East County Sports

Hillers, Monarchs, Matadors get wet wins on Thursday





LA MESA – The Grossmont Foothillers smashed four home runs in the first inning on Thursday as part of a 12-run inning against the visiting San Ysidro Cougars, en route to a 16-2 victory.

Senior Caleb Hommel became the second Hiller to hit a grand slam in as many days with his first-inning shot. Red-hot slugger  Isaiah “Go-Go” Gomez had a three-run shot. Justin Brown and Barron Zamora also homered.

In all, the Foothillers had six round-trippers in the contest and have hit nine homers over the first three games of the season.

Gomez drove in six runs by batting 3-for-3 and scored three times.

Gomez’s first blow followed a pair of leadoff walks for a 3-run shot to center field to start the two-touchdown scoring spree. Two innings later, he again went up the middle and over the fence for two additional runs. He also added a 2-run single and a walk.

Gomez has started the season on a 10-for-12 batting binge, with six extra-base hits, including three home runs. He had six RBI on Thursday, giving him 12 on the season.

The big inning was capped by consecutive home runs by Hommel and Brown.

Grossmont’s half-dozen long-balls were one short of the school record of seven, set against Granite Hills in 1997. The CIFSDS mark is nine by Santana  in 1985.

Meanwhile, Hillers pitchers Mason Dirkes and Ethan Dilgard combined on a 2-hitter. Dirkess tossed the last two innings. Thus, Dillard officially picked up the victory with three innings of relief. Both averaged exactly one strikeout per frame.

(Note: the CIF San Diego Section single-game record for home runs in a game is four set by the Sultans’ Jimmy Tatum in 1985. The single-season mark is 22 by Chris Walston of El Capitan in 2002)

For more offensive highlights, you can view the BOXSCORE.

The Foothillers will travel to Carmel Highlands (just east of Del Mar) to meet Cathedral Catholic in a battle of potential CIF Open Division titans on Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Gomez hit his second home run of the game in the bottom of the third, a two-run shot.

Baez hit a two-run HR in the fourth for Grossmont, the Hillers’ sixth long ball of the game, which was shortened to five innings.

Grossmont could easily be ranked as high as No. 2 in the county when the first local poll is canvassed.

MONTE VISTA 10, OTAY RANCH 9 (8 inn.) – At Otay Ranch, a close ballgame which needed just 80 minutes for the first six innings, needed more than an hour to conclude a wild Sweetwater Tournament contest, as the visiting Monarchs barely tipped the Mustangs in an upset. It was the first Monte Vista triumph in three starts.

David Vega drove in four runs from his cleanup spot, while  Andy Canedo slugged a home run for Monte Vista. Both are seniors. Vega, the second baseman, batted 3-for-4 and scored twice.

“I was seeing the ball very well at the plate today and was able to get some big hits,” Vega said. “The team was able to get some clutch hits like Andy’s bomb. Without those runs, we don’t win this game.”

Trailing 4-3, the Monarchs posted four runs in the seventh, only to watch Otay Ranch (2-2 with wins over Mater Dei Catholic and Helix) rally to force extra innings. In the bonus frame, Monte Vista managed three more markers, then staved another Otay Ranch rally to hang on for the 1-run decision.

Vega pitched the first four innings, but control problems because of the rainy weather hampered him in yielding six walks.

“I didn’t have some of my best stuff with the rain being such a factor but that is no excuse,” Vega said. “Otay is a great team and their coaching staff always has their team ready.”

Chris Leask entered to pitch the final four frames, finally garnering the final out to gain his first career varsity victory in parts of three seasons with the big club.

“Being able to get through four innings helped save our team on pitching,” Leask said.

With the potential game-tying runner on second base, Leask coaxed a game-ending pop out to shortstop Ernie Arambula, who turned in a difficult game-saving play.

“If somebody was going to save the day it was going to be Ernie,” Vega said. “If that ball fell, it was going to be over, so that was a great play.”

