East County Sports

Sultans eliminated in pitching classic



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer


CARLSBAD —- In a postseason filled with close ballgames, “Elimination Saturday” in the CIF-San Diego Section playoffs saw the best pitchers’ duel so far, as Santana’s Caleb Harris was matched pitch-by-pitch by Carson Quinn of La Costa Canyon.

But when the contest remained scoreless headed into extra innings, the battle of the bullpens went the way of the Mavericks.

After Santana ended the scoring drought in the eighth inning, LCC countered with a pair of runs to take the Sultans out of the Open Division tournament following a 2-1 decision.

Consecutive run-scoring hits by Jake Woltman and Mark Prince spelled the difference after Davin Burroughs tallied an unearned run for Santana. The Sultans (21-6 overall) complete their best season since the 2016 ballclub went 26-5.

Harris yielded just two hits over his 6 2/3 innings on the mound, retiring the first 11 Mavericks he faced before issuing a two-out walk in the fourth, as only three runners reached second base against him.

However, the “Mighty” Quinn was a touch better, but barely. throwing a 1-hit shutout in his seven innings.of work. The threat came in the first on a two-out single by Cole Contreras, then Ethan Wright was hit by a pitch before Quinn recorded the final out.

In the fourth, the first batters — No. 9 batter Jason Gonzalez (walk) and leadoff man Elijah Reber — reached to lead off, but Quinn escaped. Every other inning was a 1-2-3 for Quinn except for a two-out walk in the seventh.

Not too bad for a pair of No. 3 pitchers from both staffs, yet both left with a no-decision.

In extra innings, Burroughs collected the Sultans’ second hit on a blooper to shallow center field. Burroughs moved to second base on a Gonzalez sacrifice bunt, then scored when a ground ball off the bat of Reber was booted.

LCC’s counter-attack was fueled by a leadoff walk to No. 9 hitting Kaden Bass, who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Brennen Davis.

Woltman (double to right) and Prince (single to left) then capped the comeback rally with RBI hits. Woltman, the Mavs’ third baseman, was the lone player on either side with two base hits.

La Costa Canyon (18-12), the No. 6 seed, will travel to Grossmont in the Lower Bracket final. The Mavs need a pair of triumphs to gain a berth in the Open Division championship game; the Foothillers only need to win once as the lone unbeaten ballclub on their side of the bracket.

On the other side, Eastlake is the remaining side without a setback. The Titans (23-8, including a trio of 1-run losses to Grossmont) will host top-seed San Marcos on Tuesday. The Knights (25-6-1) blanked Sage Creek, 7-0.


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