East County Sports

HILLS: Eagle homers count for more

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer 

EL CAJON —- The long-anticipated series between Granite Hills and Grossmont high schools left fans wondering: which ballclub should really be known as the “Lumber Company.”

In the first of three regular-season games between the ballclubs, it was the visiting Eagles that swung the toothpick after Cody Macias went deep twice while Ethan McNish-Heider added five RBI including a grand slam to fuel the Eagles past the Foothillers, 11-4, in Monday’s (May 10) featured Grossmont Hills League contest.

Grossmont also went deep on homers by Caleb Hommel and Noah Barnes, but the when and how many were on base was the difference.

Macias opened with a solo homer, then capped a stretch of eight straight Eagles runs with a 3-run blast in the seventh, also scoring Grant MacArthur (walk) and Camden Sos (RBI single).

Sos led all batters with three base hits to match a season-high. However, the shot by McNish-Heider proved to be even more important.

Tied at 3-all in the fifth, his two-out shot to left field was the game-winning hit, also scoring Alex Gibaud (safe on an error), Kadin Collier (single), and MacArthur (hit by pitch); all the runs were unearned.

“I was told I was the only one in the lineup without a home run so, I felt like I had to hit one,” McNish-Heider said. “We have already faced them in preseason, so we know what their pitcher throws and what the pitches look like.”

Meanwhile, Eagles pitcher Austin Smith is making a strong, late run for East County pitcher of the year. Coming off his no-hitter of West Hills, Smith yielded just two of Grossmont’s three overall hits in six solid innings. Smith registered a career-best 14 strikeouts.

Among the Hillers’ three hits, two were solo home runs.

Down 1-0, Noah Barnes blasted a 3-run shot in the third to grab a short-lived lead. Caleb Hommel added a leadoff shot in the seventh against the bullpen, but the marker proved only cosmetic to chip against an 8-run deficit.

Granite Hills (14-5 overall, 5-0 GHL) has now captured six straight triumphs, posting a club earned-run average of 0.83 during the hot streak.

Grossmont (17-4, 3-2 GHL) falls two games back as all GHL ballclubs next reach the halfway mark to the league slate.

 

Helix 8, West Hills 7

SANTEE —- Layton Wirshem has been a reliable relief pitcher for the Helix Highlanders this season. On Monday (May 10), he came through once again.

After allowing a two-run double to West Hills standout Kyle Dobyns in the bottom of the seventh inning, Wirshem was able to garner a game-ending strikeout on a called strike three to lift the Highlanders to an exciting 8-7 decision over the Wolf Pack.

The triumph allowed the Scotties (7-11 overall) to catch the Pack (11-8) and Valhalla (5-13) for fourth place at 1-4 in the GHL standings.

Wirshen was summoned right after West Hills left fielder Braden Wilson tripled to give the hosts a 3-2 lead in the third inning. Not only did Wirshen escape with a strikeout and a ground out, but he also continued with 4 2/3 innings of relief to collect the victory. He struck out seven, part of 12 whiffs by Helix pitchers.

The Scotties took the lift from Wirshen to respond with six runs in the fourth. All the runs came after two were down.

Trevor Young tied the game with a triple, then he scored the go-ahead run on  One walk later, Ben Haar rocked a 3-run homer for a 7-3 advantage.

Tristan Laub also registered two RBI for the Highlanders.

For West Hills, Ezekiel Sadler batted 3-for-3, scoring each time. The designated hitter is now batting .500 since becoming eligible on May 1.


Steele Canyon 17, Valhalla 4

RANCHO SAN DIEGO —- Steele Canyon senior Jake Entrekin continued his torrid hitting streak, helping the Cougars equal their second-largest run production of the season, skating past host Valhalla in GHL action on Monday (May 10).

Entrekin, a first baseman, posted multiple RBI for the fourth straight pouting, including four against the Norsemen. He has knocked in runs in eight consecutive contests, with two or more in six of the contests.

Entrekin is batting .500 (11-for-20) in May.

Among his three hits were a pair of doubles, as Steele Canyon collected seven two-base hits — including two by Entrekin, plus a triple by Sebastian Granados — as half of the Cougars’ 16 hits went for extra bases.

Weston Clark also had three hits and walked twice. He drove in a run and scored three times.

“We played solid defense today,” Entrekin said. “We started off kind of flat but picked it up in the end. Weston Clark swung the bat well today. It was a solid day of hitting. I just missed a homer by a few feet.”

For Steele Canyon (13-6 overall, 3-1 GHL), senior Vencel Kalasho allowed two earned runs over 4 1/3 innings to gain the victory. He gained run support over each of the first five innings, then the team added seven additional runs in the seventh.

The 17 runs tie the second-most of the season for the Cougars, which they also scored against Santa Fe Christian. The team’s best output is 19 against University City.

For Valhalla, David Gordon, a junior, posted two hits good for three RBI.

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