Spring Break 04

Santa Ynez’ Caleb Cassidy and Lompoc’s Jordan Scott collide at first base as the Pirate is tagged out. Cassidy had a big week against Dunn, hitting a pair of home runs.

Santa Ynez's baseball team swept Dunn in a pair of games last week, with the Pirates beating the Earwigs on April 5 and April 7.

Santa Ynez 18, Dunn 3

Caleb Cassidy went 4-for-5 with a home run, a double and four RBIs for the Pirates.

Victor Heredia went 3-for-5 with a grand slam and five RBIs to lead a 19-hit attack. Jackson Cloud went 4-for-4 and drove in two runs.

Other highlights were Dylan Peters' double and Mario Cabrera recording his first varsity hit.

"I'm happy with our team's hitting approach, but we saw some players today who played unselfishly as far as positions and we did a better job of focusing on our own play, not reacting negatively to the adversity within the game," Santa Ynez coach Warren Dickey said. 

Santa Ynez 8, Dunn 3

Warren Dickey said last Thursday's game against the Earwigs was a "great battle of cross-town teams."

The Pirates took a 4-0 lead into the sixth, but Dunn battled back on hits by Noah Waters and Theodore Anderson, pushing across three runs. The Earwigs had the bases loaded, but Owen Hunt came in to get out of trouble. Then, in the next inning, the Pirates had a big blow via a grand slam by Caleb Cassidy.

Cassidy was 2-for-4 with a double and the grand slam. Vic Heredia went 2-for-2 with two runs.

Hunt had a pair of hits and earned the save with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.

Jackson Cloud started and went into the sixth, scattering four hits and striking out nine.

"It was a great baseball game and I'm proud of the team doing the little things: baserunning, defense and execution," Dickey said. "That produced great results."

Dickey said Cassidy has really "turned it on this past month. His hard work is paying off."

Dickey also called Hunt one of the Pirates' "ultra-competitors."

"He rose to the occasion today," Dickey said of Hunt.

The Pirates are now 13-6 on the season. Dunn is 7-9.

Cal Poly track and field coach passes away

Mark Conover, Cal Poly's Director of Track & Field and Cross Country for more than 13 years and a coach of the Mustangs for 25 seasons overall, passed away Wednesday night after a courageous year-long battle with an aggressive squamous cell carcinoma.

Conover, who was 61, survived a battle with Hodgkin’s disease in 1993 and 1994.

"Mark crossed the finish line last night at 11:23 p.m.," Kelly Conover, Mark's wife, wrote on Caring Bridge. "A champion through it all. His journey ended, but his legacy will continue through us all. Celebrate his life, share your memories of him and honor a life well lived."

Cal Poly director of athletics Don Oberhelman announced Mark's passing at an emergency staff/coaches meeting Thursday morning.

"Our track and field and cross country teams along with our entire athletic department mourn together as a family," said Oberhelman. "Coach Conover impacted the lives of hundreds of men and women who donned the green and gold, with a far-reaching impact well beyond track and field.

"I’m not sure I ever met someone who loved being a Cal Poly Mustang as much as Mark Conover," Oberhelman added.

Conover coached five Cal Poly cross country teams to top-25 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a No. 10 national finish by the men's team in 2004. In addition, 17 of his men's cross country teams and seven women's squads from 1998 through 2019 claimed Big West Conference crowns.

Last spring, the Cal Poly women's track and field team captured its first-ever Big West team championship while the men were second for the eighth time since joining the conference in 1997, finishing just six points shy of the team title. The two teams combined for seven individual and relay titles. Nine Mustangs qualified for the NCAA Division I West Preliminary in College Station, Texas.

“Coach Conover’s loss will be felt by the entire conference as he was respected by everyone and mentor to so many individuals, myself included,” said Big West Director of Championships and former Cal Poly track and field student-athlete Tyler Huntley. “The culture Coach Conover cultivated during his time at Cal Poly is second to none.

"He pushed all of his student-athletes to our limits, challenging us both physically and mentally, while at the same time having a priceless sense of humor, and providing legendary one-liners," Huntley added. "His influence on my life cannot be understated, as the lessons he taught me and the experience he provided made me want to work in college athletics and try to help improve the experiences for other student-athletes. He will be deeply missed.”

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