East County Sports

Norsemen battle, settle title plans




EastCountySports.com staff report


MIRA MESA – The Valhalla Norsemen scored six runs in the fourth inning to erase a 2-0 deficit and defeat the host Mira Mesa Marauders, 6-2, on Wednesday to advance to the San Diego Section CIF Division III championship game this Friday at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

The outburst made a winner of junior pitcher Joseph Ingrassia, who went 6 2/3 innings, striking out 11 Mira Mesa hitters. Junior Kyle Casper recorded the final out.

“JoJo” avenged his CIF playoff loss to Mira Mesa from last week to improve his season record to 8-3 to lead GUHSD schools in victories.

Mira Mesa was the top-seeded team in the division while the Norsemen were seeded fourth. Valhalla will meet second-seeded San Pasqual in the division title game.

The Marauders got singles markers in the first and second innings.

But Valhalla’s massive fourth inning deflated Mira Mesa’s hopes.

Ethan Dunham walked to start the proceedings, then Ingrassia followed with a single to right.

After the runners moved up on an error during a pickoff attempt, senior Riley O’Sullivan then lined a double to left to tie the game.

Senior Aaron Lane singled and went to second on an error, and O’Sullivan scored the go-ahead run on an error.

Junior Luke Clark added a bunt single to keep the no-out carousel rolling.

Valhalla junior Mario Johnson lined a single to center, driving in the fourth run, then junior Ryan Perot dropped down a bunt for a single, loading the bases.

Casper picked up an RBI with a walk, then sophomore Trey Henige was finally the first Norseman retired, however, his out to center, brought home Johnson for a sacrifice fly and the final run of the rally.

It was also Ingrassia’s fifth double-digit strikeout performance of the season. His performance on the hill and at the plate this season has landed him on the short-list for East County player of the year candidates.

Valhalla (24-8) will face the San Pasqual Golden Eagles in the division championship game on Friday at 4 p.m. at SDSU’s Gwynn Stadium.


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