Joyce tosses one-hitter; Vaqueros regain sole possesion of first

Chris Joyce threw a one-hitter on Thursday and Tommy White went 3-4 with a solo homer to help SBCC’s baseball team regain sole possession of first place with a 5-0 shutout of Cuesta at Pershing Park.

Daniel Howell hit his sixth homer leading off the eighth to stretch the lead to 4-0. With two outs, White homered to nearly the same spot in left-center field.

The Vaqueros (18-13, 12-5) have a one-game lead over Cuesta (19-12, 11-6) atop the WSC North with three to play. The teams will meet for the fourth and final time on Saturday in San Luis Obispo at 1 p.m.

SBCC catcher Tommy White provided much of the offensive power for the Vaqueros.

Joyce struck out 12 and carried a no-hitter into the eighth for the Vaqueros, who’ve won seven of their last eight. Andrew Montanari hit a bloop single down the left-field line for the Cougars’ only hit with one out in the eighth.

“My fastball and slider were my best pitches and I was able to command my curveball for strikes,“ said Joyce, a sophomore left-hander who walked four and picked a runner off second to end the fifth. “I was aware I had a no-hitter going. It was in the back of my mind.
“The only reason I had the no-hitter for so long was our defense was playing great behind me.”

Joyce and John Tiedemann (7-2, 2.54 ERA) were locked in a pitcher’s duel for the first 4½ innings with neither allowing a hit. White’s single to right was the Vaqueros’ first ball that left the infield in the first five frames.

Joyce lowered his ERA from 1.91 to 1.61 and moved into second in the state in strikeouts with 77. He retired 17 of 18 from the second to the eighth inning and struck out six straight before allowing the hit. Tiedemann gave up three runs (two earned) in 7 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts and three walks.

“Chris was a more crisp with his stuff (than in previous outings),“ said SBCC coach Ryan Thompson. “His breaking ball was working very well and he threw it for strikes early in the game when he was wild with his fastball. That’s a very good hitting team.

“Tiedemann is a quality pitcher, throwing 90-92 mph. He got out of a bases-loaded jam (in the fifth) but his pitch count really went up in that inning. We made him pay in the next inning.

“Those are two of the best pitchers in our conference, along with a few others like (SBCC’s Kylin) Turnbull.”

SBCC finally broke through in the sixth when Howell reached on an error on the shortstop with two outs and sprinted around the bases to score on Pat Cavalier’s double.

White was involved in a controversial play leading off the seventh. The Vaquero catcher fouled a ball into the left-field corner and LaBronze Sanderson caught it. It was initially ruled an out by the home-plate umpire but he reversed his call after Thompson explained that the area was out of play.

White then singled to right and took second on an error. He scored the Vaqueros’ second run on Andrew Smith’s RBI single up the middle.

Cuesta coach Bob Miller had argued when White’s foul-ball call was reversed. One batter later, he was ejected after Shay Maltese appeared to offer at a bunt but it was called a ball.

White has raised his offensive game with two homers in the last three games, thanks in part to a meal change.

“I’m pretty superstitious, so I switched up my breakfast a few weeks ago,” said White, who led the Vaqueros in hitting last year at .424 but was batting .161 entering Thursday‘s game. “I used to eat a bagel and now it’s yogurt and fruit. It seems to be doing the trick.

“On the homer, I had a feeling he was going to throw me an inside fastball. He left it up and I turned on it.”

SBCC travels to Cuesta on Saturday. You can listen to the game on the Internet by going to this link:

SBCC 5 Cuesta 0

Cuesta ………. 000 000 000 — 0 1 3
SBCC ………… 000 000 22x — 5 8 2
Tiedemann, Levin (7), Haringa (8) and Lindmark; Joyce and White. W–Joyce 5-0. L–Tiedemann 7-2.
2B–SB: Cavalier. HR–SB: Howell (6), 8th inn., none on; White (3), 8th inn., none on.