SBCC’s Benenati signs with Kansas State

Lucas Benenati, a sophomore relief pitcher at SBCC, has accepted a scholarship to continue his baseball career at Kansas State.

 A former Santa Barbara High standout, the right-hander was a first-team All-WSC North selection in 2012, then missed the 2013 season with an arm injury that required surgery. He bounced back this year to play in eight games, striking out 16 batters in 13.1 innings.

 “I chose K-State because it is in the Big 12 Conference and a lot of people attend their games,” said Benenati, who’s currently pitching for the Santa Barbara Foresters. “I loved SBCC and will greatly miss it. I met some of my best friends here and will definitely miss playing in the California sunshine at Pershing Park.”

Benenati is playing with the Santa Barbara Foresters’ summer-league team before joining Kansas State.

 SBCC had its finest season ever as the Vaqueros won two Southern Cal Regional playoff series and advanced to the Sectionals for the first time. They ended up tied for fifth in the state and had a 27-15 record for the second-most wins in school history.

 “Lucas is a great kid who overcame an injury to play this year,” said third-year Vaquero coach Jeff Walker. “I think it’s a great pick-up for Kansas State and he should help push them to the College World Series, which they fell a game short of making in 2013.

 “The timing of Lucas’s injury made this spring season almost like his fall, and though he had limited time on the mound, the 2014 Vaqueros would not have made as deep a run without his help.”

Benenati is graduate of Santa Barbara High.