East County Sports

LIONS: Pats’ skipper Mitchell wins 500th



EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – The Christian High Patriots gave head coach MIKE MITCHELL his 500th victory as a high school head coach with an 11-3 victory over visiting Del Oro, of Loomis, in the 67th annual Lions Tournament on Wednesday afternoon.

Senior BRAD JEREMIAH cranked a grand slam as Christian (4-7) scored six runs in the fourth inning to blow open a 6-2 game.

Sophomore TRACE RAMOS pitched a complete-game in his first varsity start, allowing no walks. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.

“It felt great to have that kind of game on the day (coach Mitchell) got his 500th (win),” Ramos said. “I really just wanted to give my team a chance to get a win by throwing strikes and trusting my defense. ”

Del Oro scored two runs in the first against the young hurler, but the Patriots scored twice in both the second and third innings.

Junior OWEN EASLEY had a sac fly and Ramos had an RBI double on the first pitch he saw of his plate appearance.

Senior GARRET and freshman TRENT NIELSEN combined for six hits at the plate.

Garret Nielson added a pop single to right for an RBI leading up to Jeremiah’s homer.

Senior JAKOB BECK also had two hits, an RBI and a run scored.

The Patriots host Green Valley (Nev.) at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday in a Lions consolation contest.


SANTANA 4 CRESPI 2 – The Sultans won for the second time in the Lions Tournament against the Celts and advanced to the Premier Division 3A semifinals on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. against Scripps Ranch at Coronado High School.

The tournament playoff berth was a just reward for Santana (3-7), which hasn’t been able to combine its best hitting and top pitching in the same ballgames so far this season.

Santana was down 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning when TC SIMMONS singled on a 0-1 delivery, driving in two runs.

In the bottom of the first inning, Santana tied things up at 1-all when BRANDON GLOWACKI lifted a sacrifice fly, scoring Simmons.

Freshman TYLER GLOWACKI earned the victory for Santana. He surrendered one run on six hits over 6 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking none.

Crespi picked up a couple of hits in the seventh, but the Sultans turned a double play to stymie the threat.


HELIX 6, EL CAMINO REAL 1 – The Highlanders won two out of three in the Lions Tournament Open Division but failed to qualify for the tournament semifinals following a win over the visiting Conquistadors from Woodland Hills.

Instead, fourth-ranked Helix (8-3) will face Vista Grande (9-7-1), of Casa Grande (Ariz.), on Thursday at 10 a.m. in a Lions consolation game.

Helix senior ZACK OWENS doubled on the first pitch he saw in the first inning, cracking a double for a 1-0 lead.

Owens had two hits and two RBI for the Highlanders.

Helix scored three runs in the fourth inning, as JORDON THOMPSON singled to right, scoring ERICK SMELKO (single).

Junior right-hander CARLOS MICHEL earned the victory on the pitcher’s mound for Helix, as he delivered one inning of relief.

Junior left-hander JOSIAH ESTRADA started for Helix and went 2 2/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits, striking out one and walking none.

Kretzschmar finished out the game on the hill with two scoreless innings, striking out three.

Junior CARLOS OQUITA and ADAM MARTINEZ both had two hits for the Highlanders.


EL CAJON VALLEY 15, TEMECULA PREP 2 (5 innings) – El Cajon Valley sophomore SEBASTIAN SANCHEZ drove in five runs on three hits as the Braves scored 10 runs in the fourth inning and won for the second-straight day at the Lions Tournament, but the Braves missed out on the Division 1A championship game mostly in part to their 13-3 loss to semifinalist de Toledo in the tourney opener.

Sanchez doubled home two runs in the first inning for an early Braves lead.

Sanchez had a single in the second to score LUIS HUERTA (walk) as the Braves led 4-0.

Sanchez had a walk and a two-run single in the wild fourth for El Cajon Valley.

“I felt really good,” Sanchez said. “All I’m trying to do is get on base.”

