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The Week Ahead for Hancock Athletics: Softball and Baseball Play Key Home Games; Swimming Hosts Conference Meet Friday

The Week Ahead for Hancock Athletics: Softball and Baseball Play Key Home Games; Swimming Hosts Conference Meet Friday

This week promises to be an important one for Allan Hancock College athletics. The baseball team plays three conference games with Central Coast rivals, including a Thursday game at home against Santa Barbara to open the second half of league play. The softball team plays seven games this week including a game with second place Bakersfield on Tuesday at home. Swimming will host four other teams during a five-team Western State Conference meet on Friday at the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center. The track team will also return to action and head to Cuesta for a conference meet on Friday.

SOFTBALL (9-1, 16-7)

This Week:  Monday, March 27 @ Cuesta *, 1 and 3 p.m.

            Tuesday, March 28 vs. Bakersfield *, 1 p.m.

            Thursday, March 30 vs. Canyons, 1 p.m.

            Friday, March 31 @ Taft, 2 p.m.

            Saturday, April 1 @ College of the Sequoias, 1 p.m.

The Hancock softball team will embark on a busy week with six games, including three games that were previously rained out. The Bulldogs start the week in first place in Western State Conference play at 9-1 and 16-7 overall. They have a one game lead over Bakersfield, who they host Tuesday, March 28, at 1 p.m. Hancock will play a doubleheader at Cuesta on Monday, March 27, with games set for 1 and 3 p.m. The Bulldogs will then host College of the Canyons on Thursday, March 30, at 1 p.m. Hancock will then travel to Taft for a Friday game followed by a contest at College of the Sequoias on Saturday.

Last week, Hancock won its only conference game in thrilling fashion. Hancock scored three times in the top of the seventh to overcome a 3-1 deficit to stun Moorpark 4-3. Nikole Cody (Yucca Valley HS) hit a two-run single to tie the game at 3-3, then sophomore Larrissa Ostrander (Santa Clara HS) delivered a RBI-single to drive in Cody and give Hancock its first lead of the game at 4-3. Freshman pitcher Bailey Killough (Arroyo Grande HS) earned the win by scattering eight hits and three runs over seven innings. Ostrander went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI in the win.  The Bulldogs also played two games at a tournament hosted by Ventura College. Hancock fell 7-0 to Santa Ana, and 4-3 to Long Beach City College.

Sophomore Maggie Dasis (Righetti HS) leads the team with a .389 batting average to go with 21 RBI and 14 stolen bases. Ostrander leads the conference with five triples. The shortstop also ranks fourth in conference with 26 RBI and 12 stolen bases to go with a .361 batting average. Nakaila Fuggs (Righetti HS) leads the conference with 16 stolen bases and 19 walks.


BASEBALL (4-5, 11-15)

This Week:  Tuesday, March 28 @ Cuesta*, 2:30 p.m.

            Thursday, March 30 vs. Santa Barbara *, 2:30 p.m.

            Saturday, April 2 @ Santa Barbara *, 1 p.m.

The Hancock baseball team will close out the first half of Western State Conference play on Tuesday, March 28, at Cuesta College. The Bulldogs then open the second half of the league schedule Thursday, March 30 at home against Santa Barbara. Both games will start at 2:30 p.m. Hancock will play at SBCC on Saturday, April 2, at 1 p.m.  

Hancock is coming off a 2-1 week that included a 7-6 16-inning win over Ventura and a 3-0 victory over Cuesta. The Bulldogs are 4-5 in conference play and 11-15 overall. Cordell Bowie (Del Sol Academy) drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the game-winning run in the extra-inning win over the Pirates. The 16-inning affair was the Bulldogs' longest in at least seven years. Sophomore pitcher Walker Armstrong (St. Joseph HS) threw seven shutout innings in relief to earn his fourth win of the year. Sophomore center fielder Kyle von Tillow (Santa Ynez HS) and Armstrong had two hits apiece for Hancock.  Hancock fell 4-3 at Ventura the following day. von Tillow and Quinntin Perez (St. Joseph HS) each had an RBI.  The Bulldogs ended the week with a 3-0 win over their rivals from Cuesta. Evan Sonny (Sonora HS) threw seven shutout innings in his first start of the season. The left-hander allowed just four hits and issued one walk with three strikeouts. Phil Almanza (Righetti HS) earned his second save with two scoreless innings of relief. Perez and Armstrong had RBI-doubles for the Bulldogs in the win.

