Sophomore Josh Harmonay delivered a run-scoring single and Chad Jones ripped a two-run double to help the Bulldogs break a 4-4 tie with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning in the Allan Hancock College baseball team's 7-4 win over East Los Angeles on Tuesday to open Hancock's annual Spring Classic. The Bulldogs improved to 14-12 overall and 12-1 at John Osborne Field. East L.A. fell to 15-12 on the season.
Jones' two-run double was his third hit and second double on the day. The sophomore second baseman went 3-for-5 with two runs and 2 RBI for his second three-hit game of the season and fourth of his career. Left fielder Cordell Bowie and Ismael Hernandez both went 2-for-4. Bowie has raised his average to .360 by collecting nine hits in his last 14 at-bats.
Five of the Bulldogs' 13 hits were for extra bases, including freshman Jake Shusterich's team-leading sixth home run of the season.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Nic Cardinal threw seven innings for the Bulldogs. He scattered eight hits and four runs. He walked two and struck out two. Phillip Martin threw 2/3 of an inning of relief and Hernandez, a freshman, went the final 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts. Hernandez earned the win in relief to even his record at 2-2.
East L.A. took the early lead with two runs in the first inning against Cardinal. Hancock got one back in the bottom half as Hernandez singled home Jones to make it a 2-1 game. The Huskies regained a two-run lead with a run in the third, but Hancock tied it in the fifth when Shusterich crushed one over the wall, a two-run shot, to even it at 3-3.
The Bulldogs took their first run of the game in the sixth when Brendan Gomez singled with one out and stole second base with Reed Odland at the plate. The Santa Ynez High School graduate eventually moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball to push Hancock ahead 4-3. East L.A. tied it with a run in the seventh against Cardinal.
The game remained tied 4-4 until the eighth inning. Hernandez doubled to lead off the inning and sprinted home on Harmonay's double. With two outs and Harmonay on third, Josh Tonascia and Quinntin Perez drew two-out walks to load the bases for Jones. The sophomore delivered a two-out double to drive in Harmonay and Brian Dowell, who pinch ran for Tonascia, to give Hancock a 7-4 lead.
Hernandez retired the Huskies in order in the ninth to preserve the win, Hancock's third straight victory.
This year's classic features seven teams, including No. 12 Hancock, regionally ranked and three teams ranked among the top-20 teams in the state. On Tuesday, the South Region's No. 17 team, Cuesta, defeated Cypress, the No. 12 team in this week's state poll, 13-9; and College of the Canyons, ranked No. 9 in the South Region, beat Merced, the No. 6 team in the North, 5-2.
The Spring Classic continues on Wednesday, March 28 with four games. Cypress and Canyons play at 1 p.m. at Cuesta. At 1 p.m., the Bulldogs host Fresno City College, while Merced and East L.A. meet at Elks Field. Cuesta hosts Cerritos at 2:30 p.m.
Thursday's games include Cerritos at Hancock at 11:30 a.m., while at noon, Cuesta hosts Merced, East L.A. faces Canyons at Elk's Field, and Fresno battles Cypress at Sinsheimer Stadium.