East County Sports

Santana, Monte Vista, Patrick Henry win

Santana's Caleb Harris. / Vic Marano

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

Santana 8, Mount Miguel 0

SPRING VALLEY —- Since the creation of the Grossmont Valley League for the 2009-10 season, the early dominant team was El Capitan, which posted a composite 35-1 record in league play, including 29 straight victories.

The second and third years were particularly impressive. In 2010, Vaqueros pitchers allowed just 13 runs in 12 ballgames, including five shutouts. A year later, they were even better, if only slightly, yielding a mere 12 runs coupled with five shutouts.

Could the 2021 Santana Sultans top those marks?

On Monday (May 10), the Sultans continued their quest after blanking host Mount Miguel, 8-0, in GVL action.

Caleb Harris fired six solid innings, allowing just four hits with six strikeouts. Ethan Moutaw, in just his second appearance of the campaign, pitched the seventh inning for the combined shutout.

Through three GVL contests, the Sultans have yielded just two runs with a pair of shutouts, on pace for a final total of eight to shatter the record.

On the plus side, the undefeated Harris (2-0) isn’t even considered Santana’s top pitcher — Koda Alto (7-0, 1.65 ERA) and Dean Landers (3-1, 1.45) are statistically superior. Still, it’s a long season with nine more ballgames on the schedule.

“Caleb had great control today and was very efficient,” Landers said. “We prepare for every game the same way. We don’t take any team lightly.”

Aiding the pitchers was a fourth-inning double play when right fielder Cole Contreras snagged a line drive. But when the Mount Miguel runner at second base tried to take third, Contreras gunned him down on a pea to Jason Gonzalez.

Both sides also turned double plays in the second. Santana’s was a “round-the-horn” turn from Gonzales at third, to Rober at second, to Landers at first to end the inning.

Mount Miguel’s double play also placed a minor dent in Santana’s 8-run rally. Shortstop Jeremiah Castillo sent the ball to second baseman  David Keller, who completed the pivot and threw to first baseman Matt Acevedo although a run came home.

To stop the Matadors, Landers, playing first base on this occasion, struck for a pair of doubles to drive in three runs, both coming in the second when Santana erupted for all eight of its runs put this victory to bed early.

“You can’t hit six batters and walk five and expect to win when you give that many free passes,” Mount Miguel head coach Frank Coit said. “That’s pretty much what we did in the second inning. We lost control on the hill. Santana doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.”

Landers is now tied for the club lead for doubles (7) with Elijah Reber.

“The Matadors defense robbed us a few times,” Landers said. “Some timely hits made the difference for us today. It’s awesome to see all the guys contributing to our team’s success. Like every team we play, we expect them to come out and compete, and Mt. Miguel was no exception today.”

For Mount Miguel (7-12 overall, 2-2 GVL), the bullpen saw three pitchers combine to fire 5 1/3 frames of 1-hit ball.

Joseph Ortega yielded just one hit in three full frames of relief, followed by no-hit ball by both Ruben Gomez (1 IP) and Thomas Ringer (1 1/3 IP).

In addition, the Castillo brothers displayed their leather on defense.

Jeremiah Castillo, the center fielder, made a diving grab early in the contest.

“All of my fielding plays are not just the right place, right time,” Jeremiah Castillo said. “My brother, Jojo, does a great job by keeping me on the right track and focused on my craft. Jojo and I do a great job of recognizing when there can be a little bit of a sticky play, we have good chemistry. I wouldn’t be in the position I am right now without my teammates, we all are trying to get better every day.”

JoJo Castillo, the shortstop, robbed at least two Santana batters of base hits.

“(Former Mount Miguel) Coach Balsley taught to get a good hop on the ball, field the ball inside my left foot, and follow through with my throw,” JoJo Castillo said. “The first play was a hard hit ground ball up the middle and I laid out and my first baseman made a great play on my throw that was offline. The second play was up the middle again, so I tried to field the ball inside the left foot and the ball took a bad hop to my right and I was quick enough to get my glove on the ball and my first baseman again (Matthew Acevedo) made another great tag at first.