Earlier this season, Hancock fell 5-4 and 8-1 to Santa Barbara. Daniel Curiel (Righetti HS) had three hits and 3 RBI, while Perez and freshman Dylan Maiden (Cabrillo HS) had two hits each in the Bulldogs' first game against SBCC.

Cuesta will face Oxnard on Monday in a conference game before hosting Hancock the following day. Cuesta is 5-3 in conference and a half game ahead of second place Ventura, Santa Barbara and Moorpark, who are all 5-4 in conference. Hancock is 1.5 games behind the Cougars at 4-5 in league, while Oxnard is 2-6 and three back of Cuesta.

Perez leads Hancock and the Western State Conference with a .392 batting average and .484 on-base percentage. The freshman ranks third in the league with 18 RBI. Josh Harmonay (Faith Lutheran HS) is hitting .300 with 16 walks and the second most RBI in the conference with 20. Curiel is hitting .284 with 11 RBI, 10 stolen bases and 21 runs. Brendan Gomez (Santa Ynez HS) leads the team with two home runs to go with 15 RBI and a .280 batting average.  Armstrong's 1.86 ERA is tops among pitchers in the WSC-North, and his 48 strikeouts rank second.


This Week:Friday, March 31, Western State Conference Meet #3, 11 a.m. @ Paul Nelson Aquatic Center

The Hancock women's swimming and diving team will return to action by hosting four other teams from the Western State Conference on Friday, March 31. The five-team meet will begin at 11 a.m. at the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center in Santa Maria. Santa Barbara, Ventura, Bakersfield and Cuesta will compete against the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs last competed two weeks ago at L.A. Valley during their second Western State Conference meet of the year. The Bulldogs finished second in the five-team meet. Sophomore Dria Kwong (Orcutt Academy) won two events, the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke. Sophomore Maddie Diaz (Pioneer Valley HS) won the 500-yard freestyle event, and finished second in the 200-yard freestyle event. Sophomore Rebecca Gonzalez (Nipomo HS) finished runner-up in the 100-yard breaststroke. Freshman Meagan Stevens (Cabrillo HS) finished third in the 1000-yard freestyle and second in the 500 free. Ellyn Clardy (Righetti HS) earned a third place finish in the 200 free and 100 free events.


This Week: Friday, March 31 @ Western State Conference Coastal Meet @ Cuesta, 12 p.m.

The Hancock track and field team will return to action Friday, March 31, when Cuesta College hosts the Western State Conference's Coastal Meet. The Bulldogs will looking to continue the success they enjoyed last week at the Cal Poly Invitational and Bakersfield College Relays.

Sophomore Brent Dionisio (Pioneer Valley HS) tied a career high by clearing six feet, nine inches to win the men's high jump event at the Cal Poly Invitational. He out-jumped 11 other athletes, including 10 from four-year universities. It marked the second straight week Dionisio cleared 6-9 to win an event.

Fellow sophomore Taylor Nevitt (Nipomo HS) also competed at the Cal Poly meet. She finished sixth in the women's shot put with a mark of 35-5, and 13th in the discus throw with a mark of 103-1.

At Bakersfield, freshman Jose Rodriguez (Cabrillo HS) won the men's pole vault by clearing 14-2. He also finished fifth in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.47 seconds. Sophomore Rachel Naugle (Graceway Private) won the women's steeplechase with a time of 12:40, and crossed the finish line in 20:01 to earn a fifth place finish in the 5K.  Meantime, Steven Youngblood (Pioneer Valley HS) came in third in the men's steeplechase, and eighth in both the 5K and 1,500 meter run.