Dos Pueblos finds its groove, rallies to beat Dons

Spencer Fraker and Collin Dewell did it to Dos Pueblos again, opening the game with a single and home run to stake Santa Barbara to a 2-0 lead.

But this was a different DP team than the one that was blanked 7-0 in the opener of the big Channel League three-game series. The Chargers that took the field on Wednesday were scrappy and aggressive, and that made a difference in a come-from-behind 10-6 victory over the visiting Dons.

Down 5-4, the Chargers scored six runs in the sixth inning to pull out the back-and-forth battle before a big crowd at the DP diamond.

“You could definitely tell the kids were out for a little revenge today,” DP coach Nate Mendoza said. “They used yesterday (Tuesday’s 7-0 loss) as motivation. I’m really proud of the kids.”

The Chargers (5-1, 15-5) rapped out 15 hits in handing Santa Barbara (17-5, 8-1) its first loss in Channel League play. Their win sets up a huge series finale at DP on Friday.

Collin Dewell got things started early for Santa Barbara with this home run which scored two runs in the top of the first.

After falling behind in the first inning, DP starting pitcher Gabe Speier regrouped and shut the Dons down for the next four innings. The sophomore lefty got help from his defense, which turned two double plays.

The Charger offense got untracked against Santa Barbara lefty Collin Dewell in the fourth inning. Kyle Richardson and Joe Huthsing hit back-to-back singles and Johnny Corazza reached base safely when the Dons couldn’t convert his ground ball into a force play at second base.

That opened the door for DP.

“We didn’t get a fielder’s choice out, we didn’t get an out at all,” Santa Barbara coach Fred Warrecker said. “They scored four runs in that inning. We were up 2-0 and all of a sudden we’re down 4-2.”

A bases-loaded walk to Daniel Vickers scored Richardson for the first run and a wild pitch brought home Huthsing for the tying run. Ben York then whacked a single to center to bring home two more runs. He had three RBIs on the day.

DP had a chance to expand its lead in the fifth when Colin Cole hit the ball down the left-field line. Corazza tried to score from second base. but he was nailed at the plate on a strong throw from Dons’ left fielder Nick Below to catcher Colin Eaton.

That defensive play shifted the momentum back to Santa Barbara’s side, as it retook the lead in the sixth off DP reliever Cole. The Dons scored three runs to go up 5-4. Dewell singled, Kees t’Sas doubled down the left-field line and Danny Zandona drove them home with a single to center to tie the score. A wild pitch moved Zandona to second and Lucas Benenati and Eaton walked, loading the bases.

Below, squaring around to bunt, got plucked by a pitch to force in Zandona and leave the bases load with one out.

Mendoza brought in Perferio Avila, and the 6-3 senior came up big, retiring the next two hitters. Right fielder Jordan Drewisch made a nice running catch for the final out of the inning.

“To me, Porfy is the player of the game,” Mendoza said. “He comes in with the bases loaded and one out and get out of it. Who knows what happens if we give up another couple of runs there. Instead, we keep it to a one-run ballgame; it’s attainable and the kids come out fired up that next inning.”

Warrecker saw the sixth as a lost opportunity to blow the game open.

“We can’t get an extra hit. The guys in the middle of the order pop up and strike out,” said the Santa Barbara coach.

The Chargers made the Dons pay by scoring six times off reliever Lucas Benenati. York’s single scored Dan Rohde for the tying run and Kyle Richardson provided the big blow with a bases-loaded two-run double.

Richardson threw his bat at the low pitch and hit a flare over third base. It was his third hit of the day.

“It was a good situation to be in, 5-5 and the bases juiced,” said Richardson. “It wasn’t really a great hit, but it was clutch in the situation. It was a curve ball low and away and I just threw my bat down and dinked it over third and it did the job.”

“Kyle has not only been the man at the plate with the stick, but behind the dish, catching the ball. He does a phenomenal job.”

Huthsing followed with a RBI single and Avila drove in a run with a ground-rule double. DP scored its 10th run on an error.

Santa Barbara got a run back in the seventh, but the Dons ended the game leaving the bases loaded.

“We didn’t hit in the clutch,” said Warrecker.

The Chargers did and it kept them in the hunt for a league title.

Santa Barbara…200 003 1 — 6 10 2
Dos Pueblos…000 406 x — 10 15 0
Dewell, Benenati (6) and Eaton. Speier, Cole (6), Avila (6) and Richardson. W—Avila. L—Benenati.

2B—SB: Zandona, t’Sas. DP: Richardson, Avila. HR—SB: Dewell, 1st inn. one on.


Johnny Corazza of Dos Pueblos slides under the tag attempt by Santa Barbara's Colin Eaton to score DP's forth run in the bottom of the forth inning.



  2. Great footage

  3. Dp is da best