East County Sports

Henry moves closer with seven straight




ECS staff report

DEL CERRO —- In the final three baseball games for a high school located in Tierrasanta, the last-place Serra Conquistadors desired to go out in glory by upsetting Patrick Henry, the co-leaders in the Eastern League.

In Monday’s (May 31) opener of a three-game series, the Q’s nearly got their wish.

Exerting heavy pressure, Serra registered a pair of first-inning runs, then never trailed throughout the ballgame… until the game’s final batter.

After finally catching the Q-Dawgs a 2-all in the fourth inning, Patriots freshman Jeremiah Vargas lifted a sacrifice fly to bring home Andrew Guana in the bottom of the seventh, allowing Patrick Henry to escape with a 3-2 decision.

The run was unearned because Serra dropped a soft liner to extend the rally, but no one on the Patriots was complaining in a tension-filled contest against an opponent with nothing to lose.

The triumph lowers Henry’s magic number to two. The number is over Clairemont, which snapped its second-place deadlock with Coronado by blanking the Island Boys, 8-0. Both are at 10-3 in Eastern play.

Coronado fell to 8-5, needing to take two remaining outings with the Chieftains while Serra needs to sweep Patrick Henry to forge an unlikely three-way tie.

Early on, it was obvious Patrick Henry was tight. They walked the first two batters, then with one out, cleanup batter Nate Huckaby laced a two-run double.

However, Pats pitcher Ryan Ellis settled in, finishing with 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball. He left with no decision after his teammates tied the score.

In the fourth, a walk, single, and an error loaded the bases, with Brady Hull following with a sacrifice fly to end the shutout bid of Serra pitcher Jason Russell.

Eddie Gomez came up next, grounding a game-tying single up the middle to get even.

In the seventh, Ellis was relieved by Carson Dudley, who survived a one-out walk to keep the Conquistadors off the scoreboard.

In the Pats’ seventh, Gonez singled, Guana reached on an error, then a fielder’s choice took out the lead runner at third base. However, the base was then taken by Guana when Max Shabestari walked on a seven-pitch at-bat to set up Vargas’ walk-off sac fly.

For Patrick Henry (18-9 overall), Gomez, the second baseman, was the only player with multiple hits by going 2-for-3. Dudley was the winning pitcher.

Serra (5-0-1, 2-11 league) plays its final home game next before the school changes its name to Canyon Hills to open the 2021-22 school year.


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