East County Sports

Vaqueros top Knights, start playoff push




By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff report

LAKESIDE —- The formula is simple for the El Capitan Vaqueros: sweep all of this week’s final three ballgames, then hope for an upset or two in order to advance to the CIF Division III playoffs.So far, the Vaqueros are one step there, after downing CIF Division IV contender Foothills Christian, 4-2, in Monday’s (May 31) rare Memorial Day contest at Hostetler Field.

El Capitan closes at Monte Vista (the projected No. 11 seed) on Tuesday in what will surely be an elimination contest for one of the schools, then closed at home on Thursday against Mount Miguel.

Things looked bleak early for Vaqueros pitcher Cole Winsor, who yielded a pair of first-inning runs. However, Winsor closed with seven innings of 1-hit ball in his complete-game 2-hitter.

The Knights’ Matthew Jones forced a defensive lapse to open the scoring.

Jones accepted a lead walk, moved to second base a Kip Famolaro single, then both runners took off on a double steal. But when the throw sailed down the left-field line, Jones scored. Moments later, Famolaro came home on a passed ball.

However, the Vaqueros received a huge break when Foothills Christian pulled starting pitcher Taylor Casey off the mound after just two shutout innings, saving his innings for more important games later in the week in order to clinch their league title

El Cap immediately responded with all of its runs in the third inning.

A pair of walks set up an RBI single by Jake Bergherm and a run-scoring ground out by cleanup hitter Brady Larsen to tie the score.

Bergherm gave the Vaq Pack the lead on an error, then Larsen came home on a line triple to right field by Sy Mendoza for El Capitan (7-16 overall.)

For Foothills Christian (14-10), Famolaro also registered the Knights’ only other hit, a two-out single in the third.

Winsor then retired 10 straight, surviving a two-out walk and a catcher’s interference violation to strand the potential game-tying runs on a game-ending fly-out to center fielder Connor Crist.


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