East County Sports

GMC: East teams get Dickens wins


By Nick Pellegrino

NESTOR – The El Capitan Vaqueros seized control in the late innings to claim a satisfying 10-3 triumph over the Southwest Raiders in Bill Dickens-GMC Tournament action on Friday (Apr. 16).

In reaching double figures in scoring, El Cap only collected four RBI as the defense for Southwest played giveaway by committing five costly errors, allowing runs to score each time.

Perhaps more impressive for the Vaqueros is a pitching staff showing improvement. After giving up double-figure runs totals five times this season, the arms have allowed a composite of seven earned runs over the last three contests in snapping a 5-game losing skid.

Gaining the victory was Jaylin Padilla the first of three relievers, who became the pitch f record after El Capitan broke a 2-2 tie with a run in the fourth inning. Yes, the run was a gift.

With two outs, senior Sy Mendoza walked, moving to second on a base hit from sophomore Bradley Larsen. But when the ball was thrown away, Mendoza circumnavigated the bases to give the Vaqs the lead.

El Cap later didn’t allow a precarious single-run lead to slip, posting four runs in the sixth, then three more markers in the seventh to coast to the ballclub’s first comfortable win of the season.

Key hits included a Larsen double to drive home Mendoza (leadoff hit by pitch) in the sixth.

An inning later, Larsen capped his 3-for-4 outing with another run0scoring single. Larsen, a third baseman, matched cleanup hitter Miguel Rosario with two RBI.

Shortstop Cole Winsor went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk, scoring twice for El Capitan (3-8 overall).

From the bullpen, Micah Odell allowed just one run over three frames, then Miguel Rosario closed the game in the seventh, capped by a third-to-first double play from Larsen to Jake Bergherm.

The Raiders (4-6) have now lost three straight.

Santana 9,  Scripps Ranch 4

SANTEE —- In a contest with important playoff ramifications, Santana leaped over Scripps Ranch in the CIF-San Diego Section Division I playoff race following a 9-4 romp in Friday’s (Apr. 16) Dickens-GMC Classic ballgame.

The Sultans (7-5) ended the 5-game winning streak of the Falcons (7-4), a club that last lost to Steele Canyon, 3-0, last month. In the most recent CIF section playoffs in 2019, Scripps Ranch was an Open Division participant.

Koda Alto, the second of three Santana pitchers, tossed 1 2/3 frames of no-hit ball to collect the victory. Junior Caleb Harris tossed the final two frames to gain the save in the combined 4-hitter.

Santana left fielder Tyler Begg paced the offense by going 2-for-3 with a walk, good for two RBI and a run scored. Included was a go-ahead knock in the first for a 3-2 lead.  Begg repeated the feat in the third for a 4-2 cushion.

“It’s always a great feeling when the team pulls together and gets a win, Santana’s starting pitcher Ethan Wright said. “I tried hard to focus on each pitch, doing my part to help get the win for my team.”

Wright went 3 1/3 innings. He also and a hit and scores, and also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

“My fastball and changeup were working best with the best accuracy and movement, Wright added. “I just battled and just kept trying to give it my best. There is always room for improvement and to learn from each scenario on the bump or in the box. We have a bunch of great ballplayers and if we start consent we have the ability to face the best and be the best.”

Dean Landers also had a hit and drove in a run for Santana, scoring a run and drawing a walk, as well, in three plate appearances.

“Ethan battled on the mound,” Landers said. “It was a rough first inning but he battled through the adversity and put us in a position to win. After that, our pitchers shut them down, which allowed our offense to get going. Proud of my guys.”

Unlike Wednesday, when Santana’s bats were shut down by Eastlake’s Ray Cebulski, a top contender for CIFSDS pitcher of the year, all of the bats came alive against the Falcons, with eight of the starting nine collecting knocks; the lone exception still walked and scored a run.

For Scripps Ranch, cleanup hitter Steven Lancia, a senior catcher, topped the club by going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

Monte Vista 4, Hilltop 1

CHULA VISTA —- It won’t be easy to judge which aspect Ernie Arambula did better to lead Monte Vista to another victory.

