East County Sports

Wolf Pack score 25; Hommel pummels two

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer 

SANTEE – Talk about a ballgame of extremes.West Hills overcame a putrid display on defense (seven errors) by posting its highest run total in a decade to bury visiting San Diego High, 25-14 in five innings in Monday’s (Apr. 5) tournament contest.

The quarter-century run total is the most since establishing the school record nearly 10 years ago to the day, collecting 34 on Mar. 30, 2011, when Wolf Pack coaches intentionally ended three separate innings after scoring 10 times in a 5 1/2 inning ballgame before the opponent called off the 34-1 blowout.
West Hills (5-3) registered at least three runs in all five of its team at-bats.By the way, it was, oddly, a come-from-behind triumph after the Cavers tallied seven runs to open the ballgame.

The leaders saw Ryan Rodgers extend his hitting streak to six games by batting 4-for-4 with a walk, scoring all five times.

Kyle Dobyns started the comeback with the first of his two home runs with a 3-run shot in the first. He later added a 2-run jack in the fifth to finish with a team-best five RBI.

Meanwhile, Owen Rodgers drove in four runs to double his season total.

Every Wolf Pack starter registered a base hit except one, but he walked twice, scoring both times.

For San Diego (3-4-1), infielder Grace Valdez had three RBI.

Grossmont 11, Monte Vista 1

SPRING VALLEY – Grossmont senior Caleb Hommel continued to torrid power-hitting display with two more home runs, as the Foothillers started a new winning streak after stopping host Monte Vista, 11-1, in Monday’s (Ar. 5) Aztec-Foothiller Tournament pool-play contest.

Hommel garnered five RBI with his pair of blasts, doubling his season total to four bombs. The third baseman went deep to both sides of the diamond, including a 3-run line drive to left in the fifth, then a two-run shot to right in the sixth.

Hommel finishing batting 3-for-4 with three runs.

“I just tried to be calm and relaxed at the place and just put a good swing on the ball each at-bat,” Hommel said. “I’m also just trying to hit as many balls hard as I can all year but I’m not chasing home runs.

The only other batter for either side with multiple hits was Noah Barnes (2-for-3, two RBI) for Grossmont (7-1).

Meanwhile, Hillers pitchers Evan Vasiliou and Mason Dirkes combined on a 4-hitter. Vasiliou registered 12 of his 15 outs on strikes. He also worked out of jams after some defensive miscues.

“I had confidence in myself and the team to get out of those situations,” Vasilou said. “Plus, we hit really well today.”

Dirkes tossed two shutout innings with a pair of “K’s” in relief.

“Grossmont has a really good team,” Monte Vista head coach Craig Neu said. “The Grossmont hitters did a nice job hitting the few mistakes (Monte Vista starting pitcher) Andy (Canedo) made. If you are going to beat Grossmont, you have to catch some breaks. The ball didn’t bounce our way today.”

Down 5-0, the Monarchs (3-4) marker came in the third inning.

No. 9 hitter Tyler Lemen dropped a lead-off bunt single. Lemen eventually scored on Ernie Arambula’s base hit to left field.

“I was dialed in today,” Arambula said. “I wasn’t going to let my teammates down. They keep me motivated to be at the most competitive level I can.

“We have to shake off this loss and be prepared to fight against a dominant Madison team.”

Canedo went four innings.

“The game of baseball is a tough sport, especially when you don’t get calls your way,” said Canedo, who is headed to UC Riverside. “I was taught by my coach (Craig Neu) to control what I can control and don’t worry about the things I can’t control because, at the end of the day, everyone knows what we are all capable of as a team.

“As long as we do our job as a team, we should be in good shape.”

Westview 1, Steele Canyon 0

SPRING VALLEY – Westview pitchers Joe Tellers and Ryan Herrod combined on a 6-hit shutout, out-dueling an outstanding effort by Steele Canyon starter Sebastian Granados, who went the distance but dropped a 1-0 decision to the visiting Wolverines in Monday’s (Apr. 5) Aztec-Foothiller Tournament classic.

