BB: Dons, Arroyo Grande battle to a 6-6 tie

Johnny Brontsema hit a two-run single in the top of the eighth inning to give Santa Barbara High a 6-4 lead, but the Dons couldn’t hold it in the bottom of the inning and finished in an 8-8 tie against Arroyo Grande in a Central Coast Tournament baseball game called because of darkness.

“It was a win that was snatched away,” said Santa Barbara assistant coach Mike Cooney.

In the crazy 8th, Tyler Newman and Bowen Fredericks drew walks with one out. Connor McManigal grounded into a force play at second base, leaving runners at first and third. Skyler Sabado drew a walk to load the bases and Brontsema smacked a 3-2 pitch into right-center field to drive in Newman and McManigal for a 6-4 Dons’ lead.

Jeff Paschke, who recently joined the team after basketball season, relieved starter McManigal in the sixth and was impressive, retiring the first six batters he faced.

“It was looking pretty good for us,” Cooney said.

But Paschke ran into control problems in the 8th and the Eagles capitalized on some Santa Barbara mistakes to score two runs without the aid of a hit.

A catcher’s interference call put a runner on first and an error on the second baseman allowed the next AG batter to reach base. A wild pitch moved the runners to third and second and another wild pitch allowed a run to score to make it 6-5. Paschke struck out the batter for the second out. On the next batter, a wild pitch to the backstop allowed the tying run to score.

Paschke was able to finish the inning, but it was too dark to continue playing and the game was called.

Despite the loss, Cooney said Paschke showed glimpses of what kind of pitcher he can be for the Dons
“It was a positive sign for the future,” he said. “He’s got two good pitches. It was good to see him out there.”

The Dons (0-1-1) are back in action Tuesday against Righetti at Eddie Mathews Field.

On Saturday, they’ll stage a fundraising baseball marathon, beginning at 10 a.m.

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