East County Sports

GMC: Knights edge Matadors again



EastCountySports.com staff report


LAKESIDE – There’s not a lot separating the Foothills Christian Knights and the Mount Miguel Matadors on the baseball diamond.

The teams may be rated even closer than the 5-4 margin that the Knights defeated the Matadors by for the second time this season at Barona Field on Tuesday afternoon at the Grossmont-Metro-City Tournament.

The teams played to the exact same final score on the same field back on March 10.

Newcomer PRESTON SACCONE, a junior transfer from Granite Hills playing in just his second game after waiting out the transfer-eligible period, singled home the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh on the first pitch of the at-bat.”

“Great win that we needed after dropping five games by a total of seven runs,” Foothills Christian coach DAVE LEWIS said.

In the seventh, freshman TYLER KENNEDY led off with a single. Sophomore JACK WURTS (2-for-3) laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt that ended up a base hit. On the throw to first, Kennedy, with a heads-up play, went all the way to third.

“I had lots of confidence at the plate and I was looking for a pitch to drive and I was able to hit it down the third baseline to get the leadoff single,” Kennedy said.

Saccone then singled Kennedy home to win the game.

“It felt good to get back onto the field and get the win today,” Saccone said. “I like working under coach DAVE (LEWIS).

Foothills senior CHRIS STALLARD, making his season-debut, got the win with two innings of relief work, allowing no earned runs while striking out three.

“I thought today was a good team win after we had a tough loss yesterday,” Stallard said.”

Sophomore CORBIN HARRIS hit an inside-the-park home run for the Knights in the bottom of the fifth to snap a 2-all tie.

“I swung on a fastball that I hit to center,” Harris explained. “Fortunately the center fielder tried to make a great play but missed and I took advantage of that opportunity.

“As I was heading to third, I thought our third base coach would stop me but he started waving me around to go home and I gave it my all.

“We played great today, we played as a team.”

Senior TREVOR SMALLWOOD allowed five hits and three runs over five innings, striking out four.

“My go-to pitch today was at first my curveball and then later in the innings, I relied heavily on my fastball,” Smallwood said.

Foothills sophomore shortstop CADE CABRAL also joined the team this week.

“It was definitely difficult being off the field for thirty days and I am very excited to be back,” Cabral said. “I really enjoy the atmosphere of our team and coach Lewis is great at what he does.

“I was very proud how the team stepped up when we were short players and I look forward to contributing in anyway I can.”

Sophomore JULIUS HARRIS had two hits and four stolen bases for Mount Miguel (3-8).

Junior NICO CAMACHO went the distance for Mount Miguel, allowing one walk and striking out three.

“Camacho pitched well,” Mount Miguel coach FRANK COIT said. “He should have been awarded a ‘W’ but a couple of small mistakes cost us. Julius Harris had a great day, too.

“Stranded runners every inning killed us again, But, hats off to Foothills, they made a couple of more plays than we did and it carried them to victory. We will get over the hump, it just takes consistent play, we are not quite there yet, but the boys are working hard, and not getting discouraged, whic is a very good sign.”

HELIX 6, SCRIPPS RANCH 1 – Helix junior GRIFFIN ZAMORA and the sixth-ranked Highlanders cooled the red-hot Scripps Ranch Falcons in the GMC Tournament.

“I just tried to throw a lot of strikes and command the zone as best as possible,” Zamora said. “I struggled a little bit in the middle innings but luckily I was able to pull it together and only give up one run.”

The Falcons were coming off a Premier Division championship at the 67th annual Lions Tournament last week, but Helix improved to 3-1 in the GMC with a 6-1 victory.

Griffin was Griffin and competed his butt off,” Helix coach COLE HOLLAND said.

Junior CARLOS OQUITA drove in two runs for Helix.

Highlander senior ZACK OWENS  joined the bevy of other Highlanders heading to four-year schools after he announced that he would further his pursuits at Asuza Pacific University on Tuesday evening.

Earlier in the day, Owens highlights a two-first first with a RBI single.

Oquita followed with a run-scoring single.

Senior AUSTIN KRETZSCHMAR (2-for-3) drove in a run in the fourth inning and pitched two scoreless innings to close things out.

