BARSTOW • It's still early in the season, but the Barstow Community College baseball team continues to show its fast start was no fluke.
The Vikings have improved their record to 9-2 with a win in their latest game. On Saturday, BCC hosted Victor Valley and again combined a hot offense with dominating pitching in a 14-5 victory over the Rams.
With the win, the Vikings are virtually even with Rio Hondo atop the Foothill Conference standings. Rio has one game in hand, with a 10-2 overall record, with both teams currently 3-0 in league play.
Head coach Nate Lambdin is expectedly happy with how his squad has come so quickly out of the gate this year.
"We continue to build on our offensive philosophy of looking early in the count for a fastball in the zone and put it in play," he said. "We combined for 35 runs on 52 hits this week. I couldn't be more pleased with our offensive production."
That offense got going right away, with two first-inning runs. Michael McNicholl singled, and James Carraway brought him around with a two-run homer. It was just the beginning of another heavy-hitting day for Carraway who went 5-for-6 with a home run, double, four runs scored and four RBI.
"Carraway was exceptional at the plate," said coach Lambdin. "He steps into the batter's box with confidence and a true belief that he is going to be successful. Five-for-six -- you can't be much more successful than that."
The Rams scored twice in the top of the second, leaving the game tied for an inning. In the bottom of the third, however, Barstow scored three times, and just kept building on the lead. Jayson Henderson smacked a two-RBI single and Alex Pollard also drove in a run. In the fourth, Carraway hit an RBI double and another run scored on Valley's only error of the game.
There was a single run in the fifth, as Pollard homered, then the Vikings put the game out of reach with three runs in each of the sixth and seventh. Sanchez, Kris Soto, Carraway and Pollard hit run-scoring singles, and Peter Lelich had a sacrifice fly.
Pollard and Carraway both had four RBI, while Sanchez and Henderson each drove in a pair. As a team, the Vikings collected 20 hits. Barstow currently leads the state in home runs, with seven, and triples, with 11.
The Vikings were just as dominant on the mound. Mark Marinch picked up the win, his second of the season. He gave up four runs in seven innings pitched, two earned, on six hits, walking just one and striking out nine. Marinch was relieved by Joshua Hendley (1ip, 1r, 1h, 0bb, 2k) and Kris Soto (1ip, 0r, 0h, 0bb, 2k).
"Mark has had three consecutive outstanding starts," said Lambdin. "He spotted the ball well and got ahead of hitters."
Richard Galan had two hits and two RBI for the Rams. Dylan Black took the loss, surrendering 10 earned runs on 14 hits over 5.1 innings.
The Vikings are at Antelope Valley today, and will host the Marauder on Thursday for a 2 p.m. start.