Sophomore Reed Odland collected three hits and hit a home run for the second-straight game, but the Allan Hancock College baseball team dropped a 5-1 decision to Cuesta College in a Western State Conference battle on Friday. Hancock dropped its fourth-straight game to drop to 6-6 in conference play and 14-14 overall. The Cougars improved to 8-4 in conference to stay atop the standings with Ventura. Cuesta is 17-9 on the season.
The Cougars took the lead for good in the bottom of the first inning against Hancock starting pitcher Dylan Kelly. Mason Grotto hit a two-out double and scored on a RBI-single off the bat of Aidan Nagle. The Cuesta first baseman hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning to provide a cushion and a 5-1 Cuesta lead. Nagle finished the day with four hits and four runs batted in. Grotto went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Thomas Green went 3-for-4, including a RBI-triple in the fourth inning that gave Cuesta a 2-0 advantage.
Odland went deep in the fifth inning, his third home run of the season, to cut the deficit to 2-1, but the Bulldogs could not get any closer. He had three of the Bulldogs' five hits. Jeff Ray and Ismael Hernandez had one hit apiece for Hancock.
Kelly took the loss and dropped to 2-2 after giving up five runs, four earned, and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four. Hernandez threw 1 2/3 inning of scoreless relief for Hancock. The sophomore struck out two and scattered two hits.
Zach Torra earned the win for Cuesta against his former team. The Santa Ynez High School graduate struck out 12, issued four walks, one run and scattered four hits.
The Bulldogs will return to action on April 2 when they host Santa Barbara City College with first pitch set for 2:30 PM. The two teams split their first two conference meetings.