East County Sports

Patriots, Cougars earn playoff wins

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

EL CAJON —- On a day with exceptional pitching performances, Christian High’s Aaron Shebloski may have had the best of any of them.

Shebloski, a senior, posted a three-hit shutout, pacing the Patriots to an exciting 1-0 decision over visiting Mt. Carmel in the opening round of the CIF-San Diego Section Division III playoffs.

Christian, the top seed, saw Shebloski strike out five Sundevils batters without issuing a walk, out-dueling Mt. Carmel’s James Smith, who whiffed six batters over four innings but allowed the game’s lone run in his final inning.

Shebloski used just 81 pitches.

“Shebloski threw a fantastic game,” Christian High head coach Mike Mitchell said. “They did not hit one ball hard.”

In the fourth, three consecutive singles produced the run.

Eric Markowicz Avila grounded the ball to third base, Will Carlock sent a liner to center field, then Josh Meekins singled to left. Since the ball was in front of Markowicz, he saw the ball was heading to the defender on an angle, allowing him to take two bases to score.

Shebloski followed by retiring nine of the final 10 Mt. Carmel batters to cap the stellar complete-game performance by the sophomore, the first complete game of his career.

“The pitch choice was almost all fastballs because it works,” Shebloski said. “I throw about seven pitches, but it depends on the day how many of those I throw. Usually, I throw the fastball until teams hit it, but they just couldn’t. Mix that with a slider and that team was in for a rough day. I usually am more focused on just striking as many guys out as possible, but today I was pitching to contact. There’s no reason to get sophisticated and throw a bunch of stuff when they can’t touch an average speed fastball. And when your team makes no errors, it’s an easy day as a pitcher.”

Christian (23-4 overall), undefeated champions of the City League, will next meet El Centro-Southwest on Friday. The Eagles advanced by nipping Mater Dei Catholic, 5-4.

“We were not our usual relaxed group,” Mitchell said. “Their pitcher did a good job changing speeds and hitting his spots. We had several opportunities to score but couldn’t come up with a big hit.”

Mt. Carmel (19-12) received hits from Evan Sao Marcos, Peter Boukis, and Kelton Carpenter.

Division II

Steele Canyon 5, Vista 3

RANCHO SAN DIEGO —- Steele Canyon senior Jake Entrekin drove in a pair of runs, including an early, solo home run, powering the Cougars to a CIF Division II playoff victory over Vista, 5-2, in Wednesday’s (June 9) San Diego Section first-round contest.

Entrekin opened the third inning with a leadoff homer to left-center field for a 2-0 lead.

“The pitch I got was a 2-1 curveball low and I just got barrel on it,” Entrekin said.

Entrekin later added a second RBI when hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth.

For the contest, wild Vista pitching provided a half-dozen hit batsmen, plus a wild throw on a failed pickoff attempt to hand Steele Canyon another run.

Meanwhile, Cougars pitcher Vencel Kalasho struck out seven Panthers batters in only four innings of work to garner the victory.

“It is always nice knowing I have a good defense behind me and have some bats on the team that I know will score runs,” Kalasho said. “I’m glad I went four innings and didn’t go more because we got the win without me going all the way and I can be well-rested.”

The bullpen was also strong, as Cannon Restine tossed two innings of 1-hit ball, then Sebastian Granados pitched the seventh for the save.Steele Canyon (20-10 overall) next meets top-seeded St. Augustine at Hickman Field in Kearny Mesa. Despite the seeds, the Cougars already own a win over Saints this season, taking a 5-1 tournament decision back on Apr. 16.

“The key to the next victory is to stay up the whole game with high intensity and get the bats going while Sebastian (Granados) shoves on them like he did the last outing against them,” Kalasho said.

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