“My fastball was feeling good today so I made sure to hit my spots and work off my fastball,” Kretzschmar said. “My go-to pitch was locating my fastballs.”

Helix senior BRANDON PETERSON had a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0 in the third, but Scripps made things interesting for the moment with a run in the bottom of the inning.

Helix sophomore JORDON THOMPSON singled home a run in the sixth.

“I thought we took a pretty mature approach today,” Holland said. “It is really tough to score runs at Scripps Ranch, every fly ball is an out so our approach was to get on top and try and beat some infielders.

“If we had nine ‘launch-angle’ kids we would have lost 1 to 0. So I’m proud of our adjustments.”


GROSSMONT 6, BONITA VISTA 0 – The Foothillers’ TYLER PARENT hurled a four-hit shutout as ninth-ranked Grossmont won on the road in the GMC tourney.

Senior JESSE GARCIA hit a long home run over the left field fence in front of the scoreboard at Bonita Vista in the top of the fifth on a 2-2 pitch with no out to make it 4-0.

“My approach was to let the ball get deep to recognize the pitch the best I can and hit a low lined drive so i can drive through the baseball,” Garcia said. “That way, I don’t open up and drop my backside. I was given curveballs and fastballs and my two hits were off of the only two fastballs that were given to me.”

“I was given curveballs and fastballs and my two hits were off of the only two fastballs that were given to me.”

Talk about seeing it well. Garcia also walked twice.

“My team came out with a good win today,” Garcia said.. “We all contributed to win the game.”

Junior ZAK FARRIS had a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 in the top of the fourth.

“We played a good game today,” Grossmont coach JORDAN ABRUZZO said. “Tyler threw strikes with all four pitches. Our offense did a good job of applying pressure and Garcia really got into one.”

Parent struck out four and walked one to earn his first win of the season.

“My goal when I’m on the mound is to get ahead in the count and attack hitters,” Parent said. “Whether that’s with the fastball, or off-speed.

“My defense played outstanding today, making every play behind me. I couldn’t have done it without them.

CHRIS GIOVENGO also had two hits and an RBI for the Hillers, who host St. Augustine today at 4 in the GMC.


MONTE VISTA 2, MAR VISTA 0 – Senior left-hander IVAN PLAZOLA was in peak form for Monte Vista on Tuesday against the host Mariners in a GMC contest.

“One of the best high school performances I have ever seen,” Monte Vista coach CRAIG NEU said. “He controlled the strike zone and located his pitches well. It was a big win for the program and we are excited about our growth as a team.

Plazola gave up four hits, with 10 strikeouts and just two walks.

“We played very well,” Plazola said. “Our defense made big plays to shutout a good opponent.”

Junior DERRICK WILEY was the offensive hero with his two-run single with two out in the top of the fifth for the game’s only runs.

The rally started when sophomore ABRAHAM SANCHEZ was hit by a pitch with one out and JON GULLEY drew a walk.

Monte Vista senior ISAAC GONZALEZ had a pair of hits

“We beat a very good team on the road,” Neu said. “I am proud of our teams effort and energy today.”

Monte Vista (7-5) will face Foothills Christian at 3:30 on Thursday in the GMC tournament.


EL CAJON VALLEY 13, GOMPERS PREP ACADEMY 3 – It was a sweet sixteen of sorts at the Braves’ diamond on Tuesday.

The Braves’ bats were blazin’ against the Eagles and ripped out 16 hits.

Then, El Cajon Valley junior workhorse ROBERT VERDUGO struck out 16 Gompers batters over six innings to earn his second win of the season.

“Every time I pitch I know I have to provide for my team because I have to rest a certain amount of games or days until I pitch the next one,” Verdugo said. “Today I told myself I got to go out there and get them and be aggressive with my pitches and hit my spots.”

It all added up to the Braves’ fourth victory of the season and third-straight win against just three defeats.

“We played a complete game once again,” El Cajon Valley coach CLIFTON THOMAS said. “Robert did a great job on the mound today, which allowed for our defense and our bats to play a little more loose, without added pressure.

