East County Sports

Eagles due for redux; Cougars beat ace

Granite Hills celebrates its walk-off win in the play-in round Tuesday.

2017 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

 

By Ramon Scott

EastCountySports.com

 

EL CAJON – The Granite Hills Eagles have heard the grumblings and mumblings from their fans and the media about their disappointing regular season.

A monster of a preseason schedule, then a league campaign that included six games against top-ten rivals Santana and Helix, left the defending San Diego CIF Division I champion Eagles with 16 losses, the most by a Granite Hills team in over 40 years.

It would’ve been easy for these Eagles to get discouraged after falling behind in their Division I play-in game against visiting Bonita Vista, 3-1, midway through the game, against a squad that had beat them 4-0 in the second game of the year.

Granite Hills sophomore SEAN MCGREW at the plate in the seventh inning Tuesday.

But Granite Hills scrambled for single runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh, then got the game-winning run on a single by BRADY JOSLYN to score freshman MAX BODTKE (walk), as the Eagles advanced with a 3-2 win over the Barons.

Junior TREVOR HAZELHURST pulled the Eagles to within 3-2 with a RBI single in the last of the sixth with two out, scoring senior JOSH VERDON (walk).

Granite Hills got a big break in the bottom of the seventh when a shot by sophomore SEAN MCGREW fell out of the glove of the diving Baron outfielder during a great attempt on a fly ball with two out, which allowed pinch-runner SETH ALLISTER to score from first base, tying the game, 3-all.

Bodtke was key in that rally, as well, drawing a two-out walk.

After Bonita Vista scored a run on a double-play grounder in the top of the first, the Eagles’ SEAN ROSS doubled to right, scoring Joslyn, who led off with a double to left.

Senior MIKE KING came through big time with a career pitching performance in relief for the Eagles.

King went the final three innings, allowing two hits and one walk, while striking out one.

Verdon was solid with a six-inning start, allowing two earned runs, while striking out five and walking three.

The Eagles advance to the double-elimination bracket, starting with a game on Wednesday at Francis Parker’s unique field at 3:30 p.m.

 

STEELE CANYON 4, WESTVIEW 1 – The visiting Cougars got two in the first then rode the pitching of TYLER LUBAN and TREVOR BACK to advance into the double-elimination portion of the Division II playoffs, winning the play-in contest over the Wolverines and previously-unbeaten ace Michael Mercado.

Luban (5-3), a senior, started and went five 1/3 innings for the win, allowing a run and no walks, while striking out two.

Steele Canyon’s JOSH ESQUIBEL at the plate in the third inning on Tuesday.

Back, a junior, nailed the door shut with 1 2/3 innings of spotless relief with one strikeout, notching his second save of the season and lowering his ERA to 1.99.

Steele Canyon (20-9) scored both runs in the first with two outs, as LUKE ARIAS drove in the first run on an infield single, then DANNY YANEZ doubled home Arias.

The Cougars added a third run in the top of the third when JOSH ESQUIBEL doubled to right-center, scoring junior MATTHEW BRINKMEIER (walk, stolen base).

Brinkmeier stole four bases on the afternoon, giving him 13 for the season

SC extended the lead to 4-0 in the fifth on a two-out sac fly to center by BILLY TELLOUS, driving home Esquibel.

“Nobody expected us to win this game,” said Steele Canyon assistant coach MARK BRUDER. “(Mercado) was 9-0 and has a scholarship to Stanford in hand and there were a bunch of scouts there to see him. He’ll probably be drafted.”

The Cougars will stay in the East County to open up the next portion of the bracket, traveling to face second-seeded Santana at 3:30 on Wednesday.

 

HORIZON 2, FOOTHILLS 1 – Knights’ junior TREVOR SMALLWOOD and Panthers senior J.P. Dolan, hooked up in a tension-filled pitcher’s duel during the play-in game of the CIF San Diego Section Division IV playoffs at West Hills High.

Smallwood, the hard-luck loser, struck out seven Panthers in six innings of work, allowing four hits and two walks, along with just one unearned run.

Dolan, who is slated to pitch for Grossmont College next season, allowed just one legitimate base hit to Foothills Christian.

Dolan allowed a leadoff double to Smallwood in the 3rd inning. The other base hit came on a high popup to the infield which blinded Dolan and two other infielders to the third-base side of the mound.

The lone threat for the Knights came after Smallwood’s hit.

CHRIS STALLARD followed with a sacrifice bunt, but when the defender went to third base, Smallwood beat the throw, with an ensuing passed ball placing both runners in scoring position.

However, Dolan escaped on three consecutive pitches, all resulting in easy pop outs to the infield by the top of the Foothills batting order.

Down 2-0, Foothills’ only run came on a two-out rally in the 5th.

Stallard, the No. 9 batter, accepted a walk, advancing on the high-bounce infield single by BAILEY LINK.

JAALANI BROWN followed with a ground ball to third base, but when the throw to first sailed high, it allowed Stallard to score and cut the margin in half.

