SBCC’s Joyce named WSC’s top pitcher

Chris Joyce was chosen WSC North Pitcher of the Year after a dominant baseball campaign for conference-champion SBCC.

Joyce, a sophomore left-hander from Dos Pueblos High, went 4-0 in conference and led the six-team circuit in ERA (1.20), strikeouts (71 in 45 innings) and opponents batting average (.140). He struck out 16 Moorpark batters in eight innings on March 10 and pitched a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts in a 5-0 late-season win over Cuesta that broke a first-place tie.

It’s the second straight Pitcher of the Year honor for SBCC. Zak Edgington, who’s now pitching for UCSB, was last year’s top pitcher.

Ryan Thompson was selected as Coach of the Year in his first season. The former Dos Pueblos High multi-sport standout led Santa Barbara to a 22-14 record and a 15-5 WSC North mark that was two games better than Cuesta.

“This is really the ‘Coaching Staff of the Year’ award,” said Thompson.

Twelve Vaqueros made the All-WSC North squad, led by five pitchers. Santa Barbara’s pitching staff was first in conference with a 2.63 ERA and 181 strikeouts in 20 games (9.4 per game).
First-team choices included outfielders Colt McLaughlin and Joey Epperson, along with pitchers Joyce, Kylin Turnbull and reliever DJ Gunderson. As unanimous selections, McLaughlin, Joyce, Turnbull and Gunderson also made the All-Southern Cal team.

Outfielder Cody Giordano, the Vaqueros’ leading hitter (.344) and base stealer (11), was a second-team selection as were infielders Daniel Howell (4 homers) and Andrew Smith, outfielder Chito Elias, pitcher Colby Morse and reliever Anthony Perry.

Third baseman Robert Vickers was honorable mention and a Gold Glove choice.

SBCC was seeded No. 7 for the Southern Cal Regional and will host Riverside on Friday at 2 p.m. in the opener of a best-of-3 series.