BB: Dons beat Royals to keep pace in league race


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Jeff Paschke lifted his torrid hitting of late to a new level with three hits and a home run in Friday’s 9-5 Channel League victory for Santa Barbara High over San Marcos.

Paschke’s 3-for-4 day makes the Dons senior 9-for-15 in his past four games. He has not recorded a single strike out in 10 games of league competition. The Dons have won the past six straight of those.

Dons baserunner Michael Day advances to third base on a double by Tyler Newman. (Presidio Sports Photo)

Dons baserunner Michael Day advances to third base on a double by Tyler Newman. (Presidio Sports Photo)

“He’s carrying us right now, I’ll tell ya,” said Dons head coach Fred Warrecker, who called him fearless at the plate.

The Dons improve to 8-2 in league play with two regular season games against Dos Pueblos remaining on the schedule. Dos Pueblos defeated Ventura on Friday and remain in first place with a 9-1 record.

“I think we’re ready,” Paschke said. “We’re pumped up. We’ve been practicing hard, playing hard. I think we’re a lot farther than we were from the loss we had from them earlier in the season.”

San Marcos, which falls to 2-8 in league play, can still reach the postseason with two wins against Buena next week. Two wins would force a one-game playoff between the Royals and the Bulldogs with the winner qualifying for the postseason as the Channel League’s third-place team.

A seven-run first inning in which the Dons brought 12 batters to the plate set the tone early for the Dons. The first six players in the lineup reached base and scored.

“It’s really big for us,” John Brontsema said of the good start. “We had a little bit of a lull in the offense for a couple of games but now we’re picking it back up and swinging it. We have a lot of confidence going into the final series.”

Connor McManigal, another red-hot Dons hitter coming into the game with three home runs and eight RBI in his past two games, was 1-for-1 but reached base in all three plate appearances. McManigal was also the winning pitcher of record and was on the mound for the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

San Marcos was able to get plenty of baserunners but couldn’t cash enough of them in. The Royals left 10 men on base.

“I thought we played very well the last six innings,” said Royals assistant coach Tommy Lansdon. “If you take away that first inning, we actually outscored them the rest of the game 5-1 I think.”

The Royals were led at the plate by leadoff batter Daniel Dziersi, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

The Dons and Chargers play on Tuesday at Santa Barbara High and Thursday at Dos Pueblos. It Tuesday’s game, the Dons hope to start Jeff Paschke and expect to see Gabe Speier starting for DP.


San Marcos 030 002 0 – 5 7 5
Santa Barbara 710 001 x – 9 11 5

SM – Rodriguez, Gibson (4), Kim (6), and MacDuffee. SB – Smith, McManigal (4), Brontsema (7), and Sabado.

W – McManigal
L – Rodriguez

2B – Newman, Rodriguez
HR – Paschke (3rd inning, none on)

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