Arambula made the out and his teammates dogpiled on top of him as if they had won a title.

“As soon as the ball was hit, I had no other choice but to give it all I’ve got and that’s what I did,” Arambula said. “It’s been a slow start for us over the first couple of games but I see our team starting to gel now.”

In the seventh, Monte Vista took advantage of four walks to get even, then senior catcher Jacob Savoy delivered a clutch, two-run single. However, Otay Ranch got even on three walks and a base hit but left the bases loaded.

In the extra frame, Aaron Zuniga (walk) and Albert Rodriguez (single) started the game-winning rally, with Vega going to left for an RBI double. With two outs, Arambula and Andy Canedo followed with run-scoring base hits.

Monte Vista’s comeback started in the sixth on Canedo’s home run to left field to trim the deficit to 4-3.

For Otay Ranch, Santiago Garcia and Ali Camarillo each finished with two RBI. Both are seniors.

The Monarchs return to the South Bay on Monday, meeting Hilltop at Baumgartner Field, starting 3:30 p.m.

MOUNT MIGUEL 16, SOUTHWEST (SD) 10 – At Spring Valley, the Matadors football team scored 14 points in the second… Wait!

No, it was the Mount Miguel baseball teams that scored a resounding 14 runs in the second inning, taking out the visiting Raiders. The rain stopped Thursday’s (Mar. 26) Sweetwater Tournament slug-fest after 4 1/2 innings. The second inning took an hour to complete.

Talk about an infusion of offense! Coupled with the 26 runs registered by the Matadors on Tuesday, the ballclub has posted 42 runs in 24 hours, all in just eight team trips to the plate (four both times as the home team in games each lasting just five innings).

It’s the most runs by Mount Miguel over consecutive contests since rolling up 48 runs nearly a decade ago (April 2013).

Trailing 6-1, Mount Miguel (2-1) batted around twice in its big inning.

“We had so many different guys contribute, it was contagious,” Mount Miguel head coach Frank Coit said. “We’ve got four freshmen starting currently and six on the roster.”

Thomas Ringer threw two innings of relief for the Matadors, relying exclusively on his fastball with the wet conditions.

The Matadors will next host the tournament host Red Devils at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

EASTLAKE 10, STEELE CANYON 6 – At Chula Vista, the host Titans tallied four times in the first inning, scoring in every frame to capture a rain-shortened, five-inning triumph over the Cougars.

Eastlake marched to a quick 4-0 cushion, then kept adding on. The ballclub’s 2-3-4 hitters – sophomore Isaiah Lane, and seniors, Ray Cebulski and cleanup hitter Nick Rocha – each collected two RBI.

The slippery conditions doomed the defense of Steele Canyon (1-2), which was charged with nine errors leading to eight unearned runs.

“I am proud of the guys,” Steele Canyon head coach Jesse Evans said. “Conditions were tough but we showed a lot of fight. We were a hit or two away from sneaking out of there with a win.”

Cougars outfielder Will James, a sophomore, paced the club with two of the club’s seven hits, as the top four batters in the lineup were stymied, going a collective 1-for-8 at the dish.

James had a two-run hit in the fourth as SC loaded the bases with none out but that’s all the Cougars could manage out of the threat.

Also driving in runs were Nate Custeau (RBI single) and Issac Vargas (sacrifice fly).

“The circumstances weren’t great,” said Steele Canyon’s Samuel Rocha. “It felt great that this was the first time coach had called my name. I had something to prove to myself. I just tried my best to hold off a very good Eastlake team and help put my team in a position to try and get a big win.”

Steele Canyon next hosts Santa Fe Christian of Solana Beach on Monday at 3:30 p.m.

MORSE 15, EL CAJON VALLEY 0 – The Tigers scored 12 runs in the second inning in a game called in the fourth due to rain.

El Cajon junior Alvaro Alvardo pitched a scoreless frame, striking out two.


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