East County Sports

Knights fall to duel; Dons defeat Patriots



EastCountySports.com staff report


SAN DIEGO – Maranatha Christian won a real pitcher’s duel against senior TREVOR SMALLWOOD and the Foothills Christian Knights, 1-0, in a key Pacific League contest Wednesday afternoon.

This wasn’t just a couple of guys putting up zeros each frame.

The Eagles’ AARON SMITH pitched a one-hitter to just out-match Smallwood’s two-hit effort.

All three of the game’s hits came in the third inning.

The Eagles had four consecutive batters reach base in the bottom of the inning to help produce the game’s only run.

After Foothills’ CORBIN HARRIS reached on an error during his bunt attempt, Knights’ junior JALANI BROWN reached on a bunt single with two out in the top of the third, putting a pair of runners on.

“Their pitcher had good velocity and very good off-speed,” Brown said. “We hit the ball, just right at them every time.”

The overcast conditions played a part in Smith’s success against the Knights, as well.

“It was hard to read the pitch because the ball would blend into the clouds.”

Smallwood went six innings, allowing one run, striking out seven and walking one.

“We didn’t hit today and by not doing so, we lost,” Smallwood said. “But that’s baseball. We have to keep grinding and keep the focus up.”

The loss was critical in the Knights’ pennant pursuit, but not fatal.

Foothills Christian fell to 4-2 (15-10 overall) with two league games left to play to remain tied for first in the league standings with Classical Academy (3-1).


CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC 10, CHRISTIAN 1 – The Patriots’ GARRET NIELSEN hit his seventh home run of the season for the game’s first run in the top of the fifth inning.

However, the Dons downright broke the floodgates with 10 runs in the bottom of the inning.

The Patriots’ LUKE RYNKOFS was really rolling along until the outburst, matching pitch-for-pitch with Nick Nastrini, who allowed six hits over five innings, striking out five and walking one to lead the Dons.

“Luke did an unbelievable job mixing up speed and keeping them off-balance, but hitting became contagious for them in the fifth,” Christian assistant coach BRYAN MITCHELL said. “He was hitting his spots and keeping the ball low. I was very proud of the way he competed.”

The Patriots left five in scoring position over the first three frames.

Freshman TRENT NIELSEN had a hit and a walk for Christian High.

“We held tough against one of the best pitchers in San Diego, but could never come through with the big hit,” Mitchell said.

The loss for the Patriots was their fifth-straight.



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