The respective seasons for the Hancock College baseball and softball teams ended in the first round of California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regionals Saturday.
No. 15 Southwestern blunted a rally and beat No. 10 Hancock 6-4 at Hancock's John Osborne Field to complete a 2-0 sweep in the teams' best-of-three baseball regional.
No. 1 Palomar beat No. 16 Hancock 8-1 at San Marcos-based Palomar in the softball regional. The Comets won that best-of-three series 2-0 as well.
Southwestern 6, Hancock 4
The Chula Vista-based Jaguars (24-17) were the designated home team for this one. Aiden Perez hit a grand slam over the left field fence off Bulldogs starter Cooper Bagby in the bottom of the first inning, and the Jaguars never looked back.
Down 5-0 in the top of the fourth, Hancock pulled within 5-3 on an RBI single by Tommy Kendlinger and a two-run double down the left field line by Jeremy Camarena. However, Southwestern starter Andy Canedo held the Bulldogs to one run, an RBI single by Kendlinger through the right side in the eighth, during the rest of his stint, which lasted 7.2 innings.
Heath Miller got the third out in the eighth without Hancock scoring again, and Southwestern closer Glen Huggins worked a perfect ninth.
Bagby, a freshman who graduated from Righetti, was solid for the Bulldogs this year, but the Jaguars scored five runs, all earned, against Bagby in 1.1 innings Saturday. Benji Solano scored on an Aaron Garcia sacrifice fly in the second.
Christian Djikman pitched the rest of the way for the Bulldogs and kept the home team close, allowing just one run, on an Adrian Hinojosa RBI single in the fourth, on seven hits.
Hancock (27-15) finished just a game out of first place in the Western State Conference North Division but finished the season with three straight losses. Southwestern (24-17) will either play at No. 3 Riverside City College or host No. 22 Grossmont in the regional quarterfinals.
After Palomar's India Caldwell pitched a perfect game against Hancock Friday in a 10-0 win for the host team in a game that was called after the top of the fifth inning because of the 10-run rule, the Bulldogs grabbed a brief 1-0 lead against the Comets in the bottom of the first Saturday.
Sign up to receive headlines in your inbox!
Breaking News | Local Sports | Daily Headlines | Local Obituaries | Weather | Local Offers
Hancock was the designated home team in that one, and Delayna Quezada singled home Abigail Salazar with the first run of the game.
The Comets tied the game in the top of the second then went ahead with two unearned runs in the top of the third on an error by Bulldogs third baseman Mya Mendoza on a sacrifice bunt.
Palomar pulled away with a run in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth against Quezada (7-4), Hancock's starting pitcher. Danica Black came on in relief for the Bulldogs with one out in the fifth and gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits.
Comets starter Gigi Clavel (13-0) pitched a complete game and scattered four hits.
Palomar, 38-1, will host either No. 8 Santiago Canyon or No. 9 Antelope Valley in the second round of the regional. Hancock finished 23-16 and wound up second, behind Ventura, in the WSC North during the regular season.
Hancock's Emma Marsalek racked up three top-five finishes, including second place in the 1,650 freestyle, in three events in the women's competition, and Bulldogs Max Pecile garnered a third-place finish and two sixths in his three events in the men's meet.
The CCCAA Championships took place last Thursday through Saturday at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park.
Marsalek finished in 18 minutes, 12.12 seconds in the 1,650. She placed fourth, in 4:16.86, in the 500 freestyle and fifth, in 4:46.86, in the 400 individual medley.
Pecile, a three-time champion at the WSC Championships, finished third in 4:01.50 in the 400 IM at the CCCAA Championships. Pecile's sixth-place finishes came in the 200 IM (1:53.00) and the 200 backstroke (1:52.82).
The Bulldogs scored points in several other events in the men's and women's Championships. Jarred Torres placed in the top 16 twice in the men's competition, finishing 11th in the 1,650 free and 16th in the 500 free.
Asa Marsalek and Ryan LaCaste both had a 14th-place finish, in the 1,650 freestyle and 400 IM respectively. The Hancock men's 800 freestyle relay finished ninth, the 400 medley relay team finished 11th and the 200 medley relay team finished 14th.
Jada Brown placed ninth in two open women's events, the 100 butterfly and the 200 fly.
Kenny Cress is a sports reporter for the Santa Maria Times, covering local sports in northern Santa Barbara County. You can send information or story ideas to him by emailing it to KCress@SantaMariaTimes.com.