East County Sports

Sultans upset Dons; Eagles edge Poway



EastCountySports.com staff report


SANTEE – Santana’s Elijah Reber hit a bases-clearing triple as the Santana Sultans scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to upset the visiting fourth-ranked Cathedral Catholic Dons, 6-3, in a Hilltop-Lolita’s Tournament game on Tuesday.

Cathedral Catholic led 3-0 after 3 1/2 innings.

Santana improved to 3-1, while the Dons suffered their first loss in four starts.

Matt Benson earned the win for Santana, as he allowed one hit and zero runs over three innings, striking out two.

Dean Landers retired the final batter to pick up the save.


GRANITE HILLS 6, POWAY 5 – The 12th-ranked Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat No. 5 Poway on Tuesday.

Ethan McNish-Heider had a sacrifice fly in the sixth for Granite Hills.

“Heider is new to a lot of guys on our team but we’re extremely happy to have him,” Eagles Clay Fordham, who had a hit and pitched 1/3 of an inning of relief. “He’s been very solid so far fielding at the corner and him clutching up to win it today is awesome. A guy who’s as young as he is handled a pressure situation extremely well and he’ll be a big part of our success this year.”

Eric Hogan got the win for Granite Hills going 1 1/3 innings, allowing no hits, striking out two and walking none.

“Hogan was the unsung hero in today’s game,” said Fordham. “He came into a tough situation with bases loaded one out and proceeded to get a double play to the first batter. He limited the damage and pitches really well which gave us the opportunity to come back in today’s game.

“It’s frustrating to come out flat the way we did because we want to compete in each and every inning, but I’m just proud of my guys for fighting back and overcoming that deficit.”

Noa Ponciano went the first 4 2/3 for the Eagles.

“Every time he goes out and takes the ball he gives your team a chance to win and that’s all we could ask for regardless of whether he has his ‘A’ stuff or not,” Fordham said.

Ryan Fenn went 2-for-3 for Granite Hills, scoring a run.

“Fenn might be the East County’s most secret weapon,” Fordham said. “Being close to a guy that puts in the amount of time and effort like he does, it makes you really happy to see someone like him succeeding like he is right now.”

The Eagles will face Rancho Buena Vista on the road on Thursday at 3.

“I think today was the start of something special,” Fordham said. “It’s the first time our guys have gone out there against a good team and really good pitcher and showed what we’re made of. We just got to keep working and build off this win.”

Granite Hills improved to 2-2.

“Just a good team effort,” Granite Hills head coach James Davis said.Hogan did a good job in relief. Our pitch-hitter came in and did a great job.  Ethan McNish-Heider has been a big plus for us.”


FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 3, BISHOP’S 1 – Jake Baptista drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth inning as Foothills Christian defeated host Bishop’s on Tuesday.

Kip Famolaro allowed one run on six hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out ten and walking just one.

“Kip was lights out today and it was a great team win,” said Foothills senior Cade Cabral, who had a hit for the Knights. “We look forward to building on the momentum.”

Taylor Casey recorded the last out to earn the save for Foothills Christian.

Colby Johnson led Foothills Christian with two hits, scoring a run.


CHRISTIAN 18, HOOVER 1 – Braeden Ross homered, doubled twice and drove in four runs to lead the Patriots over the Cardinals at the Sweetwater Tournament.

“I’m proud of the way our team has played,” Ross said. “Everyone has contributed in some way this year. Coach (Mike) Mitchell and the rest of our coaches have done a great job instilling a team-first mindset.”

Garrett Nasif drove in three runs for the Patriots.

Nick Ruis got the win, as he allowed two hits and one run over three innings, striking out four.

Freshman Hunter Kaul had two hits, two RBI and two runs scored for Christian High.

Andrew Carlock and Josh Meekins each spun two innings of hitless relief for CHS.

“I was honestly just trying to make up for my last appearance,” Carlock said. “My last start I struggled with velocity and location. Today, I was just trying to get my confidence back by pounding fastball at a fast pace and it ended up working out.

Carlock struck out five.

“Andrew Carlock threw great today,” Ross said. “He is very focused and has worked hard getting stronger, and fine-tuning his pitching game. He’s going to have a great season for us.”

