East County Sports

Stars keep rival Waves from WBA title

Stars in action at Hostetler Field on Saturday. / Photo by Vic Marano

2021 SAN DIEGO STARS BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LAKESIDE —- Since the San Diego Stars were mathematically eliminated from the Western Baseball Association championship race entering the final weekend of the summer collegiate baseball season, surely the Stars would do anything possible to prevent their arch-rival San Diego Waves from achieving the title.

And the Stars did so by scoring the go-ahead run in their final trips to the plate in Saturday’s doubleheader at El Capitan High’s Hostetler Field.

Neither victory came in walk-off style, yet both times the winning run came home on the hosts’ final at-bat to make their mark to close the regular season. The Stars scored four times in the bottom of the eighth inning in a 14-12 verdict, then tallied three times in the bottom of the sixth in the 7-inning nightcap to claim a 7-6 decision.

“What a great way to wrap things up,” said Kelly Ritayik, who took over as Stars owner this summer following the passing of patriarch¬† Mickey Deutschman. “Mick would’ve been proud on the way the ballclub battled back.”

“We’re definitely ready to head for Wichita.”

A Stars player makes a catch on Saturday. / photo by Vic Marano

Next week, the Stars season continues by participating in the revamped National Baseball Congress World Series in southern Kansas, slated for Aug. 4-14. The national event returns to a double-elimination format.

In the first game, the Stars rallied from a 6-0 first-inning deficit as the bullpen and defense of the Waves imploded. Two errors, a passed ball and three basehits, capped by an RBI double by Brady Joslyn was the difference.

In the ninth, the opposite came true, including a game-ending, double-play grounder to third baseman Joey Krug.

Stars relief pitcher Ryan Monaghan retired all five batters he faced, collecting the victory. Bailey Roberson pitched the ninth for the save.

The second game saw the Stars come back from 3-0 and 6-4 deficits to win, taking the season series from the Waves, 3-1 (4-1 including a non-conference contest).

Dallas Seidel, the Stars’ summer-long batting leader, lined a game-tying, RBI single to center field with the bases loaded. But when the ball was booted, a pair of additional runs also scored to grab a 7-5 advantage.

The Waves countered with a leadoff homer in the seventh, but Stars reliever Ryan Culp entered to register a pair of strikeouts, then ended the game was an easy fly ball to Seidel in right field.

The Stars (14-10 WBA, 16-11 overall) will represent the league at the NBC World e=Series. WBA champion Colton Nighthawks, previously a member of the WBA’s old Northern Division before the sides merged for this season, declined an invitation.

The Escondido-based Waves (14-8 WBA) saw their 3-game winning streak snapped.

Notes: Seidel finished the season batting .519 with 33 RBI to lead the ball club. He also paced the team in doubles (13), triples  (3) and was runner-up to Krug in homers (6-to-5).

In Game Two, Seidel batted 3-for-4 to finish over .500, including four RBI.

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