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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Oxnard Pushes Over Two Runs, Pulls Out Victory

College baseball: Despite power outage, Condors tie Cuesta for first place with 2-1 victory.

March 23, 2001|JOHN KLIMA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

OXNARD — Without a high-powered offense, Oxnard College has emerged as a contender in the Western State Conference baseball race with pitching, defense and a fearless nature.

Just ask Cuesta.

Durell Price hit two run-scoring singles and Patrick Dunn allowed one run in seven innings to lead the Condors to a 2-1 victory over the Cougars in a WSC Northern Division game Thursday at Oxnard College.

The Condors (14-8, 8-2 in conference play) moved into a first-place tie with Cuesta (16-5, 8-2).

Dunn (4-2) has emerged as Oxnard's ace. He threw only 96 pitches--60 for strikes--and pitched out of a seventh-inning jam after Cuesta put the tying run on third base with one out.

Oxnard won without its top power hitter. Paul McAnulty broke a bone in his hand Saturday and is expected to miss six weeks.

It didn't faze Dunn or the Condors.

"[Dunn] is fearless," Oxnard catcher Jared Krehbiel said. "He's like the rest of our guys. People look down on us because we're from Oxnard, then we beat them."

Dunn didn't walk a batter and struck out five. He struck out Garrett Micheals and got Ryan Mathes to fly out to end the seventh.

"[Dunn] will throw it where you put it," Oxnard Coach Jon Larson said. "He had [Cuesta] swinging early in the count. That plays to our strengths--pitching and defense."

Aaron Rodriguez struck out four in two innings to earn a save. The left-hander struck out the last two batters with the tying run on second base in the ninth inning.

Oxnard pitchers didn't walk a batter and its defense made only one error.

Price, a former fullback for UCLA who played at Sylmar High, has struggled to hit off-speed pitches, but both his run-scoring hits came on two-out, two-strike breaking balls.

His single in the sixth inning scored Jason Austin and gave the Condors a 2-1 lead.

Oxnard is off to its best start since its 1996 WSC title club.

"Our guys aren't tight," Larson said. "They just play the game. That's why we're winning."

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