AARON RODRIGUEZ had an RBI single in the big frame, while PAULO MICHEL added a two-run single to make it 14-0.

Senior JESUS FAVELA pitched four shutout innings, allowing three hits, while striking out six.

Sophomore MARIO JACOBS had three hits, scored twice and had an RBI for El Cajon Valley.


MOUNT MIGUEL 11, MARANATHA CHRISTIAN 10 (8 innings) – The Matadors ended up on the right side this time of another nail-biter as ERIK KELLY cracked a double to drive in NICO CAMACHO with the winning run in the first extra frame after the Eagles scored in the top half of the eighth.

“Another step for the boys,” Mount Miguel coach FRANK COIT said. “They are ‘working the process’ getting more confident with each game, win or lose, but especially with a win of course.

“They are really pulling for each during our games now, that has not been the case in the past. All is Good in Matador-land at the moment, even though we are 3-7.”

Junior CAMERON BEAUZEC drove in three runs on a base hit for Mount Miguel, which scored six runs in the second to take a 7-3 lead.

Freshman JOJO CASTILLO drove in a run to cap the rally.

Mount Miguel senior EMILIO SOLIS had two hits, scored a run and had an RBI.

“Emilio Solis was huge, including a double off the left field warning track,” Coit said.

After Maranatha came back with three runs, senior ANGELO ZERTUCHE singled home RICARDO CAMARGO (single) for an 8-6 Matador lead in the third.

Camargo had two hits in his first varsity start.

“Game was a real struggle as has most of our games,” Coit said. “This time, the boys’ perseverance paid off. They came from behind several times during the game, including the last inning.”

Freshman MICHAEL CAMACHO pitched three solid innings. AUSTIN ORTIZ closed the game out, coming over from short in to pitch.

Camacho had two hits, including a stolen base.


RIDGEVIEW 6, WEST HILLS 5 – A memo to directors of the Lions Tournament: don’t re-invite Ridgeview High of Bakersfield to the longest-running baseball tournament in the west.

For the second straight day, players from Ridgeview were involved in a dugout-clearing brawl. Although Wednesday’s (Mar. 28) fracas only saw just one or two punches thrown (unlike Tuesday’sfight against Mar Vista), the school from Bakersfield saw the momentum turn in the aftermath.

West Hills saw its starting pitcher – who was throwing a no-hitter – get ejected, as Ridgeview rallied for a 6-5 walk-off victory over their namesakes – both ballclubs are nicknamed the Wolf Pack.

Once again for the Wolf Pack, the defense failed to support a pitching staff which again did not allow an earned run through six innings. Ridgeview won in the bottom of the seventh on three singles and a sacrifice fly.

The benches cleared after Ridgeview picked off a West Hills runner at third base to end the top of the fourth. However, the third baseman offered some choice words for baserunner which erupted the game stoppage.

Both sides had one player ejected, with both sides warned not to continue the verbal war. However, Ridgeview players (and fans) were heard shouting obscenities over the balance of the contest (be it in English or Spanish).

West Hills held leads of 2-0 and 5-2 in the early going, scoring in the first two innings for the first time all season.

A revamped batting order saw the top two batters – Ryder Diebold and Cody Pedrero – both reach base and score in the first. Larry “Chris” Schroeder. later registered an RBI single.

Ridgeview tied it in its first trip to the plate, but West Hills again took the lead in the second on an RBI double by Peyton Honick.

The cushion went to 5-2 in the fourth on consecutive bases-loaded walks to Devin Bevilacqua and Gavin Kondyra to chase the Ridgeview starting pitcher.

Two pitches later – coincidence? – the benches-clearing incident occurred.

One defensive highlight for West Hills came in the bottom of the fourth after Kai Dennis was inserted at catcher. The Ridgeview leadoff batter walked, but was easily thrown out attempting to steal second base by Dennis.

Honick and Schroeder finished with two hits each, while Kondyra reached base all four trips to the plate.

