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Hancock Edges Irvine Valley 11-10 to Earn First Road Win of Season

Hancock Edges Irvine Valley 11-10 to Earn First Road Win of Season

Sophomore Cordell Bowie hit his first career homerun, and Jake Shusterich continued to torment Irvine Valley pitching with four hits and 3 RBI as the Allan Hancock College baseball team survived a ninth-inning rally by the Lasers to win 11-10 on Friday afternoon. Hancock earned its first win away from home to improve to 7-6 overall. The Bulldogs are 3-0 against Irvine Valley this season. The Lasers fell to 9-7 on the year.

Irvine Valley scored the first run of the game in the first inning, but the Bulldogs tied it in the second as Bowie crushed one over the wall in left for his first collegiate homerun. The Bulldogs took the lead for good in the third as Ismael Hernandez and Shusterich singled in runs to give Hancock a 3-1 advantage. The Lasers got a run back in the third, but Hancock answered as sophomore Brendan Gomez doubled to left-centerfield to score Chad Jones to make it 4-2 Hancock.

Shusterich hit a RBI-double in the fifth and scored on a single up the middle from Nic Cardinal to push Hancock's lead to 6-2. After Irvine scored twice in the sixth to climb to within 6-4, Jones hit a RBI-double and Gomez delivered a RBI-single to make it an 8-4 game. The Bulldogs added to their lead in the eighth as Bowie hit a two-run single and Shusterich added his third RBI-hit of the day to give Hancock an 11-4 advantage.

Hancock carried an 11-6 lead into the bottom of the ninth with Phil Almanza on the mound. The first three batters reached, which prompted Head Coach Chris Stevens to summon Hernandez to the mound. The freshman recorded two outs between two hits and a walk as the Lasers pulled to within 11-10. With the tying-run at third and game-winning run at second, Hernandez preserved the win by striking out Cooper Moore for the final out of the game.

Dylan Maiden won his second straight start for Hancock to improve to 2-1. The sophomore allowed four runs, three of them earned, over 5 2/3 innings on the mound. The Cabrillo High School graduate struck out three and walked one.

Hancock outhit the Lasers 17 to 15. Shusterich went 4-for-5 with 3 RBI. In three games against Irvine Valley in the last week, the Arroyo Grande High School graduate is a combined 8-for-15 with 11 RBI.

Bowie, Jones, Cardinal, Gomez and catcher Shane Flaningam added two hits apiece. Bowie finished with a career-high 3 RBI in the win, while Gomez drove in two runs.

Hancock will close its three-game trip on Saturday at noon at Cypress. The No. 3 Chargers beat the Bulldogs 16-3 on Thursday.