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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 1:13 pm | Fair 70º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Santa Barbara Beats Ventura in 8 innings, 2-1

Logan Foy singled home Antonio Andrade with the winning run in the top of the eighth inning and Tim Piozet pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth as Santa Barbara High beat Ventura, 2-1, to hand the Cougars their first Channel League baseball loss on Tuesday.

The win improves the Dons to 5-4 in league and 8-13 overall. Ventura is 3-1-1 and 10-7-2.

Santa Barbara's Alex Chicote and Ventura's Blake Corsentino were locked in a scoreless duel through five innings. The Dons broke the stalemate in the sixth when Bijan Palme drove in Andrade from third base. Andrade walked, advanced to second on a Joe Firestone base hit and reached third on a force play at second. Palme hit a ball into the hole at shortstop and beat the throw to first to record the RBI.

Ventura equalized in the sixth. Chicote hit the lead-off batter, who stole second and reached third on a sacrifice. A bloop single by Will Smithson scored the run. Smithson advanced to second on a error and Santa Barbara coach Donny Warrecker brought in Piozet to replace Chicote. He induced Ventura slugger Broc Mortensen to pop out and got Tommy Matsuyama to fly out to end the inning.

Piozet held the Cougars hitless in his 2.2 innings of work, allowing now walks while striking out three. Chicote allowed only two hits, hit a batter and struck out five in 5.1 innings.

In eighth, Andrade singled, stole second and advanced to third on a fly out. With two out, Foy drove a single past the Ventura shortstop for the game-winning RBI

Warrecker lauded the pitching of both Chicote and Piozet.  “Alex has been excellent his last three starts and Tim has been close to perfect in relief," he said. "With the pitching we’ve been getting, a couple of runs can win most of our games.”

He added that an exceptional defensive play by Linus Holmberg in the 5th inning stopped a two-on, none-out Cougar threat.

“Linus dove toward the bag, stopped the ball, stepped on third and made a great throw to first for the second out.  Our pitchers really  need the defensive support to succeed and have been getting it game after game.”

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