BISHOP’S 3, EL CAPITAN 2 – Bishop’s earned the Lions Tournament 6A Division with the win in the matchup of 2-0 teams in pool play in La Jolla.

El Capitan senior ANTHONY BENEDETTO singled for a 1-0 lead in the second, as AUSTIN BELL (HBP) scored.

Benedetto followed that up with an RBI single to right in the top of the fifth to bring El Capitan to within 3-2,  as Bell scored once again after being hit by a pitch to start things off.

In the bottom of the third inning, Bishop’s tied things up at 1-all. Bishop’s scored two runs in the fourth inning.

Senior SHAYNE CUNNINGHAM banged out three hits for the Vaqueros.

Senior BLAKE PEYTON performed admirably in defeat, going five innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out six.

Junior KEVIN ALLISON threw a scoreless seventh for El Cap.

PLACER 7, FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 6 – The visitors from Auburn won the Lions contest with a run in the top of the sixth inning in a game played at Grossmont High.

JALANI BROWN, a junior, had three hits for the Knights, who led 3-0 after one inning, but Placer came back to score four in the top of the second.

The Knights’ JACK WURTS drew a bases-loaded walk to cap the first-inning rally.

Foothills Christian (7-5) tied the game on a single in the bottom of the third by Brown, then took a two-run lead in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk to TYLER KENNEDY and a sacrifice fly from Wurts.

The Hillmen tied the game in the sixth with a two-run single with no outs.


CLAIREMONT 9, STEELE CANYON 5 – The Cougars (3-6) fell in the Premier Division game at the Lions Tournament, as host Clairemont (6-5) pulled away late on Wednesday.

Clairemont was down 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning but scored two runs to take the lead.

Senior MATTHEW BRINKMEIER led Steele Canyon with three hits and a pair of runs batted in, including one on a bunt single to make it 1-0 in the third.

Steele junior RICHIE PEDRIN  pitched four innings for SC, striking out three. He also drove in a pair of runs, including a single to center in the first that made it 2-0 Cougs.

After the Chieftains tied the game, Brinkmeier double to right, driving in junior ELI PAGE (single) and senior LUKE ARIAS (walk), making it 5-3 SC.

SAN MARCOS 8, GRANITE HILLS 0 – The eighth-ranked Knights blanked the 11th-ranked Eagles in the North County on Wednesday afternoon to close out the Lions Tournament Open Division round-robin play at 1-2 for Granite.

The Eagles will play at home against Silverado (Nev.) on Thursday at 10 a.m. in a Lions consolation game.

TREVOR HAZELHURST stayed hot at the plate with a pair of hits, increasing his batting average to .367.

Shane Whittaker pitched a complete for the Knights.

MATER DEI CATHOLIC 9, MONTE VISTA 7 – The Monarchs ran into a rough field in the 5A Division of the Lions Invitational this week, but turned in their best effort on Wednesday afternoon rallying with six runs in the bottom of the sixth to make a game with the Crusaders.

Monte Vista sophomore ABRAHAM SANCHEZ doubled to drive in AARON ZUNIGA and ERNIE ARAMBULA (2-for-4) to make it 8-3.

A single by IVAN PLAZOLA drove home Sanchez, who scored twice in the game.

Junior DERRICK WILEY, who had three hits on the day, singled to score junior JON GULLEY. Wiley finished with two runs driven in.

Senior ZACH MANUEL doubled to drive in two more Monte Vista runs to make it a one-run game.

Mater Dei Catholic scored three runs in the third inning for an early 6-0 lead.

Monte Vista junior ANDREW SAVOY pitched 2 1/3 scoresless innings, allowing an unearned run.


MISSION HILLS 15, VALHALLA 6 – The Norsemen scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-3 lead, but the Grizzlies crushed Valhalla in the final two frames in a Premier Division game at the 67th Lions Tournament.

Valhalla went 1-2 in the event and is now 3-8 on the season.

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