East County Sports

ROUNDUP: Foothillers re-shape Hills League playoff race

2019 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

East County Sports staff report

 

EL CAJON (5-1-2019) – Grossmont High left fielder Zakary Farris displayed some power and some speed, marking the difference in the Foothillers’ return to the Grossmont Hills League pennant race.


Farris drilled an early two-run homer, then paired with pinch-runner Brody Schicker for an important double-steal which led to an insurance run, as the Hillers toppled GHL leading Helix, 5-1, on Tuesday (Apr. 30).


The triumph moved Grossmont (14-11 overall, 5-4 GHL) to within one full game of Helix (18-10, 6-3 GHL). Meanwhile, the contest between Granite Hills and Santana was postponed due to wet grounds.


Farris followed a leadoff single by Kaleb Tedokon by taking the ball fell over the short porch in right field to open the scoring in the 2nd inning.

 

“It feels good finally getting more hits and with that hitting a few out in the past games,” Farris said. “But it was all the bats that came together for us today to put up five against a great Helix pitcher.”


Then in the third, the Hillers double their advantage in a rally started by Danny Yanez (single) and Keoni Valdez (double).


Helix looked to be pitching around No. 5 hitter Isaiah Gomez to load the bases, but one pitch eluded the catcher to allow Yanez to score.


So Gomez and Tedokon were walked to load the bases, but another pitch went by everyone — this one was ruled a passed ball — to mount a 4-0 cushion.


Helix gained its lone run in similar fashion in the 5th.


Erick Rodriguez stroked a lead single, Alonzo Richardson lined a one-out single up the middle, then Jordan Thompson lined a base hit to left to load the bases. However, a wild pitch gave Rodriguez free passage to cross the plate.


The mistake was the only one to cost Grossmont starting pitcher Drew Shirvanian, who went five innings and scattered seven hits.

 

“The key today was attacking the zone and being able to throw that curveball,” Shirvanian said. “I worked a lot inside today to the Helix batters to back them off my plate.”


Caden Wilcox whistled his fastball in relief, retiring five batters on strikeouts in two frames of shutout relief.

 

“My changeup was working great today and my fastball was spotting up really well,” Wilcox said. “I felt great today.”


Farris, a senior, then helped put the victory away, getting the second of back-to-back singles with two on to open the sixth.

 

“We all played well today and our pitchers did a great job of shutting them down on offense,” Farris said. “I always put trust in Wilcox to come in and get the job done when it’s needed.”

 

Following the double-steal, No. 9 hitter Anthony Mata came through with a sacrifice fly to left for the RBI.


Grossmont now leads the season series over the Scotties, 2-0, with two more meetings this week.

 

“Wilcox is one heck of a pitcher,” Shirvanian said. “He has a great future behind if he keeps pitching like he did today.

 

“It was great to see my offense be able to back me up and put a ton of runs on the board. Today was a great day for Grossmont baseball.”


Helix received two hits from Adam Martinez, while Thompson threw a complete game with six strikeouts.

 

“The other pitcher today was pretty good with a tailing fastball and a good backdoor curve,” Helix’s Noah Lane said. “I tried to look fastball and the two balls I hit hard today were off that pitch with a line drive swing.

 

“As a team, we need to get more big hits and not leave as many runners stranded on the bases. I feel good in our mentality and we will battle back the rest of this week.”

 

Grossmont is trying to scramble back in the race despite not having its ace starter for the last three weeks.

 

“Big home run by Farris to get us going,” Grossmont head coach Jordan Abruzzo said. “Drew pitched great and Jaden Wilcox came in a tough spot and did a great job.

 

“Anytime you’re facing a team like Helix and a great pitcher like Thompson you need to play your best game and get some breaks and we got both”

 

Fourth-ranked Helix closes the season at Santana following the final two games of the series with the Hillers.

 

“Couldn’t get the big hit,” Helix head coach Cole Holland said of Tuesday’s loss. “Struck out way too many times and left half of La Mesa on base. And we didn’t play very good defense. Our bottom of the lineup isn’t producing.”

 

CALVARY CHRISTIAN 1, MOUNTAIN EMPIRE 0 – In the Citrus League’s game of the year, Calvary Christian got one hit in five innings off of Mountain Empire starter Trevor Elliot but a lone double in the bottom of the fifth helped the Royal Knights gain the crucial victory to improve to 6-0 in the league race.

 

Mountain Empire fell to 4-2 (11-6 overall).

 

Elliott added 11 more strikeouts to his career total. In his last start, he surpassed current Chicago minor league pitcher Ian Clarkin, from Madison High.

 

Clarkin recently sent a text to the RedHawk star to congratulate him on his achievement.

 

Mountain Empire’s Jacobe Noland had two hits and pitched a scoreless inning.

 

CV-HIGH TECH 9, LIBERTY CHARTER 2: At Chula Vista, after the Lions scored in the 1st inning, the first-place Bruins answered with nine unanswered runs before a late, cosmetic run ended Tuesday’s (Aug. 30) Summit League contest.


No. 5 hitter Justin Rodriguez batted 3-for-4 with three RBI, while Kai Saterstrom had a two-run double for the Bruins.


The Lions saw Isaiah Hilke bat 2-for-3, scoring both runs. The first run came on a balk in the first, and one on an RBI double by Michael Schallock in the sixth.


Liberty Charter (10-10-1) can still gain a share of the league title by sweeping its four remaining league games.

 

CHULA VISTA 13, MOUNT MIGUEL 0 – The Spartans won the non-league game with the Matadors.

 

Chula Vista scored nine times in the second inning.

 

Senior Albert Munoz had three hits and drove in three runs for the Spartans.

 

Erik Kelly had two of the Matadors’ three hits.


Elsewhere


Scripps Rancho at Christian, ppd., wet grounds (moved to Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.)


Granite Hills at Santana, ppd., wet grounds (makeup date TBA)

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