Arambula batted 2-for-2 to take over the batting race in the Grossmont Valley League with a .543 average.  The senior was able to relax on the mound the Monarchs staked him to a 4-0 lead, yielding just a run on five hits over six innings in a 4-1 road triumph at Hilltop in FDickens-GMC tournament action Friday (Apr. 16).

Arambula now owns a season-long, 11-game hitting streak. He also walked in the first inning, coming home moments later on a two-out double by Jacob Savoy to open the scoring.

In the third, Savoy, the cleanup-hitting catcher, added another key, two-out knock, driving in two for a 3-0 lead. Savoy went 2-for-3 with three RBI.

For Monte Vista (5-6), David Vega pitcher the seventh to garner the save.

The best player for Hilltop (2-9), senior Efren Sanchez, Jr., struck out eight Monarchs batter over six innings and drove in the Lancers’ lone run in the fourth.

Foothills Christian 20, Sweetwater 9

SPRING VALLEY — The ballpark at Mount Miguel is fast become a “home, sweet home” for the Foothills Christian.

The Knights posted 20 runs for the second time this month at their new home this season, crunching visiting Sweetwater, 20-9, in Friday’s (Apr. 16) Dickens-GMC Tournament contest.

Foothills Christian (8-3) matches its best start since 2017, but it’s a long way from the school record when the Knights started 2015 with a stellar 16-3 mark. In addition, the game took 3:14 to complete, beating the previous East County season-high set one day earlier by West Hills.

From the bats, Kip Famolaro blast a home run and a double, batting 3-for-4 with four RBI and scoring four times.

Meanwhile, Colby Johnson continues to pile on his club-leading RBI count. He drove in five markers with his third-straight multiple hit outing.

The Red Devils (4-7) actually held a 3-2 lead, but the Knights quickly countered with four runs in the second inning, then three more in the third to mound 9-5 cushion. The game later became a runaway when FCHS posted 11 runs in the sixth.

Seth Gilbody (2-for-4, two RBI) extended his hitting streak to nine games, while No. 9 hitter Billy Temple went 2-for-2 ad scored four times.

For SuHi, second baseman Alberto Iribe drove in five runs on four RBI singles and a bases-loaded walk.


Point Loma 27, Valhalla 1

RANCHO SAN DIEGO — When American track legend Bob Beamon broke the world record in the long jump at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, he broke the old standard by nearly two full feet (21 2/3 in./55 cm.) — an astonishing margin in any sport.

So let’s just call Valhalla’s loss to Point Loma as an aberration,  an aberration or any other similar synonym.

On Friday (Apr. 16), the pointers eight times in the first inning, then 12 more times in the third for a 20-0 cushion, en route to a record-setting 27-1 romp over the host Norsemen.

The 27 runs are the most since Bill Dickens’ name was added to the GMC Tournament and the most yielded by Valhalla this century.

At 25-0, at least the Norsemen evaded the shutout with a run in the sixth when senior Fernando Hernandez singled home sophomore Riley Hughes, who registered two of the five hits by the Norsemen (4-7).

Point Loma moved to 8-4, including 4-1 against Grossmont District schools. The Pointers saw Matt Nuanezdrive in six runs, leadoff batter Kien Vudded five RBI, and Deuce Goursonadded three on 4-for-5 hitting.

CV-High Tech 8, Mountain Empire 1

CHULA VISTA — Following a pair of impressive performances this week, Mountain Empire was held in check on three hits, as High Tech High of Chula Vista skated to an easy 8-1 triumph Friday (Apr. 16).

RedHawks starting pitcher Jacobe Noland registered 10 strikeouts in his five innings, but the RedHawks committed five errors with several starters missing for the school’s final football game of the season.

Relief pitcher Frank Hatmaker struck out the side in the sixth. Noland and Hatmaker combined to also stop the Bruins on three hits.

The lone Mountain Empire (2-2) run came in the sixth when David Lothspeich singled home.

Angel Jimenez, who doubled. However, High Tech High (5-2) sandwiched the run with four markers in both the fifth and sixth innings.


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