East County Sports

Wolf Pack get boost from Rodgers Bros.

West Hills senior Kyle Dobyns delivers on Thursday. / Vic Marano



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff report

SANTEE —- You’ve heard the old baseball cliche, often cited from the motion picture Bull Durham: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.”

Following Wednesday’s extraordinary spree of late-inning heroics by East County baseball clubs, the touch of hail which struck the area on Thursday (Apr. 22) came too late for most local ballclubs, with just one winner because a pair of nines faced each other.

Such a face-off saw the conclusion of pool play in the Bill Dickens-GMC Tournament, as West Hills downed Foothills Christian, 6-2.

In the only other contest, Morse downed neighboring Mount Miguel, 11-3.

West Hills 6, Foothills Christian 2

SANTEE —- A string of four consecutive hits ignited a late rally to carry West Hills to a 6-2 decision over visiting Foothills Christian.

The decisive sixth inning saw the Knights knot the contest at 2-all, but the string of pearls saw Owen Rodgers re-gain the lead with a run-scoring single, then Ryan Parker lined a 2-run double

The triumph allowed West Hills (10-4 overall), to match its best start since 2013.

With one out, Jacob Villanueva ignited the hitting streak with a base hit through the left side, then stealing second base. In an obvious sacrifice situation, Johnny Leija bunted the ball, but by the time Foothills Christian decided where to throw the ball, the freshman beat the throw to first base.

The play flustered the Knights, as Rodgers followed with a go-ahead, line single to right field, then Parker lined his double to left.  The fourth run saw Connor Evans intentionally ground the ball to first base to allow Parker to score.

The rally offset a nice Foothills Christian rally, when Kip Famolaro opened the sixth with a double, scoring on the very next pitch on a base hit by Colby Johnson.

“I never like losing but I am proud of the way my teammates played,” Famolaro said. “You gotta love tight games like this one. A majority of their hits were rolled over groundballs that found holes or were Texas Leaguers. Our defense was not solid, although Matt (Jones) made some nice catches in the outfield. We wish we could have supported Taylor (Casey) with more runs.”

For the Wolf Pack, the Rodgers brothers — Owen (3) and Ryan (2) — collected five of the club’s 11 hits, and combined for three RBI total.

Foohillers Christian fell to 9-5 overall.

“Our team is really improving on defense,” Johnson said. “Taylor threw well and gave us a chance to win. We were putting the bat on the ball but a few were hit right at their fielders.”

West Hills ace Kyle Dobyns pitched a complete game for the win, striking out six to improve his record to 4-1 with a 1.81 ERA.


Morse 11, Mount Miguel 3

SPRING VALLEY —- The Morse Tigers ran their record to 9-5 to equal the program’s best start since 2015 after stopping Mount Miguel, their nearest geographic rival to the east.

The Tigers scored four times in the first inning, mounting an 8-0 cushion through three frames.

Junior shortstop Tim Nelson registered two hits and a pair of runs, scoring both times on his from sophomore Marcus Gonzales, the designated hitter.

Tigers starting pitcher Alex Leyva, a freshman, yielded just a run on two hits over four innings. Out of the bullpen, Michael Quiroz tossed the final three frames for the save.

For Mount Miguel (4-9), Ruben Gomez stroked a 2-run double, while Darian Garcia also registered a two-base hit.


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