The Allan Hancock College baseball team took advantage of six Vaquero errors and scored at least one run in the first five innings to win a key conference game 8-4 at Santa Barbara City College Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 15 in the South Region, improved to 6-5 in Western State Conference play and 17-14 overall. Santa Barbara, tabbed at No. 14 in the region, fell to 5-5 in league and 14-16 on the season.
Sophomores Quinntin Perez, Chad Jones, Josh Harmonay, Daniel Curiel and Brendan Gomez collected two hits apiece for the Bulldogs. Harmonay and Perez drove in two runs apiece, while Gomez and Jones each clubbed a double. Cordell Bowie went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
Hancock went to work in the top of the first as Perez reached second on an error by the SBCC leftfielder and moved to third on a wild pitch. Jones drew a walk and stole second. With two outs, Harmonay delivered a two-out, two-run single to centerfield to give Hancock an early 2-0 lead against SBCC pitcher Jayden Metz.
After the Vaqueros scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first, the Bulldogs rallied in the second. Gomez singled, stole second and scored on a two-out single to left by Perez. The Hancock shortstop moved to second on an errant pickoff throw and later scored on a RBI-double to left by Jones to give Hancock a 4-1 lead.
SBCC got one back in the second, but Hancock answered in the third as Curiel singled to right center to drive in Bowie to make it a 5-2 game. Hancock added to its lead when Perez scored on a Vaquero error in the fourth, then in the fifth Curiel scored on a wild pitch and Gomez scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Perez to push the Hancock lead to 8-2.
Maiden earned the win to improve to 3-2 with five solid innings. The sophomore scattered five hits, three runs, two of which were earned, walked five and struck out four. Sophomore Phil Almanza threw 3 2/3 innings of stellar relief. He allowed one run, three hits, two walks and struck out one Vaquero. Ismael Hernandez recorded the final out of the game with the bases loaded to preserve the win.
After winning for fourth time in 13 road games this season, Hancock moved into sole possession of second place and half a game behind Moorpark, which is 6-4 in conference.
Hancock will host Santa Barbara on Saturday at 2 p.m. at John Osborne Field.