Ryan Speshyock
Ryan Speshyock of Dos Pueblos threw a one-hit shutout against Santa Barbara to put the Chargers in sole possession of second place in the Channel League. (Lisa Ishikawa photo)

A fastball hitting in the mid-90s combined with a nasty curveball made Dos Pueblos right-hander Ryan Speshyock nearly unhittable on Friday.

Santa Barbara High’s baseball team managed to get a single in the fourth inning, and Speshyock hit a batter in the seventh. But those were the only baserunners he allowed in a dominating performance for the Chargers in a 3-0 one-hitter at Scott O’Leary Field.

In his last three starts, Speshyock has thrown two shutouts and a no-hitter in which he allowed a run.

Friday’s win gave Dos Pueblos sole possession of second-place at 9-4, with two games left in the regular season. Santa Barbara is 8-5.

The Chargers scored all their runs in the third. Joe Talarico’s single in the right-center field gap drove in Dylon Bailey for the first run. After Speshyock drew a walk, Josh Brennan poked a two-run triple down the right-field line.

Dos Pueblos coach George Hedricks was happy to see Speshyock have success with the curveball. That success enabled him to keep his pitch count down and record his second straight complete-game victory. He threw a 6-1 no-hitter last Friday against Santa Ynez.

“When you throw that hard, (the hitters) are going sit for the fastball, they’re thinking fastball, as well as they should,” Hedricks said. “They got to be early to the fastball, so if you can throw your off-speed for a strike, or at least in the zone, you’re going to get a lot more success. 

“And he does it well, anyway. It’s not just a gimme pitch, it’s a really good pitch on top of the fastball.”

“Yeah, we got it going early,” said Speshyock of his breaking ball. “That’s been a struggle for me the past few games, just finding my off-speed pitches early. That was something we established before the game that we needed to do.”

The Dons weren’t passive at the plate against the Stanford commit. He was just too good. All nine of his strikeouts were by swinging.

“We competed in the box,” Santa Barbara coach Steve Schuck said. “The guy was just better today.”

Dane Dawson singled to center to lead off the fourth for Santa Barbara’s lone hit.

“Dane is a great lead-off hitter; he’s always had a competitive advantage against me,” Speshyock said. “He’s not afraid of the fastball, he gets all the way up on the plate and in battles in there. It was a good swing. I kind of tightened up a curveball maybe a little too much and he got his bat out there. He did his job.”

Dylon Bailey

Dylon Bailey slides home ahead of a throw to Santa Barbara catcher Vince Gamberdella. Bailey scored on a single by Joe Talarico for Dos Pueblos’ first run of the game. (Lisa Ishikawa photo)

Speshyock retired the next three hitters on a fly out to left a strikeout and an infield popup that he caught.

Hedricks reminded Speshyock to stay focused after Dawson’s hit.

“You can hear me hollering at him, ‘One pitch at a time, one batter at time, be focused,’” Hedricks said. “He’s such a high-energy guy; you got to kind of pull the reins on him sometimes.”

Spesyock hit Cal Wipf to start the seventh, but Santa Barbara’s pinch-runner was erased on a spectacular play by second baseman Tim Lisi. He dived over the second base bag to catch a low pop-up and threw to Kevin Wirtz at first to complete a double play.

“He couldn’t have picked a better time for it,” Hedricks said of Lisi’s defensive gem. “This is his first start on defense in probably three-to-four weeks, maybe longer. He had a really bad high-ankle sprain and he’s been out for weeks. The biggest thing has been his range and what his ankle would be able to give him. I guess I can’t question him on that.”

Speshyock said the hustle play was typical Lisi. 

“That’s the way Timmy plays,” he said. “He’s our senior heart. Even at practice, when he’s diving around the field like that  and we don’t have the energy, he brings it. So, to see him do that in a game, especially after battling injuries this year, is really cool.”

Talarico robbed the Dons’ Michael Firestone of a hit in the fifth. He charged a slow bouncing ball, gloved it on the edge of the infield grass and made an accurate throw to first for the out.

“I think Joe is one of the only players, or is at least near the top of the list, where if a ball is hit in the vicinity of shortstop, it’s a comforting feeling (for a pitcher),” Speshyock said. “You know 99% of the plays get made. Having Joe at short is an absolute game changer.”

Santa Barbara also played clean on defense and got good pitching from starter Zane Lee-Paulick and reliever Juan Perez. Lee-Paulick struck out three and gave up three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings. Perez allowed two hits. 

Catcher Vince Gamberdella threw out a runner attempting to steal third in the fifth.

Brennan’s long poke to right field for the two-run triple was the big blow for DP.

“Well-placed ball, two outs, those things kill you, especially against a pitcher like that,” Schuck said. “It was a good game on our part. I told (the players), sometimes it’s sunny and sometimes it rains, you just have no control.”

The one who did was Speshyock.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at bpunzal@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.