East County Sports

First-place Patriots, Cougars get wins

Christian High junior OWEN EASLEY / photo by Don De Mars Photography



EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – One week into the daunting schedule of the Western League and the Christian Patriots find themselves tied for first place.

The Patriots defeated visiting St. Augustine, 9-7, on Friday afternoon to improve to 2-1 (10-8 overall), good enough for a tie atop the league standings with fifth-ranked Cathedral Catholic.

After the Saints scored in the top of the first inning, Christian senior JAKOB BECK moved into the leadoff spot and homered in the bottom of the first inning.

In the second, Christian High senior GARRET NIELSEN cracked a three-run home run for a 4-1 lead.

Christian High freshman TRENT NIELSEN doubled home two runs with one out in the bottom of the fourth to extend a Patriot lead to 7-3.

The Saints would battle back with three in the fifth to pull within one run, but CHS scored two runs in the sixth.

“We scored in five of the six innings so we had some consistency throughout our lineup,” said Christian High coach MIKE MITCHELL, who moved Garrett Nielsen into the three hole from his previous leadoff spot. “We were able to take advantage of a few mistakes that they made and that was the difference in the game.”

Garret Nielsen had three hits, drove in three runs and scored twice in the contest.

“I had never batted leadoff in my life,” Garret Nielsen said. “It’s different compared to three or four where I have always hit. It’s a different approach. I think I am a little more comfortable in the three spot, but I’ll do anything for the team.

“You’re just swinging a baseball bat.”

Beck finished with two hits and walked twice, which resulted in three runs scored at the top of the lineup.

The Patriots battled the Saints bats with four pitchers, as senior LUKE RYNKOFS started and went 4 1/3 innings, while junior PEYTON BERROTH finished out the game with two innings of work, striking out four.

St. Augustine brought the tying run to the plate with two out in the top of the seventh, but Garret Nielsen took charge of a fly ball between him and ALEX MARKOWICZ to make the grab.

“I said ‘sorry’ to Alex after that because it was his ball,” Garret Nielsen said. “I didn’t want to give them any hope, I just took it myself.”

The Patriots conclude their three-consecutive-game season set with the Saints next week with games on Wednesday (road) and Friday (home).


STEELE CANYON 18, EL CAJON VALLEY 0 – Junior CADE STEIN drove in five runs and senior NOAH NADEAU brought home four more, while junior JACK SCHLOTMAN delivered six innings of one-hit ball with nine strikeouts as the Cougars routed the visiting Braves to move to 2-0 in the Grossmont Valley League.

“Everything was feeling good and couldn’t have gone much better for me,” Nadeau said. “As for the team, we were able to perform as one and were able to get on the board quick. It was great to see the team out there playing great defense and hitting the ball well.”

Stein has just played in a handful of games, all of them just recently.

“Today we really came out strong and executed early on,” Stein said. “I felt very comfortable at the plate today and just tried to put the ball in play. 

“Jack gave us a great start and our whole lineup hit consistently well during this whole game.”

Senior MATTHEW BRINKMEIER had two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored for Steele, while junior AARON TAYLOR and senior IVAN CANALES combined for five runs in the leadoff spot.

The teams were scheduled to meet again on Saturday.


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