SBART Luncheon: Break time is over; stretch run begins for league titles

Now that spring break is over for everyone, local prep teams are headed into the home stretch of league play and the regular season.

“This week is the start of the stretch run,” Santa Barbara High baseball coach George Rempe announced at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Café. “We have 12 games left and eight of them are in league. Because of San Marcos’ win over Ventura (two weeks ago), everything is up for grabs. The Channel League championship, winning seasons, playoff spots, they’re all there. That’s the sort of challenge we gave to our players this week.”

Rempe said the message to the players was: “If you got what it takes, you’ll get it. We made it as clear as could be.”

Rempe once again got all 18 members of the team to attend the luncheon. Juniors Gavin Swerdloff and Adam Eidelson completed the roster. Swerdloff is a left-handed pitcher and Eidelson is a hard-hitting outfielder.

Besides getting the players recognition, Rempe explained what else motivates him to invite all the team members.

“It’s a source of pride for me to get them to all come here because, who knows, maybe some day some of them will be Regal members (of the Athlete Round Table); they may be coaches and may bring people back. I figure if I bring 18 of them for 5 or 6 years, you’ll probably get somebody.”

SBART president Laurie Leighty appreciated it. “I like that,” she said.

Carpinteria baseball: Coach Pat Cooney introduced standout players Sal Delgado and Diego Contreras. Delgado, a sophomore right-handed pitcher, is coming off an impressive three-game stretch in which he allowed one earned run, threw back-to-back one-hitters with 12 strikeouts in each game. Delgado has inspired everyone on the team to raise their level of expectations, said Cooney.

San Marcos:
The Royals are coming off two dramatic wins over Fillmore and Pacifica. In both games, freshman catcher Hailey Fryklund made big defensive plays for the final outs.

“She plays really hard,” coach Jeff Swann said of Fryklund.

Also playing well for the Royals is sophomore outfielder Caitlin Tucker. She hit her first home run a couple of weeks ago and made a terrific catch in an extra-inning game against Ventura.

Carpinteria: Cooney, the athletic director, said the Warriors start league play after a two-week break. He introduced four-year varsity veterans and all-league returnees Natalie Saito and Scarlett Pettine.

Senior captains Jonathan Cleek and Bryan Taira are both three-sport athletes. Cleek is the No. 1 singles player while Taira plays both singles and doubles. The Warriors are 6-5 on the season.


Cooney announced that Carpinteria is hosting the 96th annual Russell Cup track and field meet on Saturday.

He said the meet not only is the oldest in California but “the best small-school meet in the Western United States.”

Thirty-nine small schools will be bringing athletes to the meet, with the field including some of the top performers in the Southern Section.

The Vaqueros face a busy week with four games. They played a rain makeup at Cuesta on Monday. They take on L.A. Pierce Tuesday in Woodland Hills and Thursday at home and play at Ventura on Saturday.

SBCC is 13-2 at Pershing Park.

Assistant coach Julia Tamai said the season has been a battle, but “the girls are very resilient and competitive.”

The Gauchos have two remaining home series against UC Davis and UC Riverside before closing the season at Long Beach State.

Laguna Blanca boys coach Ray Robitaille said the youth club program started a few years back has produced players for the teams at Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and Santa Barbara. “All those kids aged up,” he said.

Counting the prep and boarding schools, Robitaille said there are now seven schools in the area playing lacrosse.