BARSTOW • The Barstow Community College baseball team has not only been winning this season, it's also been playing pretty quick, clean games that have been over in about two hours.
That is, until now.
The Vikings hosted Mt. San Jacinto on Tuesday in what turned out to be a three-plus hour marathon. All that time was required to fit in 37 runs, 38 hits and eight pitchers, as the Eagles won, 21-16, at BCC.
The Eagles got going right away, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning, and the hits and runs just mounted up from there. Though they kept falling behind, the Vikings came back to tie the score or pull ahead three times, only to give up eight runs in the seventh to effectively seal their fate.
"In the 20-plus years I've been coaching baseball, I've never seen a game quite like that," said Barstow head coach Nate Lambdin when it was finally over. "It was two very offensive clubs going at it, and the result was this 30-plus run game. Amazing."
The match featured 19 extra-base hits, including nine home runs. Four of the dingers were hit by the Vikings, the first of which came in the first inning. After the Eagles picked up three runs in the top half, Barstow got one back in the bottom, as Michael McNicholl hit a solo shot. The Eagles scored once in the second to pull ahead, 4-1, but Gabriel Soto went deep to lead off the third, cutting the deficit to two.
The Vikings took the lead briefly, with three runs in the fourth. Kris Soto cleared the fence in right for a two-run homer, and Alex Pollard reached and scored on errors.
The see-saw kept going, as Jacinto came back with a four-run fifth. The big hit came from Dom des Vigne, whose bases-loaded double was good for three RBI. The bags were juiced on a single, walk and error.
"The most disappointing thing is when we were able to get even or ahead, we failed to close the door," said coach Lambdin.
That set up the next comeback, as Barstow tied it at 8-8 in the bottom of the fifth. James Carraway doubled, Josh Gray hit an RBI single, and Michael Martinez brought two in with a single.
In the next frame, it was 9-9, as each team got a run in the sixth. It was the seventh that put the Eagles over the top, as they belted out nine hits and scored eight times. Vince Canales homered, Manny Mendoza and Kyle Mead tripled, and Johnny Armenta and Steven Salazar doubled as 13 batters came to the plate.
"You really can't expect to give up eight runs in the seventh inning and even be in the game, but the funny thing is, I knew it wasn't over," said Lambdin. "After all that had happened, I knew we'd still make it a game."
And sure enough, BCC wasn't done scoring. They scored five times in the eighth, capped off by a grand slam from Pollard. McNicholl led off with a single and scored on a wild pitch.
The Eagles got two back in the top of the ninth, leaving the Vikings seven runs behind. They scratched out two more on Carraway's sac ground out and Robert Loerwald's RBI single, but came up short.
"You get 14 hits and score 16 runs, you should be able to win," said coach Lambdin. "We'll just have to learn from this, try to improve upon what we did today, and do our best on the road on Thursday."
The Vikings (11-4) play at Mt. San Jacinto Thursday, and will host the Eagles on Saturday for a 12 noon start.