Jake Shusterich and Brendan Gomez each hit home runs and drove in a combined seven runs, while Quinntin Perez went 4-for-4 to lead the Allan Hancock College baseball team to an 11-9 win over Irvine Valley Friday at John Osborne Field. The Bulldogs improved to 5-0 at home and 5-5 overall. Irvine Valley fell to 7-5.
Irvine Valley scored twice in the top of the first inning against Hancock starting pitcher Nic Cardinal. However, the Bulldogs went right to work in the home half as the first three hitters reached base safely. Perez singled, Daniel Curiel walked and Ismael Hernandez singled to load the bases. With one out and Shusterich at the plate, a wild pitch allowed Perez to score to cut the deficit in half. Hancock jumped ahead with one swing of Shusterich's bat as he cleared the bases with a three-run home run to give Hancock a 4-2 lead. Two batters later, Gomez, making his first at-bat of the season, slugged a solo-shot to give Hancock a 5-2 lead after one.
Hancock erupted for four more in the second as Perez doubled home Tanner Thompson to start the rally. Shusterich later delivered a RBI-single and Gomez hit a single to drive in two more to push Hancock's lead to 9-2 after two.
The Lasers inched closer with three runs in the third against Cardinal to make it a 9-5 game. Hancock got one back in the bottom half as Thompson singled, moved to third on a double from Perez and scored on a sacrifice fly to right to make it 10-5 Bulldogs.
After scoring once in the fifth, the Lasers climbed to within one run in the seventh as Zack Stack hit a three-run home run against Hancock reliever Phil Almanza. Stack homered in the inning. He finished the day 3-for-3 with two home runs and 7 RBI.
Hancock scored an insurance run in the eighth when Perez singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Curiel and scored on a RBI-single off the bat of Cordell Bowie.
Hancock finished with 14 hits in the game. Perez went 4-for-4 with three runs scored, two doubles and one driven in. Shusterich went 3-for-5 with a career-best 4 RBI and two runs scored. Gomez went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI, and Thompson went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Cardinal earned the win to improve to 2-0. The sophomore allowed six runs and seven hits over five innings. He struck out four and walked three. Almanza allowed two hits and three runs over two innings of relief. Hernandez earned his second save with two shutout innings and one strikeout.
The Bulldogs and Lasers square off at noon on Saturday at John Osborne Field.