East County Sports

Sultans stop second top ten opponent

Santana sophomore Koda Alto delivers a pitch on Thursday. / photo by Dave Dickens

La Costa Canyon and Santana in the sportsmanship line on Thursday. / photo by Dave Dickens



EastCountySports.com staff report


SANTEE – The Santana Sultans won another game against a county top ten team, defeating the La Costa Canyon Mavericks, 4-2, on Thursday.

Santana’s Tyler Fitzgerald follows through on Thursday. / photo by Dave Dickens

The Sultans’ Tyler Fitzgerald lined a ball to right that went for a double, scoring both Davin Burroughs and Elijah Reber in the first inning.

Dean Landers added a sacrifice fly to center to score Ethan Wright.

Fitzgerald lined to center, scoring Reber to make it 4-0 in the second.

Impressive sophomore Koda Alto Alto pitched five innings. He struck out four.

Landers pitched two scoreless innings to get the save. He struck out two.

La Costa Canyon wouldn’t even get anything on the board until late in the game after Alto had been relieved by Landers, who came in and – despite giving up a couple of runs which were charged to Alto – finished things up to preserve the victory.


FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 31, KEARNY 1 – The Knights set a school record with 31 runs against the Komets in a Sweetwater Invitational game.

It was the second most runs by any team in a single game in East County history.

“We did not steal and only ran on passed balls which they were all for to teach their guys what to try and stop,” Foothills Christian head coach Dave Lewis explained. “Everybody played at least half of the game.”

The Knights scored 11 runs in the first inning. Foothills then proceeded to score 13 runs in the third inning.

Foothills capped it off with a six-run seventh.

The Knights hit four triples.

Senior Max Merlan has returned to the FCHS lineup from injury. He drove in four runs on a pair of hits in the contest.

Senior Cade Cabral drove in three runs with three hits. He also scored three times.

“It was a great team win today,” Cabral said. “We definitely caught a Kearny team that was rebuilding but they hung in there and played hard all game. We did what we were supposed to do and everyone was able to contribute. It was great to get our young guys on the field so that they could build some confidence.”

Freshman Colby Johnson also drove in three, with two hits. He scored three times.

Sophomore Taylor Casey had two hits, three RBI and scored once.

Seth Gilbody got the win, striking out five with two innings of work, while Casey pitched two innings, also striking out five.

Kip Famolaro had three hits, four runs scored, and an RBI.

“Our underclassmen Seth, Taylor, and John (Popka) threw the ball very well today,” Famolaro said. “They are going to be very important to our futures success. Everyone swung the bat incredibly strong. Colton (White) and Eli (Moor) hammered some balls and Zach (Ortiz) made some phenomenal plays in the field. Hats off to Kearny, they kept working hard and playing like it was a tie ball game. That takes character. I’m proud of all my guys and ready to go after our next win.”


GRANITE HILLS 2, RANCHO BUENA VISTA 1 – The 12th-ranked Eagles won on the road in Vista with a run in the seventh to make a winner of Clay Fordham, who struck out 11 in a complete-game performance.

T.K. Parker drove in Ryan Fenn for the go-ahead run with one out when he singled to left.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play my last at-bat,” Parker said. “The pitcher was throwing slow so I was just waiting for my pitch. Clay did a great job on the mound today as well.

“It’s an honor to play with a guy of T.K.’s caliber,” Fordham said. “He makes every big play on defense and that was the story today. It’s a comforting feeling to have guys that do extra for you on the mound. You want your guys to make the routine plays, but as soon as they make plays that shouldn’t be made, you gain a whole new level of respect for their game. He’s just a complete package. With a winning run on base in a big spot in the game, it’s the reason he plays the game. We all have confidence whenever T.K. steps up to the plate. You couldn’t choose a better guy.”

Alex Gilbaud, a sophomore, drove in the other Eagle run back in the second inning.

