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Cuesta rallies past Vaqueros, 6-2

Jayden Metz pitched well enough to win on Wednesday, holding Cuesta to no runs on two hits in the first six innings. The Vaqueros committed four errors and struck out 13 times. (Photo by Dave Loveton)
Jayden Metz pitched well enough to win on Wednesday, holding Cuesta to no runs on two hits in the first six innings. The Vaqueros committed four errors and struck out 13 times. (Photo by Dave Loveton)

Cuesta spotted SBCC a 2-0 lead in the third inning on Wednesday, then roared back with six unanswered runs to post a 6-2 baseball win at Pershing Park.

Cody Luther (3-2) tossed a strong seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out for the Cougars (14-17, 9-5), who moved into a first-place tie with the Vaqueros (18-12, 9-5) atop the WSC North. Moorpark is a half-game back at 8-5.

      WSC North Standings

SBCC had its four-game win streak snapped and fell to 11-2 at home.

On Tuesday, Cuesta committed six errors in an 8-6 home loss to the Vaqueros. Twenty-four hours later, it was Santa Barbara that committed four errors and struck out 13 times.

"I thought we traded uniforms with Cuesta from yesterday," said coach Jeff Walker. "We had a snowball fight defensively and we had trouble throwing strikes for most of the game. The umpire had a big zone.

"It was pretty simple – they played catch and threw strikes and we didn't play catch and couldn't throw strikes."

The Vaqueros took a 2-0 lead in the third on RBI singles by Michael Montpas and Reinhard Lautz. Jayden Metz, making his second start of the year, held the Cougars scoreless on two hits in the first six innings.

The seventh inning was a nightmare for the Vaqueros as seven of the first eight Cuesta batters reached base and five came around to score. The Cougars got their first run when catcher Andrew Schatz threw past first base on a sacrifice bunt and Hunter Reade scored. Daniel Buratto replaced Metz and after getting a strikeout, he threw a wild pitch on ball 4 to Jeff Wilson. Jake Ryan scored to make it 2-2.

Jake Keily came on in relief and Dante Peretti hit a three-run homer to left to give Cuesta its first lead, 5-2.

John Jensen went 2-4 and Montpas was 2-3 on a day the Vaqueros managed just seven hits vs. four pitchers.

Metz pitched well enough to win, giving up three runs (two earned) in seven innings-plus with one strikeout and three walks.

"Metz was great today but we just don't have an answer or have anybody behind him on back-to-back days," said Walker. "Our bullpen is shaky at best. We had guys who threw yesterday, then didn't want to throw today. We need someone to step up on the back end.

"Today was disappointing. We don't seem to play very well on these off days, Wednesdays and Fridays."

The Vaqueros are 2-1 on Wednesdays and 1-3 on Fridays. They'll try to break that pattern on Friday when they travel to Oxnard for a 2:30 p.m. game.