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Vaqueros win suspended game 9-5, then fall to L.A. Pierce, 12-7

Sophomore outfielder Pat Caulfield went 4-5 in the second game with two doubles and two RBIs, raising his team-leading average to .362. (File photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Sophomore outfielder Pat Caulfield went 4-5 in the second game with two doubles and two RBIs, raising his team-leading average to .362. (File photo by Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

SBCC went 1-1 on Wednesday, scoring four runs in the 12th inning to win a suspended baseball game 9-5 and then getting outslugged by L.A. Pierce, 12-7, at Pershing Park.

The teams combined for 19 runs on 28 hits in the second game.

Johnathan Lavalee had a career day for the Brahmas (10-22) in Game 2, going 4-4 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He hit a two-run homer in the first and a controversial grand slam in the sixth that turned a tight 5-4 game into a comfortable 9-4 advantage.

The ball was driven to deep right-center field and the Vaquero outfielders and coaches thought it bounced over the fence and should have been a ground-rule double. But the base umpire signaled home run.

"That ball clearly bounced over the fence, it wasn't even close," said SBCC coach Jeff Walker.

Lavalee got lucky on his fourth hit in the eighth when the ball landed in center field and bounced over the head of a charging Nicholas Trifiletti for a two-run, inside-the-park homer and a 12-5 lead.

Patrick Caulfield went 4-5 with two doubles and two RBIs to pace the Vaqueros (20-13), who outhit the Brahmas 15-13 in the second game. Caulfield is the fifth-leading hitter in the WSC North at .362.

SBCC committed five errors in the nightcap, including three by shortstop Alex Holets.

"I was a little disappointed in our effort catching the ball and throwing the ball," said Walker. "It looked like we won the first game of a doubleheader and we were a little happy about it. Pierce played very well. We had five errors and it felt like 10."

Logan Pollack, who was hitting .368 in 11 games since becoming the starter at shortstop and third base, suffered a knee injury last Saturday and missed his second straight game. It's unclear when or if he'll return to the lineup.

The first game was a resumption of a 5-5 tie game on Feb. 8 that was halted by darkness at L.A. Pierce. The Vaqueros started batting in the top of the ninth on Wednesday.

Conner Roberts pitched the last four innings for Santa Barbara, holding the Brahmas to four hits and striking out seven. He's No. 4 in the state with 89 strikeouts and just six behind the leader.

The Vaqueros scored four runs in the 12th to secure the victory. Alonzo Rubalcaba and Holets singled to start the rally and Trifiletti was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Tommy Holguin delivered a two-run single to right and Caulfield was hit in the helmet to re-load the bases. Trifiletti scored on a wild pitch and Caulfield came home on a well-executed squeeze bunt by Nicholas Prainito.

"The first game was more important than the second one because it goes down as a road win (which gives the Vaqueros more power points in the RPI)," Walker noted. "These games are important this week (to determine playoff seedings) but not as important as our last two WSC games next week."

The Vaqueros are in a three-way tie for first in the WSC North with Cuesta and Ventura. They'll play their last two conference games on Tuesday, April 23 at home vs. Moorpark and Thursday, April 25 at Moorpark.

They'll play their third non-conference game in three days on Thursday when Pasadena City comes to Pershing for a rematch at 2:30 p.m. The Vaqueros beat the Lancers (21-12) by a 2-0 count in 10 innings on Tuesday.