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Moorpark scores three in ninth to beat Vaqueros 4-2

Sophomore Connor Brewster held Moorpark to one run on five hits in five innings. He's been solid in his last four starts with a 1.86 ERA in 19.1 innings. (Photo by JC Corliss / Sevilla Photography)
Sophomore Connor Brewster held Moorpark to one run on five hits in five innings. He's been solid in his last four starts with a 1.86 ERA in 19.1 innings. (Photo by JC Corliss / Sevilla Photography)

Moorpark trailed SBCC 2-1 in the top of the ninth on Friday and the Raiders were down to their final strike before rallying for three runs and a 4-2 WSC North baseball victory at Pershing Park.

It was the first home loss of the year for the Vaqueros (9-1), who fell a half-game behind Cuesta (5-2) in the WSC North race. The Vaqueros are 14-10 overall and 5-3 in conference. Moorpark improved to 12-13 and 4-4.

Chase Fredrick, a 6-6 right-hander from Moorpark High, threw a no-hitter for the first six innings and faced the minimum 18 batters. The Vaqueros didn't get a baserunner until Nicholas Allman led off the fifth with a walk. He was erased on a 6-4 fielder's choice and after a strikeout by Jake Holton, Wesley Ghan-Gibson was thrown out on a steal attempt.

"Tip your cap to their guy, he was excellent and he kept us off-balance," said SBCC's sixth-year coach Jeff Walker. "We didn't play catch early and we didn't throw strikes late. It's tough to win games like that.

"We didn't force them to play catch. Then late in the game, in the ninth, we kept falling behind hitters and didn't execute pitches. If we do that, it's a different story."

The Raiders took a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Kai Gomez reached on an infield single and went to second on a groundout. When he tried to steal third, Vaquero catcher Zack Stockton threw the ball past the third baseman and Gomez scored.

Vaquero starter Connor Brewster turned in a solid five innings, holding the Raiders to one run on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.

Reinhard Lautz got the first hit for the Vaqueros, beating out a chopper to second with one out in the seventh. He stole second and went to third on John Jensen's groundout to the shortstop. He scored on a wild pitch to tie the game 1-1.

The Vaqueros took a 2-1 lead in the eighth. Holton singled off the foot of Fredrick and went to third on a bunt single by Aaron Portee. First baseman Demetri Pagalodis threw to third to try to get Holton but the ball skipped past the third baseman and Holton scored the go-ahead run.

Matthew Young was on the mound to start the ninth and he gave up a single to left to pinch-hitter Ethan Lageson. Gomez reached on a fielder's choice and then Portee made a spectacular catch in center field. Jake Baer hit a deep drive and Portee turned around and sprinted toward the fence, then turned back and caught the ball about 10 feet from a homer.

Gomez stole second base, AJ Herron walked on a 3-2 count and Gomez stole third. Left-hander Daniel Buratto came in to pitch and Jack Rosenberg greeted him with a single to right that scored Gomez with the tying run. Daniel Cipriano walked and Grant Bunker stroked a 2-1 pitch to left field to score two and give the visitors a 4-2 advantage.

"Today was a missed opportunity and you can't take any days off in our conference," said Walker. "I was a little fearful coming into this game after yesterday (a 7-1 Vaquero win at Moorpark). We don't usually play on Fridays and we don't usually play at 1 p.m.

"So things were a little off today. We couldn't execute a sac bunt on two different occasions. I don't think our brains were fully engaged from the first pitch. But we'll get back at it tomorrow and we can still win the week with a victory."

The Vaqueros travel to Ventura on Saturday for a 1 p.m. game.