East County Sports

Patriots can’t crack Western code



East County Sports staff
– The great divide
between the haves and the
have-nots in the City
Conference continues to
increase. But when you’re one
of the few in between teams
playing in one of the two
stronger leagues — the
Western and the Eastern —
playing ball can be much more
difficult than playing in the
City or Central leagues.

Over the years since their
one-year experiment in the
Grossmont Conference in 1980-
81, the Christian Patriots
have been on both sides of the

In 2017, the Patriots advanced
to the Open Division playoffs
before getting eliminated by
Cathedral Catholic. But in the
ensuing seasons, Christian has
failed to win even one contest
in the Western League, with
the season-ending Tuesday (May
7) with another setback to the
Dons, 7-1, at Manchester

The decision handed the school
its 25th straight league loss
— disappointing considering
the club went 9-7 in non-
league play. In addition,
since elevating from the old
Class 1A (small-school
division) in 1980, the program
had never gone winless in
league play until the current
streak. The previous lows were
2-10 in 1992 (Harbor League)
and 2011 (Eastern League).

Maybe it’s time for the
conference to consider
realignment where the 20 City
schools are divided into five
4-team circuits instead of
four league consisting of five
teams each. It would eliminate
byes and make each grouping
more competitive.

“This year was quite a challenge
for us to play in the Western League
with no real returning starters and
served as quite a learning experience
for us,” Christian head coach Mike
Mitchell said.” Even though the
won-loss record was not up to our
normal standards, we know where we
need to improve and we believe we
will be back there very soon.”

Against Cathedral Catholic,
Dons starting pitcher Thomas
Carter allowed four hits and
an unearned run over five
innings. Carter struck out
seven, then was followed by
two innings of 1-hit ball by
reliever Tyler Reiter.

Christian registered its lone
run in the 1st inning. After
Fisher Ransom reached on a
one-out error, cleanup hitter
Isaiah Owens drilled a line
double to center for the RBI.

However, the Dons rebounded
with seven unanswered
runs, including four in the

Zavien Watson tied the game
with a double to left, then
Mikie Welch followed with
another double, this one for
two RBI and a 3-1 advantage.
The sacrifice fly by Carter
capped the inning.

An inning later, Reagan
Guthrie stroked a lead triple,
coming home on a ground ball
by Nick Guerra.

Cathedral Catholic (15-12
overall, 7-3 league), despite
the win, were eliminated in
the chase for the league title
after Scripps Ranch topped
host Madison, 8-3.

Christian (9-19, 0-12 league)
received a pair of hits by
right fielder Braeden Ross.

CHARTER 4: At Stars Field at
Barona, the visiting Storm (7
-12-1 overall, 4-2 league)
completed a home-and-home
series sweep of the Lions (12
-12-1, 2-4 league) to clinch
second place in the Summit
Junior David Dalton had three hits,
including a double, and drove in
three runs.

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