East County Sports

Reliable Ritayik rescues Pack staff


Special to EastCountySports.com

SANTEE  – Needing an extra arm in the starting rotation in a week filled with more than the usual two ballgames, West Hills High starting catcher-third baseman ANDREW RITAYIK came to the rescue.

In his first appearance on the mound all season, Ritayik carried a shutout into the seventh inning, leading the Pack to an 11-1 thrashing of visiting Mount Miguel in Thursday’s (Apr.26) Grossmont Valley League contest.

Ritayik finished with a 4-hitter, striking out six Matadors. The run allowed was unearned on a two-out passed ball.

West Hills posted six runs in the fifth inning to turn a 4-1 contest into a one-sided, 10-1 affair. Still, grabbing the early lead made life easier for the sophomore.

“For my first start of the season, I felt pretty good,” said Ritayik. “With my defense making plays behind me and getting the lead early, it made it a lot easier to throw my pitches.”

The defensively-challenged Wolf Pack did not commit an error, although the passed ball did allow Mount Miguel’s CAMERON BEAUZEC to score the lone run with two outs. It was unearned.

“Everyone on the team has been challenged on defense, including me,” added Ritayik, who has thrown out nearly a dozen base-runners this season. “So I can’t blame anyone for losing the shutout as long as we win.”

COLTON CORDERMAN, KAI DENNIS, CODY PEDRERO and STEVEN CRISTINI each registered a pair of hits for West Hills (7-13 overall, 3-4 GVL). Mount Miguel fell to 5-15 (1-6 GVL).

“We allowed some of younger players a chance since Mount Miguel is struggling,” noted Pack head coach MICKEY DEUTSCHMAN said. “And they all did pretty well.”

Ritayik got West Hills on the scoreboard first. In the 2nd, he reached on an error, then advanced on a Cristini bunt single, a passed ball, and an RBI single by GREG PLALE. Cristini came home on another wild pitch, then Plale made it 3-0 on a Dennis base hit to center.

Pedrero opened the third with a solo home run to right field, then West Hills broke the contest open in the 5th inning. Once again, Ritayik started the inning off, this time with a walk.

GAVIN KONDYRA doubled to right-center to place two runners in scoring position. Two outs later, the wave of runs put the Matadors out of reach.

Schroder walked to force home a run, LANDON BAILEY reached on a dropped fly ball for a run.

JOE THRAILKILL slugged an RBI double, then Pedrero singled home another.

An inning later, Cristini singled, scoring on a double by PEYTON HONICK.

The teams meet again Friday in Spring Valley, starting at 4 p.m.

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