For the second consecutive game, the Santa Barbara High baseball team relied on offense to overwhelm its opponent and secure a much-needed victory.
Second-place Santa Ynez visited Eddie Matthews field on Tuesday afternoon eager to draw even with Santa Barbara in the Channel League standings with a win, but the Dons mounted a late-inning rally to break open a tight game and claim a 15-7 victory.
“(Santa Ynez) is a good team. They’re a scrappy team and I was nervous about this game after the DP game,” said Santa Barbara Steve Schuck. “It’s natural to kind of let your breath out when you beat your nemesis.”
Santa Barbara defeated Dos Pueblos 13-7 on Friday and the offensive momentum rolled over into the game Against Santa Ynez. The Dons were patient at the plate and aggressive on the basepaths on their way to eleven stolen bases.
It was the first game of the season for Junior outfielder Moses Dokes, who transferred from Denver East High School and made his presence felt by going three-for-four at the plate, including a third inning double with three runs scored.
“I was trying to do whatever the team needed,” Dokes said. “I was just trying to do my things since it was my first game back. I didn’t want to put extra pressure on myself.”
A single by Nick Oakley brought home Dokes increasing the Santa Barbara lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
However, Santa Ynez scored three runs in the top of the 4th inning and evened the score at 7-7 in the top 5th inning on a three-run homer down the left field line by sophomore Logan Ast.
The game tying homerun seemed to wake up the Santa Barbara bats as Derek True delivered a bases loaded single to left field that brought home Dokes and Oakley to give Santa Barbara a 9-7 lead. The next batter, Nick Dallow doubled driving in Anthony Firestone and True, which increased the Santa Barbara lead to 11-7.
Jackson Hamilton closed the fifth inning scoring with a double off the left field fence that scored Dallow to put Santa Barbara in front 13-7.
“We respond really well. I challenge them to play one inning at a time. It’s seven little games,” Schuck said. “They don’t let the pressure get to them and they just keep it really simple.”
Bryce Warrecker came on in relief and pitched two scoreless innings to secure the victory. The Dons will travel to Santa Ynez for a rematch on Friday.