White, Vaqueros slam Hancock 9-4

Tommy White picked the perfect time to unload the first grand slam of his life.

With SBCC trailing Hancock 4-2 in the seventh inning on Saturday at Pershing Park, the Vaqueros loaded the bases on two walks sandwiched around a single by Colt McLaughlin. With two outs, reliever Scott Borsum entered the game and White drilled a 1-1 pitch just inside the left-field foul line for his second homer of the year. That put Santa Barbara ahead 6-4 and the Vaqueros went on to beat the Bulldogs 9-4 to stay in first place in the WSC North baseball race.

“I was just trying to hit one hard up the middle,” said White, a sophomore catcher from Scottsdale, Ariz. “I’ve been struggling all year and he threw one right down the middle.”

Joey Epperson went 4-4 with an RBI for the Vaqueros (17-12, 11-4), who are ranked 19th in Southern California. McLaughlin and Robert Vickers were both 3-5 for SBCC, which posted a season-high in hits (16) for the third straight game and extended its winning streak to six games.

Vickers had a solid fielding day with seven assists at third base and scored his team’s first run on a delayed steal of home in the third.
The Bulldogs (15-14, 8-7), ranked 17th in Southern Cal, scored three times in the third off starter Colby Morse to take a 4-0 lead. Morse settled down after that, allowing no runs on two hits over the next five innings.

“I had a little bit of jitters at the beginning,” said Morse, a 6-5 right-hander. “After the third inning, I settled down. I beared down and tried to keep our team in the game.

“I said a prayer before Tommy went to bat. He ended up hitting it out and you guys know the rest.”

The Vaqueros got hot after White’s round-tripper with four straight singles by Vickers, Cody Giordano, Epperson and McLaughlin with one out in the eighth. Epperson and McLaughlin had RBI hits and the ninth run scored on an infield error.

“I got excited on the grand slam,” said coach Ryan Thompson. “That was the first big swing Tommy’s had all year. It was as timely as any hit we’ve had this year.”

White and Andrew Smith each added two hits to the Vaquero attack.

“A lot of times when you take a lead late in a game, it takes a lot of the wind out of the other team’s sails,” added Thompson. “I always tell our guys that the only ones who can take the wind out of our sails is ourselves.”

The Vaqueros will take on Hancock in Santa Maria on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

Hancock ……. 103 000 000 — 4 8 1
SBCC ….….… 001 100 43x — 9 16 1

Shrider, Borsum (7), Vaquera (8) and Young; Morse, Caraccioli (9) and White. W–Morse 3-0. L–Shrider 4-2.
2B–H: Young, Hernandez. SB: Vickers, Cavalier. HR–SB: White (2), 7th inn., three on.