The Atascadero High baseball team hit a couple of home runs in an unlikely stadium, but rival Paso Robles claimed the 8-5 victory and remained one game back of first place in the PAC 7 race Wednesday.
Spencer Ruggles and Weston Walker both left the yard for the Greyhounds on a day where homers were the aberration but not the whole story. In all, there were three home runs at the Bearcats’ cavernous Barnhart Field.
“They hit two, and we hit one,” said Paso Robles coach Derek Stroud, who watched the Bearcats’ Mac Stuart homer as well. “The wind was blowing a different direction than it normally does here.
“That doesn’t happen too often.”
Paso Robles (11-4, 7-4 PAC 7) took a three-run lead in the bottom of the first, and the Bearcats answered every rally by Atascadero (7-6, 4-4 PAC 7) with one of their own.
The Greyhounds scored one in the top of the second. The Bearcats added another in the bottom of the third.
The teams traded two-run rallies in both the fourth and sixth innings. Atascadero was never able to tie the score.
Stuart was 2 for 3 with two RBI and two runs, Angel Gonzalez was 2 for 4 with two RBI, and Eli Vargas and Elias Stokes each doubled for the Bearcats.
St. Joseph 7, Mission Prep 4
With a two-run rally in the bottom of the fifth, the Royals (7-5) cut the St. Joseph lead to two but stranded runners on third to end that inning as well as the sixth to squelch the comeback.
“We had our opportunities to beat a PAC 7 team,” said Mission Prep coach Gerry Detz, whose team fell to 0-3 against the PAC 7 this season, “and we let them slip away.”
In his first start of the season, Tyler Walter took the loss after allowing five runs, two earned, in the first five innings.
Anthony Bosshardt had a two-run home run for the Royals.
Santa Ynez 3, Nipomo 2
Felipe Gonzales hit a go-ahead three-run homer for the Pirates in the sixth inning.
Ryan McNeil had pitched more than five shutout innings for the Titans prior to that point, finishing with three strikeouts and a walk.
McNeil was also 2 for 3 with a double, a run scored and a sacrifice-fly RBI.
A.J. Campos was also 2 for 3 with a double for Nipomo (6-4, 4-2 Los Padres League).
Nipomo 11, Santa Ynez 1, 5 innings
Titans pitcher Courtney Cuzick struck out 13 of the 23 batters she faced and batted 3 for 4 with three runs for the Titans (11-7, 4-2 LPL).
“She dominated from the first pitch,” Nipomo coach Matt Paradis said, “kept hitters off-balance and just dominated the strike zone.”
Freshman Ashley Ruiz and catcher Ari Hulsizer each batted 2 for 4 with two RBI for the Titans, who scored two runs in each of the first two innings and put the game out of reach with a seven-run rally in the fourth.
Nipomo 3, Santa Maria 0
Shrugging off a five-set loss to Morro Bay in the previous match, the Titans (2-3 LPL) controlled the first two of a 25-18, 25-18, 26-24 victory over the Saints before outlasting them in the final set.
“The boys have really done a great job and come together as a team,” Nipomo coach Darlene Ballestero-Pirotte. “I’ve been extremely impressed by their resilience.”
Kirk Wilenius had 14 kills, J.W. Dobbe added 13, and Lukas Grassle tallied three aces for the Titans.
Hoyt to Providence
San Luis Obispo girls volleyball star Beth Hoyt has committed to play collegiately at Providence, Tigers coach Manny Carter said.
Hoyt, a 5-foot-8 senior outside hitter, was a Tribune all-San Luis Obispo County first-team honoree this past season, when she led the Tigers with 2.8 kills per set.
Her 42 aces and 338 digs were both second on the team, helping to lead San Luis Obispo to a share of the PAC 7 championship.“I coached her for four years,” Carter said, “and I saw her grow from her freshman to senior year. She just became an all-around good volleyball player.”
Providence finished 10-23 this past season and is looking to bounce back from a last-place finish in the America East Conference. The Friars will likely first look at Hoyt primarily as a defensive specialist, Carter said.