East County Sports

Foothillers roll to Hills League pennant

2021 Grossmont Hills League champion Grossmont Foothillers


By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff report

EL CAJON —- The much-hyped final meeting between Grossmont Hills League top two ballclubs — Granite Hills and Grossmont — swayed back-and-forth for three innings.

But once Granite Hills gained its first lead at 4-2, Grossmont came alive to officially claim its first outright GHL flag in a decade. The Hillers closed with 11 unanswered runs to clip the Eagles, 13-4, in Tuesday’s (June 1) greatly anticipated showdown at Gizoni Field.

Early home runs by Caleb Hommel and Isaiah Gomez keyed Grossmont’s 14-hit attack, but the rest of the offense came from throughout the lineup.

The pennant is the first for the Hillers since 2017, when the GHL finished in a three-way deadlock between the Hillers, Eagles and Helix. Grossmont last claimed an outright crown in 2013, no matter what happens in Wednesday’s regular-season finale against West Hills in Santee.

“Couldn’t be happier for our players and all the Grossmont family,” Grossmont head coach Jordan Abruzzo said. “I am beyond grateful to be able to coach these guys every day.”

Following a two-out single by Gomez in the first inning, Hommel went deep to right field with his 9th homer of the season for a 2-0 lead. However, Granite Hills answered with its own long ball.

Spencer Davis immediately answered with a liner to right for a solo home run in the second, then the Eagles tallied three times in the third for a 4-2 lead.

Cody Macias belted a lead double, then singles by Austin Smith, Hudson Beamon (game-tying RBI), and Ethan McNish-Heider (a go-ahead, two-run shot)) silenced the huge Grossmont crown.

However, Grossmont pitcher Evan Vasiliou wouldn’t surrender another run in running his record to 10-0. Vasiliou yielded just two additional hits, finishing with four strikeouts in his six innings.

Grossmont needed just three batters to re-gain the lead, an advantage they would carry the rest of the way.

Vasiliou reached on an error, Noah Barnes singled, then Gomez pumped a go-ahead, three-run homer to left field for a 5-4 lead. The shot – his 12th of the season – was followed by hits from throughout the lineup in scoring twice in the fourth, then six more in the sixth.

“It was a pretty surreal moment for sure to come out and beat them to win league,” Vasiliou said. “(Granite Hills) is a really good team but coach Abruzzo has prepared us for this type of game all year so it was great to win the league for him, and for us, too.”

The Hillers’ top four batters — Vasiliou, Barnes (3-for-4 with two doubles), Gomez, and Hommel — each posted at least two hits in a combined 9-for-14 effort.

The bottom half of the Hillers’ lineup card saw RBI from Barron Zamora (2), Max Cadwalader, and Reggie Williams.

Grossmont (26-4 overall, 12-2 GHL) continues to lead the CIF-San Diego Section in total victories.

“This ranks really high up there,” Vasiliou added. “It was a great moment for all of us and the dugout really did get loud. But we are still looking for that CIF championship.”

For Granite Hills (19-9, 10-4 GHL), Smith struck out 11 Grossmont batters over five innings on the mound and also went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored a run.


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