East County Sports

ROUNDUP: Helix wins at least share of Hills title


East County Sports staff report

LA MESA (5-3-2019) – Helix High junior Alonzo Richardson lined an RBI single in the bottom of the 8th inning Thursday (May 2), as the Highlanders clinched at least a share of their fourth consecutive Grossmont Hills League pennant after nipping historical rival Grossmont, 4-3.

The Scotties now hold a 2-game lead over the Foothillers with two contests left on the regular-season schedule.

Richardson’s two-out shot past the third baseman allowed Jack Sothras to score. Sothras accepted a one-out walk, then moved into scoring position when No. 9 hitter Ayden Estrada also walked, setting-up the Helix leadoff batter for the game-winning blow.

The decisive run was a counter to a rally by the Hillers, which tallied three times in the sixth to get even.

Cleanup batter Keoni Valdez slugged a two-run double with the bases loaded, then Max Ford lifted a sacrifice fly to overcome a 3-0 deficit.

The rally left Richardson, the Helix pitcher, with no decision despite striking out seven batters in as many innings. Instead, Noah Lane, who posted a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth, garnered the victory.

Richardson’s final pitch resulted in an inning-ending double play, as a grounder to third baseman Devin Baker, who tagged his bag then fired to first baseman Carlos Oquita to keep the ballgame level at 3-all.

“I try to calm myself down more when I run into situations like we did today,” Richardson said. “Grossmont battled back, glad Helix baseball came back with the win.”

Helix opened the scoring in the first when two errors set-up a sacrifice fly by Lane.

Two innings later, Lane walked with the bases loaded for a 2-0 lead, then Grossmont failed to turn a double play on an Adam Martinez grounder, pushing the lead to three.

“I was really excited for both Zo and the team to overcome the adversity we faced late in the game,” Lane said. “Moving on, we have to focus on our next game tomorrow.

For Helix (17-10 overall, 7-3 GHSL), Ricardson and Oquita two hits each. The other hits were by Jordon Thompson and Ayden Estrada.

Grossmont (14-12, 5-5 GHSL) saw starting pitcher Zack Zolina strikeout six Scotties and allow just one earned run over his six innings. Meanwhile, No. 9 batter Anthony Mata added two hits.

“We had our chances but at the end of the day, that was a great high school baseball game,” Grossmont head coach Jordan Abruzzo said. “We will be ready to go tomorrow.”

SANTANA 6, GRANITE HILLS 3: At Granite Hills, Sultans left fielder Cole Contreras doubled home Brandon Glowacki with the tie-breaking run in the top of the 7th inning, as the Sultans tallied three times to defeat the host Eagles for the first time in Grossmont Hills “Super” League play this season.

Contreras, the cleanup hitter, had been 0-for-3 so the Eagles elected not to pitch around him. However, he pulled a hard ground ball down the left-field line.

With two outs, Aidan Donvoan also delivered his first hit following a rough afternoon, His double scored both Contreras and Tyler Glowacki.

The see-saw affair saw Santana score early, only to watch Granite Hills immediately tie the game. Later, the roles were reversed with the Eagles taking a 3-2 lead, but the Sultans moved even in the sixth on an RBI single by No. 9 batter Ethan Wright.

Santana attempted to take the lead on the play by also sending another runner home. However, the Eagles defense got the out at the plate on a relay from left fielder Austin Smith to catcher Brian Smith.

Granite Hills also turned an inning-ending double play to keep the game tied in the 5th. Contreras lifted what looked like a sacrifice fly ball, but Eagles right fielder Dillon Goins buried the runner at the plate with a strike to the catcher.

Santana pitcher Riley Hamilton overcame a pair of unearned runs in the 2nd inning to fire a complete-game 4-hitter, despite walking two and hitting three batters.

“The knuckle curve was my go-to pitch today,” Hamilton said. “My boys picked me up when I was down. When we needed run support they were right there for me. Scoring three in the seventh were very big insurance runs for me. It was a great team win.”

