Cabrillo tried to give itself a cushion in the league standings Friday. Orcutt Academy first baseman Trevor Arensdorf made sure the Conqs would not get one.
Cabrillo closer Benji Gonzales put his 2-2 pitch with two outs in the seventh high and on the outside part of the plate. "Just where I like it," said Arensdorf.
Arensdorf jumped all over it, driving the ball deep and over Cabrillo right fielder Tony Hernandez's head to drive in pinch runner Eddie Lundberg and Jacob Smith to give the Spartans a 6-5 Los Padres League win at Elks Field.
Had they won, the Conqs would have moved two games ahead of second-place Santa Ynez with six league games left. As it is, Cabrillo is 14-8 (11-4) and Orcutt Academy is 7-14 (5-10).
"I knew I had to look for a pitch to drive, and come through for my team," said Arensdorf. The sophomore spoke after his happy teammates gave him a Gatorade bath.
Orcutt Academy came into the game tied with Nipomo for last place, but the Spartans garnered their second win over the Conqs this year to take the teams' three-game series.
"We've been playing some good baseball lately," said Orcutt Academy coach Jim Rose. "It's always fun when you play Cabrillo."
The inning began with the teams tied 3-3. With one out and the bases loaded, Cabrillo first baseman Joseph Sousa hit a slow ground ball.
Ryver, the shortstop, charged it and threw to second base in time for the second out but Sousa, digging hard down the line, just beat the throw to first and Noah Randolph scored the go-ahead run.
With Gonzales at bat, a Brad Mason'fastball went way outside and off catcher Christian Allen's glove. Dylan Maiden scored from third on the play.
Randolph led off the inning with an infield single. Maiden, the next batter, singled to left before they both scored. Mason eventually struck out Gonzales for the third out.
Austin Ryver led off the bottom of the seventh with a double. That was one of the few conventional developments of the final frame.
Allen walked on four pitches after Ryver's double to left. Jerod Sutton put down a sacrifice bunt and Gonzales' only play was to first.
His throw went high and off Sousa's glove. Ryver scored easily but Allen, trying to score all the way from first, was out by plenty as Hernandez, backing up the play, quickly got the ball in to catcher Cameron Binnebose.
Sutton advanced to second as Isaiah Heath was hit by a pitch and to third as Smith drew a walk.
The Conqs got a fortunate bounce when Sutton tried to score on a wild pitch, but the ball caromed right to Binnebose, who threw to Gonzales just in time to get Sutton for the second out.
Then, with the Spartans a strike away from a wrenching loss, Arensdorf delivered.
"They didn't necessarily hit the ball hard a lot, but Orcutt Academy put the ball in play, and when a team puts the ball in play, good things can happen," a somber Cabrillo coach Jon Osborne said afterward.
Both teams had 11 hits. Mason pitched a complete game.
"He kept us in it," said Rose. "Brad pitched a great game." Cabrillo starter Izzy Hernandez went six innings.
The Spartans won partly because they made no errors and the Conquistadores made three. Orcutt went ahead 1-0 with an unearned run in the second. The rest of the runs in the game were earned.
Isaiah Heath finished with two RBIs. He singled home a run in the second and drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth to tie the game 3-3. Arensdorf, Allen, Sutton and Smith each had two hits for the Spartans. Allen singled in a run in the second.
Maiden, Randolph, Ryan Martinez and Izzy Hernandez each had two hits for Cabrillo.
Both teams will resume Los Padres League play at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Orcutt Academy will host Morro Bay at Elks Field. Cabrillo will play at Nipomo.
As for the game at Elks Friday, "Everyone who watched that game got a treat," said Rose.
Arroyo Grande 2, San Luis Obispo 1
Jake Shusterich threw a complete game for the Eagles, allowing just one earned run while striking out two batters.
Senior catcher Nash Ackerman singled in the winning run with two outs in the sixth inning in the game that started at 7 p.m. Friday night.
The Eagles won the series against SLO, 2-1, handing the Tigers their first two league losses. It was quite a wild series. AG won the opener 12-11, then SLO won Wednesday 10-3 before the Eagles won the low-scoring rubber match Friday.
Arroyo Grande is now 9-3 in league while the Tigers are 10-2.
St. Joseph 8, Mission Prep 3
After a 1-5 start in the PAC 8 League, the Knights are in the thick of the playoff race.
St. Joseph (6-12, 6-6) is in a third-place tie with Paso Robles after completing a three-game sweep of Mission Prep (2-10 PAC 8) at St. Joseph's Dave Brunell Field.
Fourth place at the end of the regular season would guarantee the Knights a playoff spot. St. Joseph and Paso Robles will face each other in a three-game series next week, with the opener at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph. Both teams have nine league games left.
Isaac Baez pitched a three-hit complete game for the Knights Friday. Dominic King had two hits and drove in three runs for the Knights. Dominic Partida and Jacob Camarena both had two hits for St. Joseph.
The Royals had six errors, the Knights had four.
Pioneer Valley 4, Righetti 0
The Panthers avoided a three-game sweep and kept themselves in position to play for third place in the PAC 8 League with a 4-0 win over Righetti.
Nate Alcantara was masterful in a complete game performance, allowing only two hits by the Warriors two days after Righetti scored 13 runs on the Panthers.
Pioneer Valley scored three runs in the third inning on an RBI single by Josh Navarro, a bases-loaded walk by Tony Rodriguez and a sac fly by Dalton Posousky.
Pioneer Valley added another run in the fourth inning.
Righetti 2, San Luis Obispo 0
The Warriors (6-1 PAC 8 League) stayed a game back of Atascadero with a win at home to open the second half of league play.
Her team had just four hits, but Righetti senior right-hander Katie Barbarick gave up just three herself. Jacqui Prober hit a two-run double for the Warriors in the second inning.
Crystal Gonzalez and Darien Duran both doubled for Righetti. Each team had three errors.
Cabrillo 22, Orcutt Academy 7
The Conqs' offense was relentless in a 22-7 win over Orcutt Academy, which keeps Cabrillo tied for second place with Templeton.
Cabrillo got 24 hits in the game and spread them throughout the lineup.
Mikayla Kerstner was 4-for-5 with a triple, four runs and three RBI. Jenna Daley had four RBI on three hits. Mallory Townsend drove in four runs on two -hits. Kaylee Smalling was 5-for-6 with a double.