Hancock College's squad had several notable negative stats in a 12-5 loss to Cuesta College at Hancock Thursday in a game that was for first place in the Western State Conference North Division.
Bulldog pitchers combined to walk a season high 12 batters. Hancock batters struck out 15 times, tied for a season high. Three Hancock throwing errors led to seven unearned runs against Hancock pitchers. That also tied a season high.
Cuesta's first seven runs were unearned.
The Cougars moved to 16-9, 7-4. Cuesta, Ventura and Hancock were tied atop the WSC North standings going into this one.
The Bulldogs (14-13, 6-5) have dropped three straight after a four-game winning streak. Hancock coach Chris Stevens said afterward Thursday, that he believes his guys are simply pressing too much.
"Some of our guys are trying to be perfect in a game that was not geared to be perfect," he said.
"We're letting our defense affect our offense, and vice versa. You have to separate defense and offense, and we haven't been doing a good job of that lately."
Hancock starter Daxton Miller got through the second inning without giving up a run. He should have done the same in the first inning and the third, but a botched throw each time when the Bulldogs were trying to complete an inning-ending double play led to one unearned Cuesta run in the first inning and four more in the third.
"We made good pitching at some key times, and then didn't defense it properly," said Stevens.
The Bulldogs actually led for a brief time, 2-1 thanks to solo homers by Reed Odland and Zach Rudd in the second inning. Then Hancock second baseman Travis Welker, after taking the throw from third for the second out, threw the ball away when he was trying finish a double play in the third.
Gabe Barthelmas scored to tie the game then Broc Mortensen hit a bases-clearing double to put the Cougars ahead for good, 5-2. The hit was the only one for Mortensen in his five at-bats.
Other than the solo homers, the Bulldogs spent a of time striking out against Cuesta starter Braeden Gowdy. The sophomore right-hander struck out 11 in his seven innings of work.
Barthelmas did for the Cougars what a good lead-off hitter is supposed to do. He got on base a lot, five times in his six at-bats. Two of the five Barthelmas hits went for doubles. He scored four times.
Thomas Green had two hits for the Cougars, including a triple. Mortensen and Mason Grotto tied for the Cuesta RBIs lead with three.
Welker, with two, was the only Bulldog with multiple hits. One of those was an RBI double. Four Bulldogs had an RBI apiece.
The Bulldogs will not have to dwell on this one for long. They will play at Cuesta at 2:30 p.m. Friday in the series finale. Cuesta has won two of the first three games.
"Our guys just need to take a step back," in their approach, said Stevens.
Atascadero 5, Orcutt Academy 4
The short-handed Spartans (9-4, 7-3) had to forfeit the number three doubles match because they couldn't field a number three doubles team, and that cost Orcutt in this match at Atascadero for second place in the Ocean League.
The Greyhounds evened the score against the Spartans after Orcutt beat Atascadero in the first half of league play.
Mission Prep, which is unbeaten in Ocean League play, is in first place.
There were three three-set matches between Atascadero and Orcutt Academy Thursday, and the Greyhounds won them all.
Troy Fulton won his No. 2 singles match 6-1, 6-1 for the Spartans then teamed with Matthew Lopez for an 8-5 win at No. 1 doubles. Aidan Crowley won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3 singles and teamed with Kenyon Childs for an 8-1 win at No. 2 doubles.
Paso Robles girls 209, RIghetti 76
Righetti boys 182, Paso Robles 104
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Paso Robles won every girls event, and Righetti won every boys event in Mounain League action at Righetti.
Simon Goldin and Ean Weaver both won two open events and swam on a winning relay team for the Rigehtti boys. Goldin took the 200 freestyle in one minute, 54.53 seconds and the 50 freestyle in 24.00. Weaver won the 200 individual medley in 2:10.35 and the 100 freestyle in 52.41.
Weaver swam the third leg for the 200 freestyle relay team that won in 1:34.60. Goldin anchored the 400 freestyle relay squad that won in 3:32.24.
Holly DiSimone and Kendall Moffitt both went four-for-four for the Bearcat girls. DiSimone won the 200 individual medley in 2:19.17 and the 500 freestyle in 5:28.87, and swimming a leg for the winning 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay squads.
Moffitt took the 200 freestyle in 2:03.95, the 100 butterfly in 1:03.47, and swam a leg for the winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams.
Arroyo Grande 7, San Luis Obispo 2
These teams typically battled for first place when they played in the CIF Southern Section’s PAC 8 League. The Eagles (11-2, 6-0) swept the two-match series from the Tigers in a battle between the top teams in the Central Section’s inaugural Mountain League.
Thursday, the Eagles won five of the six singles matches at San Luis Obispo. The victorious Eagles’ singles players were Sam Ashbrook at No. 1, Michael Atherton at No. 2, Ethan Wolfe at No. 4, Gavin Silva at No. 5 and Connor Angle at No. 6.
Wolfe rallied for a 1-6, 6-4 (10-1) win in the lone singles match to go three sets.
Wednesday, the Eagles defeated Bakersfield Christian 8-1 in a non-league match.
St. Joseph 222, Paso Robles 229
Medalist Luke Adam shot an even par 35 over nine holes for the victorious Knights in this Mountain League match at Paso Robles.
Teammates Caleb Rodriguez (38), Ryan Cossa (46), Grayson Arnsdorf (49) and Chase Gamble (54).
Logan Burns led Paso Robles with a 44.
Orcutt Academy 239, Santa Maria 251
Medalist Robbie Birch led the Spartans to a win with a 39 over nine holes at Rancho Maria in this match between crosstown Santa Maria Valley rivals.
Teammates following Birch were Jose Barcelo (48), Micah Ravcher (49), Cesar Lopez (50) and DaHon Allen (53).
Sahir Sanchez led the Saints with a 47. Teammates following were Adrian Arredondo (48), Kobey Pabellan (49), Aaron Madrigal (52) and Dominick Martinez (55).
Morro Bay 3, Righetti 1
The Pirates defeated the Warriors (10-9, 0-3) 25-16, 25-17, 20-25, 25-20 in an Ocean League match at Morro Bay.
Tanner Scott and Andrew White led Righetti with 16 and 12 kills respectively.
Valley Christian Academy will host a dinner and auction at 5 p.m. Friday in the VCA gym. Proceeds will be designated to benefit the gymnasium lobby.
Price for the dinner is $10.