Sophomore Ismael Hernandez collected three hits and drove in a career-high four runs, and Chris Tani homered for the second game in a row to back a solid start from freshman Trevor Garcia as the Allan Hancock College baseball team defeated Oxnard 9-6 in Santa Maria on Tuesday afternoon in a Western State Conference contest. The Bulldogs evened their mark at home and in conference play at 8-8, as well as overall at 16-16. Oxnard, which dropped the season series 0-4 to the Bulldogs, fell to 5-11 in league and 12-18-1 on the year.
Hancock took control of the game with two runs in the bottom of the first. With one out, Travis Welker singled, Reed Odland walked, and Jake Shusterich singled to load the bases. Hernandez stepped up and delivered a two-run single to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.
Oxnard scored an unearned run in the second to cut the deficit in half. Hancock answered with a six-run second inning. Jeff Ray hit a run-scoring double to drive in Mike McLean, who hit a lead-off double. Welker singled home Ray to make it 4-1 Bulldogs. After Odland was hit by a pitch and Shusterich walked to load the bases, Hernandez delivered for the second-straight at-bat, ripping a double to drive in Welker and Odland to give Hancock a 6-1 lead. Zach Rudd followed with a two-run double of his own to cap the six-run outburst and give Hancock an 8-1 advantage. The six-run inning was the team's largest since scoring seven runs against San Diego Mesa on February 8.
The Bulldogs capped their scoring in the fifth when Tani pinch hit for Ryan Pearce. Tani drove the pitch over the fence for his second home run in as many games to put Hancock ahead 9-1.
Garcia earned the win with six solid innings. The freshman scattered seven hits and one unearned run. He walked one and struck out five. Daxton Miller and Nathan Alcantar each threw one inning of shutout relief. Oxnard rallied for seven hits and five runs against Alex Castellanos in the ninth. Freshman Slim Lopez came in from the bullpen to record the final out and seal the victory.
Offensively, Hancock finished with 11 hits and drew six walks. Hernandez went 3-for-4 with a career-high 4 RB1. Welker went 2-for-4 with a RBI and scored twice. Six other Bulldogs had one hit each, while Ray and Shusterich both walked twice. Rudd went 1-for-4 with 2 RBI.
Michael Jester took the loss for Oxnard, yielding eight hits and eight runs in two innings of work. Jason Gomez allowed one run in six innings of relief for the Condors.
Hancock hits the road Thursday, April 11, for a 2:30 PM conference battle at Moorpark. The Raiders scored six in the ninth, but fell 8-7 to first-place Ventura on Tuesday. Moorpark fell to 6-10 in league. Ventura moved two games ahead of Cuesta and Santa Barbara, who are tied for second at 9-7 after the Vaqueros edged the Cougars 4-2 on Tuesday.