“We definitely have a shot at evening the series out, especially with Thomas on the mound on Wednesday. At the end of the day, you can’t beat a team with 0 runs.”

Mount Miguel fell to 7-12 overall, and 2-2 in the GVL.

“We were pretty competitive on defense and very entertaining to watch,” Mount Miguel head coach Frank Coit said. “I asked my kids if they were intimidated by a D-1 talented team like the Sultans, and they stated that they believe they could play right along with them. We shut them out six out of seven innings and we had no errors for the first time all year. We played great defensively.”

Last week, Santana (13-4, 3-0 GVL) was rated No. 9 in the media poll for the CIF San Diego Section. Results of a new ranking are expected Tuesday morning.

Ringer is expected to match up against Landers in the series this week.

Monte Vista 5, El Capitan 1

SPRING VALLEY —- More second-inning magic in the Grossmont Valley League saw Monte Vista post four early markers to corral El Capitan, 5-1, in Monday’s (May 10) other league contest.

A series of two-out singles did the damage for the Monarchs (9=7 overall, 3-0 GVL), remaining tied with Santana at the top of the standings.

With two on, No. 8 batter Justyn Stone opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run base hit. Tyler Lemen also singled to turn over the batting card, then David Vega and Ernie Arambula added consecutive RBI base hits for the early lead.

“I was prepared to drive in those runs because of all the work I have put in Stone,” said. “I just focus on being on time for the fastball and just adjust to everything else. There is so much talent on our team that playing around these guys always makes me want to elevate my game. I understand how many seniors we have and I want to do my best for them in their final season. We want to compete for this league championship. With this performance today, I feel good about where we are at.”

Meanwhile, Monarchs pitcher Andy Canedo fired six solid innings, allowing one earned run despite eight El Cap hits. Canedo struck out eight batters, then Vegas whffed one batter to tossing a 1-2-3 in the seventh.

“I was mainly using my changeup and having the guys to back me up,” Canedo said. “Scoring the runs took a lot of pressure off and we were just out there having fun. Having Justin play loose and comfortable finally allowed him to drive in some runs.”

Monte Vista will play Santana three times over the final six regular-season contests, starting a home-and-home series on Wed., May 19, in Santee.

“We had a good week of inter-squad games and practice,” Monte Vista head coach Craig Neu said. “We got better this past week. We played really well today. Very sharp baseball.”

For El Capitan (5-12, 1-4 GVL), first baseman Jake Bergherm posted three hits, including a pair of doubles. He scored the ball club’s lone run in the sixth on a base hit by senior outfielder Sy Mendoza.

Patrick Henry 6, University City 0

UNIVERSITY CITY —- Patrick Henry pitcher Dylan Dyresen, who opened the season coming out of the bullpen, captured his third straight start of the season, tossing six stellar innings to blank host University City, 6-0, in the tight Eastern League pennant race.

Dyresen yielded just four hits at UC’s “steel castle” ballpark — there are thick fence pillars located every 10 feet, making life difficult on spectators to watch the action — then Carson Dudley pitched a perfect 1-2-3 in the seventh.

The Patriots recently ended a losing streak by playing fundamental baseball, and it showed from the start to shove the Centurions.

In the first, Brady Hull walked, stole second base, then took third base when the defender at shortstop failed to charge a grounder. By the time the ball was collected and fired to third base, Hull was safe.

Moments later, Hull scored when the Cents were unable to turn a double play on an RBI grounder by Andrew Guana.

In the third, Patrick Henry put the victory away with a 4-run outburst, starting the rally with four consecutive hits and a sacrifice fly.

No. 9  batter Nolan Kluge sent a double to the gap in left-center field, followed by consecutive base hits by Jeremiah Vargas and Hull (RBI).

Jake Lowery plated a pair with a triple, then Guana, the cleanup hitter brought home Lowery on his sac fly to center for a 5-0 cushion.

The other Patriots run came in the fourth when Max Shabestari was struck by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Patrick Henry (11-8 overall, 3-2 EL) remain a half-game behind league-leading Coronado, which nipped Mira Mesa, 3-2.

University City (6-11, 1-3 league) has now lost six of its last seven outings.

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