Local sluggers have been hitting the longball

BY BLAKE DORFMAN, PresidioSports.com

Home runs never get old, and while the Major League Baseball season was just getting underway on Monday, our prep players have been sending ’em over the outfield wall for a month.

One of the reasons Santa Barbara High first baseman Trey Barrett was honored as Athlete of the Week at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon is because he did something that has only been achieved by 51 players in Big League history — two home runs in the same inning.

Barrett, a junior, hit a pair of homers in the second inning of a 13-5 win over Dos Pueblos. He hit another big fly two days later in a victory over Ventura. He had 11 RBIs over the two-game span, and the Dons are now alone atop the Channel League at 3-1.

Assistant coach George Rempe said he hadn’t seen a player hit two homers in an inning in his quarter-century with the Dons, and DP coach Nate Mendoza also took a moment to congratulate the Dons’ 6-foot-7 slugger.

“As much as it upset me, I really admired his performance that day,” said Mendoza.

Rempe introduced ace pitcher Danny Zandona, who is 4-1 on the year and pitched a complete game in a win over Buena last week.

“He’s also as good a third baseman as I’ve seen at the high school level,” said Rempe.

He also brought along Kees t’Sas, who has played left field, right field, first base, third base and pitcher through the first 10 games of the season. He hit a solo homer against Buena that ended up being the game-winning run.

Rempe’s wife of over 40 years, Kathy, was also at Harry’s.

BASEBALL

SAN MARCOS: The Royals spent their spring break in Tucson, AZ, where they made a nice run in the Cherry Hills Tournament.

Junior catcher Riley Moore didn’t equal Barrett’s one-inning feat, but he did put on quite a show in the tournament’s home-run derby. Each batter had 10 outs (anything short of a homer) per round, and in the final round Moore had three with one out remaining. He proceeded to rattle off four straight and win the derby.

The Royals finished third in the tourney, and coach Rob Crawford also announced that his team finished second in the state academically with a 3.46 unweighted GPA.

“For baseball that’s pretty good, and we lost to somebody — we don’t know who — who had a 3.47,” Crawford.

Moore is hitting a stellar .474 on the season, and his twin brother Shane, who was also at the luncheon, is hitting .378.

The Royals host Ventura on Friday.

DOS PUEBLOS: The Chargers’ early season has been hampered by letting the floodgates open periodically.

“We’ve kind of had this thing this year where we keep giving up big innings,” said Mendoza. “Our motto now is ‘Eliminate the Big Inning.'”

Luncheon-attendee Porfiro Avila had a much-anticipated breakout against Palos Verdes last week, hitting a two-run homer and also pitching three-plus innings in relief.

Also at Harry’s was senior captain Cory Micheel, who has shaken off a cold start to the season by going 11-for-19 with eight RBIs and eight runs over the past six games. He also carries a 4.6 GPA.

CARPINTERIA: While San Marcos got to travel out of state to play, Carpinteria welcomed an out-of-state opponent.

“We don’t quite have the budget to go play someone in another state, but we had Northglen of Colorado come to our school and we were able to beat them,” said coach Pat Cooney.

He brought along versatile hitter and pitcher Steven Blum as well as leading-hitter Zach Boberg, who does a little bit of everything. He plays saxophone in the school band, is on the mock trial team and roams the middle infield for the Warriors.

WESTMONT: This year’s Warrior squad has struggled with consistency but is still in the postseason hunt with GSAC foes The Master’s, Concordia, and Azusa Pacific. They have series against all three of those teams remaining.

In the first game of a doubleheader against No. 20 Fresno Pacific last week, the Warriors roughed up GSAC Pitcher of the Year candidate Kelyn Schellenberg for 14 hits and three runs.

“That was pretty exciting, to see our guys respond and beat one of the best pitchers in our conference,” said coach Robert Ruiz.

The Warriors host The Master’s on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

SBCC: The Vaqueros went 3-0 last week in the Channel Coast Tournament, with a highlight performance coming on Friday as starter Zach Edgington threw a six-hitter and struck out 13.

SBCC (16-9, 10-3) has the highest rated offense and defense in the Western State Conference. Thursday’s 2:30 p.m. home game against Cuesta is a big one.

UCSB: Like Ruiz’s Warriors, the Gauchos have been struggling with consistency issues as well.

