It was a good, old fashioned Los Padres League baseball battle Tuesday between the Santa Ynez Pirates (11-8-1, 4-6 Channel League) and Cabrillo Conquistadores (6-12, 4-8) at Cabrillo High’s Don McIntyre Field.
Of course, the LPL is no more.
This time, the Pirates and Conqs were battling for position, trying to get closer to the fourth and final CIF Southern Section playoff spot out of the Channel League.
The Conqs came back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in eight innings on Senior Day at McIntyre Field where the teams had to battle each other and a howling wind.
“Both teams played really well, both teams pitched really well, both teams competed at the plate — especially with these conditions,” said Cabrillo head coach Jonathan Osborne. “I’m happy we were able to hang in there.”
Cabrillo's Matthew Gonzales gets caught in a rundown as Santa Ynez' Victor Heredia tosses the ball to Cole Knightley (not shown) in the first …
With two men on and one out in the bottom of the eighth, Cabrillo senior shortstop Mason Townes came through with a no-doubt, walk-off double off the right field fence to complete the scrappy comeback.
The starting pitchers — Cabrillo senior Matthew Gonzales and Santa Ynez junior Tyler Rasmussen – matched each other, both tossing four-hitters while giving up three runs.
Gonzales went six innings, walking two and striking out five while Rasmussen went seven, with two walks and eight strikeouts.
Cabrillo sophomore reliever Luke Kovach pitched two scoreless innings, getting himself in and out of trouble in the top of the eight, to get the win.
Santa Ynez’s senior Justin Koslosky came on in the eighth. He gave up only one hit – Townes’ game-winner.
Cabrillo's Luke Kovach gets the pickoff throw, but Santa Ynez' Dante Berouty gets back to first base safely during Tuesday's Channel League ba…
Santa Ynez picked up a run in the second inning.
With two outs, senior Dante Berouty got aboard on an error and then stole second.
After a walk to senior Ben Perez, sophomore Logan Ast belted a run-scoring single to center field, plating Berouty.
With freshman Victor Heredia at the plate, Ast tried to steal second base but was caught in a rundown to end the inning.
The Pirates made it 3-0 in the third after Heredia led off with a single to center and then, after junior Mason Young’s sacrifice bunt moved Heredia to second, senior Cole Knightley launched a rocket shot over the center field wall for a two-run home run,
Cabrillo got those two runs back in the bottom of the fourth.
Gonzales led off with a double down the third base line for the Conqs’ first hit.
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With two outs, sophomore Hunter Barthel walked.
Gonzales scored on junior Victor Canchola’s single and, after an error on the throw, Barthel came home with Cabrillo’s second run.
Santa Ynez' Cole Knightley hits a two-run home run against in the third inning of an April 9 game at Cabrillo. On Wednesday, Knightley signed …
The Conqs tied the game in their half of the fifth.
With two outs, senior Cesar Frausto got aboard on an error and kept going to second base on a second throwing error.
Senior Patrick Garcia had an RBI single to center, scoring Frausto with the tying run.
The Pirates had a shot at scoring in the top of the eighth.
With two outs, Rasmussen walked, senior Casey Hickman singled to center and Berouty walked, loading the bases.
Ben Perez then launched a high fly ball that Cabrillo senior centerfielder Blake Beecher started to track. But the wind, it was brutal all day, got involved, pushing the ball away from Beecher and toward Barthel who finally found the ball in the brilliant sun and made the catch on his knees in deep right field.
“The wind made it really hard out there today, especially in the outfield. Add in the sun, it made it tremendously difficult for any athlete out there today,” said Osborne. “I’m really proud of the way my team played. We chipped away at their lead and, after the third inning, Matthew and Luke held them scoreless the rest of the way. It was a great, great day, especially on Senior Day at the ballpark.”
In the bottom of the eight, Frausto was hit by a pitch leading off.
After Frausto stole second, Gonzales was intentionally walked, setting the stage for Townes’ game winning shot.
Santa Ynez 5, Cabrillo 1
Santa Ynez junior Armani Garcia struck out a career-best 20 Cabrillo batters in the Pirates' victory at Santa Ynez High.
“It was amazing. She was untouchable today,” said Santa Ynez head coach Benny Garcia. “She only gave up one hit — a triple — and the only putout was when third baseman Yesenia Vega charged a bunt and threw the girl out at first.”
Garcia’s previous best was 17 strikeouts.
The Channel League-leading Pirates (9-0-1) broke through for two runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth.
The Conqs (1-6) scored their only run in the top of the sixth but the Pirates got the run back in the bottom of the inning.
For Santa Ynez, Molli Kadlec had three hits and Michaela Baker and Garcia had two apiece.
The teams meet again Friday at Cabrillo.