East County Sports

Major, Pats blank Murrieta Valley



By Dave Dickens
East County Sports.com

MURRIETA (2-20-2022) — The Christian Patriots felt doubts about a 60-minute bus ride to the Inland Empire. Yet they also remembered how hot the Pats started last year riding an 8-game winning streak.

Could the Patriots repeat such a feat to start 2022 with standout pitcher Vaughn Major taking the hill? Unlike last season’s lid-lifting slug-fest, Saturday’s (Feb. 19) was far different.

In a pitchers’ duel against five Murrieta Valley arms, Major failed to disappoint in tossing 1-hit ball over his six innings to shutout at the Nighthawks, 3-0. Major registered 7strikeouts along the way.

A year ago, pitchers from both Christian or the Caimans of Classical Academy were prepared for the season to start. The Patriots dominated 18-10, in Christian’s highest scoring contest (28 combined runs) since the 2015 season when they topped Serra (now Canyon Hills), 18-11, on May 12, 2015.

” I’m happy we went out there, won our first game, and glad I got the win on the mound,” said Bailey. “I’m super excited, too, for the rest of the season and seeing what this group of guys are really capable of.”

“We are full of raw, young talent this year. I’m ready to battle with these boys through anything.” said Major.

In the first inning. Hunter Kaul smacked a double to score Shane Bailey for a 1-0 Patriots lead. Ashton McCurty took one for a ride to deep center field, ball was deep enough for Majors to score on the sacrifice fly for a quick 2-0 Patriots lead.

Pitching comfortably with an early cushion, Major fired six frames surrendering only one hit on a mere 74 pitches. He struck out seven Nighthawks.

Bailey, who had one hit on three plate appearances, threw the final inning allowing one hit and three strikeouts for the save.

The other Christian run came in the fifth, when McCurty scored as he stole home.

” I thought it was a great team win, guys were picking each other up and coming up big in clutch situations,” Bailey noted. ” We are young but we play like a bunch of seniors. The chemistry we have is amazing. ”

Up next for Christian (1-0) is a home tournament game against the La Jolla Vikings, who are fast becoming a rival of the Patriots.  The ballgame will be played on Tuesday (Feb. 22) at 3:30 p.m.

Foothills Christian 18, Hoover 7

CITY HEIGHTS — Foothills Christian center fielder Colby Johnson slugged a home run as part of a 16-hit attack, as the Knights score three or more times in five of their seven trips to the plate to take down host Hoover, 18-7, Saturday (Feb. 19) at historic Ted Williams Field.

Johnson, a junior, smacked his 2-run blast to right field in their fifth, part of his 3-RBI outing. Meanwhile, the major run production was provided by  senior third baseman Cash Morgan, who drove in four runs, including a sacrifice fly.

“It was just really nice to do my part to help the team achieve our first win today,” said Johnson. “Everyone contributed offensively and we are looking to build on it.”

Johnson added four singles as well as the blast in the fifth. Colby had a single in the first, second, fourth, and sixth innings.

The Cardinals rallied late by scoring four times in the sixth. Senior Santiago Torres scored two of the seven runs for the Cardinals, going 2-for-3 with a walk.

Foothills Christian starting pitcher  Taylor Casey aided his own cause as he tripled with Johnson and White on for an early 2-0 advantage. Casey scored on an error by the shortstop, along with Billy Temple at the end of the first stole home, 4-0 going into the bottom of  the first, quite the cushion for Taylor Casey on the hill.

Casey pitched a pair of innings allowing only one hit and struck out five.

“It was a good game but we still have areas to straighten out,” Casey noted. “However, it was the win we needed to start off the season.”

Colny Johnson added, “Taylor pitched great the first two innings but hats off to Seth Gilbody who pitched great coming off injury.”

Gilbody pitched two frames, and allowed two runs, two hits and fanned five. Offensively, he had a hit and scored two runs for the Knights

Foothills Christian (1-0) will host a home tournament game against the El Camino Wildcats(0-1) on Monday (Feb. 21) at 330 pm.

Escondido 5, El Capitan 0
ESCONDIDO —  Earlier in the week, Santana opened its baseball season in the same fashion as they ended the 2021 campaign: with an extra-inning loss.

On Saturday(Feb. 19), El Capitan also posted a repeat performance from the previous season: a shutout loss on the road.

The Vaqueros managed just a paltry three hits in falling to the Escondido Cougars, 5-0 at historic Pete Coscarart Field.Collecting basehits were senior Claytron Brown, junior Bradley Larsen, and  double by freshman Landon Harbach.

El Cap (0-1) has seevral chances, yet stranded 8 baserunners. Meanwhile, Escondido (1-0) scored in four of the first five innings to back the combined shutout from senior Nick More (W, 1-0) and junior Isacc Bovia (*Sv, 1).

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