#27 Cole Schoenwetter struck out eight of the nine batters he faced in three innings of relief. | Credit: Lily Chubb

Phenomenal power pitching and solid defense boosted the San Marcos High baseball team to a 3-1 victory over rival Dos Pueblos in the Channel League opener for both teams on Friday afternoon.

A starting pitching matchup between San Marcos’ TCU commit Chase Hoover and Dos Pueblos’ Stanford commit Ryan Speshyock lived up to its billing as both pitchers controlled the opposing lineup.  San Marcos was able to capitalize on Dos Pueblos fielding errors and tacked on two runs late in the game against the Chargers’ relief pitchers to secure the victory.

“Starting off on the right foot in a battle like this against a really good team, against a really good pitcher, I’m proud of my boys for grinding out a two-run game here,” said San Marcos coach Wesley Ghan-Gibson. “It’s good to start that way and get tested early.”

Gino Darke singled with one out and came around to score to put Dos Pueblos up 1-0 in the top of the third, but San Marcos answered in the bottom half of the inning. Nathaniel Lynk worked a leadoff walk and evened the score at 1-1 after back-to-back singles by Joaquin Sandoval and Emmet Speake.

The Royals went on to take  a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Daren Orlando drilled a one-out double to left field and scored when Lance Bermudes reached on an error with two outs. 

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Cole Schoenwetter, a UCSB commit, came on in relief of Hoover in the top of the fifth inning and struck out the side. His dominance continued for the remainder of the game as racked up eight strikeouts over three perfect innings of relief.

“He’s a straight up competitor. He hates to be doubted and he believes he is so today was one of those days that he got up there and believed in himself,” said Ghan-Gibson of Schoenwetter. “He just attacked the strike zone and I’m really proud of him.”

In the bottom of the sixth inning Brendon Cekada singled to center field and scored the final run of the game on a Dos Pueblos fielding error increasing the San Marcos lead to 3-1.

Dos Pueblos senior captain Kellan Montgomery went down with an upper body injury in the second inning. The Chargers missed his bat and his composure on the mound in the late innings. 

“It changed a little bit of our plan as far as pitching. Kellan was certainly in line to close if we needed him to close today,” said Dos Pueblos coach George Hedricks. “His impact as a hitter is probably where it hurt us the most today. He is an impact bat. He is also a senior captain and a leader.”

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