Aidan Mandel got pumped up when he got a fastball up in the zone during San Marcos High’s baseball game at crosstown Dos Pueblos on Wednesday.
“I’m a big dude, so I like them up,” Mandel said.
The 6-foot-6 junior yanked a three-run home run in the fourth inning to turn a pitcher’s duel into a 20-4 rout for the Royals at Scott O’Leary Field.
Mandel, who was one of three Royals to strike out against DP starter Ryan Speshyock during the first two innings, wound up going 4-for-5. He had two doubles to go with the homer and drove in six runs.
“I just learned from that first at-bat and it went up from there,” he said. “We’ve got good hitters on our team and we can do that in any game, and against any pitcher.”
Speshyock, a sophomore who has already committed to Oregon State, left the game with a 4-0 deficit after four innings. The Royals got 14 hits and also took advantage of nine walks and two hit batters. They scored 15 of their runs in the last two innings against two of five DP pitchers.
“(Speshyock) missed one pitch today, and unfortunately it was that pitch,” DP coach George Hedricks said of Mandel’s homer. “But otherwise, I was very impressed with him.
“He’s just a sophomore. First start of the year. We’re going to get a lot out of him in the next three years going forward. There’s nothing but positives to take away from Ryan’s start today.”
San Marcos (2-0) showcased two of its three Division 1 recruits. Sophomore Cole Schoenwetter, a recent commit to UCSB, allowed just one hit, no walks and no runs in the first two innings.
“This was his first varsity start, his first varsity innings,” said Wes Ghan-Gibson, a former San Marcos star who was making his head coaching debut for the school. “We put him in a pretty big spot, but we believe in him, and he works really hard.
“He did exactly what we’d hoped he’d do. He just trusted himself and let it rip.”
Chase Hoover, a junior lefthander who has committed to TCU, allowed just three hits while striking out 10 in the next four innings.
“Chase just goes attack,” Ghan-Gibson said. “He’s a bulldog. I’m super-proud of him. He’s put in a lot of work. He’s been in the weight room, working on his craft every day.”
DP’s Kellen Montgomery, who made several stellar plays at catcher, showed his hitting prowess by lining a homer over the left-field fence against Hoover to lead off the sixth.
“He’s a team captain as a junior, and you could see why today,” Hedricks said. “He works his butt off every day at the plate.
“It was a tough day behind the dish — there were some really long innings — but he’s not the type of guy who’s going to waver. He’s going to work like it’s a 1-1 or 0-0 game no matter what.
DP (0-2) scored two more runs in the seventh on consecutive hits by Talarico, Speshyock and Jackson Greaney, its lone senior starter. Speshyock and Greaney both went 2-for-4.
But the Royals looked in midseason form all around the diamond. They played errorless defense while flexing their offensive muscle, with Aiden Johnson and Brendon Cekada both going 3-for-5. Chris Neal added a single and a double, and senior Henry Manfredonia — another UCSB-bound Royal — contributed a two-run double.
“We’ve put in a lot of work and these kids work hard every day,” Ghan-Gibson said. “That’s a pretty good team, and we know that we’ll get their best shot next time.
“Our kids just had a tremendous effort today.”
The game was actually a non-league, Santa Barbara Tournament contest. Hedricks chalked it up as a learning experience for the Chargers.
“I think that score isn’t indicative of our pitching staff,” he said. “I think that’s going to be the backbone of our team this year, to be honest.
“I think we’re all a little shocked in the way that game went. It got sloppy quick in the long innings, and that’s something we’ll clean up going forward. I predict that down the stretch with Santa Barbara and San Marcos and us there will be a lot of good pitching duels … A lot of better games.”
SANTA YNEZ 3, CABRILLO 2
Vic Heredia’s work at both the plate and on the mound was the difference maker for the Pirates on Wednesday.
Heredia’s RBI double in the fifth helped Santa Ynez (2-0) take a 2-0 lead. He later scored on a single by Caleb Cassidy.
Heredia also notched four strikeouts over the final two innings to secure the win.
PREP GIRLS TENNIS
ARROYO GRANDE 7, SANTA YNEZ 2
Emmy Withrow and Morea Narretto each won their singles matches in the Pirates’ loss on Wednesday.
Withrow won 4-6, 6-1, 10-2 and Narretto was victorious 3-6, 6-2, 10-7.
News-Press Associate Editor Mitchell White contributed to this report