East County Sports

Ross, Patriots beat Vikings once again

Christian High's Josh Meekins stands at second following a double on Wednesday. / SBLive



ECS staff report

LA JOLLA —- The Christian High Patriots defeated the La Jolla Vikings for the second time this week, winning the middle game of the three-game, week-long set, 4-0, behind a complete game shutout by CSUN-bound right-hander Braeden Ross at Muirlands Middle School on Wednesday afternoon.

La Jolla won a tourney game from the Patriots back on April 24, but 13th-ranked Christian has now taken the first two games of the scheduled Eastern League matchups against the 10th-ranked Vikes with the third game set for Thursday afternoon.

Christian High worked for this win besides the stellar pitching from Ross. The Patriots scored single markers in four frames to take this one. All nine hitters in the starting lineup got a base knock.

Ross, meanwhile, continued to build his case for the county’s player of the year award by striking out eight in his three-hitter.

“The fastball was my best pitch today,” Ross said. “It felt really good and I had my velocity and control. I snapped a few curveballs when I needed it and they were good but my fastball was what got me through this one.”

Ross singled and scored on a fielder’s choice in the first inning against La Jolla starter Owen McNalley but the Vikings appeared poised to strike back, loading the bases on a hit a pair of Patriot errors with no outs in the bottom of the frame.

“I was able to get out of it and that fired us up,” said Ross, who fanned the final two Vikings to retire the side. “Our defense was phenomenal today and we hit really well at a place where it is hard to hit.”

The Patriots improved to 5-0 over the Eastern League and 14-4 overall.

Will Carlock drove home Josh Meekins (double) with a double in the fourth inning.

Shane Bailey drove in a run in the sixth on an infield single.

Eric Markowicz drove in a fourth run for good measure in the top of the seventh.

“I want to commend Eric Markowicz for making adjustments at the plate during the game,” Christian High head coach Mike Mitchell said. “He looked awful his first two at-bats, then came back with a single and a double.”

Foothills Christian 5, Maranatha Christian 4
4-S RANCH —- One could argue that outside of Classical Academy of Escondido, Foothills Christian may play the most difficult schedule in the CIF San Diego Section among the lower-division schools.

Lessons learned from a recent 6-game losing streak spelled the difference in the Knights’ Pacific League opener, downing host Maranatha Christian, 5-4, Wednesday (May 12).Knights shortstop Kip Famolaro batted 3-for-3 with a solo home run, as the Knights built a 4-1 lead, then pitcher Taylor Casey resisted a series of Eagles rally attempts to hold on for the triumph.Casey reached double-digits in strikeouts for the second time this season, posting a season-best 12 on Eagles batters over his six innings. Out of the bullpen, Seth Gilbody fired a 1-2-3 for the save, collecting a pair of additional strikeouts, then a lazy fly ball to late-inning substitute Matthew Jones in right field for the final out.

Maranatha Christian (6-10-1 overall, 0-1 league) trimmed the margin to 4-3 on doubles by sophomores Lukas Dawson and Nico Newhan. However, FCHS got a run back on a bases-loaded walk to Gilbody in the fifth, then the Knights’ defense turned an inning-ending double play.

In the sixth, the Eagles again pulled to within a run against a tiring Casey, but he escaped with his final strikeout before Gilbody took overon the mound to garner the save.

For Maranatha Christian, which received three RBI from, Newhan, will make two trips to the East County. The Eagles cap the home-and-home series by facing the Knights at Mount Miguel on Friday, then play a non-league contest at El Capitan on May 31.

In other small-school action, Liberty Charter of LemonGrove will travel to play Moutan Empire on Friday at 3:30 p.


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