CBB: Fullerton hands SBCC a loss in opener

SBCC's Matt Gimenez was 3 for 5 in Friday's loss. (Presidio Sports File Photo)

SBCC’s Matt Gimenez was 3 for 5 in Friday’s loss. (Presidio Sports File Photo)


Fullerton scored the go-ahead run in the 13th inning after an error, then held on to beat SBCC 2-1 on Friday in Game 1 of the Southern Cal Super Regional baseball series at Pershing Park.

“We made a mistake and they made us pay for it,” said coach Jeff Walker. “They played great defense, their guy pitched a great game and the next guy came in and pitched well.

“We didn’t touch home plate more than once which is disappointing.”

The third-seeded Vaqueros (30-9) had their six-game win streak snapped. No. 12 Fullerton improved to 24-15, despite managing just five hits. It was the second extra-inning game in a row for the Hornets, who went 16 innings to register a 6-5 win over No. 5 Cypress that clinched the Regional series last Saturday.

Shortstop Matt Henderson misplayed a grounder by Julio Rivera to open the 13th inning. Huffman sacrificed Rivera to second and he scored on a single to left by shortstop Justin Row.

The starters were both spectacular with Sean Barry matching Fullerton’s Dylan Prohoroff pitch-for-pitch. Barry went 10 innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. Prohoroff, a 6-3 sophomore who was throwing in the low 90s, went 9.1 innings and gave up just one run on eight hits with five strikeouts and four walks. He also hit three batters.

Barry entered with a 1.46 ERA while Prohoroff was at 2.27. Barry was No. 3 in the state in strikeouts (94) and Prohoroff was fourth with 85.

“All the credit in the world to their two pitchers,” said Barry, who will play for the University of San Diego next year. “It’s unfortunate the way it turned out but that happens sometimes. I’m not worried, we still have two more games.”

Fullerton got its first run in the fourth after second baseman Spencer Erdman couldn’t handle a grounder by David Miranda, allowing Row to score from third base. Erdman made an outstanding leaping catch of a ball in short center field to end the top of the 11th.

Connor McManigal paced SBCC’s 11-hit offense, going 4-for-5 with a two-out triple in the 13th. Nicolas Bereaud came in as a pinch-hitter to face Randall Ortiz. Ortiz, who pitched three-hit ball for the last 3.2 innings, got Bereaud looking at strike three to end the game.

Matt Gimenez was 3-5 and drove in the Vaqueros’ lone run in the seventh. McManigal led off with a single to left and went to second on a sacrifice. Noeh Martinez was hit by a pitch and Gimenez drove a sharp grounder past the third baseman to score McManigal and tie it at 1-1.

Davis Messer turned in three innings of solid relief for the Vaqueros, allowing just one hit and an unearned run.

The Vaqueros stranded 11 runners and had men on base in the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th innings. In the 10th, they had runners on second and third with one out but couldn’t score. Ortiz got Brandon Evans on a pop-up and James Hill on a strikeout.

“It was very disappointing all the way around,” said Walker. “Their guy just out-competed our offense.

“The nice thing is this is a 2-out-of-3 series and tomorrow is another day. I like the matchup of our 2 and 3 pitchers vs. their 2 and 3. Hopefully, we’ll bring our bats tomorrow and get after it a little bit.”

Game 2 is Saturday at 1 p.m. at Pershing Park. If the Vaqueros win, a third game will be played on Sunday at noon.