The defending CIF champion Santa Ynez Pirates baseball team is picking up where it left off last year.
In its first four games of the season, Santa Ynez defeated Arroyo Grande and Righetti and, on Saturday, swept a doubleheader over Carpinteria.
A big help has been Brendan Gomez. Gomez had five hits and five runs batted in during the doubleheader sweep, drove in two runs in the 5-4 win over Arroyo Grande and two more RBI in the 6-4 victory against Righetti.
For his efforts, Gomez was named the male Athlete of the Aeek at the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table luncheon, held Monday at Giavanni's Pizza in Orcutt.
Santa Maria girls softball is off to a quick start as well. The Saints went 3-1 for the week, winning a pair of games in the Santa Ynez Tournament Saturday over Santa Paula and Santa Ynez, after splitting their first two games, a loss to Atascadero and a win over San Luis Obispo.
Senior Christabel Chavez had a good start as well. She went 6-for-11 and stole four bases as the Saints went 3-1 on the week. The catcher did not make an error.
In the loss to Atascadero, Chavez tripled and hit a grand slam against the 2014 San Luis Obispo County Player of the Year, Greyhound pitcher Sally Bowles.
For her start, Chavez was named the female Athlete of the Week.
Athletic director Ken Fredrickson made a rare appearance, introducing Gomez and swimmer John Lastra.
"I had two tennis players that were going to come, but they wanted to stay in class, so I don't know what that's about," he joked.
Fredrickson said that the swim program has 65 kids and Lastra is a senior team captain.
About baseball, Fredrickson said the defending CIF champions have started out 4-0.
"They are rated No. 1 in their division so they have a target on their backs," he said.
Baseball coach Jonathan Osborne brought his four senior co-captains to the luncheon. He presented pitcher/infielder Brett Gregory, outfielder Josh Miller, infielder Nicko Haas and catcher Ozzy Medina.
The team is currently 2-2.
Athletic director Dan Troup brought four sophomores to the luncheon. Swimming was represented by Alia Carlon, who swims the butterfly, 200 IM and on the relays, and Rylan Scott, who swims the backstroke, 200 IM and two relays.
Both of these young ladies are also a big part of our water polo program," Troup said. "We had a fantastic season, getting to the (CIF-SS) semis."
The tennis players present were, Christopher Siefe and Josh Ogan, normally singles players who had to play doubles Friday against Pioneer Valley.
Assistant swim coach Ben Britten was excited to talk about the very first home meet that the Bulldogs will host Saturday at the Paul Nelson Pool in Santa Maria beginning at 11 a.m.
"It is free admission and we will also be doing a little fundraising by having a barbecue," he said.
Britten introduced two freshmen from the team — Rebecca Ensing, a freestyler, and Alexandria Morgan, a 200 breaststroke swimmer and the 200 IM.
Athletic director Greg Lanthier presented two swimmers — Maddie Diaz and Ian Gronski.
"We have about 75 swimmers in our program," Lanthier said. "Maddie is a senior and she just missed out on the CIF finals last year, hopefully she will be a qualifier this year."
Lanthier then introduced sophomore Andrew Vea and senior Preston Patague from tennis, who are undefeated this season as a team.
From the baseball team Lanthier had two seniors — first baseman Anthony Lopez and shortstop Andrew Gonzales.
Softball coach Matt Andree introduced Chavez and talked about the good opening week for the team.
"Christabel is a senior and plays well at catcher and in centerfield," he said. "We are lucky to have her."
Baseball coach Cody Smith presented what he called senior leaders, second baseman Ryan Deinado and pitcher/infielder Blake Carlotti.
Swim assistant coach Nathaniel Oh had two juniors — Ryker Dacus and Austin Nims from his team. He said Nims already has earned a CIF consideration time.
Baseball coach Brian Tomooka introduced junior third baseman Manuel Bucio and pitcher Phil Almanza. Tomooka said Bucio was 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles against Santa Ynez, while Almanza, also a junior pitched five quality innings.
Athletic director Joe Graack introduced senior co-captain Kyler Corral from the tennis team, who spoke for his team. Corral presented his co-captains Miles Jorgensen and Daniel Black.
"Daniel is our No. 2 singles player and Miles, a member of the CIF winning water polo team, plays at No. 2 doubles.