The Allan Hancock College baseball team rallied from a 6-1 deficit to tie the game, but allowed three unearned in the ninth to fall at home to Cuesta College 9-6 on Monday afternoon. The Bulldogs fell to 4-5 in Western State Conference play and 15-14 overall. The Cougars improved to 4-5 in league and 15-12 on the season. The two teams will play at Cuesta College on Tuesday with first pitch at 2:30 p.m.
Cuesta scored twice in the first and three times in the second inning against Hancock starting pitcher Nic Cardinal to take control of the game early. Hancock managed to get a run back in the bottom of the first when shortstop Quinntin Perez led off with a walk, stole second and scored later on a wild pitch.
The Cougars added another run in the fourth inning to build a 6-1 lead against Cardinal. Hancock answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth as Brendan Gomez hit a RBI-double and Shane Flaningam clubbed a two-run double to make it a 6-4 game.
Cuesta took advantage of a hit by pitch, two walks, two hits, a costly Hancock error and a pair of wild pitches to score three times in the top of the ninth against Hancock relief pitcher Ismael Hernandez.
Overall, Hancock committed four errors in the game that led to five unearned runs.
Offensively, Gomez led the Bulldogs' nine-hit attack with a 3-for-5 effort with 2 RBI. Maiden, Flaningam and Shusterich had two hits apiece. Flaningam drove in two runs, while Maiden added one RBI.
Cuesta finished with 13 hits led by three from center fielder Chandler Hughes. Nik Pagan and Ruben Mercado had 2 RBI apiece.
Cardinal earned a no-decision, allowing six runs, four of them earned, and nine hits over four innings. He struck out five Cougars. Phil Almanza threw three shutout innings and fanned three. Hernandez took the loss allowing three unearned runs and four hits over 1 2/3 innings. Jessa Gasca recorded the final out of the ninth.