East County Sports

Highlanders’ pennant fight dealt late-season changeup



By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com


LA MESA (5-13-16) — Sometimes a baseball game is just a game.  Other times it is the release from the stresses of real life.


The game on Thursday (May 12) between El Capitan and Helix both sides of the game was experienced.  To El Capitan, it was just another Grossmont Hills League game.  For Helix it was the release of the stress of real life.  The kind of life that most kids don’t have to worry about.


See, on Tuesday the Highlanders found out that one of their own was diagnosed with lymphoma.  He was admitted to a local hospital on Tuesday and coach COLE HOLLAND informed the team yesterday.  The has not been any word on the prognosis on RHP JACOB HERNANDEZ, but obviously all of our thoughts and prayers from us here at East County Sports.com go out to his family.


“We are playing for a lot more than just us,” Holland explained after the game.  “We are playing for him and giving him some good vibes.  For the first time we have a purpose to play our game.  This one goes to him!”


As far as the game was concerned, the Highlanders (14-9, 6-4 GHL) defeated El Capitan (13-10, 6-4 GHL) 10-2 at Helix High’s baseball field.


CONNOR KONISHI and HUNTER ISBELL both led the Scotties offensively, while JACK STRONACH took care of things on the mound.


MICHAEL RICHARDSON drew a walk to begin the second inning.  On a 2-2 count to HUNTER ISBELL, Holland called for a hit and run play.  Talk about perfect timing.  Isbell doubled to left center which with Richardson running, allowed the junior to run all the way until he scored.  ROMAN PADILLA walked to put runners on first and third as the ball got away from the catcher on ball four.  After a strikeout, WES BABBITT hit into a fielder’s choice where the Vaqueros took care of Isbell who was trying to score on a squeeze play.


One inning later, left fielder ERIC SMELKO reached on an error.  Stronach singled to center advancing Smelko to second.  A ground out advanced both runners.  With El Capitan pulling their infield in to play on the grass, the outfielders were not playing as shallow.  Richardson hit a line drive to the right fielder, but it was deep enough for Smelko to tag and score the second run of the day for Helix.


Padilla led the fourth inning off with a walk.  MICHAEL BROGAN was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second.  A Babbitt sacrifice bunt pushed both runners up a base.  BRANDON PETERSON walked to load the bases up.  Smelko hit a grounder to third base.  The Vaqueros tried to pull off the 5-2-3 double play, but Smelko’s speed made that only a hope.  However, that still made the bases loaded.  So when Stronach was hit by a pitch one batter later, the Highlanders got their 3-0 lead.  Konishi laced a 3-1 pitch into right center to bring in Peterson and a 4-0 lead after four innings.


El Capitan finally got on the board in the fifth.  KENNY OLHAUSER was hit by a pitch to break a streak of 10 straight batters that Stronach had taken care of.  A wild pitch advanced Olhauser to second.  A fielding error allowed TYLER LINDSAY to reach safely and push Olhauser to third.  HOLDEN JONES took a full count pitch and turned it into an RBI single to right allowing Olhauser to cut the score to 4-1 Helix.


In the bottom of the sixth, the Scotties broke the game wide open with a six run inning.


The seventh inning saw the Vaqueros score a run to close out the scoring.


El Capitan will have the weekend off to get ready to face Steele Canyon at home on Tuesday (May 17).  Helix will face rival Grossmont at Joe Gizoni Field at 4:00 p.m. today.


El Capitan         ab r h bi Helix          ab r h bi
Medford rf          3 0 0 0  Smelko lf       4 1 0 0
Carlino 2b          2 0 0 0  Stronach p      2 1 1 1
Moorman c-3b-lf     3 0 0 0  Taylor p        0 0 0 0
Olhauser cf-p       2 2 1 0  Konishi cf      4 1 2 3
McClanahan lf-3b-cf 3 0 0 0  Richardson ss   3 2 1 1
Lindsay 1b-c        3 0 1 0  Isbell c        4 1 1 1
Dones dh            3 0 1 2  Padilla dh      2 0 1 1
Duncan p-1b         3 0 1 0  Brogan 1b       2 1 0 0
Larwa ss            3 0 0 0  Babbitt 3b      1 0 1 0
Wanamaker p         0 0 0 0  Chase 3b        0 1 0 0
                             Anaya 3b        1 0 0 0
                             Peterson 2b     2 2 1 0
                             Kovalcheck 2b   0 0 0 0
TOTALS             25 2 4 2  TOTALS        25 10 8 7

  El Capitan (13-11, 6-5) 000 010 1 –  2 4 3
  Helix       (15-9, 7-4) 011 206 x – 10 8 0

GWRBI-Isbell (1).
E-Carrillo, Duncan, Lindsay. DP-EC 2, Hel 2. LOB-EC 5, Hel 8. 
2B-Isbell, Padilla. S-Babbitt 2.

El Capitan         ip  h  r er bb so
 Duncan    L(1-4) 4.0  3  4  3  4  4
 Wanamaker        1.1  5  6  5  2  2
 Olhauser         0.2  0  0  0  0  0
 Stronach  W(4-2) 6.1  3  2  2  1  2
 Taylor           0.2  1  0  0  0  1
HBP-by Stronach (Duncan 2). WP-Duncan, Wanamaker, Stronach, Taylor.

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