For Santana (11-13  overall, 4-6 GHL), catcher Ethan Wright also threw out a potential Eagles base-stealer, while Ben Hart recorded two hits and a walk.

“After we tied it up in the sixth and Riley went out and threw us a shutdown inning, I think the team’s mindset was we are getting at least one run,” Hart said. “We did a great job all game being tough outs, even when we struck out, it was after fouling off two or three pitches or getting deep in counts. We put the ball in play and good things happened.

“Yesterday, we hit a lot of balls hard and had no results, so I think today helped our confidence seeing some drop in early when we got out to a 2-0 lead. Looking to keep it rolling tomorrow to win the season series with Granite.”

Granite Hills (12-12-, 4-6 GHSL) saw Brian Smith registered the ballclub’s lone RBI. He has two base hits.

ST. AUGUSTINE 2, CHRISTIAN 1:  At Hickman Field in Kearny Mesa, the Patriots were three outs away from a nice upset for their first win in Western League play this season, but the Saints rallied in the bottom of the 7th inning to prevent falling in Thursday’s (May 2).

After tying in the game, the contest looked to be headed to extra innings, but an error on the last play allowed the winning run to score as the Saints accepted a walk-off triumph.

Chris Rhea got the game even with a lead single, then he stole second base, moved to third on an Angelo Peraza sacrifice bunt, then scored on a wild pitch.

The Saints eventually loaded the bases on a walk, single and walk, but a two-out ground ball was booted.

Christian’s attempt to make a 1-0 lead in the first inning stand all afternoon couldn’t hold up.

With one out, Peyton Berroth walked and Matt Souza singled. The Saints then attempted to turn a double play, gaining the out at second base. But when the throw to first base went to the fence, Barroth scored.


“We were short infielders so when we had to go to Peyton we had an outfielder at second so he just rushed everything and made an error,” Christian head coach Mike Mitchell said. “It certainly wasn’t a lack of effort.”

Patriots pitcher Braeden Ross went 6.1 innings, yet suffered the loss. Conversely, Saints relief pitcher Sinjon Bobolia registered the final out in the seventh, yet collected an easy win.


“Very tough loss,” Ross said. “Going into the seventh, I thought I was going to finish the job for sure. I’m super proud of our team for fighting through the whole game. Saints is a good ball club and it would’ve been great to get a win against a highly respected team in San Diego.”


For St. Augustine (17-10 overall, 3-6 league), Luke Mansy batted 2-for-2 with a walk.

Christian (9-18, 0-11 league) saw Andrew Young garner a pair of base hits including a double.


A Rock Academy player dives into first on Thursday as the ball gets away.

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE 6, ROCK ACADEMY 5 – Mountain Empire senior Trevor Elliott received word that he was selected to participate in the San Diego High School All-Star Night game at Petco Park to be played in June.

After all, it wouldn’t be an all-star game of locals without the second all-time leading strikeout pitcher in section history.

The RedHawks won on Thursday with a run in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Rock Academy in Pine Valley on Elliott’s single to left, scoring junior Sean Hodge.

Elliott went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI for Mountain Empire. The senior also scored three runs.

Sophomore Jacobe Noland had two hits including a double, driving in a run, and scoring once. He also started the game on the mound and struck out 11 over six frames, allowing just one earned run.

Freshman Angel Jiminez drove in two runs for the RedHawks.

Mountain Empire led 5-1 before Rock Academy scored three runs in the top of the fifth. The Warriors tied the game at 5-all in the top of the seventh.

Senior Ian Estrada got the win for the RedHawks.

The win improved the ‘Hawks record to 5-2 in the Citrus League standings with one game remaining. First place Calvary Christian sits at 6-0 and will likely win the title outright.

Liberty Charter defeated host Gompers Prep, 6-4, to move into a tie for second place in the Summit League with High Tech San Diego.

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