Howell’s game-winning homer beats Hancock

Daniel Howell drilled a line-drive home run to left field in the eighth inning and SBCC went on beat Hancock 5-4 in a WSC North baseball game at Pershing Park.

The Vaqueros (10-10, 4-2) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Bulldogs (9-11, 2-4) for the second time in three days. SBCC won for the sixth time in eight games to even its season record at .500.

Santa Barbara took a 4-3 lead with a four-run fourth. The Vaqueros loaded the bases on a walk and singles by Howell and Joey Epperson. A fielder’s choice scored the first run and the second one came home on an error.

Tommy White scored on a wild pitch and Colt McLaughlin was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, bringing Chito Elias home with the fourth run.

SBCC starter Kylin Turnbull, coming off two straight complete games, gave up three runs on eight hits over six innings. The left-hander struck out 10 (seven looking) and walked two.

“Kylin struggled a little, he was tentative more than anything else,” said coach Ryan Thompson. “He settled down and still got six innings in. That’s what you want from your starters.”

Four SBCC pitchers struck out 15 batters and stranded 12 Bulldog runners.

Hancock evened the game at 4-4 on an infield error in the eighth. DJ Gunderson relieved Tim Alvarez with runners on second and third and got the final out on a liner to left.

The Bulldogs got runners on first and second via two hit batters in the ninth. With two outs, Anthony Perry came on and promptly hit Taylor Mowatt to load the bases. Perry got the save by getting a flyout to center.

Howell struck out in the fifth before hitting his third homer of the year with one out in the eighth.

“In my previous at-bat, I missed two or three pitches that I could have hammered, so I wanted to go up the next time and calm myself down and try not to do too much,” said Howell, a sophomore first baseman. “I was just trying to get a single. It was a fastball. I knew I hit it hard but I wasn’t sure it had enough elevation.”

Thompson is happy with his team’s progress.

“We talk about winning weeks and we’ve won two in a row (going 2-1 each week),” he said.

The Vaqueros travel to first-place Cuesta on Tuesday, then host the Cougars on Thursday. Both games start at 2:30 p.m.

Hancock …… 200 100 010 — 4 9 1
SBCC ……….. 000 400 01x — 5 5 2

 Shrider, Borsum (4) and Young; Turnbull, Alvarez (7), Gunderson (8), Perry (9) and White. W–Gunderson 2-3. L–Borsum. S–Perry 2.
 HR–SB: Howell (3), 8th inn., none on.