“Alex came through with two outs early on to drive in a run,” Fordham said. “Granite will be in good hands for the coming years with the bright young players including Alex. I’m proud of my guys. I believe the fight in these guys will take us a long way this season. To see guys like Fenn turning in routine singles into doubles in the last inning of a tie game is huge. It’s the grittiness and guts that it takes to win games like this that our guys show.”

Fordham allowed four hits while walking two.

“We are capable of playing better baseball than we did but we’re not the kind of team to downplay a win,” Fordham said. “We’ll take them any way we can get them.

“I knew right from the bullpen today that I was locked in. Mentally, I had the mindset of just going out there and dominating. I believe the mental aspect of the game is extremely underrated. It’s very important to have the utmost confidence in your ability and I truly believe that’s what helps me compete out there.

“I felt like my fastball had good life and my slider had really good bite today, but the difference maker was my command of those two pitches.

“I think I did a good job of getting ahead of hitters and putting them away. My batterymate, Cody Macias, made all of it possible though.

“One of the best feelings as a pitcher is having the confidence to bury off-speed pitches in the dirt and know your catcher is going to be a wall for you back there. Cody gives me the confidence to throw a slider at any point in time because he works back there and it shows. Without him, I can’t guarantee that the success I had today would be possible.”


MOUNT MIGUEL 5, BISHOP’S 0 – The Matadors’ Thomas Ringer has a pretty good knack for delivering strikeouts.

However, on Thursday, Ringer had no problem pitching to contact, as his defense turned in one of its best-ever performances, and the junior delivered a shutout against the Knights.

“Working on my offspeed is huge,” Ringer said. “If I can keep batters offset by tunneling my pitches and making sure that they look the same coming out of my hand and making the ball move differently that is key. All about pitch selection for me.”

Ringer recorded four strikeouts, allowing three hits while walking one.

“If you look at the line there were four strikeouts out of 21 outs,” Ringer said. “Seventeen of those outs were made behind me. My team having my back. I tried to have the other team off balance. Johnathon Frivaldo made a few great stops. Darian Garcia made some quality outs. And two double plays turned up the middle.

“Then to come out and swing the bats in the first few innings as we did was outstanding. Every time I step on the mound, I can compete with anyone. This game was a real team win.”

Frivaldo, a junior, delivered at the plate, recording three RBI. He reached on an error in the first inning but was still credited with a pair of RBI, as teammates Jay Harris and JoJo Castillo scored.

“We had them beat from the start,” Harris said. “It was great because they came in thinking they were going to whoop on us but it was the other way around. Great team win.”

Freshman Joseph Ortega followed with an RBI single, scoring Erik Kelly.

“We jumped on them early,” Castillo said. “If we keep playing like that, we’ll be one of those teams people don’t like playing. We’re still gonna be humble and work hard in what we can improve on.”

“We went into this game with the mindset that it was going to be a challenge,” Kelly said. “This is a new Mount Miguel. That loss against Orange Glen was the fuel to our flames and we were locked in today. Thomas did a phenomenal job on the mound and was pumping the strike zone. We might just be another D4 team but we have the heart of a D1 team. These are a special group of guys.”

Harris also had an RBI later in the game with a double.

“Really an outstanding effort across the board by the entire team,” Mount Miguel head coach Frank Coit said. “Really what we saw today, in my opinion, is the real team that we have. They put it together today and now just need to repeat it. Talent has not been a question, consistency has. Today, we were extremely consistent every inning.

“We were extremely aggressive but disciplined at the same time at the plate. Everyone had quality at-bats.

“The defense rose to the occasion against a quality team. We were very pleased with everyone’s efforts today they gave us their very best, each player, and the result was a very well-played ball game. Couldn’t be happier for our kids. They earned it today with hard-nosed, high-level, hustling baseball.”


CHRISTIAN 6, MORSE 2 – Garrett Nasif earned the win for the Christian Patriots with a complete game, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out six.

Carson Stroman had three RBI for the Patriots, as he hit a double and had a pair of RBI.

Clay Wehsener had two hits and scored a run for Christian.

The Pats scored four runs in the third inning to erase a 1-0 Tiger lead

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