East County Sports

Beamon’s hit makes champ Eagles beam

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

SAN DIEGO CIF DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

GRANITE HILLS 3, PT. LOMA 2

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

 

POWAY —- With Granite Hills slugger Grant MacArthur waiting on deck, the Point Loma Pointers wanted no part of him, so they instead pitched to Hudson Beamon in order to force extra innings.

Instead, Beamon delivered with the biggest hit of his career.

With runners on the corners, Beamon lined a one-out single to right field to score Alex Gibaud from third base, as the top-seed Eagles claimed the CIF San Diego Section Division I championship with a 3-2 triumph over the Pointers in Saturday’s (June 19) title game at Eastlake High.

Granite Hills (25-10 overall) rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to claim the school’s seventh section crown; the fourth under head coach James Davis (2007, ’14 and ’16) in five title-game appearances.

Beamon and MacArthur, both juniors, each entered the ballgame with 5-game playoff hitting streaks, yet they were significantly different.

Beamon was solid at .350 (7-for-20), but Mac Arthur was hitting at a .torrid 600 clip (9-for-15) with three home runs and eight RBI. Plus, Beamon was 0-for-3 on the day.

Still, Beamon, the second baseman, lined the first pitch up the middle.

“It honestly felt amazing from the moment I was in the batter’s box till I was under the dogpile gasping for air,” Beamon said. “Gotta give glory to God.”

The rally started when Gibaud hit a hard roller to right field to lead off, moving to third base on an error and a ground out. One out later, Austin Smith walked to place runners on the corners, leaving Point Loma with a tough decision: either face Beamon or walk him and try to handle MacArthur, who tied the game an inning earlier on a solid line drive.

“It feels great to be able to do that for my team and get a job done when needed,” MacArthur said. “Hudson coming through for us was huge. He is a clutch player and we knew that from the start. This CIF championship makes up for not winning the league championship.”

Either way, Granite Hills held all the cards.

Point Loma grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by Corbin Chianello, then a run-scoring basehit from Duke Ekstrom.

Afterward, Granite Hills pitcher Noa Ponciano allowed just two other hits over four frames (he pitched six innings earlier in the week).

Out of the bullpen, Chandler Henry fired three hitless innings, striking out three Pointers batters to gain the victory in relief.

Granite Hills rallied with single runs in the second and fifth innings.

In the second, the first four batters reached base, but the Eagles were still scoreless when one runner was caught stealing by Point Loma catcher Nick Garcia. However, a fielder’s choice grounder by James Taylor brought in Tanner Vielguth.

The game-tying run saw Taylor lead off with a grounder single to left. A pair of ground balls moved the first baseman to third, then home on a two-out single by Mac Arthur on a liner up the middle.

Reflective on how the ballclub played all season, Granite Hills finished with seven players garnering one hit each.

“I had a great run these past few years and it feels amazing to finally have a CIF championship with a great team,” Granite Hills senior Noa Ponciano said.

For Point Loma (20-13), Ekstrom, the starting pitcher, collected half of the Pointers’ four hits, plus a walk. He also struck out six Eagles batters over five frames but received a no-decision.

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