East County Sports

Vaqueros, Matadors win Valley finales


East County Sports staff report

LAKESIDE (5-9-2019) – Even when performing well, final outcomes for El Capitan Vaqueros haven’t gone well of late.

As recently as Monday, sophomore Connor Crist delivered a key RBI late against Monte Vista, but he gave up the lead in the 6th inning after tossing five shutout innings.

No such worries on Senior Day at Hostetler Field on Wednesday (May 8).

Crist drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth, then Larry Snow completed his stint on the mound with a pair of shutout innings in relief, leading the Vaqueros past the Monarchs, 6-5, to split the season-ending series.

Crist registered his second RBI on a two-out, bases-loaded single to score Austin Bell.

All afternoon, whatever Monte Vista did, El Capitan repeated.

The Monarchs opened the scoring in the third when Abraham Sanchez singled home Sergio Cortez. The Vaqueros answered an inning later when Jake Bergherm (single) scored on an error.

Then the pitchers’ duel completely flipped in the fifth when both sides tallied five times to keep the contest level.

Ernie Arambula snapped a 1-1 deadlock with a 2-run single, followed by an RBI single by Sanchez.

Ramon Varela capped the rally with a run-scoring double for a 6-1 advantage.

However, El Capitan also scored five times in an inning which took 55 minutes to complete.

After loading the bases, Austin Smith registered a sacrifice fly, then a Crist fielder’s choice pushed across a run. Snow then lined a base hit for the third run, with a fourth run coming home on an error.

Still trailing 6-4, El Cap got even when Snow and Bergherm executed a double-steal, as Snow took off second base, then Bergherm — a catcher — raced to the plate.

Snow then stole third base, with an error allowing him to trot home to again tie the ballgame.

El Capitan (8-19 overall, 5-7 GVL) saw Bergherm collect two hits and score twice, as the Vaqueros, Monarchs and Mount Miguel finish in a 3-way dead-heat for fourth place.

For Monte Vista (16-14, 5-7 GVL), Arambula and Sanchez each had two hits among a 10-hit attack.

“Even though we didn’t reach our goal of making the playoffs or winning league, we had a successful year,” Monte Vista head coach Craig Neu said.This is our third straight winning season of 16-plus victories.

“We started six sophomores and one junior all year. I have three-fourths of my starting rotation returning.

The Monarchs will come close to a postseason berth in the final rankings but ultimately the division’s second-easiest schedule will likely be the determining factor.

“To be above .500 with all of the young guys playing is phenomenal. For all intent and purposes, it was a rebuilding year. My guys are disappointed with this seasons outcome, but I fully expect them to get after it this summer. 

“This season gave my young players valuable experience that we will carry with us going forward. We have a good program and it is only going to get stronger in the future.”

MOUNT MIGUEL 17, EL CAJON VALLEY 1: At ECVHS, the Matadors sprinted to a 14-0 lead, gaining their best finish in the Grossmont Valley League since 2015 after topping the host Braves.

Winning pitcher Trevor Darby allowed just two hits in six innings before getting stopped by the pitch count. Darby struck out 12 Braves, then Joey Sanchez added a 13th ‘K’ in the seventh in handing ECVHS its 13th straight loss.

“Super-cool moment today, we got our freshman JV pitcher Joey Sanchez in to close the 7th and he did great, allowing no runs,” Mount Miguel head coach Frank Coit said.

Darby was also the standout on offense by collecting six RBI on 4-for-5 hitting. Included were a run-scoring triple and a 2-run double by the senior.

In addition, center fielder J.D. Laverdiere and shortstop Austin Ortiz added two RBI each.

The Braves received hits from shortstop Aaron Rodriguez and left fielder Eleazar Silva.

“Well played game today,” Coit said. “Hoping we don’t get rained out on Friday, our pitching staff is getting good work this week and excelling. Walks are very minimal, a very good sign.”

Mount Miguel (9-17 overall, 5-7 GVL) still has one regular-season contest remaining when they host The Rock Academy on Friday in non-league action.

“We are sitting at No. 7 right now in D5, need a little help, and a win on Friday to get into the top four, and a bye in the first round of the playoffs,” Coit said. e are already in, trying to get into the Bye spot (top 4), we are at 7 currently

The Matadors are headed for their first playoff berth since coach Jason Babineau’s teams in 2013-14.

Meanwhile, El Cajon Valley (2-21-1, 0-12 GVL) posted its fourth consecutive winless season in league play, extending its league losing streak to 58 straight.

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