Bullpen has rough start, SBCC drops season opener

Friday was the season opener for SBCC’s baseball team. The Vaqueros play a double-header on Saturday.


Joey Epperson and Brandon Laubhan combined for six hits and six RBIs on Friday but SBCC couldn’t overcome a seven-run sixth inning in a 12-6 season-opening baseball loss to Cabrillo at Pershing Park.

Sophomore Joey Epperson strokes the first single of the season for the Vaqueros in the second inning against Cabrillo College. (Agapito Photos)

Epperson, a sophomore first baseman, went 3-for-5 with an RBI double in the fifth and a two-run homer in the ninth. Laubhan’s two-out, two-run double in the fifth gave the Vaqueros their only lead at 4-3.

Left-hander Rich McCaffrey started for SBCC, allowing three runs on four hits in five innings. He walked four and hit a batter.

“There were a lot of things to build on,” said coach Jeff Walker. “You look at the score but it was just a couple of things and one sideways inning. I thought Rich threw well. He didn’t have his great stuff but he competed, he kept us in the game and he left with the lead.”

Mitch Oshima came on to start the sixth but lasted only six batters, allowing five runs on four hits. The big blow in the inning was a three-run double down the left-field line by Eric Vegas off Lucas Benenati.

Three SBCC relievers gave up nine runs in four innings with five strikeouts, five walks and five wild pitches.

“The bullpen let us down a little bit, giving up too many free passes,” said Walker. “We didn’t execute the right pitches and fell behind the hitters.”

SBCC was ranked No. 18 in the Southern Cal preseason poll while Cabrillo was No. 14 in the North.

Steven Reveles, a freshman shortstop from Dos Pueblos High, went 2-3 and reached base in all four at-bats. The Vaqueros outhit the Seahawks 12-11 and neither team had an error.

“We had a lot of guys playing their first college game,“ Walker noted. “We showed we can compete and swing the bats with anybody.”

The Vaqueros will host Cabrillo in a doubleheader on Saturday, starting at 11 a.m.

Cabrillo ……. 010 027 020 — 12 11 0
SBCC ………. 010 030 002 — 6 12 0

Carle, Genovese (6), Murano (7), Settles (8), Garcia (9) and Sanchez; McCaffrey, Oshima (6), Benenati (6), Perez (7) and Eaton, Dinges (8). W–Carle 1-0. L–Oshima 0-1.
2B–C: Horton, Hatch, Sanchez, Vegas, Rojko. SB: Epperson, Laubhan, Reveles. HR–C: Hatch (1), 5th inn., one on. SB: Epperson (1), 9th inn., one on.