East County Sports

GMC: Norsemen, Patriots look sharp

Braeden Ross delivers a pitch on Wednesday. / CHS__Athletics

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

ECS staff report

CARMEL HIGHLANDS — The third time’s the charm for the Valhalla Norsemen.

After Cathedral Catholic twice rallied to move even, a third Norseman lead finally proved too much, as Valhalla downed the Dons, 7-5, in Wednesday’s (Apr. 14) opener of the Bill Dickens Memorial-GMC Classic tournament.

The Manchester Field crowd was buzzing after the Dons rallied from 3-0 down to tie the ballgame, then overcame a 5-3 deficit to again deadlock the ballgame. However, Santana’s two runs in the sixth inning proved to be the difference.

The Norsemen made the most of seven total hits, including two each from Trey Henige and Matty Tellous. Both are seniors.

The bottom of the batting order was also productive, including two runs and an RBI from Nick Medrano.

Valhalla  (6-4) moved to the top of its pool. Cathedral Catholic fell to 3-7, easily its poorest start since the school relocated from Alcala Park on the south tip of Linda Vista.

Norsemen sophomore pitcher Riley Hughes fired sux solid innings, allowing just three earned runs. In the seventh, Tellous survived two hits and a walk in the bottom to garner the save by countering one last CCHS attempt to rally.

The CCHS ballclub could be off to a slow start because several players are on the top-ranked Dons football team. However, the Dons are 5-12 against Grossmont District schools over the past three seasons, not just winless in four starts this season.

Christian 5, Mater Dei Catholic 2

EL CAJON – The Patriots improved to 6-0 as Braeden Ross pitched a complete game, finishing with 10 strikeouts, and Shane Bailey, a sophomore, belted his first varsity home run, a two-run shot to left-center field for Christian High.

“We should have won by double digits,” Christian head coach Mike Mitchell said. “We hit many balls right at the defenders and even crazier, we had the bases loaded twice and lined into two double plays.”

Ross had a single, which set up Bailey for his two-run shot, which came on a changeup with a 2-1 count.

“I turned on it,” Bailey said. “Off the bat, I thought it was a double then I turned and knew it was gone halfway up the line.”

“I was really pumped about it because it gave Braeden some run support,” Bailey said. “It seemed to get the dugout hyped and my teammates began to rally off of it.

William Carlock had a double for Christian as the Patriots took a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning. He also turned in a spectacular defensive play on a full-extension diving catch.

Xavier Farnum had a couple of hits for the Patriots and drove in a run.

“Shane’s home run had us feeling a lot more comfortable,” Farnum said. “Ross did an outstanding job on the mound today. I’m doing a good job of finding the pitches that I can capitalize on and do something with. Today, I got pitches that I was able to go up the middle easily with.”

The Patriots got a run on a single by Ashton McCurty to tie the game 1-all in the bottom of the first.

“They were throwing mostly outside but the two that I hit were curveballs inside,” McCurty said. “It’s great to be part of the team. There is great camaraderie between all of us.”

Ross allowed just one walk.

“I felt good right out of the gate,” Ross said. “I felt like I had my ‘A’ stuff. It was my first time pitching from a windup in my entire career, which is something I have been working on and felt comfortable enough to use today. I felt like I had a lot more on my fastball than usual.

“And shout out to my man, Xavier Farnum, called a great game today and had a couple of knocks. I’m glad I could contribute. The defense was huge for me today.”

The Patriots have had a runner reach base in every single inning this season on offense through the six contests.

Christian will play Olympian on Saturday.

“We’ve had some pretty intense matchups with Olympian and last year went 1-1 against them,” Ross said.

Mountain Empire 15, Liberty Charter 2

CAMPO — Liberty Charter’s much-delayed season opener will not be one to remember after the RedHawks tallied 15 unanswered runs to lay out the Lions, 15-2, in Wednesdays (Apr. 14) non-league ballgame in the Laguna Mountains.

Jacone Noland, the Empire’s starting pitcher, joined relievers Christian Corona, Marcus Smith, and Frank Hatmaker on a combined 2-hitter. None of the runs allowed were earned.

The quartet fired a composite 16 strikeouts, as eight of Noland’s nine outs were on whiffs. Corona also struck out the side in his inning out of the bullpen.

Liberty scored twice in the first on three straight RedHawks errors. Afterward, Mountain Empire settled in to dominate.

Five runs in the first were followed by at least three additional markers over the ensuing three frames.

The leader on offense for Mountain Empire (3-2) was center fielder Angel Jimenez (4-for-5, four RBI).

