BB: Grandcolas, Dons pick off Royals 6-0

In all his years coaching baseball, Santa Barbara High coach Fred Warrecker had never seen what pitcher Gabe Grandcolas pulled off Tuesday in a Channel League game against San Marcos.

Grandcolas picked off three baserunners in one inning and a total of four in the game, and he pitched a complete-game, six-hit shutout as the Dons beat the Royals 6-0 at Eddie Mathews Field.

Ahead 3-0, Grandcolas gave up three infield singles in the third inning. But he erased each baserunner with a nasty pick-off move to first base. He nailed the fourth Royal in the seventh to end the game.

?Never, never seen it in my life,? Warrecker said of Grandcolas? feat.

Santa Barbara High lefty Gabe Grancolas picked off three base runners in one inning on Tuesday.

Santa Barbara High lefty Gabe Grandcolas picked off three base runners in one inning on Tuesday.

Grandcolas said before the game he watched the Royals do a base-running drill at first and noticed that some of their players went the wrong way.

?I kind of had that in my mind the whole time, and I just feel confident with my move,? the junior said. ?When I do it and it feels good, I know I got ?em.?

Catcher Skyler Sabado said he called for a couple of the pickoff throws in the third.

?I know Gabe has a good move, so two of those I called just to see if they would work, and both of them worked, so he kept doing them himself. If he feels it?s right to do it, then he can do it as long as we wants.

?It was unreal,? Sabado added. ?I?ve never seen that before, but you see something new every day in baseball.?

Said San Marcos assistant Tommy Lansdon: ?It?s definitely interesting. I?ve been around a lot of baseball in my life, I?ve never seen three pickoffs in one inning. That definitely played a role in the momentum.

?But, at the end of the day, that kid pitched well, so you got to give him credit.?

Grandcolas displayed great control the entire game.

?What is amazing is he threw 21 balls in seven innings. That means he threw just three balls per inning. That?s just incredible,? Warrecker said. ?He had 56 strikes, so he had 77 pitches in seven innings, and 105 would be an A. He just pounded the zone; he didn?t walk anybody. They have to hit it and we have to field it, and I thought we did a good job of fielding today.?

In particular, Dons third baseman Jeff Paschke and shortstop John Brontsema showed off some slick glove work and strong throwing arms.

Lansdon was impressed with Grandcolas pitching performance.

?You got to give the pitcher credit, he pitched a heck of game,? Lansdon said. ?When you?re throwing strikes and making our hitters work their way on base, it can be tough some times.?

At the plate, Santa Barbara got big games from Sabado, the No. 9 hitter, and leadoff man Connor McManigal. Sabado went 3-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored, while McManigal went 2-for-4 with a two-run single in the sixth inning.

Warrecker was pleased to see Sabado hit the ball. He said the catcher was batting .211.

?Going to school, I just felt good,? Sabado said. ?Coming down to the field and hitting, I just felt good; I just felt good coming through the zone.?

Santa Barbara (9-4, 2-1) jumped on San Marcos starter Isaac Rodriguez for three runs in the third inning. Paschke ripped a double to center and Michael Day followed with a run-scoring single. Tyler Newman and Tanner Guerra drew walks to load the bases and Sabado singled to right to drive in Day. McManigal brought home Newman with a sacrifice fly to center.

Rodriguez regained his groove for the next three innings before the Dons chased him in the sixth with three more runs.

Paxton Ridgway had two hits for the Royals (5-5, 1-2).

Santa Barbara is back in action on Friday at Dos Pueblos. San Marcos will host Buena on Saturday at 11 a.m.