2012 Season Wrap-up
By Dave Loveton, sports information
Monday, May 21, 2012
Vaqueros claim second straight WSC crown
They open Regional with epic 16-inning win
With a lineup filled with new players and a new head coach, SBCC got hot down the stretch and won its last five games to earn its second straight WSC North baseball title.
The Vaqueros went 20-19 overall and 12-8 in conference, sharing first place with Cuesta and Moorpark. The last five games were must-win games to make the Southern Cal Regional.
SBCC played in the Regional in back-to-back years for the first time in school history. They opened with a dramatic 6-5 win over Canyons in a 16-inning affair capped by Mark Jebbia's walk-off single.
Left-hander Rich McCaffrey pitched 8 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, giving up just four singles and striking out 11.
"Our guys battled through some adversity and we grinded out some tough games," said first-year coach Jeff Walker. "We had our backs to the wall and we overcame. We did a great job of sticking with the process, living in the moment and we just took it game-to-game."
In the best-of-3 Regional series, the 15th-seeded Vaqueros went to No. 2 Rio Hondo and dropped two games, 4-3 and 12-1. The Roadrunners went on to finish second in the state.
Steven Reveles, a freshman shortstop from Dos Pueblos High, led the Vaqueros in hitting (.340) and shared the RBI lead with Brandon Laubhan at 30. He was first-team all-WSC along with first baseman Joey Epperson (.327 avg., 28 RBIs, 21 steals), outfielders Zach Zehner (.312 avg., 3 HRs) and Eli Michaels, starting pitcher Danny Nieves and reliever Lucas Benenati (3-1, 5 saves).
Brendon Shoemake (7-5, 3.29 ERA) was the No. 1 starter all year. He struck out 10 in one game and pitched a 5-hitter on April 26 in a 7-2 win over Oxnard.
"Our guys battled through some adversity and we grinded out some tough games," said Walker, who was the WSC North Coach of the Year. "We had our backs to the wall and we overcame. We did a great job of sticking with the process, living in the moment and we just took it game-to-game."
Reveles earned three Player of the Week honors -- from the Southern Cal Baseball Coaches Association, the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table and the WSC -- after going 7-15 (.467) with six RBIs in the week of April 16-22. Brendon Shoemake was the No. 1 pitcher all year and he struck out 12 on Feb. 19.
"We battled all year to the last strike and last out," said Walker. "The sophomores set a high standard in their two years here. We have a lot of good guys coming back and good guys coming in.
"I think we'll be able to defend our WSC title and go farther in the playoffs next year."
WSC North Division
WSC GB Season
*Cuesta 12-8 -- 23-15
*SBCC 12-8 -- 20-19
Moorpark 12-8 -- 18-18
Hancock 9-11 3 14-22
Ventura 8-12 4 19-17
Oxnard 7-13 5 15-21
* Qualified for So Cal Regional