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Cuesta knocks No. 3 Vaqueros from first, 4-2

Trey Barrett went 2-3 on Saturday, raising his average to .328.
Trey Barrett went 2-3 on Saturday, raising his average to .328.

Cuesta built a 4-1 lead after four innings on Saturday afternoon and went on to defeat SBCC 4-2 in a WSC North baseball game in San Luis Obispo.

It was the first conference win of the year for the Cougars (5-14, 1-5), who snapped a seven-game losing streak. Trey Barrett went 2-3 with an RBI for the Vaqueros (15-5, 4-2), who are ranked No. 3 in Southern California.

The loss knocked Santa Barbara out of a three-way tie for first place. No. 2 Oxnard leads the pack at 5-1, followed by SBCC and No. 5 Hancock at 4-2. The Vaqueros will host Oxnard on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

Nick Burnham drove in a run in the first to stake Cuesta to a 1-0 lead against SBCC starter Noah Villegas. The Vaqueros tied the game in the second on back-to-back doubles by Connor McManigal and Patrick O'Brien.

McManigal, a freshman from Santa Barbara High, leads the Vaqueros in batting at .348. Spencer Erdman is second at .340.

The Cougars extended the lead to 4-1 in the fourth on RBI singles by Steven Pico and RJ Hassey, plus a run-scoring groundout from David Belt. Villegas went the first three innings, giving up four runs on five hits with two strikeouts and three walks.

Anthony Baleto (1-4) went 5 1/3 innings for Cuesta and got his first win. The freshman right-hander held the high-scoring Vaqueros to one run on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Scott Romuk gave up one run in 3 2/3 innings to record his third save.

SBCC threatened in the ninth when James Hill reached on a fielder's choice and Erdman singled. Pinch-runner Cameron Jones and Erdman stole second and third but Jack Gregson struck out to end the game.