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El Camino erases 10-1 deficit to beat Vaqueros 14-10

Ian Churchill, a freshman from San Marcos High, held the Warriors to one run on three hits in four innings. (Photo by Dave Loveton)
Ian Churchill, a freshman from San Marcos High, held the Warriors to one run on three hits in four innings. (Photo by Dave Loveton)

The third time wasn't the charm for the SBCC baseball team on a windy Saturday at Pershing Park.

The Vaqueros enjoyed 10-1 leads in two home games earlier this year and hung on to win both times, 10-8. They built another 10-1 lead on Saturday, thanks to a three-run homer by Jake Holton and three RBIs from John Jensen.

Then the roof fell in, figuratively speaking, as the Warriors (8-6) scored nine runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to pull out a 14-10 victory. Matt Beserra broke a 10-10 tie with a two-out, two-run double in the eighth and Jerry Granillo added a two-run homer to right.

The Vaqueros (9-6) had their four-game win streak snapped and suffered their first home loss in six appearances. SBCC is batting .379 at home and averaging 13.2 runs.

Phil Quartararo hit a long solo home run to left to snap a 1-1 tie in the third. Holton drilled his team-leading third homer to right field for three more in the third and the Vaqueros added two in the fourth on a wild pitch and a balk to make it 7-1.

Holton, who went 1-2 with four RBIs, had a sacrifice fly in the fifth and Jensen drove in two with a single to left-center in the sixth, making it 10-1.

Ian Churchill threw the first four innings for the Vaqueros, allowing one run on three hits. He struck out three but struggled with his control, walking six and hitting a batter.

The Warriors sent 14 batters to the plate in the seventh and scored nine runs on six hits, two walks and a hit batter. The first four batters reached base on an error, a single, a double and another error. The Vaqueros committed four errors in the game, leading to six unearned runs.

"This is a compound effect for the week after having two below-average starts from our pitching," said coach Jeff Walker. "You can't keep doing things like this in the 7, 8 and 9 innings. We were running on fumes after our starters went 1 inning on Tuesday and 4 innings today.

"Hats off to them, they battled. If we keep putting up 10 runs on offense, we'll figure out our pitching and our defense."

Reinhard Lautz, Shane Hersh, Jensen and Joshua Perlmutter, the first four batters in the Vaquero lineup, all had two hits. Holton is batting .474 at home and .415 overall. He extended his hitting streak to nine games. Lautz is hitting .381 with a seven-game hit streak. He's batting a robust .577 (15-26) at home.

"We just weren't attacking the strike zone in the seventh," said Lautz. "They got a couple of hits and we made a couple errors that really hurt us. After that inning, we still stayed together even though they were chirping at us the whole game.

"We kept fighting right until the end but we just didn't pull through this time. It was a good effort, we just had one bad inning."

The Vaqueros loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth when Jensen singled, Holton was hit by a pitch and Quartararo walked. Joseph Brazil, who pitched one-hit ball for the last three innings to earn the win, got Nick Prainito on a liner to left to end the game.

"We still won the week and we have two more practice games before we start conference," Walker added. "Our pitching has been really, really disappointing this year, considering the quality arms we have. The bright spot has been our offense."

The Vaqueros are hitting .303 and they're No. 7 in the state with 126 runs (8.4 average).

SBCC will travel to Pasadena City on Tuesday at 2 p.m., then host L.A. Mission on Saturday at 1 p.m.