East County Sports

Rynkofs pitches no-hitter for Patriots



EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – Christian High senior LUKE RYNKOFS pitched a no-hitter against visiting Mater Dei Catholic on Monday afternoon and he has junior centerfielder MATT ARMIJO to thank for saving the feat in the last inning.

Rynkofs walked the first two batters of the game, but got out of the early predicament with a 5-4-3 double play.

The Crusaders had a batter reach on an infield error in the fourth, but the Pats got out of it with a double play as Rynkoffs face just four over the minimum in the contest on 96 pitches, including 59 for strikes.

Rynkofs hit a batter in the fifth and a Crusader reached on an error in the sixth.

But it was in the ninth inning when Armijo adjusted on a well-struck fly ball to center with one-out that the no-hitter became within near reach. Despite a tough circuit, Armijo kept his eyes on the ball and got the huge putout.

Rynkofs retired the side in order in the ninth with just his second strikeout of the game.

Last season, Rynkofs had more walks (22) than innings pitched (16 2/3), but was effective for the Patriots in his role as a junior, going 3-0 with a 3.78 ERA in eight appearances.

Senior BRAD JEREMIAH provided enough of the offense with three RBI on a double in the fifth inning.

Freshman TRENT NIELSEN had a sacrifice fly in Christian’s three-run fourth. He also singled home a run in the fifth.

Senior GARRETT NIELSEN singled and scored in the inning, while senior JAKOB BECK doubled and scored in the frame.

Beck had three hits in the contest.

“We need our three seniors,” said Christian head coach MIKE MITCHELL. “Jakob Beck came out and had a great game today. With Garrett, Brad and Jakob, there’s no secret they are key to our success.”

Sophomore CONNOR OHTON added a RBI double for a 3-0 lead.

The Patriots play at Grossmont at 3:30 on Tuesday in an East County matchup of San Diego County top 20 teams.

“We could be 3-0 we catch a ball here and catch a ball there,” said Mitchell. “The only time we’ve trailed this year has been for an inning and two-thirds, but we’re 1-2. Problem is we just can’t trail at the end.

“Our schedule is brutal, we go to Grossmont and Eastlake this week. We feel wet can play with anybody, but we’ve made some rookie mistakes but we’re learning. As long as we don’t repeat those, we expect to be there to give us a chance at the end.”

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