East County Sports

Roundup: Henry sophomore shutout debut



ECS staff report

DEL CERRO —.Patrick Henry left-hander Talin Gardini, who went 2-0 in four starts as a freshman last season, made his ’22 debut one to remember.

The sophomore yielded a mere two hits over five innings of work. combining with senior closer Jonah Stepner in Friday’s (Feb. 25) 5-0  shutout of the Ravens.

After Gardini registered nine strikeouts on the Ravens, Stepner was perfect in retiring all six batters he faced, fanning half of them in handing Canyon Crest (2-1) its first setback in three starts.

Patrick Henry (2-0 overall) scored once in the first inning, then put away the victory after with four additional runs in the fourth.

The rally featured a 2-run base hit by senior Dominic Benami. For the contest, also recording RBI were Ryan Ellis, Eddie Gomez and Brady Hull.

Along with BBenami, Nolan Kluge (Sr) and Giordano each posted two hits.

Grossmont 12, Otay Ranch 5
EL CAJON —.What’s suddenly wrong with the Grossmont Foothillers? The ball club failed to hit even one home run on Friday (Feb. 25), but that’s SIMPLY fine according to their head coach.

“We don’t want to get caught up in the stats and the results – good or bad,” said skipper Jordan Abruzzo. “We just have to stay process-oriented, but, yes, we need to clean up some things.”

One of those items isn’t hitting after the Hillers collected 16 hits to drop the visiting Otay Ranch Mustangs, 12-5, at Gizoni Field.

The hit parade was led by junior River Diaz De Leon, who went 3-for-3 with a double and a pair of RBI.

On the mound, sophomore Jacob Lanza went 4 1/3 to record the win.He struck out three without issuing a walk.

In relief, Braxton Ohton allowed just one run in 2 1.3 frames, while Diaz De Leon got the final out.

Steele Canyon 6, No. 2 Eastlake 5
CHULA VISTA —. The Steele Canyon Cougars, the newest member to the hierarchy of the premier Division I level of CIF-San Diego Section baseball, received the opportunity to play their second game of the season against defending Open Division champion Eastlake.

To make things even “easier.” the Cougars needed to play the powerful Titans — ranked second in the preseason poll — on the road.

And like an eaglet ready to fly for the first time, Steele Canyon needed to turn on all of its engines to hold off the champs, 6-5, in tournament action Friday (Feb. 25).

“It feels good knowing that all the work we put in over the past year paid off,” said head coach Jesse Evans. “Plenty of early mornings and late nights, pushing each other to be better.”

“We are just going to keep bringing it to whatever team we play next.”

The Cougars mounted a 6-2 lead, but after Eastlake trimmed the deficit in the sixth inning, the Men of Steele played like potential title contenders to cling to the triumph.

Branden Jackel pitched the first three innings, then senior Cannon Restine survived Eastlake’s 2-run rally in the sixth to gain the victory with a scoreless seventh to cap his four frames of relief.

Evans believed some clutch hitting in difficult situations gave the Cougars the early advantage..

“We had five hits with two strikes. with four of them droving in runs,” he recalled. ” I’m very proud of the way my boys competed today.”

Among the hits were a pair of doubles by Tommy Molina.

“Diego Ceniceros had a big 2-out, 2-RBI single late in the sixth,” he added. And Tommy Molina had three hits including his doubles. It was a great game.”

Another hitting standouts was Matt Marshall, who batted 2-for-3 off Eastlake.

For the Titans, Nico Libed (Jr) drove in a pair of runs with a pair of hits. while Michael Rocha added an RBI double.

Ramona 8, Clairemont 7
RAMONA —. The seventh inning proved to possess some” fast times” after the the Clairemont Chieftains scored twice to pull even. However, the Ramona Bulldogs survived with a walk-off run to take a dramatic 8-7 victory in tournament action on Friday ()Feb. 25) in their home opener.

Morgan Strong knocked in three runs for Ramona (1-1 overall), while Jake Hayes and .Mason Wrenn each contributed two hits All three are seniors.

Ramons scored three times in the first before Clairemont answered with a 5-spot in the second, only to see the Dawgs recover to pull even before the end of the inning.

Two additional Ramona runs would allow them to re-take the lead in the fourth before the see-saw affair went back to a stalemate in the seventh.

Isaac Garcia pitched five solid innings for Ramona, but when was knoteed late, the pitching win went to sophomore Tait Karlson in relief.

The upstart Chieftains fell to 0-3.

— Compiled by Nick Pellegrino


Other scores
Madison 6, Valhalla 3
Montgomery 13, Monte Vista 0
Westview 4, West Hills 0
Del Norte at Santana (from Thursday), ppd., yet again!


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