CBB: Vaqueros meet their match in Oxnard

Left-hander Oscar Sandoval held SBCC to one run on three hits in five innings on Saturday and Jeremy Alvarado collected four extra-base hits to lead Oxnard to a 6-2 baseball win at Pershing Park.

The defending WSC North champion Condors, ranked No. 3 in Southern Cal, improved to 8-2-1 overall and 3-1 in conference. No. 4 SBCC (10-2, 3-1) is tied for first with Oxnard and Hancock. The Vaqueros had their five-game win streak snapped and suffered their first WSC loss as well as their first home setback in seven appearances.

The Condors jumped ahead 2-0 in the top of the first on a walk, a single by Scott Hockenberry and a two-run double down the left-field line by center fielder Nick Morelli. Alvarado opened the third with a double and scored on an infield single by Jerrett Maas to make it 3-0.

Alvarado went 4-5 with three doubles, a triple and two runs.

“It was a disappointing effort all the way around, we just weren’t ready to play,” said Vaquero coach Jeff Walker. “That’s our most disappointing effort of the season. It’s very surprising that we did it against Oxnard.

“They came out ready to play and we didn’t. And the game let us know about it. We didn’t do our job of holding them to zero before we scored and we had to play from behind early. That’s been a concerning issue the last couple of Saturdays. And that’s on the defense, not just one individual.”

SBCC’s left-handed starter Lucas Jacobsen (3-1) was chased with two outs in the fourth after giving up three runs on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks. The Vaquero pitching staff entered the game with the fourth-best ERA in the state at 1.85. After giving up six earned runs, they dropped to No. 7 with a 2.19 ERA.

The Vaqueros got on the board in the fourth when Jimmy Brakka drove in Connor McManigal with a single to center. The Vaqueros had runners at second and third with one out but Sandoval got out of it when Matt Gimenez fouled out on a bunt try and Dallas Bacon lined out to right.

Bacon paced the Vaquero with three singles in four at-bats to raise his average to .407. He’s the No. 1 hitter in conference play with a healthy .636 average (7-11).

“Dallas has been swinging the bat well and he’s been our most consistent hitter,” said Walker.

The Condors extended the lead to 5-1 in the sixth when Alvarado led off with a triple to right-center. Dustyn Cook brought home Alvarado with a single to center and came around to score on an RBI single by Daniel Barnett. The Vaqueros cut down Jerrett Maas at the plate for the third out with right fielder Noeh Martinez firing the ball to first baseman Brakka, who relayed it to catcher Jake Gagain to end the inning.

Oxnard made it 6-1 in the eighth on a double steal with Maas swiping second base and Marcus Hutchinson taking off from third on the throw and scoring the sixth run.

The Vaqueros staged a rally in the ninth off Kyle Villa, who took the mound to start the inning. Pinch-hitter Jack Gregson walked and Bacon singled to right, putting runners at first and third with one out. Spencer Erdman walked to load the bases and Matt Henderson hit a line-drive single to center to score Gregson and cut the deficit to 6-2.

Brandon Evans, the WSC Player of the Week, hit a sinking liner to center but Morelli made a nice diving catch. McManigal left the bases loaded when he popped out to the catcher in foul territory.

The Vaqueros had seven singles on the day and stranded 11 runners.

SBCC hosts Cuesta on Tuesday at 2 p.m.