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Bruce pitches 7 solid innings in 6-3 road win

Justin Bruce beat LA Pierce for the second time, holding the Brahmas to 3 runs in 7 innings.
Justin Bruce beat LA Pierce for the second time, holding the Brahmas to 3 runs in 7 innings.

Justin Bruce turned in seven strong innings and Brett Sesma drove in two runs on Tuesday as SBCC downed L.A. Pierce 6-3 in a WSC North baseball game in Woodland Hills.

Sesma, Jack Gregson, Spencer Erdman and Noeh Martinez all had two hits for Santa Barbara (23-12, 11-8), which took over sole possession of second place. Hancock dropped to 10-9 after a 2-0 loss at Ventura.

"All our pitchers did well and we got a couple of big two-out hits," said coach Jeff Walker. "I think our conference will get three teams in the playoffs."

The Vaqueros, ranked 10th in Southern California, took a 5-0 lead in the fourth on five hits and a walk. James Brakka, Gregson and Erdman had RBI singles while Sesma delivered a sacrifice fly. Gregson and Sesma produced SBCC's final run on back-to-back doubles with two outs in the eighth.

Bruce (5-1) gave up three runs on nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks. It was Bruce's second win over Pierce this year -- he tossed a three-hit shutout on March 25. Cody Van Aken pitched the eighth and Kit Larson finished up in the ninth for his fifth save.

Larson has the best ERA in conference play at 0.82.

After Dylan Tashjian singled with one out in the ninth for Pierce (18-16-1, 9-10), Erdman ended the game with a 6-U-3 double play.

The Vaqueros play their final WSC game on Thursday when they host Pierce at 2:30 p.m.