Royals learn do’s and don’ts on trip to Arizona

Road trips can provide a good learning experience for teams.

The San Marcos baseball team gained some valuable lessons while in Tucson, Ariz., playing in the Chris Moon Memorial Cherry Field Classic last week.

The Royals learned they have some talented players in the lower level programs. Sophomore JV catcher Parker Rosenburg and freshman team pitcher Sean Nakono-West turned in good performances during the week-long tournament, assistant coach Michael Sandford said at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry’s Plaza Cafe.

Rosenburg, brought on the trip to be a backup and bullpen catcher, wound up playing quite a few innings and went 5-for-9 with a few RBIs.

So what did the youngster learn on the trip? That complaining too much can leave you out in the cold.

Sandford said Rosenburg was complaining about the Arizona heat, so his roommates on the trip put his uniform in the freezer, and the young catcher had to thaw it out before he could put it on for the game.

Nakono-West got a shot to pitch against Bear Creek, Colo., and the freshman went five innings, allowed just one run and picked up the victory.

Sandford said he couldn’t find any record of a freshman pitcher winning a varsity game at San Marcos.

While in Tucson, the Royals took in a Pac-12 baseball game between Arizona and Stanford. Sandford prepped the players that they were going to see a high-level college game and they should focus on what the players do and learn from it.

The game turned out to be wild and crazy.

“Arizona won it in the bottom of the ninth on an error by the center fielder. The teams combined for 12 walks, two hit batters and nine errors,” Sandford said.

So what reaction did he get from the players afterward? “ ’See, coach. Just like us.’”

To which Sandford replied: “People rob banks, that doesn’t men you should do it too.”

The Royals have a huge week, playing home-and-home Channel League games against Dos Pueblos on Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday’s game is at Joe Mueller Field.

Westmont coach Robert Ruiz said his team is playing well and finds itself in the playoff hunt.

“Our goal is to be a playoff team and we’re in the playoff hunt in April, something that hasn’t happened in a couple of decades,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz noted that senior Tim Leary became the school’s career home run leader at Westmont in just 2 1/2 years. He’s also the career leader RBIs.

“With the changes in bats in college baseball, for him to do that is a pretty special accomplishment,” said Ruiz.

UCSB baseball assistant Zach Etheredge noted that freshmen Andrew Vasquez and Greg Mahle are having a big impact on the team. The left-hand throwing Vasquez has a 1.23 ERA with 55 strikeouts in 43 innings, while Mahle is batting .396.

SBCC baseball coach Jeff Walker said he’s finally found a productive designated hitter in Matt Lloyd. “He’s hitting over .400 over five games since being put in the DH spot.”

The Vaqueros are in the middle of a six-game road swing.

“We’re looking to finish off this road (trip) and getting back to playing at the friendly confines of Pershing Park, which doesn’t happen until April 14,” Walker said. “Make sure you get your taxes done and come watch a game with us.”

Like San Marcos, Dos Pueblos played in the Tucson tournament and learned some valuable lessons.

The Chargers, which won the title last year, went 2-3.

“It was a learning experience for the boys, and I hope we’re better for it,” said DP assistant John Ramsdell.

He said Joe Huthsing was the teams’s top hitter in the tournament and Brody Curtis was a standout on the mound.

John Salda and Aidan Williams were introduced as two of the key players on Bishop Diego’s baseball team.

Salda is the catcher. “He’s a great part of our success on the mound as he calls a great game,” said Bishop Diego Athletic Director Dan Peeters, reading a statement from coach Dan Yokubaitis.

Williams is the Cardinals’ leading hitter at .485 and he’s 2-1 as a pitcher.

“These kids love playing baseball,” Peeters said of all the players. “They’d be out there four hours a day, seven days a week, if they could. It’s an infectious culture going in the right direction.”

The UCSB men’s tennis team is battling for a NCAA Tournament berth. Assistant coach Taylor Chavez-Goggin said the team is ranked 49th after going 3-1 in the last two weeks.

“That puts us on the bubble,” he said. “We’re hoping to get down between 45 and 40 to get an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.”

The Gauchos will play their final home match on April 11 against Loyola Marymount. Matt Forget, the team’s lone senior, will be honored before the match.

Dos Pueblos tennis coach Liz Frech said Sean Handley and the doubles team of Jake Roberts-Caleb Franzen have been invited to play in the prestigious Ojai Tournament on April 26. Frech introduced team captains Franzen and Mason Casady.

Bishop Diego coach Marianne Petrie brought Andre Kohansamad and co-captain Johnny Ford.

In swimming, San Marcos coach Chuckie Roth introduced backstroker James Sweeney and distance swimmer Jason Phreaner from coach Jeff Ashton’s boys squad.

From his girls team, Roth noted that Ashley Wagner and Riley Heiduk have never missed a water polo or swim practice.

Roth also thanked UCSB swimmer Miranda Schneider for helping out with the team.

“She’s been the greatest delight, not just for me but for our athletes. She brought a whole new dynamic to our practice.”

The Royals host Santa Barbara on Thursday.

Santa Barbara coach Mark Walsh said Hana Atrim has been a great surprise for the girls team. As a freshman, she is No. 1 in the butterfly.

Junior Samantha Adams is the Dons’ No. 2 breaststroker.

From the boys team, Walsh said Tyler Heffernan and Peter Loomis are versatile swimmers who help the team in different areas. He also introduced Colin Fristoe, saying he is a beast in the hole-set position in water polo and is one of the fastest guys on the swim team.

Dos Pueblos girls coach Kevin Kuga figured his swimmers didn’t do much training during the spring break, so they’re in for a tough week of training. He brought Maelyn Adornetto and CIF 500 free qualifer Janelle Nguyen.

UCSB swim coach Gregg Wilson said a change in the formula on qualifying for the NCAA swimming championships left his swimmers out of the meet.

“Our men performed better this year than last year,” he said. “The formula is rough. They take only a few individuals. We had some of the fastest people in the country sitting at home very upset.”

He noted that the Gauchos’ 400 free relay time at the Pac-12 Finals would have placed eighth at the NCAA Championships.

On the bright side, 13 Gauchos have qualified for the Olympic Trials in June.

Wilson introduced Katie Tompkinson, who sat out this year while rehabbing a shoulder injury but stayed involved with the team by doing a little coaching. He also brought freshman Wade Allen, who after being coaxed to join the team, finished one-tenth of a seocnd off the school record in the 100 fly.

Notes: It was Athletic Trainers Day at the press luncheon. Trainers recognized for their work were Kristy Lash (Bishop Diego), Bryan Linden (San Marcos), Bob Annable (UCSB), Susan Houlihan-Davis (SBCC) and Nathan Donnelly (SBCC).

Randy Weiss, community relations director for Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, presented Round Table President Rich Hanna with a check for $10,000, as the bank continues its sponsorship of the press luncheons in 2012.

Hanna expressed his and the Round Table’s condolences to the Wopat family for the loss of their daughter and sister, Sam, a former All-CIF volleyball player at Dos Pueblos and a sophomore on the Stanford women’s volleyball team.

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