Matadors’ Delgado rounds up El Cap

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

SPRING VALLEY —- What else could be on the mind of Mount Miguel sophomore pitcher Eddie Delgado after El Capitan scored a pair of unearned runs: “Oh, no. Here we go again.”

Maybe, but he would be wrong.

Delgado finished by allowing just one additional run over the final 6 1/3 innings, tossing a 3-hitter in Thursday’s (Apr. 29) 6-3 triumph over El Capitan.

“Eddie just keep hitting the corner and (El Capitan) didn’t adjust,” Mount Miguel head coach Frank Coit said. “And we were playing baseball the way it was supposed to be played.

“We had former Mount Miguel head coach Mike Balsley come out to our game against Morse and he gave our guys another perspective of what we are trying to teach them, and it seemed to click with our hitting and defense.”

The decision on Thursday left the teams with a split of the 2-game series, both sitting one full game behind Monte Vista.

“I was just throwing a cutter than I learned yesterday from coach Balsley,” Delgado said. “He showed me how to get a better grip on the ball. This was definitely the best game of my career.”

Following the shaky start, Delgado’s defense performed admirably, charged with just one other error. However, the right-hander escaped the possible jam by quickly coaxing a pair of inning-ending ground balls. Delgado finished with five strikeouts in his complete-game outing.

“And what can I say about my defense,” Delgado added. “They were just perfect today, making every single play.”

Meanwhile, Mount Miguel received a pair of gift runs in the third inning for a 3-2 lead, then tallied three times in the fifth to gain full control.

No. 9 hitter Jeremiah Castillo, who went 2-for-2, stroked a one-out double to center field, then Johnathan Trader walked.

Joseph Ortega followed with an RBI single to center, although Castillo barely beat the throw to the plate.

“One thing Coach Balsley told us was that you always have to have the right mindset even through rough situations,” said Castillo, a freshman. “I have been trying my best to adjust to pitching and I knew it was going to be a bit of a struggle in my first year. I utilized that approach today and it helped me remain focused.”

A wild pitch brought home Trader, then JoJo Castillo lifted a sacrifice fly to score Ortega.

“My teammates did their job,” JoJo Castillo said. “They played defense and hit the ball hard. One takeaway from our visit with Coach Balsley was that you will not always hit but you can always play defense.

Trader, a catcher, stole another base to increase his season total, which ranks among the state leaders.

“I have to thank coach Frank Coit for sending me so much. I’m nothing without his green light. Our team is growing fast and we are definitely grinding for the top.”

El Capitan did demonstrate some improvement on defense. Despite a lead error in the fifth, the Matadors runner was quickly erased on a double-play grounder from second baseman Miguel Rosario, who found freshman shortstop Brody McAuliffe making the pivot at second, then onward with the throw to first baseman Jake Bergherm.

Mount Miguel (5-10 overall, 1-1 GVL)  has gone 3-21 against the Vaqueros since 2009.

El Capitan (5-10, 1-1 GVL) received hits from Connor Crist, Bradley Larsen, and Bergherm.

Mission Bay 5, Foothills Christian 4

PACIFIC BEACH —- Even at 3-all entering the seventh inning, Foothills Christian designated hitter John Popka drove in the go-ahead run, but the Knights bullpen failed to maintain the lead, as Mission Bay answered with a pair of runs to take a 5-4 walk-off victory in a non-league contest at Dennis Pugh Field.

Foothills Christian (9-7 overall) loaded the bases for Popka, who lined a base hit to center field, bringing home Kip Famolaro (lead single). However, since there was only one out, no other runner could score, then Mission Bay reliever Keegan Bailey was able to escape the jam.

“Our offense needs a lot of work right now,” Famolaro said. “There were situations were coach Dave (Lewis) wanted to bunt guys over but we are a team that doesn’t execute bunts well.

“We are limited because we don’t have enough guys that can execute what our coach wants in certain situations but we’ll work on correcting that.”

The Buccaneers countered with a one-out rally, A walk, single and single tied the ballgame, then Flynn Barnes lifted a sacrifice fly into the ocean breeze for the win.

For Mission Bay (9-7), Bailey gained the victory despite 11 strikeouts by Bucs starting pitcher Stevie Chavez.

Foothills Christian pitcher Taylor Casey ran out of gas in the seventh, reaching the 100-pitch plateau. Casey took the setback despite eight whiffs over his 6 2/3 frames.

“We were missing a few players but still played a good game,” Casey said. “Our inexperience got the better of us. We have been struggling a bit at the plate but the only thing we need is more reps at practice.”

On offense, the Knights No. 3 & 4 batters —  Famolaro and Casey — collected two hits each. among the club’s seven knocks.

“We didn’t back Taylor up when he needed it most,” Famolaro said. “He always commands the game and makes it tough for the other team to score runs. He pitched a great game and helped himself out at the plate.”

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