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Kevin Gowdy’s Pitching, John Jensen’s Homer Lead Santa Barbara in Season Opener

Ace pitcher Kevin Gowdy got the Donny Warrecker Era of Santa Barbara High baseball off to a great start on Wednesday.

With several scouts from major league teams on hand at Eddie Mathews Field, Gowdy pitched six shutout innings, allowing one hit while striking out 10 in a 2-0 win over Righetti.

The 6-4 right-hander got his run support from John Jensen, who belted a two-run homer off Righetti's Matt Sauer in the third inning.

The shutout gave Donny Warrecker a victory in his debut as the head coach. Warrecker replaced his father, Fred, who coached at Santa Barbara for 40 years. Fred Warrecker was in attendance to see his son win the season opener and watch Gowdy turn in a dominating performance.

"It was very exciting to coach my first game as the new head coach," Donny Warrecker told Noozhawk. "I'm very fortunate to have a great group of kids to lead this year. My brother, Wes, is an incredible help as my assistant. I really couldn't do it with out him."

The only hit off Gowdy was a fourth-inning ground single that was just out of the reach of Dons' second baseman Lucas Grandcolas.

Sauer pitched well for Righetti, surrendering three hits and two walks in four innings, and striking out five.

The Dons got to him in the third with two outs. Joe Firestone drew a walk and Jensen smashed a change-up over the right-field fence for the only runs of the game.

"We have worked extremely hard all fall and winter, so I was pumped to get the first game under way," said Warrecker. "Our big points of emphasis for the boys are: effort, focus and competitive greatness. Everyone needs to be "all in" in order for to be successful. It's an honor to continue the tradition, I'm enjoying the process and the journey."

Santa Barbara (1-0) is back in action on Saturday with a doubleheader at San Luis Obispo.
Righetti…000 000 0  — 0 1 0
Santa Barbara…002 000 x — 2 4 0

Sauer; Almanza (5) and Andersen. Gowdy, Swerdloff (7) and Keithley
W—Gowdy (1-0); L—Sauer (0-1);  S—Swerdloff (1)
HR—SB: Jensen (1), 3rd inn., one on.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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