East County Sports

Anticipating Patriots complete sweep

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL
By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

DOWNTOWN —- Some schools in the City Conference, mainly non-contenders, often play games with their pitching staffs. Instead of utilizing the top pitcher in the opener of any respective 3-game series, they might save the arm for the second or third game.

Such is the case with San Diego High School.The Cavers had captured just five of their 16 starts entering Thursday’s (May 6) City League series finale against Christian High, On the mound for SDHS was ace Diego Nunez, who owns four of the ballclub’s victories, hoping to play spoiler and take at least one contest from a contending opponent.

Good idea. Poor result.

The Patriots bats tagged Nunez for eight runs over 4 1/3 innings — he had allowed just nine earned runs all season entering the contest — as the Patriots bested the Cavers, 12-3, on the sound-infested diamond under the flight path toward Lindbergh Field.

Braeden Ross and Hunter Kaul slugged early home runs for the Patriots.

“All of us are seeing the ball better,” Ross said. “Hopefully, we can continue to hit like we did this week and carry it into next week.”

Later, Josh Meekins and Will Carlock delivered two RBI on a pair of base hits each.

Ross smacked the fourth pitch of the ballgame out with the wind to right field for a quick 1-0 advantage. An inning later, Kaul launched his 3-run shot, also to right for a 4-0 cushion, to start his four-RBI performance.

“Braeden and I talked about driving the ball and letting it get deep,” Kaul said. “We faced the same pitcher on Monday so we knew what to look for. This series showed us we can do big things even when we are missing guys in the lineup.”

The cushion eventually swelled to 12-0 before the Cavers tallied three cosmetic runs in the seventh to end the shutout bid.

Christian also took note of its pitching situation, too, saving innings for next week’s important series with 11th-ranked La Jolla (15-3 overall) — the Vikings had the first-week bye –by splitting time among three pitchers.

“We’re looking forward to going up against La Jolla,” Kaul said. “We want to put those in the win column.”

Andrew Carlock fired three innings of shutout ball, posting six strikeouts in another solid effort.

“I was limited today because there is a pretty good chance I’ll have multiple relief appearances next week,” Andrew Carlock said. “I love my catchers, but when my twin brother, Will, calls the game, he usually doesn’t let me shake him off. Sometimes, I’ll shake off my other catches, but with family, he thinks he knows best.

“I’m proud of Hunter because he consistently hits balls right at people and luckily today he hit it hard enough where no one had a chance to get it.”

Out of the bullpen, Grant Heinrich, who officially gained the victory, posted a pair of shutout frames, then youngster Aaron Sheblowski, a sophomore, gained two innings which could prove valuable when the CIF playoffs roll around.

“We needed to get our arms rolling so that we’ll be ready for next week,” Andrew Carlock said. ”

Christian (12-4 overall, 3-0 league) remains tied for first with Mission Bay, which swept three games from SD-High Tech High this week.

“Last time we played La Jolla, it was our worst game of the year,” Christian High head coach Mike Mitchell said. “Our kids were pretty embarrassed by how poorly we played. It was not indicative of the type of team we are.”

San Diego (5-11-1, 0-3 league) has dropped four straight following an extra-inning triumph over Sweetwater.

For the Cavers, Josh Ramos drove in two runs with a triple. The third baseman batted 2-for-4, in his second-best effort of the season. Three weeks ago, Ramos posted a career-best three RBI against Mount Miguel.

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