AZUSA – The SBCC baseball team entered the final three innings of its season opener against Chaffey trailing 3-0, but would end the game on a 7-0 run to defeat the Panthers 7-3 playing at Azusa Pacific University.
The Vaqueros needed just four hits to come away with the win, doing most of their damage in a lengthy top half of the ninth inning. Third baseman Owen Crevelt finished with a team-best three RBI, while outfielder Pearce Blaney had two RBI and two runs.
Blaney's two-run homer in the seventh inning got SBCC on the board, also bringing in left-handed pitcher Caiden Matheny for the Vaqueros' first runs of the year. That was SBCC's first hit since a single by infielder Gavin Haimovitz on the third at bat of the night.
Infielder Justin Deal singled in the top of the eighth before back-to-back strikeouts left him on first.
Santa Barbara would make it to the ninth inning trailing 3-2 and opened with a walk by infielder Max Porter. He advanced to second on a passed ball and Blaney followed with a walk.
Another passed ball advanced both runners and Porter would score the tying unearned run. The next two plate appearances yielded two more Vaquero walks. Blaney scored the go-ahead run on another passed ball.
Chaffey looked to make things interesting over its final three outs, as a walk and two singles put its first three batters on base. However, the Vaqueros picked up outs on the next two at bats and picked off another to end the game.
SBCC pitcher Jake McBride earned the win, the fourth of his Vaquero career, giving up two hits and a walk in just under three innings pitched. Pitchers Charlie Adamson and Aiden Garza tossed for three innings apiece, both striking out five.
On Saturday, the Vaqueros close out their season-opening series against Chaffey at home in a 1:00 p.m. start at Pershing Park.