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Vaqueros score three in seventh to rally past Pasadena, 4-3

Mason Metcalfe, a former San Marcos High standout, tossed three innings and gave up two runs (none earned) on three hits for his first college win. (Photo by Dave Loveton/SBCC Sports Information)
Mason Metcalfe, a former San Marcos High standout, tossed three innings and gave up two runs (none earned) on three hits for his first college win. (Photo by Dave Loveton/SBCC Sports Information)

Jacob Bravo drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the seventh on Thursday and Mason Metcalfe pitched three solid innings for his first college win as SBCC rallied to beat Pasadena 4-3 in a non-conference baseball game at Pershing Park.

The Vaqueros downed the Lancers for the second time in three days. Both teams are 21-13.

The Vaqueros committed five errors for the second straight game and all three Pasadena runs were unearned.

Ian Churchill started on the mound and tossed three hitless innings for the Vaqueros, facing nine batters and striking out four. Churchill is third in the state with a 1.15 ERA and fourth in strikeouts with 90, one more than teammate Conner Roberts.

Toby Spach tossed two-plus innings, giving up a run when Edward Manzo reached on an error to leadoff the sixth and scored when Spach hit Ryan Lewis with the bases loaded.

Metcalfe replaced Spach and entered in a tough spot with the bases loaded and no outs. He got a pop-up to second and then induced Cole Pilar to ground into a 4-6-3 double play.

"I just wanted to attack the first hitter and hope for the best," said Metcalfe, a former star pitcher at San Marcos High. "I was able to get to 0-2 and then threw a pitch that was low enough for him to pop up. And then we got a good double play from the defense.

"I just wanted to get ahead of every hitter and then trust my stuff with my offspeed to try to get weak contact. We knew the guy we were facing was a tough pitcher, so as a staff we knew we'd have to go in there and throw strikes to compete."

Four Vaquero hurlers limited the Lancers to three runs (none earned) on five hits with 12 strikeouts and one walk.

Pasadena threw submarine pitcher Gordon Ingebritson. He went all eight innings, giving up four runs on six hits with six strikeouts. The Vaqueros only managed two singles in the first five innings and Ingebritson retired 12 straight from the second through the fifth.

The Vaqueros tied it 1-1 in the sixth when Boston Hubbard was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on a flyout to center and scored on Pat Caulfield's deep sacrifice fly to right center.

The Lancers took a 3-1 lead in the seventh. Metcalfe struck out the first two batters, then Shane Ortega reached when Nicholas Prainito couldn't handle a grounder to second. Manzo singled in Ortega and Gabe Arrellano followed with another RBI single to left.

Santa Barbara responded with three in the bottom of the seventh. Benjamin Martz singled up the middle and went to third on Prainito's double into the right-field corner. Martz scored on Nicholas Trifiletti's groundout and Alonzo Rubalcaba delivered an RBI single to left center.

Bravo, a sophomore left-hander from St. Bonaventure High, drilled an opposite field double to the fence in left-center and Rubalcaba raced home from first with the go-ahead run to make it 4-3.

"We started to slow down in the sixth and seventh and everyone was working together to figure out how to beat him," said Bravo. "I had been hitting the ball hard but wasn't finding the holes. In the seventh, I finally found a gap that suited me well."

Jake McBride pitched the ninth and struck out the first two batters, then got Manzo to groundout to second for his third save.

"Their guy is a really good pitcher," said SBCC coach Jeff Walker. "We hit the ball hard but right at people in the first five innings. We wanted to throw Ian one time through the lineup to set him up for next week.

"Spach had his best outing of the year and Metcalfe did a good job of being the bridge guy. We won the week, going 3-1, which is good. On to next week and we have a one-game playoff on Tuesday."

The Vaqueros are tied for first in the WSC North with Cuesta and Ventura at 11-7. They have two conference games left – Tuesday at home vs. Moorpark at 2:30 p.m. and Thursday at Moorpark. Ventura will finish up with a 2-game series vs. Hancock and Cuesta goes to Oxnard on Tuesday and hosts the Condors on Thursday.

The top two finishers will qualify for the Southern Cal Regional, which starts on May 1.