CBB: Vaqueros stumble in late innings, fall at Cuesta, 11-2

Cuesta broke open a 3-2 game with three runs in the seventh and five more in the eighth on Tuesday to hand SBCC an 11-2 WSC baseball loss in San Luis Obispo.

The Vaqueros, ranked No. 6 in Southern Cal, fell to 20-10 and 9-7. They’re tied for second in the WSC North with Hancock, three games behind top-ranked Oxnard (12-4) with four to play.

Cuesta (8-21, 4-12) split the series with SBCC, 2-2.

Cougar right-hander Nick Burnham went 7 1/3 innings for his first win. He gave up two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks. He was also 2-3 at the plate and scored three runs. Shortstop David Belt drove in four runs.

Matt Henderson went 2-3 for Santa Barbara and Matt Gimenez drove in the first run with a double in the first. Cuesta took a 2-1 lead on a pair of unearned runs in the third and made it 3-1 on Joe Miller’s RBI single.

Henderson singled, stole second and scored on a hit by Noeh Martinez to pull the Vaqueros within one at 3-2 in the seventh. Justin Bruce (4-3) gave up four runs (two earned) in six innings before being replaced after a single in the seventh.

Cuesta scored two runs off Cody Van Aken to stretch the lead to 6-2.

The Vaqueros will host first-place Oxnard on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.