid game for the Bulldogs. He went eight innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. Ismael Hernandez moved over from third base to pitch the ninth and got his third save. Caulfield walked with one out in the ninth and Bravo flied out to center for the second out. Hernandez picked Caulfield off first to end the game.

The Vaqueros will play a two-game set with Cuesta, traveling to San Luis Obispo on Thursday at 2:30 p.m., then hosting the Cougars on Saturday at 1 p.m.