East County Sports

ROUNDUP: Monarchs win after injury scare



EastCountySports.com staff report


SPRING VALLEY – The Monte Vista Monarchs rallied for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on Friday to stay in the thick of the Grossmont Valley League pennant race on Friday afternoon with a 7-5 win over the visiting Steele Canyon Cougars.

The Monarchs finally got to a Cougar bullpen forced into action early after a scary moment.

Steele Canyon starter IVAN CANALES was knocked from the game in the second inning when a line drive struck him in the head. The ball was actually caught by third baseman ELI PAGE for an out.

Canales was taken to the hospital for observation for a concussion, but was released, and returned to the field by the end of the long game.

The win for Monte Vista moves them back into a tie for second in the GVL with the Cougars at 6-2. Valhalla, winners of seven-straight games, is in first with a 7-1 mark.

Cougar junior BILLY TELLOUS hit a home run for the third-straight game when he lifted a fly ball to right in the top of the second for a 1-0 lead.

Junior JON GULLEY had three hits for Monte Vista, including an RBI single to right in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 1-apiece that scored CAMERON SCHULER, who led off the inning with a walk.

The Cougars regained the lead in the top of the fourth when ANTHONY MATA kept up his hot hitting with an RBI single to center, scoring senior LUKE ARIAS, but Gulley, the center fielder, threw out another potential run at the plate on the play.

Steele Canyon scored three runs in the top of the fifth to take a 5-1 lead before the Monarchs’ big number in the bottom of the frame.

Arias had a two-out single to score MATTHEW BRINKMEIER (double) for a 3-1 SC lead, then RICHIE PEDRIN and JOSH ESQUIBEL drew bases-loaded walks for two more runs.

But with the season possibly on the line, the Monte Vista bats answered.

Senior IVAN PLAZOLA doubled to right, scoring Gulley, who started the rally with a lead double.

Freshman ANDY CANEDO singled to the left side, driving in DIEGO SANDOVAL to make it a one-run game.

Senior ERIC ARREOLA had a big hit with a game-tying single.

Junior RAMON VARELA gave the Monarchs the lead by hitting a sacrifice fly to left, plating Canedo.

Sophomore ABRAHAM SANCHEZ tacked on another run with a single to right, scoring Arreola, as the damage was done.

“My kids are resilient,” Monte Vista head coach CRAIG NEU said. “They never quit. They play hard no matter what the score is.”

Canedo earned the win in relief of ace Plazola, as he allowed three hits and no runs over 2 1/3 innings, striking out two and walking one.

“Canedo is developing right in front of my eyes,” Neu said. “He shut down one of the hottest offenses in the county.”

ELI PAGE had three hits in three at-bats for Monte Vista.

“Plazola had strong innings on the bump,” Neu said. “Steele Canyon has a great team. It was an absolute dogfight today.”

The Monarchs (15-7) have a key two-game home-and-home set with Valhalla next week, while the Cougars (11-10) meet the West Hills Wolf Pack in home-and-home meetings.


GRANITE HILLS 4, EL CAPITAN 2 – The Granite Hills Eagles moved into a second-place tie in the Grossmont Hills League by defeating the visiting Vaqueros behind sophomore CLAY FORDHAM, who went four innings in relief to earn the win.

Fordham allowed no runs on one hit and also had a double and scored twice for 12th-ranked Granite Hills (3-2, 11-8).

The Eagles BRAD HARRIS drove in the game’s first run with a one-out single in the bottom of the first, scoring TK PARKER (walk).

Junior BRIAN SMITH lifted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second, driving in Fordham, who led off the inning with his double.

El Capitan senior JAKE COKER opened the top of the third with a double to left. He later scored on a passed ball. A pair of errors led the Vaqueros’ game-tying run, as junior KEVIN ALLISON came in to score.

Granite’s SEAN MCGREW singled and later came around to score on an error as the Eagles re-took the lead in the bottom of the inning

Parker singled home Fordham (HBP) with the Eagles’ fourth run in the sixth.

The teams meet again on Tuesday in Lakeside at 4.


WEST HILLS 18, MOUNT MIGUEL 2 – West Hills High collected season highs in runs and hits with 18 each, pummeling host Mount Miguel in Friday’s (Apr. 27) Grossmont Valley League contest, giving the Wolf Pack a sweep of the home-and-home series.

West Hills (8-13 overall, 4-4 GVL) finished with 29 runs and 31 hits in the series, despite fielding several underclassmen in place of several starters, pretty much cementing the Pack to a fourth-place finish. The Matadors fell to 4-16 (1-7 GVL), remaining one game ahead of El Cajon Valley.

One day after Andrew Ritayik fired a complete-game, 3-hitter at the Matadors, senior Landon Bailey did one better, fired a 2-hitter. The right-handed registered four strikeouts.

The offense of the Wolf Pack scored in the first five innings to mount a 16-2 cushion, including seven markers in the third for a 12-0 advantage.

The individual leaders were headed by junior Gavin Kondyra. The left-handed hitter posted a game-best three hits, good for three RBI, while Larry “Chris” Schroeder led the way by driving in four runs.

In addition, Ritayik, a sophomore, continued his hot streak at the plate with two more base hits and a pair of RBI.

On Tuesday (May 1), West Hills host Steele Canyon to start another home-and-home series, while  Mount Miguel’s H&H begins at El Cajon Valley. Both start at 4 p.m.


SCRIPPS RANCH 6, CHRISTIAN 1 – For the second-straight game, the Falcons’ pitching stymied the Patriots’ bats and put Christian in even a bigger hole in the Western League pennant chase.

Christian High had six hits, but couldn’t score until the top of the sixth inning when MATT ARMIJO (2-for-2) singled to left with two outs, driving in JAKOB BECK, who led off the inning with a single

The Patriots fell to 3-4 and into fourth place in the league, but trail first-place Cathedral Catholic by three games in the loss column.

“We played our worst game of the year,” Christian High assistant coach BRYAN MITCHELL said. “The way we are playing right now we will be lucky to win another game.

“We faced some adversity early and responded horribly. We expect way more from our players, both physically and mentally. It doesn’t get any easier from here so if our approach and effort doesn’t change then we are in for a long three weeks.”

The Patriots get their last real chance to re-enter the race next week when they face the eighth-ranked Dons in a home-and-home set.

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