A strong performance from starting pitcher Chase Hoover and timely hitting lifted the San Marcos High baseball team to a 9-1 road win over rival Dos Pueblos in a Channel League showdown on Friday afternoon.
The game shaped up to be a premiere pitching matchup as the junior TCU commit Hoover went head to head with Dos Pueblos’ sophomore Oregon State commit Ryan Speshyock. However, the Royals were able to break open the game with four runs in the top of the third inning and cruised to victory.
“That kid is really good. He is a tough pitcher and he’s going to keep doing it for the next few years,” said San Marcos coach Wesley Ghan Gibson of Speshyock. “We just stayed disciplined and got good pitches to hit. We were able to put some swings on the ball and put some things in play. I think good things happen when you stay aggressive like that.”
San Marcos catcher Joaquin Sandova went 2-for-3 with four runs batted in and opened the scoring in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly to right-center field that brought home Nathaniel Lynk. After a lined single to left field by Emmitt Speake put two runners on, senior UCSB commit Henry Manfredonia singled to left field to score Aiden Johnson and increase the San Marcos lead to 2-0.
It appeared Speshyock might work himself out of the inning without severe damage when he struck out Nicky Fell with a nasty breaking ball for the second out, but the next batter, Aidan Mandel, singled to left field driving in Manfredonia and Speake to put the Royals ahead 4-0.
“We had a bad inning and I think it shifted the momentum. We struggled a little bit to kind of get back on top from there,” said Dos Pueblos coach George Hedricks. “Any time you are playing one of the crosstown teams there’s always a little extra energy and a little extra adrenaline going and I think we let that affect us a little too much.”
Hoover knew exactly what to do with run support as he struck out the side in the bottom of the third inning after putting the leadoff hitter, Jordan Rico, on with a walk.
Sandoval continued his onslaught at the plate in the top of the fourth inning with a triple to the left-center field gap that brought home Johnson and increased the San Marcos lead to 5-0. Sandoval concluded his four RBI day with a single in the top of the sixth inning that scored Lynk and Johnson increasing the San Marcos lead to 7-1.
Dos Pueblos’ lone run of the game came in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Jackson Greaney that scored Kellan Montgomery.
Hoover allowed one run on two hits in 4 ⅔ innings on the mound with eight strikeouts. San Marcos improves to 10-2 overall and 4-1 in Channel League. Dos Pueblos drops to 7-5 overall and 3-2 in Channel League.