East County Sports

Highlanders prevent Hillers from sweep



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LA MESA —- Thirty seasons ago — the year was 1992 — was the last time Grossmont swept a season series of three games or more from Helix, its ancient, historical rival. On Wednesday (June 2), the Foothillers possessed a chance to snap the drought of superiority on its neighbor.

However, the Highlanders thought otherwise.

In a war that saw the contest tied on three different occasions, the Highlanders simply refused to roll over, extending the streak into a fourth decade after holding onto a wild 10-7 triumph over the Grossmont Hills League champions.

After being tied at 1-1, 4-4, and 6-6, the Scotties scored twice in the fifth and sixth innings to finally pull away, as all nine members of the starting lineup registered hits.

The Highlanders were able to take the lead for keeps, set up after Anthony Matthiesen and Valentine Jimenez stroked consecutive leadoff singles. Both players batted 2-for-4 to key the bottom third of the batting order.

Then with two outs, Trevor Young rolled an infield grounder for a run-scoring, scratch single. But when the throw to first base caromed past the defender, a second run came home for an 8-6 advantage.

An inning later, Helix prevented Grossmont from equalizing by turning a double play, although Noa Barnes singled in Reggie Williams to make it 8-7.

However, Helix countered with two runs in the home half of the sixth, featuring an RBI triple by Wyatt Laub to score Jake Perez (one-out single).

“We had a lot of big hits,” Perez said. “I think we did a great job in two-out, two-strike situations.”

Laub would come home on another Hillers error by the infield, as the Highlanders scored in five of the team’s six trips to the plate.

Grossmont, the runaway East County leaders in home runs, would battle back one more time. Following base hits from Justin Brown and Barron Zamora would bring the potential game-tying run to the plate with one out.

However, Scottie relief pitcher Aiden Perez earned his first save of the season on a shallow fly ball to Matthiesen in center field, then a game-ending strikeout.

Aiden Perez also logged a pair of hits, including a double, driving in two runs, and scored a run.

Early on, the Hillers receive homers from Barnes (solo shot as the second batter on the day) and an Isaiah Gomez (leadoff shot in the fifth).

Helix (14-14 overall), winners of four straight, close the GHL slate with a winning record at 8-7. The hits leader was first baseman Ben Haar with three.

“It was a classic great team win and it took all of us to win this one,” Haar said. “Our whole lineup was hitting and putting balls in play and with our lineup that is tough to beat.”

Grossmont (26-5, 12-3 GHL) received three hits from Barnes, the left fielder, plus two more each from Brown and Joaquin Baez,


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