Apr 24, 2013 12:00 AM by Bill Halter
With two games to play, Cuesta has locked up the Western State title after a 7-4 home win against Ventura. It was the Cougars ninth straight win and guaranteed them a second straight outright championship.
Freshman right-hander Evan Peterson made his first start of the season and hurled six strong innings before handing a 5-3 lead to reliever Alex Fagalde, who earned his second save of the season. Peterson was hit hard by the first two Pirates he faced with a lead off double by Jared Patterson and a RBI single by Austin Moscorro, but he settled down and struck out the next three batters to get out of the inning.
Second Baseman Marco Murillo got the run back for Patterson in the bottom of the first frame and the Cougars never trailed again. Murillo, who was 3-for-4 on the day, singled and advanced to second on a poor throw back to the pitcher. He then stole third base, when Andrew Montanari drew in the third baseman on a fake bunt, and tied the game on Montanari's ground out to second on the next pitch. The Cougars also received a two-run triple from shortstop Zack Domingues in the 5th inning and a pair of RBI's on first baseman Scott Shields' second double of the game.
Ventura is in third place, a game behind Santa Barbara in the WSC standings. Cuesta is 13-5 in the conference and 19-15 overall.
The title is the Cougars second straight and seventh in Head Coach Bob Miller's 11-years at the helm. The Cougars also clinched a home playoff series next Friday and Saturday. This season marks the 18th consecutive year that the Cougars have reached the post-season.
Cuesta plays at Oxnard on Thursday at 2:30, the Cougars host the Condors in the season finale on Friday at 2:30. They will host a first round playoff series on May 3-4.
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