East County Sports

Knights defeat “host” Matadors; Pack win

Foothills Christian senior Kip Famolaro. / Rebecca Johnson

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

SPRING VALLEY — Forty years ago, Christian High was a member of the Grossmont Conference, The experiment lasted just a single season before the Patriots moved to the City Conference.

Should GUHSD officials decide to add a 12th school at a future date if it’s not a new school in Alpine — Alpine Charter, for example — perhaps Foothills Christian is prepared to join the Grossmont Valley League.

On Tuesday (Apr. 13), the Knights made short work of host Mount Miguel for the third time this season, stopping the Matadors, 4-0, in a tournament pool-play contest.

Foothills Christian pitcher Kip Famolaro fired five innings of shutout ball to register the victory. He struck out six Matadors batters without issuing a walk, allowing just four hits.

“It’s never boring to face off against (Mount Miguel starter Thomas) Ringer,” Famolaro said. “We have a great friendship on the field. Neither of us like to lose. His stuff is some of the best in the county and he was on today.

“My teammates and I knew exactly what we were up against. My defense made it easy for me to trust my pitches.”

Famolaro recently announced his intention to play college baseball at Vanguard University.

“I’m super pumped,” Famolaro said. “Vanguard is a great program. They are killing it this year (currently 30-10 overall, 17-7 Golden State Athletic Conference). I’ve visited the campus and met the coach (Rob Pegg). I also got to watch practice and meet the guys.”

From the Knights bullpen, Seth Gilbody registered half of his outs ion strikes in the combined 6-hitter.

Gilbody followed with a sharp base hit through the third baseman for a 2-0 lead. A third run scored on an error when Nicks stole second base. Another run came home on a wild pitch in the fourth.

“Kip pitched amazing,” Gilbody said. “I love how intense he is and how he is able to control a game. It is hard to come in to relieve him because of that but luckily I was able to control my curveball and my location and that gave me the ability to finish the game.”

Foothills Christian (7-3 overall) has yielded just one run to Mount Miguel (2-7) over 19 innings this season. Because only a handful of Frontier Conference ballclubs are fielding squads in this COVD-19 hindered season, the teams will play the fourth contest in May.

Three runs in the fourth inning were more than enough support for Famolaro.

Moments after Famolaro escaped a bases-loaded situation in the third, sophomore third baseman Colby Johnson opened the fourth with a base hit on a grounder to left field. Taylor Casey and Cameron Nicks then walked to load the bases.

“The Mount Miguel guys are great kids and really easy to get along with,” said Johnson of the Knights’ field mates. “Myself and the team are very grateful for coach Frank (Coit) and Mount Miguel for letting us use their field. There is no heat between the teams which allows us to play loose. We look forward to challenging each other but its just fun to go out and play some baseball against those guys.”

Casey and Johnson finished with two hits each for Foothills Christian.

“The first pitch (Ringer) threw me was a fastball down the middle,” Casey said. “The coaches have been telling us all season to hunt that pitch all season and I turned it around for a double. This was a good win for us, especially defensively coming out of our last game where we lost 12-8 due to too many errors.”

Mount Miguel sophomore catcher Johnathan Trader also posted a pair of base hits, hard grounders through the infield.

“(Famolaro) was throwing mostly fastballs,” Trader said. “I was trying to get my foot down early so I can go through my swing without getting behind but that left me off balance to his off-speed, which I had to foul off.

“Kip throws hard to I knew all I had to do what hist he barrel and the ball would zoom of the bat, which it did. Our team played well defensively, but offensively, we need to start putting the ball in play and running out every hit.”

Ringer struck out 13 over six innings.

“Kip is a great friend of mine,” Ringer said. “It was a good game, well fought on both sides. Our team just has some work to do but we will start playing games more competitively and shock some people.”

The Knights took advantage of their few hits and turned them into runs.

“Trader catches Ringer extremely well,” Coit said. “Those dribblers off Tommy were barely fair which meant he threw a great game. But Kip is a stud and an even better kid. I am extremely pleased with the way we played today. We are not hitting yet, but we will.”

West Hills 7, San Diego 6

SANTEE – Some things can change in a week’s time. Some things don’t.

After West Hills posted 25 runs against San Diego last week — the school’s most since establishing the school record of 34 in 2011 — the only thing different about Tuesday’s (Apr. 13) re-match was the result.

The visiting Cavers rallied from an early 7-0 deficit to move within a run, but an attempt to get even was thwarted on a play at the plate to end the sixth inning, allowing the Wolf Pack to hold on for a 7-6 triumph.

Moments after the Cavers scored on an error to move with a run, Robledo doubled to put two runners in scoring positing with two out. The Cavers third-base coach tried to catch the defense napping and waved Nathan Schlossberg home.

However, Wolf Pack center fielder Connor Evans found second baseman Bryce Evans, who completed the relay to freshman catcher  Owen Rodgers for the out.

Kyle Dobyns, normally a starting pitcher, then was called to pitch the seventh, overcoming a two-out walk to save the victory for Evans. In between, Jacob Villanueva tossed two innings of one-hit ball.

The quick lead saw four runs in the first, then three more in the second.

Key hits included a 2-run double by Owen Rodgers in the second. Earlier, Eron Drake also had a run-scoring knock.

West Hills moved to 7-3 with its third straight victory. San Diego slipped to 3-6-1 after its fourth straight setback.

Later on Tuesday evening, Dobyns went out and scored 15 points in the Wolf Pack’s varsity basketball win against Monte Vista.
 

Mountain Empire 12, Kearny 1

LINDA VISTA — They started the season with just six ballplayers, but now, the Mountain Empire RedHawks. They won for the second time in their last three starts, taking apart host Kearny, 12-1, in Tuesday’s (Apr. 13) non-league ballgame.

Over the past three contests, the RedHawks have out-scored their opposition by a stellar 30-5 count since becoming whole.

“We got some players to come out and now we’re doing pretty well,” said Jarrod Sills, the school’s director of athletics. “Being a small school, we’ve been juggling playing all of these sports at the same time.”

No. 3 batter Jacobe Noland enjoyed batting practice against the Komets, driving in four runs, including two just moments into the game.

In the first inning, Dakota Altmayer reached on an error, Christian Corona reached on a dropped third strike (ruled a passed ball), then he stole second base. Noland following by driving both home with a line single, stating his 2-for-4 outings with three runs scored and a walk.

Noland, a senior catcher, added an RBI single in the fourth, then collected his fourth RBI on a ground ball behind the baserunner in the seventh.

For The Empire (2-2 overall), junior Nakai Lindholm knocked in a pair of runs, scoring Marcus Smith both times. Once was on a double in the fourth. Dakota Hatmaker also doubled for the RedHawks.

Lindholm, the starting pitcher,  also starred on the mound. He struck out 13 Komets batters in firing a two-hitter. The first-inning run was unearned on an error and a run-scoring single by cleanup batter Manny Cruz-Guzman.

For winless Kearny (0-3), the only other hit was a single by sophomore Anthony Salas in the fourth.

 

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