BARSTOW • The Barstow Community College baseball team added three games to the win column this week, sweeping a series against Cerro Coso. The latest victory was on Saturday, when the Vikings hosted the Coyotes and dealt them a rousing, 14-6, loss.
The previous win, on the road on Thursday, was also a big one at 13-5. This one was largely the result of a seventh inning in which the Vikings sent 15 batters to the plate and scored 11 runs.
Up to that point, the Coyotes had both the lead and the momentum. Starting pitcher Chad Scott gave up three early runs, but seemed to be getting stronger as the game progressed. He gave up no runs after the third, and through the middle innings retired nine straight batters on a mix of pop flies and routine grounders.
It was basically what Vikings head coach Nate Lambdin was expecting. He knew his team would face Scott on Saturday, and while doing his homework, found that the pitcher left with a lead against San Bernardino, which is currently in first place in the Foothill Conference, and beat Rio Hondo. He knew what he was up against and knew how he wanted to handle it.
"We knew it would be a dogfight against him and that we'd have to get to the bullpen," said the BCC coach. "We think their bullpen is suspect, and Scott is the guy we'd have to get out of the game, and we succeeded."
After threatening in the first inning, BCC got on the board in the second. It was a two-out rally, as Alex Pollard hit a lead-off single, followed by a strikeout and fly to center. With two away, Michael Martinez kept the inning alive with a shot up the middle, and Gabriel Soto followed by ripping the ball to left, for a two-RBI double.
There was another run in the third, as James Carraway singled, stole second, and scored on an error.
Mark Marinch started for the Vikings and held the Coyotes scoreless through the first five innings. He gave up a few scattered singles and runners got to third base twice, but Coso couldn't get them home. There was also some nice defense. The first two outs of the third came as catcher Jayson Henderson threw out a runner at second, and first baseman Pollard dove to snag a hard grounder that was headed for right field, getting the runner out by a step.
The Coyotes took the lead with four runs in the sixth. Austin Hampton had the big blast, a two-run homer to left. Coso tacked on another in the seventh, though it was a 6-4-3 double play that scored the run, Martinez to Marcos Sanchez to Pollard.
The Vikings trailed, 5-3, going into the bottom of the seventh. Martinez led off the frame with a single to right, and Gabriel Soto walked. At that point, Coso made a pitching change.
"When they went to the bullpen, it was as if our guys smelled blood," said Lambdin. "Each batter approached the plate with confidence. To put up an 11-spot was just phenomenal."
Peter Lelich was the next batter, and he was hit by the first pitch. James Carraway followed with a sacrifice fly for the first out. There would be eight more batters before the next out. Coso's Daulton Freeman was having trouble with his control, as he went on to plunk two more batters and walk another. There was also a bases-loaded, three-RBI double by Kris Soto, an RBI triple by Gabriel Soto, and a run-scoring double by Lelich. When it was over, there were eleven runs on five hits.
Marinch pitched six-plus innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out three. Santino Bejarano came on in relief and got the win, tossing three innings of two-hit, one-run ball, walking one and fanning one. Scott (6+ip, 5r, 6h, 2bb, 6k) got a no-decision.
The loss drops the Coyotes to 3-19, 2-10, while the Vikings improve to 16-7, 10-5.
"This was a big win for us. We swept them, and won another series. We've won every series except San Jacinto," said Lambdin. "We'll be right in it if we can win our next series."
The Vikings will be at Porterville on Tuesday, before hosting Compton on Friday and Porterville on Saturday.