Meanwhile, the Hatmaker brothers — leadoff batter Dakota (3-for-5, two runs, three stolen bases) and Frank (four RBI). — paced a season-best 13-hit attack.

The lone Lions hit early on was a two-out single by Tommy “Bob” Scanlon in the third inning, In the seventh, Michael Schlock line a lead single to left.

These Summit League opponents won’t officially meet for league play until April 30.

Eastlake 4, Santana 0

CHULA VISTA — Eastlake pitcher Ray Cebulski is making his “pitch” for CIF-San Diego Section pitcher of the year.

Cebulski fired a 1-hit shutout Wednesday (Apr. 15), leading the Titans to a 4-0 blanking of Santana in Dickens-GMC Tournament opoener.

Cebulski, who went a perfect 7-0 as a sophomore, needed just 72 pitches in his masterpiece. He only struck out two Sultans batters, registering a majority of his outs early on ground balls, then the final three frames on shallow pop flies.

The lone Santana hit saw Cole Contreras stroke a line single to left to leadoff the second inning. However, Contreras was caught stealing. Afterward, Cebulsi retired 16 of the final 17 batters, only yielding a two-out walk to Davin Burroughs in the third.

Eastlake (8-3) recorded all of its runs with a single swing of the bat.

Following a walk and a pair of base hits in the second, shortstop Marcelo Mayer placed his mark on a fastball, drilling it to right field for a grand slam with two down.

Santana (6-4) is the second consecutive East County school to get shut out by Eastlake.

Olympian 14, Monte Vista 5

SPRING VALLEY — The Olympian Eagles received an array of gifts from an array of Monte Vista pitchers. A half-dozen Monarchs allowed 12 hits, walked nine, and hit a pair of batters, allowing Olympian to leave town with a 14-5 decision in both clubs’ pool-play opener of the Bill Dickens-GMC Tournament.

The book-end victory saw the Eagles score three times in the first inning, then four more runs in the seventh in what was an otherwise competitive contest.

For Olympian (4-3), junior Walter Alfaro drove in four runs by batting 2-for-4, scoring three times. Included was a run-scoring double in the seventh, helping the Eagles end a 3-game losing streak.

Monte Vista (3-6) received three RBI from cleanup hitter Andy Canedo. The first baseman batted 2-for-4 with a 2-run double in the fifth.

“We try our best to put up runs on the board for our pitchers,” Canedo said. “Today was a back-and-forth kind of game, we just lost it at the end, but with games like these we lean

Ernie Arambula and Aaron Zuniga also collected two hits each.

“I learned never to give up in any circumstance,” Arambula said. “Being down several runs, I just try to keep hyping up my teammates play-by-play and they listened. We took it one step at a time, just ended up falling short.”

For the Monarchs, it was the second of five straight games against South Bay schools.

The Monarchs figure to have one of the top clubs in Division 3 this season.

“We didn’t play well enough to win,” Monte Vista head coach Craig Neu said. “We are still figuring stuff out. We will be there. Out goal is to have things sorted out by league play.”

Montgomery 4, El Capitan 1

LAKESIDE — The Montgomery Aztecs snapped a 1-1 deadlock with the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, then two more in the seventh, clipping El Capitan, 4-1, in Wednesday’s (Apr. 15) Dickens-GMC Tournament opener at Hostetler Field.

This one wasn’t filled with offensive fireworks, instead filled with simple plays or small miscues which resulted in runs.

Early on, Vaqueros right fielder Bobo Mendoza registered a two-out single in the second.

The next batter, Zach Mayhew, also sent the ball to the left side, but the ball went booted by the shortstop and rolled between the outfielders. While they chased, Mendoza motored around for a 1-0.

The Aztecs promptly moved even when Benjamin Melendrez stroked a lead single, moved to third on an error, then came home on a double-play grounder.

Both starting pitchers — Cole Winsor for El Cap, and Monty’s Adrian Herrera — then settled in with a series of easy innings in solid performances.

The difference came in the sixth with the ultimate in small ball.

Aztecs leadoff batter Manny Huerta grounded a seeing-eye single to left field. A pair of ground balls behind the runner sent Huerta to third, then home on a two-out base hit by his younger brother, cleanup hitter Adian Huerta, who was the lone batter with two hits on the day.

Montgomery (7-3-1 overall) tallied two insurance runs in the seventh. An error set-up an Aldo Camargan sacrifice fly, then No. 9 batter Daniel Alcala parked an RBI single.

El Capitan (2-8), losers of five straight, saw Miguel Rosario single and steal second base. Otherwise, the only Vaqueros runner to reach third base was Winsor on a double and a ground out in the first.

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