East County Sports

Foothillers, Cougars had historic season

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

EL CAJON —- East County high schools produced a record five ballclubs which advanced to the CIF San Diego Section championship game in various divisions.

With congratulations going to titlists Granite Hills (D-1), Christian (D-3), and West Hills (D-4), although losing in a title game can be a difficult life experience, kudos still need to go to Grossmont (Open Division) and Steele Canyon (D-2) for outstanding seasons.

Open Division
Eastlake 8, Grossmont 3

POWAY —- No single school among those in playing baseball in San Diego and Imperial counties had a bigger ax to grind than the Eastlake Titans.

Losers of three regular-season games to Grossmont — remarkably, all in walk-off fashion — the Titans gained their desire to gain a re-match against the Foothillers. Then they went all-in to take an 8-3 decision for the overall San Diego Section crown as Open Division champions in Saturday’s (June 19) finale held at Eastlake High.

Eastlake shortstop Marcelo Mayer, the player of the tournament in the Bill Dickens-GMC Tournament when the Titans twice fell to Grossmont over a three-day period back in April, looks like a front-runner for the Player of the Year Award.

Mayer, a senior, batted 3-for-4 with an RBI double and scoring once, while catcher Brett Leonhardt homered, jump-starting the Titans to a quick 4-0 advantage on Hillers starting pitcher Evan Vasiliou, It was the first setback of a brilliant senior campaign following 11 victories by Vasiliou, who is headed for UC Irvine.

Every time Grossmont scored, Eastlake would immediately answer.

The third-seeded Hillers got on the scoreboard in the second on the first of two doubles on the day by Barron Zamora, scoring Justin Brown (single). Eastlake got the run back in the third on a Nico Libed basehit following Mayer’s lead double.

Grossmont moved to within 5-3 in the fifth. Reggie Williams was hit by a pitch, Vasiliou doubled, then Noah Barnes lifted a sacrifice fly. Vasiliou scored on a wild pitch.

However, the Titans answered with a 3-spot in the sixth to put away the school’s fifth championship (1999, 2002, ’15, ’17), including the Open Division crown of 2017.

Winning pitcher Ray Cebulski struck out 10 Hillers over 6 1/3 innings.

While Eastlake (25-9), the No. 8 seed, celebrates, just remember: both schools will advance to next week’s CIF Southern California regional, so yet another meeting between the pair is possible. Stay tuned.

Division II
Carlsbad 16, Steele Canyon 3

CHULA VISTA —- If you’re going to lose in the championship game, why not get over the pain and agony early. That’s what Steele Canyon did in a CIFSDS Division II title game loss to Carlsbad, 16-3, in Saturday’s (June 16) rout at Eastlake High.

The 16 runs by the Lancers and the 13-run margin of victory were the most in an upper-division finale (D3 or higher) since 2002, when Mission Bay thumped Clairemont, 18-1.

Still, Steele Canyon (22-11 overall) knows it equaled a school record for most victories since the school began varsity competition in 2003. The Cougars went 22-9 in 2009 in capturing back-to-back league crowns (2008-09).

The Cougars looked sharp early, scoring three in the second inning.

Following a line drive 3-5 double play that looked as if it may kill a rally, Ray Marrero (single), Nate Custeau (double), and Will James (single) drove in runs in the top of the second.

Steele Canyon took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning.

That’s when the Lancers exploded for nine runs.

Steele Canyon starter Sebastian Granados looked to be the usual “Sebas” despite the single markers in the third and fourth frames from Carlsbad.

But in the fifth, the star appeared to just hit a wall.

After the senior issued a pair of walks, Carlsbad senior Konrad Bohnert hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 5th to give the Lancers a 5-3 lead. Bohnert later added a 2-out, 2-run single as part of the nine-run outburst.

Bohnert drove in two more in a five-run sixth to cap a seven-RBI performance in the championship game.

Division V
Orange Glen 5, Escondido Charter 4

CHULA VISTA — In a gam etied at 3-all through five innings, visiting Escondido Charter scored once in the sixth, but Orange Glen responded with a pair of markers to claim Saturday’s (June 19) CIFSDS Division V championship held at Eastlake High.

The Patriots grabbed the last lead on an RBI double by No.10. However, the White Tigers answered back with a game-tying sacrifice fly by Seth Dolan, followed by a go-ahead single from A.J. Marquez.

In the seventh, Dolan, who entered to pitch in relief for the final out in the sixth, then coaxed three straight ground balls to gain the pitching victory and the first baseball title for Orange Glen since the school opened in 1961.

2021 CIF SAN DIEGO SECTION
BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
LINESCORES
OPEN DIVISION
TITANS 8, FOOTHILLERS 3

Eastlake (25-9)
Grossmont (29–6)
221 003 0
010 020 0
— 8 10 0
— 3  5 3

Cebulski, I.Martinez and Leonhardt . Vasiliou, Wilcox (6) and Gomez. W-Cebulski. L-Vasiliou (11-1). S-!. Martinez. HR-Leonhardt (E), 6th, solo.

DIVISION I
EAGLES 3. POINTERS 2

Point Loma (20-13)
Granite Hills (25-10)
200 000 0
010 010 1
— 2 4 1
— 3 7 1

Ekstrom, Ledbetter (6) and N.Garcia. Ponciano, Henry (5) and Macias. W-HGenry. L-Ledbetter. HR-none. GWRBI-Beamon (walk-off).

DIVISION II
LANCERS 16, COUGARS 3

Steele Canyon (22-11)
Carlsbad (21-9)
300 000 0
001 095 x
—  3  8 3
— 16 13 2

Granados, Kalesko (5), Restine (5), Rocha (6) and NAME. Knorr and Beith. W-Knoor. L-Granados. HR-Bohnert (C), 5th, two on. GWRBI-Bohnert.

DIVISION III
PATRIOTS 7, MUSTANGS 4

San Dieguito Aca. (21-14)
Christian (26-4)
111 000 1
211 030 x
— 4  2 1
— 7 10 4

Davy, Kechter (2), Wade (3) and Pinto. Major and Farnum. W-Major (9-0). L-Wade. HR-Hoslett (SDA), 1st, solo; Major (C), 1st, one on; Meekins (C)5th, one on. GWRBI-W.Carlovck.

DIVISION IV
WOLF PACK 4, TIMBERWLVES 0

Mission Vista (22-11)
West Hills (16-17)
000 000 0
200 002 x
— 0 3 0
— 4 6 0

Glassell, Escamilla (6) and Jaramillo; Dobyns and o. Rodgers. W-Dobyns (6-7), l-Glassell. HR-Evans (WH), 1st, one on.. GWRBI-Evans

DIVISION V
PATRIOTS 5, WHITE TIGERS 4

Escondido Charter (12-13)
Orange Glen (I13-15)
102 001 0
300 002 x
— 4 6 1
— 5 6 2

Ronalds and McGinty; Kells, Doland (6) and Gonzalez. W-DOan. L-Ronalds. HRT-none. GWRBI-Marquez.

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