Dons nab walk-off win over Pirates, 3-2

Santa Barbara’s baseball team remained undefeated, as it put on a power display in its last at-bat to walk off against Santa Ynez, 3-2, on Friday.

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Trey Barrett led off with a triple past the diving right fielder. Designated hitter Pepe Gil followed with a booming double to dead center field that nearly cleared the fence as it hit off the base of the wall, scoring Barrett to tie the game.

“I was praying for that ball to go out,” Gil said.

After a hit batsmen, a sac bunt and an intentional walk loaded the bases, Collin Dewell delivered a game-winning sacrifice fly to centerfield.

“I’m still hitless (on the season),” Dewell said. “But we got the W – that’s all that matters.”

Dewell started the game on the mound for the Dons (3-0-1) and faced the minimum through three innings, but struggled with his control in the fourth as Santa Ynez (3-3) scratched out a pair of runs to take a 2-0 lead.

Santa Barbara had an opportunity to hang up some runs in the bottom half of the inning. After loading the bases with no outs, Spencer Fraker punched a single through the right side, scoring Joey Gonzales from third, but Dewell was gunned down trying to score from second. Danny Zandona rolled into a double play to end the inning.

Sophomore Kees “Hot” T’Sas took the mound for the Dons in the fifth and pitched three scoreless innings to pick up his first varsity victory. He also went 2-for-2 at the plate with a double and a hit by pitch.

Head coach Fred Warrecker praised T’sas’ early season efforts, both with the bat and on the mound.

“He’s done this from the beginning. We don’t play a lot of sophomores, and he is really unusual — his composure and everything is very unique,” Warrecker said.

The Dons, who haven’t been hitting well early on this season, hope their strong finish on Friday will give them the confidence to continue it next week when they begin league play.

“Once you do it once, you know you can do it every time,” Warrecker said.

Santa Barbara will travel to St. Joseph on Thursday before opening Channel League play at San Marcos Friday at 3:15 p.m.

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