East County Sports

7-0 Stars have all phases covered



By Nick Pellegrino
East County Sports staff writer

BARONA INDIAN RESERVATION (6-13-2019) – The pitching and hitting of the San Diego Stars continued to shine Wednesday (June 12), but it was the defense which took center stage in an easy 12-1 conquest of the San Diego Crush in Western Baseball Association action at Stars Field.

The Stars are now 7-0 overall, chasing last summer’s franchise record of 18 consecutive wins to open the season.

With the ballgame still in the balance in the seventh inning, the Crush were trailing 5-1 with the potential game-tying run on deck. However, the defense slammed the door shut.

A potential sacrifice fly was erased when Stars center fielder Kyle Pineda fired to strike catcher Luke Arias for a dramatic double play.

A batter later, Stars first baseman Josh Mazzola made a diving catch for the third out.

The defensive jewels carried over into a 5-run Stars rally in the home-half of the seventh. The outburst was capped on a 3-run double by Pineda.

Then in the eighth, Stars second baseman Reece Hernandez raced across the bag to rob the Crush of a base hit to centerfield. However, Hernandez was able to stop, backtrack to step on second base, then fire the ball to Mazzola at first base for another Stars double play. Both players hail from Santana High.

Again, the momentum by the defense carried over, as Mazzola lined his first home run of the summer down the left field line.

Meanwhile, Stars pitchers just missed a shutout by allowing an early unearned run — the only blemish on the afternoon.

Starting pitcher Ryan Skillman struck out four batters in as many innings to garner the victory. Skillman was followed by shutout innings by Bailey Roberson (El Capitan), Dominick Tsutsui (Helix)and Clayton Lewis (West Hills) with one inning each, then Josh Vrnon (Granite Hills) with 1,2 innings oif shutoiut bakk; the game ended one out early due to darkness,

Early on, the Stars offense was spurred by third baseball Joey Krug, who batted 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a walk, and two RBI.

Among the ballclub’s 12 hits, the Stars received two hits each from Mazzola and Dallas Seidel.

The first-place Stars return home on both Saturday and Sunday at noon with a pair of WBA doubleheaders.

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