Link then struck out the side in relief in the 7th.

Smallwood was tagged with an unearned run in the 2nd.

An error led to Lou Cervantes eventually reaching third, scoring on a safety squeeze by Sho Tsuruta.

The other Horizon run in the 5th came with Panthers on the corners.

Foothills prevented the steal/delay steal and kept the runner on third, yet failed to retire the runner off first which could’ve ended the inning without anyone scoring; shortstop Matt Simpson followed with a RBI base hit, a line single to center field.

The Knights finished 23-9 overall and were a deep enough unit to make a deep run in a double-elimination bracket, but ran into a buzzsaw in Dolan, who even cooled the Knights’ season-long red-hot bats.

 

POWAY 4, VALHALLA 1 – Poway senior DYLAN WEESE threw a four-hitter to end Valhalla’s hopes for a surprise run in Division I, as the Titans won in El Cajon and ended the terrific one-season turnaround by the Norsemen.

Look from the Valhalla dugout during the play-in game against Poway on Tuesday. / photo by Don De Mars

LEWIS DIRKES went 2-for-3 for Valhalla (17-13) , while KYLE CASPER had a hit and scored a run in the fourth, as Valhalla sliced the early Poway lead in half.

Valhalla senior CASEY O’SULLIVAN threw seven innings, striking out three.

Senior Alex Andronovich had two hits, two runs and two RBI for Poway, including a solo home run to make it 4-1 in the top of the seventh.

The Titans got single markers in the second and third innings.

Valhalla right fielder COLE HOWARD had an assist, throwing out a Titan at the plate.

Poway (22-10) will play at fourth-seeded Grossmont on Wednesday.

 

JULIAN 3, EL CAJON VALLEY 2 – The Braves bolted out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, but the Eagles scored two in the sixth to tie it, then won on a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh to move into the double-elimination round in Division V.

El Cajon Valley limited Julian to eight hits, but seniors Jose Ramirez and Shane Duffy both had three of them. Duffy drove in the game-winner.

Senior Mac Zittle got the win, while senior Banning Taylor faced one batter for the save.

 

LINCOLN 12, LIBERTY CHARTER 0 – The Lions were dominated by the host Hornets in the Division V play-in contest, but wrapped up a good 14-6 campaign, including a 6-0 mark to win the Apollo League.

JOSH GASTULUM, BLAKE BISHOP and NICK SAURRALT had hits the finale for Liberty Charter.

 

SOUTHWEST SD 4, MOUNTAIN EMPIRE 2 – The Red Hawks finished fourth in the Citrus League with a 6-6 mark, but finished 8-15 overall following the play-in game defeat to the host Raiders in Division V.


Tue., May 23, 2017
SDCIF PLAYOFFS – Play-In Round 
DIVISION I
EAGLES 4, BARONS 3 (9 inn.)
Bonita Vista     ab r h bi Granite Hills    ab r h bi
Cazares cf        4 2 2 0  Joslyn c          4 1 2 1
Verdugo p         3 0 1 0  Ross cf           3 0 1 1
Daplas            0 0 0 0  Verdon p          2 1 1 0
Vega 3b           4 0 0 1  Cossio 3b-lf-1b   4 0 0 0
Perez lf          4 0 1 0  Hazelhurst 1b     4 0 1 1
Burow 1b          3 0 0 0  Omahen ss         4 0 1 0
Reyes c           2 1 1 0  Anderson lf       4 0 0 0
Karpinski pr      0 0 0 0  Bodtke rf         2 1 0 0
Hernandez ss      4 0 1 0  Allister pr       0 1 0 0
Bruce 2b          3 0 1 0  McGrew 2b         3 0 1 0
Nankil rf         3 0 1 0
Nakano ss-3b      - - - -
TOTALS           30 3 8 1  TOTALS           30 4 7 3

 (10) Bonita Vista (13-15) 101 100 000 – 3 8 2
 (7) Granite Hills (13-16) 100 001 101 - 4 7 2

E-Perez, Hernandez, Hazelhurst, McGrew.
DP-GH 6.
LOB-BV 7, GH 5.
2B-Cazares 2, Joslyn, Ross. SB-Omahen. 
CS-Omahen, Karpinski. 
Sac-Verdugo, Burow, Nankil, Verdon.

PITCHING SUMMARY
Bonita Vista      ip  h  r er bb so
 Verdugo         7.0  4  3  2  4  4
 Vega  L(3-1)    1.1  3  1  1  1  0
Granite Hills
 Verdon          6.0  6  3  2  3  5
 King  W(2-0)    3.0  2  0  0  1  1
HBP-Verdugo. WP-Verdugo 3, Vega.

