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Mounties score eight in 8th to end Vaqueros’ season, 15-10

Center fielder Pat Caulfield went 3-5 with 3 RBIs, raising his average to .303. He hit safely in his last 13 games and batted .395 in the last 10. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Center fielder Pat Caulfield went 3-5 with 3 RBIs, raising his average to .303. He hit safely in his last 13 games and batted .395 in the last 10. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Mt. San Antonio erupted for eight runs on seven hits in the eighth inning on Saturday and went on to beat SBCC 15-10 in a Southern Cal Regional baseball slugfest at Mazmanian Field in Walnut.

The fourth-seeded Mounties (31-11), the champions of the South Coast North Division, scored 22 runs in two days and took the best-of-3 series, 2-0. The 13th-seeded Vaqueros, who made their eighth straight trip to the playoffs, finish with a 20-22 record.

Designated hitter Nic Sandoval paced the Mounties, going 3-4 with a three-run double, a two-run homer and seven RBIs in the four-hour game. Patrick Caulfield led the Vaqueros with a 3-5 day and three RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. Nicholas Trifiletti went 2-4 with two runs and two RBIs.

Mt. SAC won the hitting battle, 14-13, and the Vaqueros left 12 on base.

Mt. SAC was the designated visiting team in Game 2 of the series. The Mounties took a 3-0 lead in the second but the Vaqueros scored in the next three innings and took their first lead of the series in the fourth. Jake Holton drilled a two-out double and Mitch Sancier singled him home for a 4-3 SBCC lead.

Trifiletti drove in Nicholas Prainito with a single in the bottom of the seventh to tie it at 5.

SBCC starter Brett Vansant pitched into the eighth and was relieved by William Blackburn after a single and infield error put runners on first and second. The Mounties loaded the bases on another infield error and then Quinn Cotter broke the 5-5 tie with a two-run single. That was the first of five straight hits by Mt. SAC. They scored eight unearned runs in the eighth on seven hits and two errors to go ahead 13-5.

The Vaqueros struck back with a five-run bottom of the eighth. Reinhard Lautz led off with a homer and the Vaqueros loaded the bases on a John Jensen double, a catcher's interference and a hit-by-pitch. Jensen scored on an error and Elijah Hodges delivered a sacrifice fly to pull the Vaqueros within three, 13-10.

Sandoval hit a sacrifice fly and Elijah Green added an RBI single in the ninth for a couple of insurance runs.

Mt. SAC committed five errors and half of the Vaqueros runs (5) were unearned.

Holton went 2-4 and finished the season on a 13-game hitting streak. He raised his batting average to .386 and led the state in saves with 11. Jensen went 1-3, extending his career-high hit streak to 17 games. Sancier had an RBI single in the fourth, stretching his hitting streak to 12 games.