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Ghiorso, Villar at Top of WSC Leaderboard after 12-2 Win over Moorpark

Head Coach Jeff Walker (Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)
Head Coach Jeff Walker (Ken Sciallo/Sevilla Photography)

By Jimmy Friery

SANTA BARBARA, CA – The Santa Barbara City College Baseball team beat Moorpark (8-8) at home on Wednesday, 12-2.

The conference win makes the Vaqueros 12-4 in conference play, now just a half-game back of Cuesta (12-3) for the league lead.

The first of three games between the teams in three days, Jake Villar toed the slab for SBCC. He came into the game with a 6-0 record (1st in WSC), 52 strikeouts (T-1st), and a 2.58 ERA (2nd).

After a scoreless top of the 1st, Daniel Ghiorso reached base for the fifth consecutive time in the Vaqueros' first at bat. After stealing second, he advanced to third on a flyout and scored on a wild pitch, manufacturing an early 1-0 SBCC lead.

In the 2nd, catcher Lucas Anderson doubled with 1 out to put himself and Parker Hellekson in scoring position. After a popup, Ghiorso dug in and ripped a 2-out, 2-RBI single to increase the lead to 3-0.

Villar stranded the bases loaded in the top of the 3rd, using 2 strikeouts to get out of the jam. The next inning, though, Moorpark hit a 2-out, 2-RBI single of their own to make it 3-2 Vaqueros.

Ghiorso answered by drilling another 2-out RBI knock, doubling to bring home Hellekson. In 4 innings, Ghiorso accounted for 4 runs as SBCC lead 4-2.

Villar settled in after allowing the pair of runs, striking out the side in the 5th and inducing three groundouts in the 6th.

In the bottom half of the 6th, SBCC took advantage of a few freebies. A run-scoring passed ball, walk, bases loaded hit by pitch, and 4 hits plated 3 runs. The Vaqueros now had a 7-2 cushion.

Nearing 100 pitches entering the 7th, Villar showed no signs of tiring, striking out the side once again to end his day. The Vaqueros ace strutted off the mound with a line of 7 innings, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, and a career-high 12 strikeouts.

Koehn Thomas came on in relief in the 8th, and immediately it was first and third and no one out. No need to panic, though, as he punched out the next batter before inducing a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning unscathed.

To ensure the win, the Vaqueros erupted for 5 runs in their last offensive frame. Ghiorso's sac fly drove in his 4th RBI of the day before Sebastian Arguelles singled home Ethan Watson. Patrick Walsh followed with a 2-RBI single, and an error allowed him to score a few batters later.

Thomas closed out the 12-2 victory with a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play for the Vaqueros 12th conference win of the season.

Daniel Ghiorso's 4 for 4 day increased his batting average to an even .400, propelling him to the top of the WSC leaderboard. His 2 stolen bases—26th and 27th of the year—also allowed him to re-take the state lead in that category, too.

Jake Villar's 12 strikeouts catapulted him well above teammate Bradley Johnson for the most of all conference pitchers. The pair came into the day tied at 52, but Villar ended the day at 64, also earning his conference-leading 7th win.

Parker Hellekson and Lucas Anderson both had 2 hits, including a double, and scored 3 runs. Anderson also reached via a walk, while Hellekson drove in a run.

Patrick Walsh had 2 RBIs, and Sebastian Arguelles reached base 3 times, swiping 2 bags.

The Vaqueros play at Moorpark on Thursday before a third matchup back at home on Friday, a game that was pushed up a day due to inclement weather on Saturday.