Ryan Speshyock broke open a tight game with a two-out single that drove in two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and the Dos Pueblos baseball team cruised to an 8-4 victory over rival Santa Barbara on Tuesday afternoon.
The Chargers were in desperate need of a victory after getting shutout, 3-0, by Santa Ynez in their previous contest and executed in key moments to secure the victory.
“We know the Channel League is going to be tight, someone is going to snakebite someone any day. We felt like Santa Ynez threw a really good pitcher against us, but it’s still a game we think we should win and we didn’t,” said Dos Pueblos coach George Hedricks. “It’s a good lesson for our boys and for everybody else in the league that any given day someone can come out and get you so you have to treat every game like it’s a playoff.”
Santa Barbara jumped out to an early lead, putting up three runs in the top of the first inning. Kellan Montgomery was making his first start for Dos Pueblos since suffering an upper body injury against San Marcos on Feb. 25.
After a leadoff single by Dane Dawson, Montgomery walked the next four batters. Michael Firestone, Jack Holland and Zane Lee-Paulick all drove in runs for Santa Barbara with bases loaded walks.
Jordan Rico came on in relief of Montgomery in the top of the first and escaped the inning with two strikeouts.
“It was one of the best team pitching performances I’ve ever seen from Jordan. He’s been in a lot of big spots for us over the last two years, but he came into the game with the bases loaded already down by three in what we considered a must win game,” Hedricks said. “ What he did for us today was special. A kid who is a senior hoping to play in college next year, I couldn’t ask for more.”
Dos Pueblos (4-5 overall, 2-2 Channel League) got back one run in the bottom of the first on a single down the third base line by Josh Brennan that scored Joe Talerico. In the bottom of the second inning Dos Pueblos evened the score 3-3 after Rico drove in Arjun Gunda with a single through to right field and Talerico scored Rico with a sacrifice fly.
The two teams remained tied until the bottom of the fourth inning when Speshyock came through in the clutch with a hard ground ball to shortstop that took a wicked hop into left field bringing home Gunda and Tim Lisi to put Dos Pueblos ahead 5-3.
Speyshock’s two-out hit was a turning point in the game as the Chargers tacked on two more runs in the inning on bases loaded walks by Brennan and Gino Darke that brought home Dylan Bailey and Speyshock, increasing the lead to 7-3.
“For us to extend the lead there and get some momentum in our favor at home was huge,” Hedricks said. “You can easily hit into a double play or a weak fly ball there and get nothing out of it and you’ll feel that momentum switch so we needed that.”
For Santa Barbara (4-6 overall, 2-2 Channel League) the loss was especially bitter considering they had an early lead and did not seriously threaten late in the game.
“Once again we didn’t compete. You don’t stand a chance at anything in life if you don’t compete for it,” said Santa Barbara coach Steve Schuck. “Nothing is going to be given to you and if we don’t go out here and try to at least stake our dominance and show that we are here to fight and compete we don’t deserve it.”