East County Sports

GMC: Eagles win fifth-straight game



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

CLAIREMONT MESA — Granite Hills first baseman Grant Mac Arthur popped a pair of home runs Wednesday (Apr. 15), including a key blow in the fifth inning, lifting the Eagles to a fifth consecutive victory after downing the Madison Warhawks, 10-4, to open pool-play action in the Bill Dickens Memorial-GMC Classic tournament.


Mac Arthur first drilled a leadoff shot to left to open the third, as Granite Hills mounted to a 5-0 cushion.


After Madison answered three runs in the third, the Warhawks had an opportunity to walk Mac Arthur following a Camden Sos single and a Spencer Davis double. Instead, “the general” sent the first pitch deep to left for a 3-run shot.

“I said earlier in the season that we would bounce back and that we hadn’t showed who we really are,” Mac Arthur said. “Now we are playing well and everybody is contributing.”


Chandler Henry pitched 4 1/3 innings to gain the victory. From the bullpen, Ryan Krushensky fired 2 2/3 frames of no-hit ball.


The Eagles offense saw the top two hitters in the batting order, Austin Smith and Sos, collected three hits each.  Davis, Mac Arthur and Tanner Vielguth followed with two each each, as the top five hitters went a composite to 12-for-19 to doom the Warhawks.

“Chandler pitched extremely well today,” Mac Arthur said. “Our offense got going early and gave him a good lead to pitch behind. Krushinsky did a great job of coming in and throwing strikes when he needed to. Great team effort.”


Granite Hills moves to 8-3 overall. Madison (5-6) dropped its third straight to fall under the .500 plateau, its poorest start since going 5-7 in 2015.



Point Loma 1, Grossmont 0
POINT LOMA — Grossmont High entered the week with a stellar 10-1 record — one of its best starts in school history –ranked No. 3 in the most recent CIF-San Diego Section media poll.


The Point Loma Pointers were not impressed after a trio of flame-throwing pitchers allowed just one hit each combining for a 3-hit shutout of the Foothillers.


Pointers starter Hunter Hargett registered nine strick outs over his four innings. However, he exited with the contest still scoreless, so reliever Kien Vu collected the win with two solid innings. The save went to Duke Ekstrom, who survived two hits and a walk in the seventh.


The lone run came in the fifth on a pair of errors.


In the sixth, Grossmont attempted to force extra innings when Evan Vasiliou started the frame with a booming double. The shot to center field extended Vasiliou’s hot streak at the plate to 10-for-18 (.556) over his last four outings.


However, after Vasiliou advanced to third base on a ground out, a fly ball to right fielder Corbin Chianello turned into an inning-ending double play by firing a strike to catcher to Liam Watters. Both are seniors.

“We ran into a good pitcher who commanded all of his pitches,” Vasiliou said. “It doesn’t take the wind out of us at all, we just have to come back and compete tomorrow.”


An inning later, the Hillers’ bases-loaded threat on a fielder’s choice grounder to third baseman Bubba Nunez.


Meanwhile, Grossmont pitcher Jaden Wilcox was again dominant, tossing a complete-game, 2-hitter, but lost on the unearned run. He fell to 4-1 despite seven strikeouts over six innings.

“It was a pitcher’s duel,” Wilcox said. “Hats off to their starter. He threw a heckuva game.”



Clairemont 8, Steele Canyon 2

RANCHO SAN DIEGO — In a clear, look-ahead situation, the Steele Canyon Cougars stubbed their collective toes by falling to visiting Clairemont, 8-2, in a Dickens-GMC pool-play opener on Wednesday (Apr. 15).

The Chieftains (4-5) had lost three straight and 4-of-5, but pitcher Henry Connell came out on fire in yielding just five hits to overcome their most recent outing, a 12-0 pasting from La Jolla Country Day. Connell struck out four Cougars against just a single earned run.

Steele Canyon (6-5) overcame a 1-0 deficit with two runs in the fourth inning.

Weston Clark and Jake Entrekin accepted consecutive lead walks.  but Connell retired the next two hitters. However, an error would tie the contest, then Diego Ceniceros singled in the go-ahead run.

However, the boys from “Ridgemont High” — the 1982 motion picture is based on a secret student’s real-life experiences at Clairemont — immediately answered with four markers in the fifth to regain control.

“They really only had one good hit but it was padded with walks and bad baseball which really cost us,” Entrekin said of the Chieftains. “We didn’t have competitive at-bats and had poor defense and pitcher. Diego (Ceniceros), Alfredo (Flores), and Weston had nice hits but that’s about it.”

A walk and a pair of base hits loaded the bases for leadoff batter Zach Daudet, who pumped a grand slam toward the Great Wall of Jamul beyond the left-field fence. Daudet, a senior shortstop, finished with five RBI on 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

Steele Canyon next meets St. Augustine at Hickman Field on Friday.

Scripps Ranch 3, Helix 2

SCRIPPS RANCH — In the decisive sixth inning tied at 1-all, visiting Helix took the lead, but Scripps Ranch answered with a pair to take a 3-2 triumph in a Dickens-GMC Classic opener.

The Highlanders assumed the lead on four consecutive walks — to Jake Perez pinch-hitter Noah Hamilton, Cameron Tarling, and No. 9 batter Trevor Young (RBI) — all coming after two outs.

However, the Falcons needed just three batters to get even.

Starting at the top of the batting order, Patrick Walker doubled to left field, Jona Sawson was hit by a pitch, then Steven Lancia registered his second RBI with a base hit.

Two batters later, T.J. Bibler sent a third single to left in the inning for the go-ahead run.

Scripps Ranch pitcher Carter Fossfired 5 1/3 innings of 2-hit ball before the pitch count took him out.

Helix pitcher Isaac Cota went five frames, allowing just one run on three hits, but left with no-decision.

“Everything felt really good,” Cota said. “I really worked on pounding the zone and getting bad contact for outs. As a team, we are working really hard and we have been seeing improvements in every game we play. I think if we keep up the hard work, it’s only a matter of time until the bats start getting hot.”

Scripps Ranch moved to 7-3, including 4-1 against East County schools (including Ramona and Patrick Henry). Helix (4-6) dropped its third straight.

“Our pitchers went out and set the tone,” Helix’s Jake Perez said. “I think we are starting to string some hits together and lock in with our approach at the plate. You see some good changes to our game soon.”


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