Epperson sparks 3-2 Vaquero win

Joey Epperson went 3-4 for the second straight game on Saturday and SBCC rallied past Ventura 3-2 in a WSC North baseball game at Pershing Park.

The Vaqueros (14-16, 7-7) trailed 2-0 before their first at-bat. They responded with two in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Epperson and a double-play grounder that scored Epperson.

Epperson is batting .667 in his last three games (8-12) with three RBIs. The sophomore first baseman from Orinda, Calif., has hit in three straight games and eight of his last nine to boost his average from .313 to .351. He also has an RBI in six consecutive games.

SBCC took a 3-2 lead in the seventh. Zach Zehner reached on an error, pinch-hitter Tyler Sharpe walked and they moved up 90 feet on Mark Jebbia’s sacrifice bunt.

Catcher Jared Dinges delivered a two-strike single through the right side to bring home Sharpe with the decisive run. Dinges also threw out a runner at third in the sixth inning.

The Vaqueros are third in the WSC North behind Cuesta (9-4) and Moorpark (8-5). Ventura is 16-14 and 6-8.

Rich McCaffrey went 5 1/3 innings but struggled with his control. The left-hander gave up two runs on six hits with three strikeouts. He also walked four and hit four batters.

“He wasn’t sharp but he did his best Houdini impression,” said SBCC coach Jeff Walker. “He worked his way out of a couple of jams.”

Lucas Benenati pitched the last two innings to earn his second save in three days and his fifth of the year. He gave up two singles with two out in the ninth but got the final out on a flyout to center.

The Vaqueros travel to Hancock on Tuesday for a 2:30 p.m. contest.


Ventura ……. 200 000 000 — 2 9 3
SBCC ………. 200 000 10x — 3 7 0
Doherty, Ginther (8) and Burke; McCaffrey, Nieves (6), Benenati (8) and Dinges. W–Nieves 3-4. L–Doherty 1-3. Save–Benenati 5.