“We’re 12-10 and that’s about how we’ve been playing. When we’ve been good, we’ve been real good, and when, dot, dot , dot — I’ll let you finish that one,” said coach Bob Brontsema.

Nick Capito was named Big West Co-Pitcher of the Week after pitching back-to-back complete games on just five days rest. It was the first time a Gaucho pitcher has accomplished that feat since 2001.

The Gauchos host LMU on Tuesday before Big West play begins.

TRACK AND FIELD

WESTMONT: A state-of-the-art track facility now resides in the hills of Montecito after Westmont unveiled it’s new renovations just over a week ago.

“I don’t think any college in the country has a better facility,” said coach Russell Smelley.

The rest of the GSAC will convene at the new digs in a few weeks for the conference championships. Smelley introduced two contrasting athletes on the Warriors squad — extroverted hurdler Sondra Blockman and reserved distance specialist Matt Day.

Now that Westmont’s facility is up-to-par and then some, he had a few words about another track in town that needs some work.

“My second favorite facility that we’ve competed on in my 31 years at Westmont is UCSB’s Pauley Track,” he said. “While we’ve been waiting patiently to have a track, it’s been degrading over the years and I hope UCSB will take a serious look at re-vamping that soon because we want to keep going to that facility and not have to invite UCSB to have their home meets at our facility because theirs is not in good shape.

“I would like to see UCSB have the same reputation for a beautiful facility that we can enjoy now at Westmont.”

SAN MARCOS: Imagine standing next to a wall that is exactly as tall as you are. Then imaging running up to that wall and leaping over without touching it. That’s what 5-foot-8 San Marcos junior Hannah McDaniel accomplished two weeks ago against Buena. The mark was tied for second-best in the state this year, and earned her Female Athlete of the Week honors.

After the impressive jump, she walked over and won the 400-meters and also ran on the winning 4×400 relay team.

Royals coach Marilyn Hantgin brought along three other juniors —multi-event standout Elysia Hodges, 800-meter runner Phil David and hurdler Tristan Lake. San Marcos hosts Santa Barbara on Wednesday.

DOS PUEBLOS: Chargers coach Dave Kuderka was busy tending to his wife and newborn child on Monday, so sprints coach Brent Kling pinch-hit for him. Kling was accompanied by hurdler Michelle Gee, who is undefeated in all of her races this year and is one-tenth away from the school record in the 300 hurdles.

Erin Campbell was the previous recipient of the Female Athlete of the Week award for setting the DP record in the 800, and she one-upped herself by breaking the school’s mile record two weeks ago with a time of 5:08.

Respresenting the boys was 6-foot high-jumper and two-year captain Jack Sharkey as well as football player/sprinter Cody Bidlow, who recorded a personal-best time of 11.32 seconds in the 100 at the Easter Relays.

TENNIS

UCSB MEN: The Gauchos laid an Easter egg a few days early against Cal Poly in a 6-1 loss that will cost them the top seed in the Big West Tournament. However, UCSB went on to win at No. 42 Boise State on Saturday in what coach Marty Davis described as “probably the best win of my career.”

The Gauchos won 4-3 on a tiebreaker in the last set of the day. Davis said that the high altitude and indoor courts led to extremely fast conditions, and Boise’s uber-tall players were serving consistently upwards of 125 mph.

The victory should help the Gauchos in the national rankings. Should they earn a top-40 ranking they can earn an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. The only other way would be to win the upcoming conference tourney.

VOLLEYBALL

SAN MARCOS: Roger Kuntz has to be on his toes when leading the Royals through practice, because his players are as smart as they come. The team won the CIF State Academic Championship with a jaw-dropping unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.84.

“That means you can’t have a lot of knot-heads out of those 15 guys,” said Kuntz. “They’re the kind of guys that instead of reading Sports Illustrated and GQ and all these other magazines in between matches, they’re reading non-fiction and classics. I’m having to pull them out of books in between games.”

He introduced libero Kyle Estabrooks and junior Ryan Gilmour.

SANTA BARBARA HIGH: The Dons haven’t played for awhile and they have no games this week except for their Alumni Game on Saturday at 5 p.m. That should be a fun one for volleyball fans to watch, as the alumni roster features ex-AVP players Ben Koski and Jeff Minc, coach Chad Arneson, UCSB Associate Head Coach Lee “The Tree” Nelson, SBCC assistant Marcelo Duarte and 1990 Channel League MVP David Fischer.

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