East County Sports

Henry sweeps pair, moves into first

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

PATRICK HENRY 11-6, CORONADO 1-5

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

DEL CERRO —- Belittled from the start of the Eastern League season as a paper tiger, the Coronado Islanders had a chance to prove their worth as the deserving top ball club among six schools in this City Conference circuit.

The Islanders opened the league slate with a pair of 3-game sets, posting a 5-2 record but all against the bottom two schools in the projected standings. Thus, Saturday (May 22) was their chance to prove themselves worthy to the world — well, the world of high school baseball in San Diego.

In the first game of a doubleheader, Coronado exuded its power by staking an early 1-0 lead. But that didn’t work out.

So the Island Boys grabbed an even bigger  5-0 advantage in the second game, but that worked out even worse.

In the end, the Patrick Henry Patriots ran off 10 unanswered runs in the opener, then fought to get even in the nightcap, eventually winning in 10 innings, making the Patriots the new leader at the top of the East following triumphs of 11-1 and 6-5.

The most-balanced league in the CIF-San Diego Section followed suit with predictable results in two other doubleheaders — all splits, between University City and Serra, and as with Mira Mesa and Clairemont.

The Patriots hold a 1 1/2 game lead over a pack of three schools tied for second-place — Coronado, Clairemont, and University City.

Game 1: Patrick Henry 11, Coronado 1

Down 1-0 on a first-inning run, Patriots pitcher Ryan Ellis reared back to fire 5 1/3 frames of shutout ball, giving his offense time to rally and surpass Coronado by a half-game at the top of the standings.

Ellis struck out seven Islanders batters over his six innings of work, against one work. Ellis also batted 3-fr-3 with a double, scoring three times in the victory.  Meanwhile, Coronado pitchers issued seven free passes and hit a pair of batters

Despite the early run on an RBI single by Caden Sutherland, the Patriots capped the opening inning by racing to a 5-1 lead.

Ellis tied the game with a run-scoring single, then a ground out from Eddie Gomez pushed home another marker.

The score would double on a 2-run triple by Ash Bibbes, who would score the fifth run when No. 8 hitting Talin Gardini grounded through the left side to make it 5-1.

Later, Max Shabestari would also double to highlight an 11-hit attack.

For Coronado, first baseman Tobey Brown batted 3-for-5.

Game 2: Patrick Henry 6, Coronado 5 (10 inn.)

The Islanders carried a 5-0 cushion into the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Patriots again rallied with two runs in the fourth and three in the sixth to force extra innings on an already long afternoon.

However, the Patriots would prevail on a tie-breaking single from Andrew Guana. The rally started on a lead single by Brady Hull, moving to second base n a walk to Jeremiah Vargas, then a one-out base hit single through the left side by Guana (which is also the name of a famous island in the British Virgin Islands).

When Patrick Henry tied the game in the sixth, Shabestari stroked a leadoff home run into the wind to left field to trim the deficit to 5-3.

The next three batters reached base on a pair of walks then an error to allow Bibbes to score.

Hull answered with another RBI single to get even, leaving the Patriots with two on base and still with no outs. However, Coronado escaped by a ground out and an inning-ending double play, sending the ball clubs on the brink of sunset (and a  highly unusual tie in May) before Guana’s gamer.

An incredible job by the Patriots bullpen saw Carson Dudley limited the bleeding in the third inning, the only run he would allow over 4 2/3 innings.

In the ninth, Kyle Wilsie took the bump and yielded just one hit over his two shutout innings. In equally his longest stint of the season, Wilsie earned just his second win — the first in more than a month (Apr. 16 vs. San Ysidro).
For Patrick Henry (15-9 overall, 7-3 league), Hull, Gomez, and Ellis each registered two hits, with Hull’s hit worth a pair of RBI.
Coronado (8-14, 5-4 league) saw leadoff batter Brady Roulier and No. 3 hitting Ryan Ward (not the Los Angeles Dodgers farmhand of the same name) also gain two hits each.

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