East County Sports

Surging Stars sweep leading Nighthawks

Photo by Vic Marano




By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LAKESIDE —- College baseball coaches from throughout the country complain they have trouble finding reliable pitchers than can log innings.  The San Diego Stars have one who is still looking for a scholarship.

Former El Capitan High product Bailey Roberson, playing on his old home at Hostetler Field, claimed his third victory in as many starts this summer season, taking down the league-leading  Colton Nighthawks, 9-0, to complete a doubleheader sweep by the Stars.

San Diego also took Sunday’s (July 18) opener, 8-6, with Stars relief pitcher Kai Dennis gaining the save in both triumphs. Like Roberson, Dennis is also 3-0, while Luke Hentry leads the staff with a 4-0 mark.

The victories bunched the top of the Western Baseball Association standings.  The Stars moved to within a half-game of second-place San Diego Waves, who are two games back of the Nighthawks — but a game ahead in the loss column — entering the final week of the regular season.

Roberson allowed just two hits over his five innings of work. He was pulled early to save his arm for next week’s slate, featuring three meetings with the Waves.

“I was just feeling good, getting my mechanics locked up,” said Roberson. “I’ve been working by using a weighted ball, which has allowed me to pick up over my last few starts.”

Such was not the case at Southeastern University (Fla.), where Roberson tossed just four innings all spring, despite a solid earned-run average. It was the complete opposite of his senior season at El Capitan, where he tied for the league lead in innings pitched.

“Plus, it was hard for my family and parents to watch me pitch online,” he added. “So I’m transferring to a school in Southern California, preferably, one located near a beach.”

So far, Vanguard (Costa Mesa) and Westmont (Santa Barbara) have expressed interest, along with Arkansas-Little Rock, which is not located near any major (or minor) surf spots.

“That’s another reason, too,” he noted. “I love to surf, along with a lot of students I knew at El Cap.”

Roberson hopes to make his college commitment by the end of the month, just prior to the Stars trip to Wichita, Kan., for the National Baseball Congress World Series.

“Along with logging a bunch of innings, I have worked on my pick-off move,” noted Roberson.

Roberson and Dennis were supported by a 14-hit attack, capped by a home run from Stars third baseman Joey Krug. He is now tied for club leadership with Dallas Seidel at five home runs each.

Meanwhile, starting center fielder Aidan Donovan and catcher Andrew Ritayik both belted a pair of doubles. Seidel went 4-for-4 to raise his summer average to a club-leading .540.

In the opener, Gentry survived four unearned runs in the second inning by striking out eight Nighthawks batters over his six innings.

Kip Famolaro smacked his second homer of the summer, a two-run shot in the sixth inning that also scored Brady Joslyn (lead double) to give San Diego an 8-4 lead. The blow proved important after Colton countered with two runs in the seventh before Dennis closed the door.

The Stars will travel to Escondido to meet the Waves Thursday at 6 p.m. The clubs then play a twin bill at El Cap on Saturday, starting at noo


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