Former Nipomo baseball player Samm Spears is now his alma mater's second-year baseball coach, and he has his senior-less team in the thick of the Los Padres League race.
The Titans (9-9, 7-4) moved a half game behind third-place Santa Ynez (11-3, 7-3) with a convincing 9-3 win at Nipomo Tuesday.
Templeton and Lompoc entered the day tied for first place in the LPL at 8-2 in league games.
Ricky Iniguez drove in three runs, and Brayden Groshart, Chad Shusterich and pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez all knocked in two as the Titans out-hit the Pirates 9-4.
Iniguez and Groshart both had two hits. Groshart and Shusterich both scored.
Rodriguez pitched a complete game as Nipomo got its resumption of its league campaign off to a good start after making it to the semifinals of its own tournament last week.
The Titans took the opener of their three-game series with the Pirates. The teams will play each other Wednesday and Friday. Both games are slated for 4 p.m. starts at Santa Ynez.
St. Joseph 461, Pioneer Valley 668
Caleb Rodriguez, with an 87, was the medalist as the Knights (4-5) defeated the Panthers in a PAC 8 League match at Santa Maria Country Club.
Henry Adam (90), Ryan Righetti (92), and Grant Sena and Daniel Rice (both 96) followed Rodriguez for the Knights.
Jose Torres led the Panthers with a 124. Gerson Duran (128), Jorge Flores (138), Jose Uribe (139) and Kevin Villscnoo (139) followed for the Panthers.
Orcutt Academy 6, Santa Maria 5
The Spartans (9-7, 3-2) rallied for a Los Padres League win over the Saints on Orcutt Academy's home diamond at Lakeview Junior High School.
Down 5-3, the Spartans scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Winning pitcher Shelby Mohler tied the game with a two-run double, and Daisy Esparza drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly.
Mohler had two hits and a walk in her three plate appearances. Cielo Ruvalcaba had two hits, including an RBI triple, for Orcutt.
Santa Ynez 5, Nipomo 0
Sophomore Armani Garcia pitched a two-hit complete game, and the Pirates moved to 5-2-2, 3-1 with a Los Padres League win at Nipomo (5-9, 1-3).
Molli Kadlec, the No. 9 hitter in the Santa Ynez lineup, hit a solo home run in the fourth inning. Nicole Atiles had a double and an RBI for the Pirates.
Santa Ynez freshman Amaris Cabrera, playing in her first complete high school game, reached base three times and stretched hit into a double. Garcia struck out 12 and walked just one.
Taylor Kaiser and Ahlijah Realin had the Nipomo hits, both singles, off Garcia.
Hancock 5, Cuesta 3
Hannah Diaz pitched a seven-hit complete game, and Nakaila Fuggs and Bailey Killough both had two hits and two RBIs as the Bulldogs moved to 17-10-1, 8-2 with a Western State Conference win over the Cougars at Hancock.
Zaiden Bakke went 2-for-3 with an RBI for Hancock.
Arroyo Grande 17, St. Joseph 1
Joey Kullman and Caleb Bristol swept their doubles sets 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 for the Eagles, who moved to 11-2, 9-1 by beating the Knights in a PAC 8 League match at Arroyo Grande.
Connor Angle swept his singles matches 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 for the Eagles.