Noisy Chargers keep Dons grounded, 9-0

Dos Pueblos made all the noise — both at the plate and in the dugout — at Eddie Mathews Field on Tuesday in a 9-0 win over Santa Barbara which secured at least a share of the Channel League title for the Chargers.

Star shortstop Robert Vickers fell a triple short of the cycle on the day and led DP’s sparkling defense with eight put-outs. He also played some defense for his team’s high-decibel demeanor in the dugout, which has irked fans in the opposing bleachers in recent weeks. The Chargers have an arsenal of playfully potent claps and chants that they utilize during the game.

“I think it’s definitely just part of the game. That helps us stay in the game, it really does,” said the Cal State Northridge-bound senior. “When we start making more noise our bats come alive, and it translates onto the field for us.”


Tyler McGaughey said the dugout’s energy helps his performance considerably, and it showed on Tuesday. The senior went the distance and allowed just three hits. He wasn’t blowing by the Dons by any means, posting just one strikeout on the day.

But as Crash Davis said in Bull Durham, “Strikeouts are boring. Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls – it’s more democratic.”

Ironically, the movie was written by Santa Barbara High alum Ron Shelton, but McGaughey will take it.

“If they put it on the ground, Robert and Steven (Reveles) just scoop it up for an easy out. They’re two great infielders together,” said McGaughey, who also made a couple of nice defensive plays of his own on screaming come-backers.

Dons starter Danny Zandona, whose sophomore season has produced some brilliant performances, left a couple of breaking balls up in the zone in the third inning and gave up majestic homers to Vickers and Dane Limosnero. Rob Crawford came on in relief in the fourth and got a 1-2-3 inning but gave up a double to Vickers in the fifth and wound up allowing a pair of runs. The Chargers got three more off of Alex Spatz in the seventh.

Crawford, Pepe Gil and Collin Dewell each grabbed a single to account for the Dons’ hits.

“We coach our guys to hit ground balls,” said Dons assistant Mike Cooney. “I think we had one fly ball, one strikeout and the rest were ground balls, but the ground balls today went right to them and they played very well defensively.”

Overall, the Chargers (14-11, 7-4) racked up 14 put-outs at first base.

Cooney said that DP’s howling dugout was not an issue.

“I think you run into that at all levels of the game. Our kids aren’t used to it, but it’s within bounds. Our parents would like it to not be a part of the game, but I wouldn’t say it affected the game at all,” he said.

While DP is assured a spot in the postseason, the Dons (11-12, 4-6) will have to win out to have a shot, beginning with Wednesday’s home game against San Marcos, which is in a similar situation in the tooth-and-nail Channel League race.


Dos Pueblos…103 020 3 — 9 12 0

Santa Barbara…000 000 0 — 0 3 2

McGaughey and Salas; Zandona, Crawford (4), Spatz (7) and Fraker.

2B — DP: Hart, Vickers. 3B — DP: Corazza. HR — Vickers (3rd inn., one on), Limosnero (3rd inn., solo).

Team records — DP 14-11, 7-4. SB 11-12, 4-6.