Granados, a Cal State Northridge commit, generated strikeouts on 14 batters against just two walks. However, he lost on consecutive hits in the third inning.

Westview first baseman Lucas Anderson stroked a lead double. Two pitches later, he came home on a line single by right fielder Josh Mapel for the contest’s lone run.

“Today was not the day for us at the plate,” Granados said. “We left a lot of guys stranded and struck out quite a bit. We have to flush this aside and go after Mater Dei on Wednesday.

The Cougars generated plenty of chances to score, yet stranded eight runners, including the bases loaded in the second and the third. Tellers finished with five strikeouts in as many innings.

Herrod yielded just one hit over the final two frames to earn the save.

Leadoff batter Josh Mapel had two hits. Granados followed with two hits and a pair of walks. However, the next four batters went a composite 0-for-11 to keep the club scoreless.

“We had multiple opportunities, we just couldn’t cash in,” Steele Canyon head coach Jesse Evans said. “Granados was incredible today. Their pitchers did a great job keep us off-balance with their off-speed in all counts.”

Vencel Kalasho is expected to get the start on Wednesday against the Crusaders, according to Granados.

Vista 6, Helix 3

LA MESA – In a pairing between programs that believed they underachieved during last week’s Lions Tournament, Helix and Vista were involved a pitchers’ duel until Vista POS Aidan  Fogel slugged a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the fourth inning, pacing the Panthers to a 6-3 triumph in the continuation of the Aztec-Foothiller Tournament.

Fogel’s blow to left-center field allowed Vista starting pitcher Shane  Vassto to go just four innings, allowing just three hits. Panthers reliever Aidan Harris fired the final three frames to garner the save, surviving a late Highlanders home run by Aidan Perez.

Perez, the third baseman, capped a 2-for-3, three-RBI performance with a shot to center in the seventh. But by then Vista mounted a 6-1 lead after just scoring three times in the seventh.

Ben Haar (lead single) also scored on the Perez homer, Like Vassto, Haar also pitched four innings, striking out six Panthers and allowed just three hits, yet was victimized on just a single, missed pitch hit by Fogel.

The Highlanders (3-3) opened the scoring with a two-out rally in the first, but barely.

With two down, Haar (2-for-4, two runs) stroked a single, then James Whitman grounded through the left side for a base hit.

Perez made it three consecutive base hits with a liner to center. Because the ball was hit so hard and was behind him, Haar thought he was being held up at third base, but then continued home. He barely beat the throw to the plate for a 1-0 lead.

“We just haven’t put together a full game as we need to in order to win,” Helix head coach Cole Holland. “We are a good team and we are going to be successful. We’ll get it figured out. We have no quit in our team and I can coach that all day long.”

Vista (5-2) got even in the third on a throwing error to tie the game.

In the seventh, Vista’s three runs were capped by a two-run homer by third baseman Matt Draves. The shot to center was disputed because Helix believed the ball bounced over the fence.

Fogel and Emilio  Montano each posted two hits for Vista. Both sides managed just six total hits.

Eastlake 5, Valhalla 3

RANCHO SAN DIEGO – The Eastlake Titans carried a shutout into the bottom of the seventh inning Monday (Apr. 5), rolling to a 5-3 victory over Valhalla.

The Titans (5-3) are now 3-1 against Grossmont Conference schools this season.

Pitcher Ethan Lizama allowed just two hits through six solid innings on the mound. However, the bullpen almost gave away a 5-0 lead when the Norsemen (2-4) made things interesting in attempting a late rally.

The Norsemen loaded the bases with one out on two singles followed by the leadoff batter reaching by getting hit by a pitch.

A line drive to left field by Trey Henige handcuffed the defender for an error, ruining the shutout, as the bases remained loaded.

Then with two outs, Riley Hughes doubled in a pair on a drive to left field.

With the potential game-tying runner on second base, Eastlake elected to walk cleanup batter David Gordon to load the bases, then the Titans escaped on a game-ending strikeout.

Eastlake moved to 5-2 overall. Valhalla slipped to 2-4.

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