East County Sports

ROUNDUP: Granados mows down Saints

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

CLAIREMONT MESA — The Steele Canyon Cougars may have turned the corner after stunning No. 2-ranked St. Augustine, 5-1, to highlight Friday’s (Apr. 16) Bill Dickens-GMC Classic tournament action.The Cougars winners in three of their last four outings moved to 7-5 overall to stay in the running for their GMC pool at 2-1 with two contests remaining.

St. Augustine, which entered the week unbeaten in 11 starts, fell to 10-2-1.including an earlier tournament setback to La Jolla Country Day. The Saints are also 2-1 in the pool.

Steele Canyon pitcher Sebastian Granados recorded 12 strikeouts in his 2-hitter but fell one out short of a complete game due to his pitch count. Vencel Kalasho got the final out, leaving the potential game-tying run in the on-deck circle to qualify for the save.

Following the game, Granados, who will play college baseball at CSU Northridge, celebrated with teammates but also hung out with members of the Saints that he used to play with as teammates.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do what I do if it wasn’t for my teammates waking up the stick early and putting up five runs for me to work with,” Granados said. “It just motivated me to mow down the Saints lineup. I trusted my fastball and was really feeling it. I felt like Pablo Picasso today just painting the corners and lower half o the strike zone. I can’t wait to face the Saints again down the road.”

The Cougars received early indications it may be their day in an odd way.

Following a pair of one-out walks, a passed ball placed runners on the corners. While caught in a rundown following a pick-off play at another bag, Wes Clark scrambled home before the tag for the third out.

In the third, it was a more traditional, 3-run outburst to seal the gate-to-wire victory.

Clark stroked a 2-run double to left field, bringing home Alfredo Flores (lead single) and Will James (safe on error). Clark would score when Jake Entrekin followed with a line single to center,

Seven of the nine starting Cougars registered at least one base hit.

For St. Augustine, Ariel Armas and Domenic Carini had the only Saints hits.

Grossmont 14, Madison 5

LA MESA —- The Grossmont Foothillers placed the Madison Warhawks into the corner pocket, placing an 8-spot in the third inning to mount a 10-0 advantage, rebounding back from a previous loss to rejoin the race of a championship game berth in the Bill Dickens-GMC Classic tournament at Gizoni Field.

The Hillers returned to their basic game plan: load the bases and smash a grand slam.

For a remarkable seventh time this season, Grossmont delivered the “grand salami” when Joaquin Baez smacked into the wind in left field, yet it cleared the barrier for an 8-0 lead in the big inning.

Earlier in the frame, Isaiah Gomez went deep to center for a 2-run shot immediately after Madison shot themselves in the foot by allowing Vto to reach on an error to leadoff.

Boot, error. Bash, boom.

Grossmont now has 20 home runs in 13 contests (1,54 per game), just a click under the pace to break the East County record of 67, set by El Capitan (1.91)  over 35 games in 2000.

On the mound, Mason Dirkes was tagged for three unearned runs in his four innings, yet collected the victory.

For the Warhawks, three of their f=irst fou batters — Maddox Haley, Colin Bush, and Jake “J.J.” Jackson — had two hits each.

Madison (5-7), which has dropped three straight, has dropped six of its last seven to match its poorest start over the past 10 years.

West Hills 7, Mission Bay 5

SANTEE —- In a pairing of ballclubs with identical 8-3 marks, the West Hills Wolf Pack overcame an early deficit with seven consecutive runs, downing visiting Mission Bay, 7-5, to take the pool lead in their flight of the Bill Dickens-GMC Tournament.

The triumph avenged a 6-1 setback to the Buccaneers on April 1.

West Hills leadoff hitter Ryan Parker set the stage throughout the contest. The shortstop batted 3-for-4 and stole three bases, scoring all three times.

Down 2-0 in the first, Parker singled, then scored on a double by Kyle Dobyns, who scored on an Eron Drake single to knot the contest.

An inning later, West Hills tallied three times, Bryce Smith (lead single) would score on a wild pitch, then a Connor Evans double brought in Parker (single). An error made it 5-2.

In the third, Evans lifted a sacrifice fly to start a 2-run rally.

On the mound, Dobyns overcame a slow start with 5 2/3 solid innings, striking out six Bucs batters.

West Hills (9-3) equaled its best start this century. Mission Bay dropped to 8-4.

Eastlake 7, Granite Hills 1

EL CAJON —- The Eastlake Titans moved to 6-23 against Grossmont District schools, including three straight topped by Friday’s (Apr. 16) 7-1 win over host Granite Hills in Dickens-GMC Classic action.

Over the Titan’s current streak against East County ballclubs, the Eagles’ run ended a stretch of 17 consecutive shutout innings by their pitchers.

This go-round, Eastlake pitcher Garrett Beckhelm took charge, allowing just five hits over six frames. The lone Granite Hills batter with any success was Ethan McNish-Heider who went 2-for-3.

The only other hit of note was a one-out double by Camden Sos in the first inning. He moved to second on a ground ball but was stranded at third.

Down 3-0, Granite Hills scored its lone run in the fourth on a Grant MaArhur single, then three walks.

Eastlake’s early lead came in the top half of the third, courtesy of RBI singles by Nico Vallarelli and Ray Cebulski, then a squeeze bunt from Nick Rocha.

Eastlake is now 9-3 overall. Granite Hills slipped to 8-4.

Cathedral Catholic 6, Helix 3

LA MESA —- In a contest of struggling ballclubs, Cathedral Catholic snapped a 4-game losing streak to Grossmont District schools by tripping Helix, 6-3, in Friday’s (Apr. 16) Bill Dickens-GMC Classic tournament contest. The win also ended the Dons’ 3-game losing skid.

Cathedral won thanks to the bottom of the batting order. Middle infielder Doug Farry knocked in three runs from the No. 8 slot. Just above him on the lineup card, Aiden Dillehay added a pair of RBI. Both are juniors.

Down 4-0, Helix received a 2-run homer from James Whitman in the third. At 6-2, Ben Haar added a solo shot in the sixth to account for all of the Scotties’ scoring.

For the Dons, Jake Nastrini pitcher six innings with three strikeouts for the win. Frankie Tarantino pitched a perfect seventh with two K’s for the save.’

Both ball clubs are 4-7 overall.

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