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Orange Coast scores two in ninth to beat Vaqueros 8-6

John Jensen drilled his fourth homer of the year on this swing in the fifth inning. He has a 10-game hitting streak and he's batting .432 in that stretch. (Photo by Dave Loveton)
John Jensen drilled his fourth homer of the year on this swing in the fifth inning. He has a 10-game hitting streak and he's batting .432 in that stretch. (Photo by Dave Loveton)

After erasing a four-run deficit to tie the game 6-6 in the seventh on Friday, SBCC gave up a pair of runs in the ninth and No. 2 Orange Coast pulled out an 8-6 nonconference baseball victory at Pershing Park.

The Pirates, ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 1 in Southern Cal, improved to 26-7. The Vaqueros, who blanked OCC 1-0 on Thursday, fell to 20-14. Santa Barbara is ranked No. 12 in the Southern Cal coaches' poll.

The Vaqueros fell to 12-3 at home.

The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the first and the Vaqueros responded with two of their own in the first four batters. Reinhard Lautz walked, then was picked off first but avoided a tag by the shortstop and went to second. John Jensen doubled him home and Tyler Rosen followed with an RBI double to right-center, tying the game at 2-2.

Orange Coast went ahead 6-2 in the third when SBCC starter Jayden Metz gave up a two-out single to Dominic Donato, then walked three straight batters to force in a run. Steven Elliott replaced Metz and the first batter, Jacob White, greeted him with a three-run double to left center.

SBCC chipped away at the deficit with Jensen blasting his fourth homer, a solo shot in the fifth. The Vaqueros got two more in the sixth on two singles, a double play that scored Jake Holton and an RBI single by Shane Hersh.

They tied it at 6 in the seventh when Lautz walked, went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a groundout and scored on Rosen's sacrifice fly to center.

Connor Brewster, the fourth of five Vaquero pitchers, went two innings and gave up two runs on one hit to suffer the loss. Austin Moore got the win with three innings of one-run, one-hit relief.

"We didn't play catch and we walked too many guys," said sixth-year coach Jeff Walker. "When you fall behind like we did today, it's tough. Brewster did an excellent job and Rosen and Jensen swung the bat well.

"It was a disappointing week because we went 1-2 but there's still a lot of positives."

Jensen's homer in the fifth was a towering blast that went an estimated 380 feet over the right-center field fence. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games and he's batting .350 for the season.

"Orange Coast is a good team," said Walker. "They're 26-7 for a reason."

The Pirates opened the ninth with a leadoff double by Eric Wagaman and an intentional walk to Walker Keller. Jake Keily came on in relief and Donato bunted the ball in-between the third baseman and the pitcher for a base hit that loaded the bases.

Luke Hussung drew a walk on a 3-1 pitch, forcing in Wagaman with the go-ahead run. The Pirates scored again on a bloop single by Chris Ceballos.

The Vaqueros (10-5 in WSC North) are in first by a half-game over Moorpark (9-5) with five conference games remaining. They'll host Oxnard on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.