East County Sports

ROUNDUP: Eagles make pennant push

2018 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

EL CAJON – Thanks to TREVOR HAZELHURST and the Granite Hills Eagles, the pennant race in the sixth-strongest high school baseball league in the country got a little more muddled on Thursday afternoon.

The Grossmont Hills League is far from decided with just one week remaining after Granite Hills knocked off visiting league-leader Grossmont, 3-2.

The Foothillers (6-4 GVL) lead the Eagles (5-4) by just a half-game in the standings. Helix (5-3-1) stands just one-game out of first.

The highly-rated Hills League was recently featured in a national article profiling the nation’s toughest conferences based on 2017’s section-recognized average power ranking for each team in the circuit.

One look at the results this season and the current standings almost bear the distinction perfectly.

Hazelhurst allowed just three hits in a complete-game victory and hit his third home run of the season as Granite Hills took the rubber game in their season series with the Hillers.

Hazelhurst struck out seven, retiring the side in order in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh inning.

“Hazel had a really good day pitching and hitting,” Granite Hills head coach JAMES DAVIS said. “And we finally played some good defense behind him.”

The ultra-important contest figured to be decided by ace starters Hazelhurst and JACK HYDE, of Grossmont.

“Hyde is really tough,” Davis said following the game.

The seniors didn’t disappoint, but ultimately it was Hazelhurst’s two-run homer to right in the Eagles’ three-run third the decided the outcome.

“Jack threw a good game but he threw me high-fastball and I could elevate it enough to hit it out,” Hazelhurst said.

The damage came with two outs.

Sophomore RYAN FENN (2-for-3) led off with a single, but Hyde struck out the next two hitters.

Junior SEAN MCGREW (2-for-3) doubled home Fenn, however, with a hit to left to tie the game at 1-all.

Hazelhurst then homered on a 1-1 pitch.

“It was just one bad fastball,” Hyde said. “It came out of my hand flat, slow and way off location. He capitalized on my mistake and hit it deep.”

Hyde went all six innings, striking out seven and walking one.

“Besides that one mistake, I had everything working for me,” said the University of San Diego-bound Hyde. “My slider was working great and my fastball had good movement. I only threw one changeup the whole game and it wasn’t very good, but I felt great besides the one mistake.”

In the first inning, Grossmont senior CHRIS GIOVENGO singled to right for an RBI and a 1-0 lead as junior KEONI VALDEZ, who drew a lead walk to start the game, scored.

Grossmont senior AUSTIN ODOM drew the Foothillers within one with a two-out double to right, driving home ISAIAH GOMEZ, who had a one-out line single to left.

“Jack threw the ball well today,” Grossmont coach JORDAN ABRUZZO said. “Just the one mistake to Hazelhurst and he made us pay. He’s a great player and beat us today. Just tip your cap and move on. It was a good game.”

Granite Hills has a menacing-looking matchup at Santana on Friday afternoon, while Grossmont is at Helix on Tuesday in its next GHL contest.

 

SANTANA 16, EL CAPITAN 3 – Sultans senior JOSH OEDEWALDT hit a home run and finished with four RBI, as Santana kept its outside title shot alive by pounding out 18 hits on the road.

Oedewaldt hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and had a sacrifice fly in the first inning, which opened the scoring for the visitors.

With a Grossmont Hills League record of 4-5-1, the Sultans are just 1 1/2 games out of first place with games against Granite Hills and Grossmont remaining.

Santana junior BEN HART allowed one run on five hits over five innings, striking out three and walking one to get the victory.

El Capitan tied the game at 1-apiece in the bottom of the third inning when senior BLAKE PEYTON singled to center, scoring freshman CONNOR CHRIST (single).

Santana came up with six runs in the top of the fourth inning, however.

In the fourth, DAVIN BURROUGHS doubled home a run, then Hart singled in another run for a 3-1

Freshman TYLER GLOWACKI then doubled in a run for a 4-1 lead.

Santana added eight more runs in the sixth inning, including Oedewaldt’s round-tripper and a bases-clearing triple by senior BRANDON GLOWACKI (3-or-3).

Peyton drove in another run in the El Cap seventh.

Senior JAKE SARGENT had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run for Santana.

 

VALHALLA 17, MOUNT MIGUEL 1 – Grossmont Valley League-leader Valhalla won its 11th-straight game as senior TANNER SMITH went 4-for-4 and drove in three runs in the road win.

In a sure baseball oddity, Smith singled in the first, second, third, fourth innings, consecutively, in his only plate appearances of the game.

Sophomore KYLE CASPER drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning to open the Norsemen onslaught.

Senior COLE HOWARD also singled home a run in the three-run frame.

Junior CAMERON ZAMUDIO had an RBI double in the second inning, then Smith drove in a run with a single to right, as the Norsemen went on to score five in the second.

Zamudio finished with three RBI.

Valhalla put up another five-spot in the third inning, including a two-run single to left by Smith.

Howard started the game on the hill for Valhalla and went four innings, allowing six hits and one run while striking out four and walking one to get the victory.

Junior ANTHONY YOUNG threw three innings of relief for the Norsemen, allowing two hits and striking out three.

JOJO CASTILLO and AUSTIN ORTIZ both had two hits for Mount Miguel.

The Matadors’ ERIK KELLY hit a rule-book double to the 375′ sign.

Mount Miguel junior RICARDO PARTIDA threw 1 1/3 shutout innings, getting a strikeout.

Valhalla can clinch no less than a share of the league championship with a home win over West Hills on Friday.

 

STEELE CANYON 17, EL CAJON VALLEY 1 – Steele Canyon had one of those innings where you start saying, “save some of those runs for tomorrow.”

The Cougars continued their late-season dash by scoring 14 runs in the third inning at home against the Braves on Thursday.

Steele Canyon has to win its remaining three games and then likely need a fellow bubble team to lose in order to possibly squeak into the Division 2 postseason playoffs.

It was the Braves that actually got off to the 1-0 lead in the top of the second when sophomore CHRISTIAN VASQUEZ hit a line double to center, scoring senior PAULO MICHEL, who singled to lead off the inning.

But the Cougars picked up two touchdowns worth of runs in the third behind a two-run home run from SEBASTIAN GRANADOS, which gave Steele Canyon a 3-1 lead.

Granados picked up a third RBI in the frame when he was hit by a pitch, putting the Cougs up 7-1.

“We just got to give it our all,” Granados said. “Even though we lost to Valhalla, we just have to keep our heads up high and grind for next year.”

Granados, a freshman, also got the start and struck out nine over four innings, allowing one run.

“My best pitch choice for today was my fastball,” Granados said.

Senior TREVOR BACK, who doubled three times in the contest, had three RBI in the inning, including a two-run double to center, giving his team a 10-run lead.

Senior IVAN CANALES also drove in three in the frame, as he doubled on a line drive to left to go up by a dozen.

Senior NOAH NADEAU hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning and scored four runs in the game.

Junior BRAD BARKLEY struck out the side in one inning of relief for the Cougars.

Steele Canyon hosts Mount Miguel on Friday afternoon in another must-win game.

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