Christian improved to 3-1.

“Last year is a motivator for us,” Ross said. “We did not perform even close to what we wanted to last year, and this year we have that chip on our shoulder to be better.”

The Patriots will play at Morse in the Sweetwater Tournament on Thursday at 3.

“I’d say the main difference between this year and last year is the want to win,” Carlock said. “Last year we were a very young team and now that we are getting more and more varsity experience we expect to make a deep run in playoffs.

“We have a very balanced team this year and luckily we aren’t senior-heavy so you can expect us to be solid for the next couple of years.


ORANGE GLEN 7, MOUNT MIGUEL 5 – The Matadors scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning but couldn’t overcome the Patriots’ 7-2 lead.

Erik Kelly had two hits and drove in a pair of runs for Mount Miguel.

JoJo Castillo had two hits, drove in a run, and scored once for the Matadors.

Jay Harris doubled, stole a base, scored, and drove in a run for Mount Miguel.

“We’re talented and can play with anyone but we lack consistency and focus,” Matador head coach Frank Coit said. “We allow too many innings to slip by with mediocre efforts. We must get a handle on that and start playing each out, each AB, each pitch, each defensive opportunity as if they were the most important of the game. Each player needs to take ownership of their personal efforts, hustle, and ways to help the team, not wait for someone else to do it. Each player contributes every inning, somehow.”

Junior Thomas Ringer had a hit, scored a run, and pitched 1/3 of an inning for Mount Miguel.

“We have made it a pattern of not swinging the bats until later in the game,” Ringer said. “Our pitchers are throwing well enough to win and that’s all we can ask for. We just need to start hitting like we can early in the game.”

Kelly started and went the first four innings.

“When my body feels good and fluid I throw strikes,” Kelly said. “When I mess up my mechanics. I’ll be lucky if it’s a strike.

“So my main goal is getting everything fluid. I personally don’t think I did as well as I should have and I’m going to keep on trying to get better.”

Kelly struck out four.

“Eric pitched well enough to win,” Coit said. “I have no doubt he’s getting better and better and more confident each outing.

“Our defense has been very inconsistent. We’re trying to survive innings that we’re giving five and six outs to other teams. We have to get a handle on that. No pitcher can consistently pitch around that kind of defense.”


MATER DEI CATHOLIC 8, STEELE CANYON 2 – Steele Canyon’s Sebastian Granados struck out 10 over six innings, allowing just three hits but the Crusaders won over the host Cougars on Tuesday.

“I just wanted to challenge guys,” said

Granados had a 1.08 ERA this season with 19 strikeouts in 13 innings.

“Jake Entrekin is just my best friend behind the plate,” Granados said. “He’s a great catcher. He helps me out a lot and makes me feel confident about myself, so if it wasn’t for him, I’d probably wouldn’t be throwing how I’m throwing right now.”

John Ramirez had a hit, a run, and an RBI for the Cougars.

Jalen Smith had two hits and an RBI for the Cougs.

Granados scored one of the Cougars’ runs.

“Granados has been awesome for us thus far,” Steele Canyon head coach Jesse Evans said. Entrekin is so valuable behind the plate. He has shut down other teams’ running game. Runners have not been trying to run on him. We are real excited about playing in the (Grossmont) Hills and fully understand the task ahead of us come league play.

Steele Canyon fell to 1-3-1 overall.

“We are very athletic but somewhat inexperienced at the varsity level,” Evans said. “Right now, it is about coming together as a team and getting some of the young athleticism up to speed in varsity baseball.

The Cougars trailed just 4-2 after six innings.

“We need more reps and have to execute when we have the opportunity,” said Cougar coach Mike Spears. “It’s baseball. We can compete with anyone. Playing flawless is the key. We can’t strike out as much, either.”


CARLSBAD 11, EL CAPITAN 1 – Jake Bergherm doubled and had El Cap’s lone RBI in the loss to the Lancers on Tuesday.

Jacob Mackin pitched three scoreless innings of hitless relief for the Vaqueros, striking out three.

Senior Dominick Baker had a hit and scored the Vaquero run.




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