El Cajon Valley scored in the first inning when MARIO JACOBS (2-for-3) drove in a run.

But the Braves broke the Eagles’ back in the third with five runs.

“It really helps when your pitcher attacks hitters, gets ahead on them and has quick innings,” Thomas said. “We are able to carry the momentum from our previous at-bats because we get back in off defense quickly.

Junior LUIS HUERTA singled in the Braves’ second to make it 2-zip. Huerta doubled home another run in the big third as part of a three-hit day.

Also in the third, Verdugo singled home a run to get the tally started, as junior GREG SANCHEZ (double) scored.

Verdugo added an RBI single in the fourth. On the hill, he allowed four hits and three runs over six innings, walking one.

Senior JESUS FAVELA (3-for-4, two runs scored) added an RBI for El Cajon Valley to cap the third inning, while junior AARON RODRIGUEZ added a two-run double in the fourth.

“We just played baseball and had fun,”  Favela said. “The pitcher wasn’t throwing fast so we just sat back and drove the ball where ever the pitch was. I just kept my hands back and drove it wherever he pitched it to me.”

The Braves are rated in the top six currently in the section’s Division V. They’ll get a good taste for what it might be like to play at championship-caliber opponent on Thursday when they face the section’s No. 1 team in the division – the 8-3 Lincoln Hornets – on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

“We just are playing fundamental baseball working as a team to get a ring this year,” Favela said. “The difference between this team than any other team is we’re hungry and want to be a force to be reckoned with and want to have our name out there and show our opponents that were not afraid and we will always put up a big fight no matter what.”

Lincoln lost to the No. 2-ranked opponent in the division on Tuesday, losing to Southwest (San Diego), 6-4, in the GMC.

“We have a tough opponent on Thursday,” Thomas said. “But the boys are excited and ready for the challenge.”


ST. AUGUSTINE 1, GRANITE HILLS 0 – Granite Hills senior TREVOR HAZELHURST received a hard-luck result against the Saints in the GMC event.

The Saints made a first-inning run against the standout hurler stand, as the Eagles managed just five hits against the St. Augustine star.

“Hazel did great today,” Granite Hills coach JAMES DAVIS said. “Their pitcher just beat us today. Tip your cap to him. We had chances and just didn’t capitalize on it.”

Hazelhurst struck out seven and allowed just three hits.

“I felt really good today,” Hazelhurst said. “My fastball was the key pitch today but I walked a kid and he stole a couple bags and then (on a passed ball) they scored.”

The Eagles put two men on in the third and fourth innings, but came away empty against Saints senior stud Jack Dolak, who coaxed a pair of double plays.

Granite Hills will host second-ranked Eastlake today in the Bill Dickens-Gordon Thompson bracket of the GMC tourney.


EASTLAKE 7, SANTANA 4 – The host Titans won the game in the Dickens-Thompson bracket of the Grossmont-Metro-City event.

After the Sultans took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a double by junior BENTON HART, who went 3-for-3, including a walk.

Eastlake, however, scored four in the bottom of the inning.

Santana added a run in the third to make it 5-2 as Hart drove in another run with a single to right, but the Titans struck again in the fourth, extending the lead to five.

Santana junior BRANDON GLOWACKI drove in a run in the seventh.

Senior TC SIMMONS had two hits and scored two runs for the Sultans (3-10), who travel to face 16h-ranked Madison on Wednesday at 4 in the GMC.

Santana senior JOSH OEDEWALDT threw two scoreless innings at the Titans.


MADISON 9, EL CAPITAN 4 – The Warhawks dropped five runs on the visiting Vaqueros in the bottom of the first in the GMC contest.

The Vaqueros made a game of it in the fourth with a four-spot and trailed 7-4 at the midway point.

Senior ANTHONY BENEDETTO continued his hot hitting with a RBI single  with one out for El Cap’s first run.

Senior JAKE COKER bunted an apparent safety squeeze, bringing in STEVIE MONTEJANO, then Benedetto later stole home.

Senior HUNTER MARKLE had two hits for El Capitan (4-8), which hosts Scripps Ranch on Wednesday at 4 in the GMC.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *