East County Sports

Sultans’ Hamilton near perfect


East County Sports staff report

SOLANA BEACH (5-16-2019) – Santana High senior Riley Hamilton, the East County leader in saves, proved to be a fairly effective starting pitcher as well.

How effective? How about near perfect.

On Wednesday (May 15), Hamilton came within one out of a perfect game, retiring the first 20 batters before allowing a pair of late singles, the only scar in a brilliant 3-0 shutout of host Santa Fe Christian in his CIF Division 2 first-round triumph.

Hamilton utilized the all-weather surface to his advantage. Instead of registering mass quantities of strikeouts — he had just two — Hamilton gathered a collection of true-hop ground balls to his appreciative infield.
“My go-to pitch was the knuckle curve,” Hamilton said. “We are all grinders. We come out to practice and work as hard as we can every day to get better. We didn’t want all of the hard work to end after the season.”

The Sultans tallied all three of their runs in the 5th inning to finally solve Santa Fe Christian starting pitcher Ian Coykendall; twin brother Joe is the left fielder.

Cleanup hitter Sean Iverson opened with a single, then Cole Contreras worked a walk. An out later, Davin Burroughs singled on a hard grounder to right field, but Iverson was held at third base.
Jared Forster then surprised the defense with a bunt, as the squeeze unlocked the scoreless pitchers’ duel.

The sacrifice was the undoing of Coykendall, who then issued a wild pitch to plate Contreras, then Brandon Glowacki followed with a run-scoring single.

For the contest, the Sultans collected just five hits, including a pair by Forster.

Santana (14-14 overall) will next meet top-seed Classical Academy (27-4) of Escondido — the winningest ballclub in the San Diego Section.

The location of this contest was not available at press time since the Caimans’ regular home site at Orange Glen High will be used by the host Patriots against Mount Miguel is also scheduled.
“Classical Academy is a good team and I am excited to see the competition they give us,” Hamilton said.

Santa Fe Christian (17-12) will host Clairemont on Friday. Clairemont was devoured by Classical, 9-4.

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