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Sophomores Stay Hot at the Plate, Hancock Baseball Wins 14-10 Slugfest with Ventura to Remain in WSC Title Hunt

Sophomores Stay Hot at the Plate, Hancock Baseball Wins 14-10 Slugfest with Ventura to Remain in WSC Title Hunt

Sophomore Cordell Bowie drove in a career-high four runs, while sophomores Dylan Maiden, Josh Harmonay and Brendan Gomez collected three hits and multiple RBI apiece to lead the Allan Hancock College baseball team to an important 14-10 conference win over Ventura on Saturday at John Osborne Field. Hancock swept the season series with Ventura 4-0, moving to 10-8 in Western State Conference play and 21-17 overall. The Pirates fell to .500 at 9-9 in league and 19-19 overall.

The Bulldogs remained one game behind first-place Moorpark after the Raiders defeated Santa Barbara City College 7-2 to improve to 11-7 in league. SBCC dropped to 9-8 in conference, 1.5 games back of Moorpark. Ventura sits two games out of first place with two games remaining.

Ventura opened the scoring in the first when the first five Pirates reached base against Hancock starting pitcher Nic Cardinal. After the Pirates scored twice in the first, Hancock responded with two of its own as Bowie ripped a two-run double to drive in Maiden, who had singled, and Daniel Curiel, who was hit by a pitch.

The Pirates collected five hits and four runs in the second against Cardinal to build a 6-2 lead. The Bulldogs stormed back with six runs on five hits in the bottom half. Maiden, Jake Shusterich and Gomez delivered RBI-singles. Harmonay delivered a two-run single to give Hancock the lead for good at 7-6. Bowie added a sacrifice fly.

Hancock added to its 8-6 lead in the third on RBI-singles off the bat of Maiden and Curiel.

After the Pirates scored once in the fifth inning to make it a 10-7 game, the Bulldogs answered once again behind run-scoring singles by Gomez and Shane Flaningam to push their lead to 12-7.

Hancock's offense delivered again in the eighth as Gomez legged out a triple and drove in Harmonay on the play. Tonascia lifted a sacrifice fly to center to allow Gomez to tag up and score to give the Bulldogs a 14-8 lead. The Pirates scored twice in the ninth against reliever Ismael Hernandez.

Maiden finished 3-for-6 with three runs scored and 2 RBI. Gomez went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and 3 RBI, while Harmonay went 3-for-5 with 2 RBI and scored three times. Bowie ended 2-for-4 with 4 RBI. Nine Bulldogs collected at least one hit to account for Hancock's 16-hit attack.

Over his last three games, Gomez is 7-for-13 with three triples and 4 RBI. Maiden has gone 7-for-12 with five runs scored and 3 RBI in the last two games against Ventura.

Phil Almanza earned the win in relief of Cardinal. Almanza allowed two hits, one run and walked three over a 1 1/3 innings. He struck out one. Shusterich allowed two hits and fanned one in 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief. Hernanez struck out one and allowed two hits and two run in the final inning.

Cardinal earned a no-decision after he allowed seven runs and 11 hits over 4 2/3 innings. He walked one, hit two batters and struck out four.

The Bulldogs close the regular season next week with an away-and-home series with rival Cuesta College. Hancock will play at Cuesta on Tuesday, April 24, before hosting the Cougars on Thursday, April 26. Both games will start at 2:30 p.m.

Santa Barbara hosts Oxnard Monday before playing at Ventura Tuesday and hosting the Pirates Thursday. Moorpark heads to Oxnard Tuesday before hosting the Condors on Thursday.