East County Sports

ROUNDUP: Sultans open Valley with victory


East County Sports staff report

EL CAJON (3-20-2019) – Santana High designated hitter Aidan Donovan batted 3-for-4 and drove in the go-ahead run on a close play at the plate, allowing the Sultans to get an early jump on the competition bye nipping host Granite Hills in Tuesday’s (Mar. 19) opener in the revamped Grossmont Hills League.

The revamped circuit now features just four schools — Grossmont and 3-time defending champion Helix are the others — as umpires were found available to play the contest one day early due to expected rain later in the week.

Donovan’s base hit to left field capped a 3-run rally in the 3rd inning, as teammate Ben Hart was able to score from second base to grab a 3-2 lead.

Santana followed with three unearned runs in the 4th, pushing the margin to 6-2, as Brandon Glowacki capped the outburst with a 2-run single to left on a hard grounder.

It was “deuces wild” for Glowacki, the Santana first baseman, going 2-for-2, 2 walks, 2 RBI and a pair of runs scored after he added a solo home run in the 6th.

Hart then pitched deep into the 7th, registered the first two outs before getting tagged with a sharp single and a double. However, Riely Hamilton finally got the final out on strikes to garner the save. Hart finished with 4 strikeouts over 6.2 innings.

“I didn’t necessarily have my best fastball command so I had to work backward starting hitters off with my curveball and sometimes a changeup,” Hart said. “When I get to two strikes I like to go to my slider or an elevated fastball but I felt my curveball was keeping them off balance enough that I could keep them at bay throwing that most of the time.

“Definitely feels good to be 1-0, great team win.”

Granite Hills (6-5 overall, 0-1 GHL), which had won six straight, has now dropped three in-a-row.

The Eagles’ Ryan Fenn opened the scoring in the 2nd, going station-to-station on a lead single, another base hit and a pair of ground balls.

“Santana did a good job of putting pressure on and they capitalized on our mistakes,” Fenn said. “I hit pretty well and played a solid defense. I just came ready to play.”

Then in the 3rd, Brian Smith came around in similar fashion thanks to consecutive lead singles,a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly by Dillon Goins.

In the 7th, shortstop TK Parker recorded the RBI with a single. All three are juniors.

“They played well today,” Granite Hills head coach James Davis said. “We imploded. Tip your hat to them. We made too many mistakes to be competitive today.”

MADISON 4, CHRISTIAN 2: At Mitchell Field in El Cajon, the Warhawks parlayed a single and two errors into a pair of tie-breaking runs in the 7th inning, skipping past the Patriots in Tuesday’s (Mar. 19) Western League opener.

Madison second baseman Maddox Haley knocked in a pair of runs without a base hit, both times sending groundball to the right side to allow runners to score from third base, including the game-winning run. It wasn’t exciting, yet the effectiveness had the Warhawks in first place.

Christian rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to get even both times
In the 5th, Peyton Berroth (double) and Braeden Ross (RBI single) sent line drive to left field to get even.  An inning later, Fisher Ransom reached on an infield single to lead off, eventually tying the game with two outs on a wild pitch.

Christian brought the potential game-tying run to the plate in the 7th thanks to an error, but Ross, the Madison first baseman was able to start a game-ending double play.

For the Warhawks (6-5 overall, 1-0 Western) received two hits from designated hitter Spencer Lass, while pitch Christian Becerra allowed just 1 earned run and struck out 6 in his complete-game effort.

“A couple of hits and a couple of ground outs and they score two runs,” Christian head coach Mike Mitchell said. “It was a very even game.  We played well today and Alex Markowicz was excellent on the mound. The ball just did not bounce our way today.”

Christian (5-7, 0-1 league) saw Berroth bat 3-for-4, while Ransom and Ross each added two hits. In addition, Pats pitcher Alex Markowicz threw a complete game with 8 strikeouts, with all four runs were unearned.

“It’s a work in progress,” Markowicz said. “Madison is a good team and we competed with them today. Sometimes all you need is a few more balls to fall and there would be a completely different outcome. We have to focus on the details in order to be the best team we possibly can be. We will be working hard to come back and take one on Thursday.”

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