East County Sports

MacArthur leads Eagles to victory






By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

GRANITE HILLS —- Grant MacArthur may not be the Chief of Staff, but he certainly knows how to direct an offensive.MacArthur, a senior, clubbed a pair of key home runs to power the Granite Hills Eagles past visiting Bonita Vista, 7-5, in an “Elimination Saturday” (June 12) affair in the CIF-San Diego Section Division I championship playoffs.MacArthur made sure his Eagles didn’t “fade away” (as his namesake U.S. Army general once said about old soldiers), belting a two-out, solo homer to open the scoring in the first inning. He later bombed a game-tying, leadoff homer in the fifth after the Barons countered to take the lead.

“I was seeing the ball really well today,” MacArthur said. “I like to think that I’m a really good competitor and when our back was against the wall I knew I needed to step up.”

Later in the fifth, Granite Hills eventually grabbed the lead for keeps on RBI singles by Cody Macias and Hudson Beamon, as the bottom third of the Eagles lineup card collected five hits, including three knocks by Alex Gibaud.

“Alex Gibaud had an amazing game, going 3-for-3 at the plate and was lights out in the outfield,” MacArthur said. “It was a huge game for him.”

Granite Hills (22-10) advances to the bracket final round against defending Division I titlist Westview, starting on Tuesday. The Eagles must defeat the Wolverines twice (a “playback final” is slated for Thursday, if necessary) to advance to the CIFSDS championship contest.

MacArthur was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs and a trio of RBI. He also doubled, then was walked in the sixth — but the damage was already done.

Following his second blast to knot the contest at 4-all, the rally continued when Ethan McNish-Heider doubled and moved to third base on a ground out.

Then with two out, the “bottom three” — Macias (RBI), Gibaud, and Beamon (RBI) — all rattled off consecutive singles for a 6-4 advantage.

In the sixth, Bonita Vista pulled one run back on a run-scoring single by Adiel Torres, but the Eagles immediately took the run back as Mac Arthur walked, took third on a double by McNish-Heider (2-for-4, both doubles), then home on a wild pitch.

Bonita Vista (19-11)  grabbed a 4-3 lead with three runs in the fourth, but  Andrew Stinnett came out of the bullpen to end the rally.

“The pitch that was working best today was my four-seam fastball,” Stinnett said. “I have always been told how much my fastball runs and is hard to hit so I was able to shut them down with it. I have loved being a part of this team and going in to pitch and do a job when my team needs me.”

Stinnett became the pitcher of record when the Eagles took the lead, thus gained the victory for his second varsity win after only allowing one hit over the final 2 1/3 innings.

“Stinnett has been a great relief pitcher and is exactly what we need to make a run at a championship,” MacArthur said. “Bonita did battle harder than they have the last two times for sure but we played great as a team everyone was hitting.”

In addition, Tanner Vielguth collected two hits as part of a 12-hit attack by the Eagles.

“It was a great game,” Bonita Vista head coach Dave Palet said. “Both teams were running low on pitching but (Granite Hills) stepped up. Grant MacArthur is insanely good. Granite is solid, they should have been in the Open Division.”


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