Heads up running by Hirschberg pushes Dons to victory

With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Steven Hirschberg bolted towards home after a wild pitch and narrowly beat the throw to give the Santa Barbara High baseball team a 3-2 victory over Ventura.

Playing at home, the Dons were locked in a pitchers duel until Hirschberg’s decisive run in the final inning.

Sophomore Gabe Grandcolas went the distance to earn his second win of the season while his counterpart Billy Davidson was able to limit Santa Barbara offensively.

Both pitchers gave up runs early, but settled in and shut down their opponents for the majority of the game.

Max St. John led off the seventh with a two-strike single past the second baseman.

“It was really a good job of fighting off strike three,” coach Mike Cooney said.

Hirschberg came in to pinch run for St. John and was advanced to second on a perfectly executed bunt by Zach Torres. Dan Russell, Ventura’s relief pitcher, fielded Torres’ bunt and threw the ball over the first baseman’s head, allowing Hirschberg and Torres to move to third and second, respectively.

Tyler Nichoson was the next batter, and Russell threw a wild pitch for ball four and it got away from the catcher. The ball never traveled very fall, but Hirschberg shot towards home immediately. He slid just under the tag and gave the Dons an important victory.

At 4-7 in the Channel League, Santa Barbara sits behind Ventura and Buena, who have five wins each. Dos Pueblos is in first.

The Dons (14-10 overall) play Ventura away on Thursday.


Ventura… 101 000 0—2 5 3
Santa Barbara… 200 000 1—3 4 0
Davidson, Russell (7) and Morton; Grandcolas and St. John. Grandcolas (2-0)
2B—V: Norman