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Hancock baseball rolls to 14-4 win over College of the Canyons

Hancock baseball rolls to 14-4 win over College of the Canyons

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Hancock College's Jeff Ray hits against College of the Sequoias last week.

In its fourth game of the year, the Hancock baseball team played its most complete game of the year.

The Bulldogs had quality pitching, hitting and defense aplenty as they beat College of the Canyons 14-4 in a Western State Conference crossover game at John Osborne Field Saturday.

Hancock (2-2) has won two straight. College of the Canyons is 1-4. The Bulldogs play in the Western State Conference North Division. The Cougars play in the WSC East.

The Bulldogs racked up a total of 14 hits against a total of five Canyons pitchers.

“It was guys showing good discipline and waiting for their pitch to hit,” said Bulldog shortstop Travis Welker who had two of those Hancock hits.

“A lot of balls dropped in (for us). That was a blessing”

The Bulldogs scored in a lot of innings, six. They had a lot of guys with at least one hit, seven. They also had a lot of guys with at least one RBI, seven.

Hancock out-hit the Cougars 14-9. The Bulldogs had one error.

“It was pretty solid all the way around,” said Hancock coach Chris Stevens.

Three pitchers combined to hold the Cougars to five hits after the Bulldogs erased the 3-1 lead the Cougars had going into the bottom of the second thanks to an Alex Ballesteros sacrifice fly and a Brendan Vela double in the top of the inning.

Welker tied the game with a two-run single in the bottom of the inning and Jeff Ray gave the Bulldogs their first lead with the first of his two RBI sacrifice flies.

The Bulldogs stayed ahead.

RJ Clayton doubled twice and drove in three runs for Hancock. Kadin Byrne had two hits, including a double, and drove in two runs.

Trevor Garcia, Hancock’s second pitcher, worked a solid five innings. He gave up one run and four hits, walked two and hit a batter.

Beni Gonzales, Hancock’s third pitcher, got out of the eighth unscathed after the Cougars had the bases loaded and no outs and Byrne, the starting left fielder, worked a 1-2-3 ninth.

Byrne, a freshman, was the quarterback for the Arroyo Grande football team. He was mainly a running quarterback, but he displayed a quarterback’s arm on the mound. Byrne fired a lot of fastballs.

“No we’re not and we may not be for the rest of the year,” Stevens said with a chuckle when he was asked whether or not his group was closing in on a set starting pitching rotation.

“We’ve told our pitchers that they might be a starter, they might be a reliever at any time this year. We’re going to use every pitcher we can.”

Hancock will play at Canyons at 2 p.m. Thursday.

The flag at the Hancock baseball-softball complex remained at half-staff in honor of the helicopter crash in Calabasas last Sunday that killed nine people, including former Los Angeles Laker great Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna; former long-time Orange Coast College John Altobelli, his wife Alyssa and daughter Keri; mother and daughter Sarah and Payton Chester; Christina Mauser; and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Women’s basketball

Hancock 74, Ventura 64

The Bulldogs (12-11, 2-1) scored a convincing win over a traditional powerhouse (16-6, 2-2) in the first half of a women’s-men’s basketball doubleheader at Hancock’s Joe White Memorial Gymnasium.

“This is the first time a Hancock women’s basketball team over Ventura in at least 20 years,” Hancock athletic director Kim Ensing said afterward.

The Bulldogs got the job done with six players, not all of them 100 percent physically.

Aryana Gonzales played all 40 minutes and scored 28 points despite still being plagued by the right ankle she sprained in a win the prior Saturday.

“It still hurts,” she said afterward Saturday. “I got it re-taped at halftime.”

“Jayci Bayne sprained her ankle and had to sit a good part of the first part of the second half,” said Hancock coach Cary Nerelli.

“Alijah Paquet got a cramp and had to come out for a time. Kelsie Prado came in both times and held her own.”

The Bulldogs won by out-scoring the Pirates 23-10 at the free throw line. Byrne made 10 of her 12 foul shots and Gonzales sank 10 of her 16.

Paquet sank seven of her 14 shots from the field. She scored 17 points. Bayne scored 14 points and Milan McGary had 12.

Madison Kast led Ventura with 18 points. Talia Taufaasau had 16 and Cece Quintino put in 11.

Men’s basketball

Hancock 85, Moorpark 78

The Bulldogs (18-5, 5-2) reversed things on the Raiders (12-11, 4-3) in the second half of a basketball doubleheader Saturday and won their fifth straight.

Earlier in the season, Moorpark beat Hancock 75-66 in a Western State Conference North Division opener at Moorpark on Wednesday, Jan. 8.

The teams started their respective second halfs of league play Saturday.

Grant Johnson led the Bulldogs with a game high 20 points. Kyle Harding had 19, and Will Silmon and Xavier Cooper put in 10 each. Bryce Craver led the Bulldogs in rebounds with eight.

Hancock overcame balanced Moorpark scoring. Tim Andreolli scored 18 points and led five Raiders in double figures.

Boys basketball (Friday night)

Nipomo 63, Santa Maria 53

Despite scoring just two points in the fourth quarter, the Titans (8-2) moved into first place in the Ocean League by half a game, as they won and Morro Bay lost at Pioneer Valley Friday night.



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Sports Reporter

Kenny Cress, sportswriter for the Santa Maria Times since September of 2000. BA in political science from Cal Poly Pomona. BA in journalism from Cal State Northridge.

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