East County Sports

Everyone wants to beat the champ


ECS staff report

SPRING VALLEY — Eastlake High, the defending CIF-San Diego Section Open Division titlist, received far more than they expected from a rising program from Monte Vista.

The Titans saw an early 2-0 lead disappear but rallied late to top the host Monarchs, 5-3, in tournament action on Monday (Feb. 28).

The Monarchs (1-3 overall) broke through with three runs in the fifth, including RBI singles from Gavin Daley and Justin Stone. However, Eastlake pulled even in the sixth. An inning, an error led to a pair of tie-breaking, unearned runs.

A comeback ruins a solid performance by Monte Vista pitcher David Rodriguez, who yielded just three hits over six innings, yet left with a no-decision.

Eastlake reliever Zo Castruita fired one frames of no-hit ball to collect the win. Two other members of the Titans bullpen — Anami (hold) and Nico Libed (save) — also posted one inning without yielding a basehit.

In the Monarchs’ lone rally, Daley drove in a pair of runs, while sophomore Justyn Stone had the other RBI with a double.

Among the four hits for Eastlake (1-2), Isaiah Lane and Libed had two hits each.

Steele Canyon 6, Montgomery 4

OTAY MESA — Steele Canyon starting pitcher Gabe Diaz fired five solid innings before tiring in the sith, then the Cougars bullpen was able to shut the door just in time in a tournament victory over the host Aztecs in the South Bay.

Diaz carried a 1-hit shutout into the sixth before getting tagged for a pair of runs. Cody Landy coming out of the bullpen to eventually stave a late Montgomery rally.

“The key to pitching well would be just putting in the work during the off-season and going out in the mound with confidence,” said Diaz. “Yea, of course, being able to have an offense that can put up runs definitely helps me focus on keeping the lead, too.

Diaz, a senior, struck out six Aztecs batters, but there were other numbers even more impressive.

“Diaz has just been outstanding,” said Cougars head coach Jesse Evans. “His 23 Ks in his first two starts is solid, but those strikeouts came against just three walks. Outstanding.”

“As for the offense, (Tommy) Molina and (Will) James keep hitting.”

Molina and James, both juniors, posted a pair of hits, including a Molina double. Meanwhile, senior Ray Marreno had two hits and an RBI, helping mount a 6-0 lead.

Also driving in runs were Diego Ceniceros (Sr), Taylor Corella, and Matt Marshall.

Christian 8, La Jolla 1

EL CAJON — After Christian High saw its season-opening winning streak stopped at three to powerful Rancho Bernardo over the weekend, the Patriots commenced on another winning streak by sinking visiting La Jolla, 8-1, in tournament action Monday (Feb. 28).

The Pats pounded out nine hits, then was aided by a woeful count of six errors by the Vikings’ defense.

Liberty Charter 8, Guajome Park 3

OCEANSIDE — Following a series of rain-outs, Liberty Charter finally got a game in by downing the Guajome Park Academy Frogs, 8-3, Monday (Feb. 28) at Guajome Regional Park.

No game details were reported.

The Knights (1-1) are home on Tuesday, entertaining the neighborhood school to Guajome Park, the Coastal Academy Stingrays, starting at 3:30 p.m.

Coronado 4, Valhalla 2

SILVER STRAND — The Valhalla Norsemen dropped their second straight in a tournament setback to Coronado, 4-2, at Silver Strand Elementary School.

The Islanders (2-1). saw senior pitchers Tony Miley and Dylan Noble shut down the Norsemen (1-2).

No other game details were reported.

Vista 18, West Hills 4

SANTEE — The Vista Panthers won their first game in three starts to now match the record for the slow-starting Wolf Pack.

No other game details were reported

Update from Vista High, the Panthers report that West Hills held early leads of 1-0 and 3-2, but the visitors took advantage of nine West Hills errors; Vista said they only collected six total hits to produce its 18 runs.

Mon., Feb. 29
Christian 8, La Jolla 1
Granite Hills 26, Classical 4
Grossmont 13, Mater Dei Catholic 1
Helix 12, San Ysidro 0
Liberty Charter 8, Guajome Park 3
Steele Canyon 6, Montgomery 4
Coronado 4, Valhalla 2
Eastlake 5, Monte Vista 3
Vista 18,  West Hills 4


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