It didn’t take long for Cabrillo High baseball to avenge Tuesday's 16-run loss to San Marcos.
It just took the rematch on Friday at Don McIntyre Field by overcoming a late 2-0 deficit.
The Conquistadores emerged victorious 3-2 at Vandenberg Village against the Royals – and won by igniting their rally in the bottom of the fifth.
Senior Cesar Frausto blasted a triple that drove Anthony Lopez home to cut the lead to 2-1. Matt Gonzalez would come along to chip a base hit to left-center to tie the game up.
In the bottom of the sixth and with Gavin Townes standing at third base, Lopez sent a flyball to the outfield and the smash was deep enough to lure Townes home for the game-clinching run.
It was just three days ago that the Conqs endured the rough 18-2 loss to the same Royals team, which dropped CHS to 2-4 in Channel League games and 2-6 overall. But this time, CHS head coach Jon Osborne said he saw a more focused defensive team – and a more composed Conqs team in general.
“We have been preaching to them all year: If we can pitch well, play defense well and keep the runs down--plus the defensive mistakes down--we’ll have a chance to win the game,” Osborne said. “It was a total team performance from the guys on the bench, to the guys in the game to the pitching, the fielding and to the hitting. I’m real proud of the guys.”
On the hill, Cabrillo right-hander Matt Gonzalez limited the Royal offense. He gave up two deep shots that fell in center field twice, he still only surrendered two runs through the 96 pitches he threw.
Gonzalez additionally received strong backing from Gavin Townes. Four times the Royals sent the ball flying the sophomore’s way. But Townes caught all four tries.
“He played well out there,” Osborne said of Townes. “He’s mostly an infielder, so the transition to the outfield is a little bit tougher. But he did a nice job today catching fly balls.”
After Luke Kovach came in to relieve Gonzalez in the top of the seventh, the closer only needed 15 pitches to prevent the Royals from getting on the scoreboard and getting on base. Kovach, a sophomore, forced a foul out, a popout to third that was caught and a strikeout to end the game.
Osborne raved about the performance of his guys on the mound.
“Matt pitched a great game. He gave us a chance and kept us close. Then Kovach came in at the end there and did a nice job throwing strikes,” Osborne said. “We always preach to him that if you throw strikes, good things will happen. And he was able to do that.”
Cabrillo returns home on Tuesday, 3:30 p.m. against Dos Pueblos.
Nipomo 9, Morro Bay 5
The Titans improved to 4-1-1 overall by winning on the road on Friday.
Lucas Ortega went four of five at the bat, driving two runners home. Ricky Iniguez blasted a double and a triple. Carmelo Hernandez went two of two with three intentional walks.
The Titans will return home on Saturday to take on Kingsburg in the rain makeup doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.
Righetti 2, Templeton 1
It became a duel between stud pitchers Mackenzie Kestler of Righetti and Texas A&M 2019 signee Ashley Daugherty – as both stayed inside the circle for all seven innings.
But it was Kestler claiming the victory and surrendering just three hits on Friday.
Kestler and the Warrior didn’t surrender their first run until the top of the seventh, when Alex Dahlen scored.
Offensively, Macey Cochran and Abigail Salazar both had basehits while Kestler drove in one runner through her double.