PBB: Dons break Royals’ hearts with two-run eighth

The Dons celebrate their extra-inning walk-off win on Friday. (Presidio Sports Photos)

The Dons celebrate their extra-inning walk-off win on Friday. (Presidio Sports Photos)


Trevor Moropoulos’ two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning was as exciting for Santa Barbara High as it was devastating for San Marcos. It lifted the Dons to a walk-off 4-3 victory in a game the Royals looked all but sure to win just minutes before.

San Marcos had two outs on the Dons in the bottom of the eighth inning with nobody on base. The Royals had momentum after rallying to force extra innings with two runs in the seventh and then taking a 3-2 lead in the top half of the eighth.

That final out was fatally elusive for the Royals.

John Jensen was hit by a pitch. Carter Soto followed with an infield single, bringing Moropoulos to the plate. On the first pitch he blasted a deep line drive that hit off the jumping center fielder’s glove, bringing Jensen and Soto around to score the game-winning runs.

“Those are the moments you live for. I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life, and I love those situations,” Moropoulos said. “I was glad I got to go up there. Since I couldn’t finish it off on the mound I wanted to finish it off with the bat.”

Carter Soto comes home with the winning run.

Carter Soto comes home with the winning run.

The Royals had a chance to win the game but couldn’t convert two tough defensive plays with two outs in the eighth. Instead, the Royals had to watch the Dons enthusiastically celebrate on the infield.

“They battled back too,” said Royals head coach Jacob Pepper. “They put the ball in play and made our defense work and our defense didn’t make those plays and it came down to that unfortunate ball coming out of our centerfielder’s glove.

Trevor Moropoulos pitched 6 1/3 innings and had the game-winning RBI on Friday.

Trevor Moropoulos pitched 6 1/3 innings and had the game-winning RBI on Friday.

“He probably makes that play 9 out of 10 times. Today it didn’t happen.”

The Dons know how it feels having lost to Dos Pueblos in walk-off fashion earlier this season.

“It was a great intra-city rivalry game you know. It’s a heartbreak to lose and it’s a thrill to win it,” Warrecker said.

Moropoulos struck out nine batters in 6 1/3 innings, taking a 2-0 shutout into the seventh inning. But the Royals drew three straight walks and tied the game on a two-run single by Nolan Cope.

Marcus Tmur faced the final five batters of the seventh inning and pitched the eighth.

Matt Neal singled in Blake Katsev for San Marcos’ go-ahead run in the top of the eighth. Katsev was 2 for 4 on the day.

Jensen was 3 for 3 for Santa Barbara, hitting a solo home run in the first inning and scoring two runs.

San Marcos’ starting pitcher Sean Nakano-West kept the Royals in the game with a seven-inning, six-strikeout performance.

Nolan Cope's two-run single in the seventh inning tied the game at 2-2.

Nolan Cope’s two-run single in the seventh inning tied the game at 2-2.

“They couldn’t hit his ball very hard at all,” Pepper said “He did everything we asked of him today on the mound. We couldn’t have asked for more.”

Moropoulos turned the attention to his defense.

“The whole day we played great defense,” said the senior lefty. “That was really the name of the game. There were several spectacular plays that kept the game at 2-0 early on or else it could have been 2-2 much earlier than the seventh inning.”

The victory keeps Santa Barbara (11-7, 4-2) in a first-place tie with Dos Pueblos, setting up a high-stakes two-games series with the Chargers next week starting on Tuesday.

San Marcos (6-10-1, 1-5) takes on Buena in a league home-and-away series next week starting on Tuesday in Ventura.


SM 000 000 21 – 3 4 0
SB 100 100 02 – 4 7 1

Moropoulos, Tmur(7), and Loza. Nakano-West, Ricci (8), and Zylstra.


  1. LAD Fan4Life says

    Were you watching the same game Presidio? Come on now! That was NOT a 2 run double it was an error on the center fielder! It was IN HIS GLOVE and came out!!!! No offense, the kid must feel like crap and I feel like crap for him but let’s get real…it was a HUGELY OBVIOUS ERROR… Presidio needs a better sports writer. If you are going to report, report correctly! Oh, and while I’m at it, your grammar is atrocious! (That means REALLY BAD).. Your past articles really need editing before posting… Just my two cents.

  2. LAD Fan4Life says

    Oh and by the way, the real heroes of this game were the pitchers and their pitching-not their non hits!

  3. NYY Fan4Life says

    E’s cost San Marcos the game however the biggest E is on Presidio Sports!

    This article is terrible! You still can’t get it right after editing it for a second time! Writer must
    be a SBHS alumni. BTW I have a photos of Nolan’s at bat if you want to use it instead of some
    random photo of him throwing the ball must of been busy cheering on the SB side and didn’t
    think to get a photo at a critical point of the game! “Once a Don……..always a Presidio writer!”