May 4—It doesn't get much bigger than this for the Mountain League.
Two league powers will clash on the baseball diamond starting Wednesday as Righetti will host Arroyo Grande to open up a three-game set.
The Eagles have been the top team in the area this spring, racing out to a 15-0 record under first-year coach Steve Tolley. Assuming the CIF Central Section playoffs go on later this spring, the Eagles are the likely top seed in Division 2 and may be heavy favorites to make a title run.
Righetti, though, has quickly formed into shape, bringing an 11-4 record into the meeting after winning nine of its last 10 games.
The Warriors are in the CIF Central Section's Division 1 and are the reigning Mountain League champs. Righetti won the league title in 2019 and was looking to repeat last spring when the high school baseball season abruptly ended at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mountain League teams are now playing three-games with games on Wednesdays and doubleheaders on Saturdays. Righetti will host the opener Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and then play twice at Arroyo Grande on Saturday, with the doubleheader starting at 11 a.m.
"It's a long day," Righetti coach Kyle Tognazzini says of the weekly league doubleheaders on Saturdays. "We get to the diamond at 8 a.m. on Saturday and we're out of there at 6. It's a grind for these kids. I'd rather see games on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday or something. I get it. I'm thankful we have any games, that's the bottom line."
Both teams carry 6-0 league records into Wednesday's meeting.
Righetti started league play with sweeps of Atascadero (0-15, 0-9 Mountain) and St. Joseph (5-10, 1-8). Arroyo Grande also has a three-game sweep over St. Joseph. But Arroyo Grande's three-game sweep of Templeton (10-6, 5-4) was impressive, with A.G. winning two extra-inning games.
Arroyo Grande's offense has been unstoppable this season. The Eagles are hitting .369 as a team and have bashed nine homers. Senior Justin Trimble is perhaps the top hitter in the area. The UCSB signee is hitting .471 with six homers, four doubles, a triple, 22 RBIs and 21 runs scored.
Junior Kaden Tynes leads the Eagles in hits and average. He's hitting .567 with 17 hits in 30 at-bats. Senior Ethan Royal has been productive. He's second on the team with 18 RBIs. Royal is hitting .375 with three triples and 14 runs scored.
Senior Sam Caulder is hitting .419 with 12 runs and 13 RBIs. Sophomore Ryan Tayman is batting .353 with 13 runs and nine RBIs. Senior Drew Baskin has been adept at scoring runs. He is second on the team with 20.
Senior Zach Silva has been a reliable starter for the Eagles. Arroyo Grande has a strong stable of arms, with Carson Gomes, Mark Byrum and Aiden Ostrov eating up innings this spring.
Over at Righetti, the Warriors rely a bit more on pitching and defense than their offense, though Righetti can produce runs. The Warriors had won nine straight before falling to Dos Pueblos 4-0 in a non-league game on Saturday as they had the week off from league play.
Gavin Long has broken out this spring, leading the team in hits while providing solid defense at second base. Long, a junior, is batting .375 with three doubles, a triple, nine runs scored and 10 RBIs.
Sophomore Adrian Santini is batting .354 with 14 runs in 14 games.
Sophomore catcher Brodie Miller has stepped up in a big way this spring. He leads the team with a .417 average, adding 10 runs and 11 RBIs. Junior Chris Miller, the Warriors' top pitcher, is hitting .355 with six runs and 10 RBIs.
Junior Matt Rivas has been good at shortstop and is hitting .297 with nine runs and five RBIs. The Warriors also have sophomore left-hander Ricky Smith, who's showing some development with a .269 batting average. He has three doubles, four runs and four RBIs.
Chris Miller has a 1.45 ERA and a 3-1 record in 29 innings of work. He's struck out 22 batters.
The Warriors also feature Cooper Bagby, a starter who's struck out 26 batters in 21 2/3 innings this year. Bagby has a 1.62 ERA.
Sophomore Omar Reynoso has filled in to eat up innings and has been strong with a 2.41 ERA in 20 1/3 innings of work.
Righetti, Orcutt girls hoops
Another intriguing Mountain League meetings scheduled for this week include two Santa Maria Valley programs.
Righetti's and Orcutt Academy's girls basketball teams are scheduled to clash on Thursday and Friday. Righetti is 4-1 on the season and coming off a league loss to Arroyo Grande on Friday. Orcutt Academy is 5-1 on the season. Both teams have one league loss.
Orcutt Academy will host Righetti at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and Righetti hosts Orcutt at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Righetti is the defending Mountain League champ. Orcutt Academy won the Ocean League last year.
SMHS girls soccer
The Saints are having a solid season at 7-1-1 overall heading into Tuesday's game against Templeton at home.
The meeting against Nipomo set for May 11 should be a good one. Nipomo is 7-0-1 overall.
Lompoc and Cabrillo are scheduled to face each other twice this week in Channel League softball.
Lompoc is 7-3 overall and 4-3 in Channel League play, but has lost three of four.
Cabrillo hosts Lompoc on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The Conqs are improved, standing at 4-6 overall and 3-4 in league.