TITANS 4, NORSEMEN 1
Poway           ab r h bi Valhalla        ab r h bi
Donnely ss       3 1 1 0  Barba 3b         3 0 0 0
Andranovich rf   4 2 2 2  Dirkes 2b        3 0 2 0
Wagenseller cf   4 0 1 0  RO’Sullivan 1b   2 0 0 0
Gaswirth 1b      4 0 1 0  Casper cf        3 1 1 0
DJohnson c       1 1 0 0  Hageman eh-c     2 0 0 0
Salverda ss-c    0 0 0 0  Zamudio lf       3 0 0 0
Van Linge 2b     3 0 2 0  Howard rf        3 0 0 0
TJohnson 3b      2 0 1 1  TSmith ss        2 0 0 0
Tishenke dh      3 0 1 0  Perot dh         2 0 1 0
Romero lf        3 0 2 0  Heider           - - - -
TOTALS         27 4 11 3  TOTALS          23 1 4 0

 (5) Poway    (22-10) 011 000 2 – 4 11 1
 (12)Valhalla (17-13) 000 100 0 – 1  4 0

E-Van Linge.
DP-Pow 1, Val 1.
LOB-Pow 6, Val 4.
2B-Romero. HR-Andranovich 7th, one on. 
SB-Andranovich, Dirkes. 
CS-TSmith. Sac-Hageman. SF-TJohnson. 

PITCHING SUMMARY
Poway                ip  h  r er bb so
 Weese     W(7-0)   7.0  4  1  0  2  4
Valhalla
 CO’Sullivan L(5-5) 7.0 11  4  4  3  3
  
DIVISION II
COUGARS 4, WOLVERINES 1
Steele Canyon    ab r h bi Westview       ab r h bi
Taylor rf         3 0 0 0  Bostater cf     3 0 0 0
Brinkmeier cf     3 2 1 0  Sousek ss       3 0 1 0
Esquibel lf       3 1 2 1  Lyons 2b        3 0 0 0
Arias c           3 1 2 1  Mosby 3b        3 0 0 0
Pedrin pr         0 0 0 0  Cho 1b          3 1 1 0
Tellous dh        2 0 1 1  Bass dh         3 0 0 0
Yanez 2b          3 0 1 1  Rocha c         2 0 0 0
Mata ss           3 0 0 0  Takaya ph       1 0 1 0
Navarro 3b        3 0 0 0  Sera pr         0 0 0 0
Dickey            3 0 0 0  Mau rf          1 0 0 0
                           O’Brien pr      1 0 1 1
                           Alfaro lf       2 0 1 0
TOTALS           26 4 7 4  TOTALS         25 1 5 1
   
 Steele Canyon (20-9) 201 010 0 – 4 7 1
 Westview     (19-11) 000 010 0 – 1 5 1

GWRBI-Arias.
E-Mata, Rocha.
LOB-SC 6, West 3.
2B-Yanez, Esquibel. SB-Brinkmeier 4, Esquibel, Arias. 
CS-Alfaro. SF-Tellous.

PITCHING SUMMARY
Steele Canyon    ip  h  r er bb so
 Luban  W(6-3)  5.1  5  1  1  0  2
 Back  Sv(2)    1.2  0  0  0  0  1
Westview
 Mercado L(9-1) 6.1  7  4  4  1  6
 Rueter         0.2  0  0  0  0  2
HBP-by Mercado (Taylor, Arias). WP-Luban.

DIVISION IV
PANTHERS 2, KNIGHTS 1
At West Hills
PANTHERS 2, KNIGHTS 1
Horizon       ab r h bi  Foothills       ab r h bi
MalSimpson 3b  2 1 1 0   Link ss-p        3 0 1 0
Glevy lf       1 0 0 0   JBrown cf        4 0 0 0
MatSimpson ss  3 0 1 1   Gates 3b         2 0 0 0
Dolan p        3 0 0 0   Eicher lf        3 0 0 0
Dowdy cf       3 0 0 0   BBrown 1b        2 0 0 0
Cervantes 2b   3 1 0 0   Nickell pr       0 0 0 0
Chapman c      3 0 1 0   BLewis dh        3 0 0 0
Tsuruta 1b     2 0 1 1   Kang rf          3 0 0 0
Hurst rf       3 0 0 0   Smallwood p-     2 0 1 0
                         Stallford 2b     1 1 0 0
Wurtz c          0 0 0 0
TOTALS        23 2 4 2   TTOALS          23 1 2 0
 

(10) Horizon              (9-20) 010 010 0 - 2 4 1  
(7) FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN (23-9) 000 010 0 - 1 2 3

GWRBI-Tsuruta.
E-MalSimpson, Gates, Link, Stallard. 
LOB-Horizn 6, Foothills 7. 2B-MalSimpson, Stallard. 
S-Tsorota, Glevy, Stallard, Smallwood. SB-MatSimpson.

PITCHING SUMMARY
Horizon           ip   h   r er bb so
 Dolan W         7.0   2   1  1  4  6
Foothills Chr.
 Smallwood L     6.0   4   2  1  2  6
 Link            1.0   0   0  0  0  3
WP-Smallwood. PB-MalSimpson.

DIVISION V
BULLDOGS 3, BRAVES 2
(10) EL CAJON VALLEY (4-21) 2
(7) Julian           (12-4) 3

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