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Santa Barbara Offense Sputters in CIF Loss to Newbury Park

Hits were hard to come by for theSanta Barbara High baseball team in a 3-0 CIF-SS Division-Two playoff loss at four-seed Newbury Park on Friday afternoon that ended the Dons' season.

Newbury Park ace and USC commit Carson Lambert hurled a two-hitter for the Panthers (21-9), with each of the hits allowed singles. Lambert struck out eight and walked none.

Santa Barbara starter Tim Piozet put up a valiant effort but was stuck with a tough-luck loss nonetheless. Piozet scattered six hits and allowed one earned run over five innings while walking two and striking out one.

The Panthers broke out in the first inning with a no-out, bases-loaded sacrifice fly from Jake Miller. A Dons double play prevented any further damage, but Lambert had all the run support he needed.

Santa Barbara (12-15-1) struggled to get things going offensively all afternoon. The Dons' first hit of the game came when Joe Firestone rapped a one-out single in the fourth inning. Lambert promptly struck out the next two batters to work around the single. Max Craig led off the sixth inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. An Antonio Andrade groundout advanced Craig to third but Lambert worked around the jam by coaxing Firestone into a hard groundout. 

"Each time we applied any pressure offensively, he seemed to bear down and spot his pitches perfectly," said Santa Barbara head coach Donny Warrecker. "We struggled to put the ball in play."

It was the first time the Dons were shutout since March 29.

Santa Barbara got off to a rough 1-7 start to the season but still managed to finish the year as co-Channel League champions with Dos Pueblos.

"Our pitching and defense were our strengths, allowing us to win many of the close games we were losing earlier in the season," explained Warrecker. "No one could have predicted our late-season run in the Channel League and into the playoffs. I’m proud of this team.”

— Noozhawk sports reporter Christian Eckert can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports and @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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