East County Sports

Plazola, Monarchs clinch another winning season

Monte Vista sophomore ABRAHAM SANCHEZ makes a putout on Thursday. / Melissa Honick photo


Special to East County Sports.com

SANTEE (5-11-2018) – Monte Vista High senior Ivan Plazola utilized just 89 pitches to fire a complete-game four-hitter, propelling the Monarchs to a 7-2 decision over host West Hills in Thursday’s (May 10) Grossmont Valley League ballgame at Wolf Pack Park.

Plazola, a Southwestern College-bound left-hander, registered eight strikeouts against just a pair of walks to powder the Pack.

The victory for Monte Vista (17-9 overall, 8-4 GVL) moved the Monarchs within one game of second-place Steele Canyon for second place. The ballclubs meet next Tuesday in Jamul.

In addition, head coach Craig Neu’s club clinched a winning record for a second straight season for the first time this century; it’s the first time the school posted consecutive winning ledgers since 1999 when Monte Vista compiled its seventh 20-win campaign in-a-row (and eighth winning season running).

“I am very proud of my guys,” Neu said. “We played a complete game today.”

The Monarchs mounted a 3-0 lead before Plazola took the mound.

“It’s always a lot easier when you have the lead,” said Plazola. “Plus, I have a pretty good defense behind me and they made all the plays.”

“I was working on my off-speed pitch all week at practice and got a bunch of ground balls. I kept the ball down in the (strike) zone.”

Plazola also contributed with his bat for the early lead. Following a one-out walk to center fielder Jon Gulley, Plazola singled to place runners on the corners.

Monte Vista’s DIEGO SANDOVAL slides safely on Thursday. / photo by Melissa Honick

Catcher Diego Sandoval cashed in the first of his two RBI with a single. Later, Derrick Wiley lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to plate Plazola, then a wild pitch brought home Sandoval for a 3-run cushion.

In the third, Sandoval led off with a double, followed by a base hit by sophomore Abraham Sanchez. Sandoval moved to third base, then scored on a passed ball to make it 4-0.

In the fourth, the Wolf Pack (9-16 overall,5-7 GVL) received consecutive lead-off doubles to right field by Devin Bevilacqua (to the gap) and Gavin Kondyra )down the line; RBI).

Later with two outs, Andrew Ritayik singled up the middle to drive home Kondyra to cut the lead in half at 4-2, but Plazola capped the contest with 3 1/3 innings of no-hit ball.

The bottom of the Monte Vista batting order produced two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh.

A pair of freshmen keyed the rally in the sixth. Andy Canedo drilled a lead triple to center, scoring when Ernie Arambula followed with a bloop single over the second baseman.

Cameron Schuler answered with a bunt single, but it took four more batters before Sandoval was hit by a pitch with two outs  and the bases loaded.

“We worked really hard in practice on hitting off-speed pitches the past few days,” Neu said. “It really showed today at the plate. Our hitters made great adjustments and hammered the ball to right center all game.”

The only other West Hills base hit was a line single by Joe Thrailkill, who played the entire game behind the plate for the first time all season, in the second inning.

“Ivan pitched a great game,” Neu said. “He commanded the strike zone with four pitches. When he has that type of command, no one can beat him.”


Year / W-L-T 

1999  23-10,  7-5, 3rd/5
1998  24-9-1, 9-3, 2nd/5
1997  20-12, 9-3, 1st/5
1996  25-7-1, 8-4, t-1st/5
1995  21-13, 8-4, 1st/5
1994  20-12, 9-3, t-1st/5
1993  25-10, 8-4, 2nd/5
1992  16-15-1,5-7, t-3rd/5

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