Chase Rowe delivered a two-out, two-run triple in the fifth inning on Sunday to snap a 5-5 tie and send SBCC to a 9-5 comeback win over San Diego City.
Things weren't looking good for the Vaqueros (4-4) when they fell behind 5-0 after 2 1/2 innings in the finale of a three-game series at Pershing Park. SBCC salvaged the third game of the series after dropping the first two, 1-0 and 4-1.
The Vaqueros had scored just one run in the last 20 innings, heading into the bottom of the third. Then Ryan Guardino was hit by a pitch and Jacob Bravo unloaded a home run to right field, sparking a five-run uprising in the third and fourth innings. Alonzo Rubalcaba's RBI single to left center brought home Kyle Froemke and tied the game at 5 in the fourth.
Bravo, a sophomore first baseman from St. Bonaventure High, had a big day. The left-hander went 3-6 with a homer, a double and two RBIs. Froemke went 2-3 with two runs and shortstop Trevor Davis was 2-4.
"We were in catch-up mode at that point, so it was take until we got a strike," said Bravo. "I was just trying to stay inside the ball and hit it fair. Get something going. It felt good off the bat, that's for sure.
"We just stuck with our plans and finally got something going. We figured out their pitchers and put some hits together, put some runs together and played some team offense."
The Vaqueros rapped out five extra-base hits (3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer) and held the Knights (5-4) without an extra-base hit.
Mason Metcalfe came on in relief of starter Toby Spach with no outs, runners at first and second and the Vaqueros trailing 2-0. He gave up an RBI single to Jack Early and a two-run single to Israel Tafolla before settling down.
Metcalfe (2-0) held the Knights scoreless over the next 4.1 innings to earn the victory. He allowed six hits and struck out three. Jake McBride pitched the last two innings to notch his second save.
Guardino made a stellar double play from center field to end the top of the fifth. He made a diving catch of a sinker off the bat of Early, jumped to his feet and fired a one-hop strike to Bravo to double up Ethan Workinger at first.
Left-hander Clayton Lewis, the fourth of seven SDCC pitchers, came on to start the sixth. He walked Froemke, gave up a two-strike sacrifice bunt to Jarred Greene and walked Rubalcaba. Conner Guise came on to pitch in relief for the third straight day. After getting Brandon Lawrence on a deep fly to center for the second out, he watched Rowe pound a two-run triple to the deepest part of the park in right center to put the Vaqueros on top, 7-5.
"We were trying to be on the aggressive side because this game always favor the aggressor," said Rowe, a 6-3 freshman outfielder from Los Angeles. "We were trying find pitches to hit and drive the ball the other way because we were kind of getting a little pull-happy. I got a good pitch to hit and did something with it."
The Vaqueros benefitted from nine free passes (five walks, four hit-by-pitches).
Davis followed Rowe's triple with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Rowe and giving the Vaqueros an 8-5 lead in the sixth.
After falling behind 5-0, the Vaqueros scored nine unanswered runs in their last six at-bats.
"That's kind of what we showed last weekend at Saddleback," said coach Jeff Walker. "One swing put us back in the game last weekend and the same thing happened today. We cut down our strikeouts and the big thing was we played better catch today with only one error.
"We threw more strikes than they did. They had been pitching well all weekend but I think their pitchers got a little fatigued and we took advantage of some walks."
The Vaqueros will travel to East L.A. on Thursday and host Cerro Coso of Ridgecrest on Saturday at 1 p.m.