Lompoc High baseball may have entered Don McIntyre Field with a 2-5 overall record, but the Braves arrived with a 2-0 record in games that saw them score five or more runs.
They reached seven against Cabrillo.
That amount of scoring led to the 7-0 shutout over the Conquistadores on Friday, elevating the Braves’ record to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the Channel League.
And Lompoc had been itching to get back into the swing of offensive momentum, plus reestablish its batting prowess. The Braves also threw their top pitching option on the hill to claim the win.
“We haven’t scored many runs in the last three games,” said Braves head coach Brian Aguailar. “We knew we had our ace on the mound (Oscar Rojas). He wanted the ball and we all just followed him.”
Lompoc was on a current three-game losing streak. The Braves fell 9-0 in their last game against Dos Pueblos on Monday, which saw DP score seven runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Lompoc turned the top of the fifth inning into its run party.
Ryan Morgan, who smashed three hits on the day, started things off with his single to left. An overthrow at second brought Morgan to third base. Morgan then avoided the potential out by out-running three Conquistadores in his sprint to third.
Then with the bases loaded, Rojas came on to chip a ball to right-center, luring Morgan home to make it 3-0. Isaiah Hernandez arrived next to send two of his Brave teammates home – driving in two more runners to make it 5-0 off of his single.
Aguailar and the Braves have dealt with the dilemma of not practicing their swings enough due to the recent barrage of rain that’s hit the Central Coast, forcing LHS to cancel practice. But on Friday, his Braves team showed poise and focus in attacking Cabrillo.
“We haven’t had a lot of at-bats or a lot of preseason games. We haven’t had a lot of practices on our field due to the rain,” Aguailar said. “We also have faced a lot of good arms (at pitcher).”
He cited the top pitchers on Santa Barbara, San Marcos and Dos Pueblos as hill obstacles the Braves have faced this season – all helping culminate in their early season struggles with getting timely hits and adding to the run sheet.
They went against top CHS ace pitcher Matt Gonzalez – and still managed to get the baseball to fly or bounce past the infield dirt.
“Today was a good step in the right direction,” Aguailar said.
Before taking on the Braves, the Conquistadores lost their last game 11-1 on March 1 against Santa Ynez. And much like the Braves, the Conqs (1-5 overall, 1-3 in the C.L) have had similar at-bat struggles. The Conqs entered their home scoring no more than one run in their four losses.
Friday became the Conqs’ second time they’ve been held without a run this season. Lopez managed to squeeze two hits in against Rojas, who pitched a complete game.
Head coach Jon Osborne says that he’s dealt with a youthful roster this season plus a team that’s still trying to gain its footing on defense.
“The games that we’ve struggled in were games where we didn’t play well defensively,” Osborne pointed out. “And we didn’t play well in this game defensively. They (Lompoc) did a few more things offensively and put a lot more pressure on us than we were able to do for them. They played a really good game today.”
Cabrillo will play a rain makeup contest against Santa Barbara at Don McIntyre Field on Saturday at noon. Lompoc travels to Santa Ynez on Tuesday for a 3:30 p.m. game.
Lompoc 5, Cabrillo 4 (nine innings)
The Braves first jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning before the Conquistadores showed some resiliency in this Channel League contest that stretched past seven innings at LHS.
Lompoc and Cabrillo got involved in an extra inning battle in its last meeting back in May 2018 at LHS, with the Braves holding on for the 5-4 victory there in eight innings.
No stats were made available.
Cabrillo grad Townes and New Mexico pick up two wins in one day
Sydney Townes and the University of New Mexico softball team started the Loyola Marymount Tournament by collecting two victories in Los Angeles on Friday.
Townes finished with one hit and one run in the 6-5 victory over Oregon State in the Lobos’ first contest; a game where the Lobos scored six runs in the final two innings including a five-run rally during the bottom of the seventh at Smith Field.
Then in the second contest, the Lobos put the game away against Western Carolina by tacking on seven runs in the fourth inning to seal the 10-0 rout – which was a game that was called off in five innings.
Townes, a Class of 2015 graduate of Cabrillo who spent two seasons at Santa Barbara City College before transferring, will face the Beavers again with the rest of her Lobos teammates on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the same tournament.