East County Sports

Grossmont advances on Judge’s decision

photo by Taylor Baez



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

VISTA — “Here Comes the Judge” was a hit song, debuting in 1968, based on a runtime featured on an NBC Television sketch-comedy program.

Fifty years later, the Grossmont Foothillers possess their own version of a person making decisions — in this case, those of a game-winning factor.

Ryan “Jude” Rodieck made the most of his first varsity start of the season, belting a tie-breaking, 3-run homer in the sixth inning to down the host Vista Panthers, 4-2, in the final pool-play contest of the Aztec-Foohiller Tournament.

The triumph keeps the Hillers perfect at 4-0, advancing to Thursday’s championship game, when they will host Madiison at Gizoni Field. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.

With two down, Rodieck took a good look at a full-count pitch, depositing the ball over the fence in left field.

“It was my first varsity start, so I was happy just to contribute to the team,” said.Rodieck. “With two outs and a full count, I just told myself to relax, have some fun, and drive the ball hard somewhere.”

The blow came following a lead basehit by Barron Zamora, then a one-out single from Jose Carranza. Both are seniors.

Vista nearky escaped the jam with a strikeout, but Rodieck delivered tp snap a 1-1 contest.

“Im just grateful that I was able to come through for my team in a clutch situation.

Gabe Sanz-Miller pitched the first four innings for the Hillers, leaving with no-decision in a tied contest. Braxton Ohton, who survived a Vista run in the seventh to garner the victory, pitched the final three frames. Both collected four strikeouts of Panthers batters.

“My recipe for success is keeping a solid tempo,” Ohton noted, “I was also using my curveball a lot to get the punch-outs, too.”

“This team’s got great chemistry and I’m super-stoked for what’s to come this season.”

Afyet Vista opened the scoring inthe third, Grossmont answered a half-inning later on a solo homer by River Diaz De Leon. The junior is on a 4-game hitting streak with a .750 average (9-for-12) and an amazing on-base percentage of .800 with a walk and twice being hit by a pitch.

Westview 2, Helix 1 (8 inn.)

DEL SUR — Besides any Grossmont Conference baseball program, name the top ballclub in the San Diego Section over the past few seasons. Note: the answer may not be obvious.

The school that gives East County schools the most frustration, especially during the CIF playoffs, is: the Westview Wolverines.

The squad from the Fwy. 56 corridor just loves taking it to East County schools, including Wednesday’s (Mar. 2) extra-inning smack down of previously unbeaten Helix, 2-1 in 8 innings.

A two-out rally was started by the top of the Westview batting order. Senior first baseman Lucas Anderson reached on an infield error, then came sprinting home moments later on a basehit by sophomore infielder Samuel Tellers.

In any other situation, Tellers’ blast should’ve gone for a double, but with two down,the first-base coach smartly held the runner to avoid a third out on the base paths before Anderson reached the plate with the (unearned) walk-off, game-winning tally.

Helix garnered its lone run in the first.

Ben Haar drilled a one-out single, scoring on a clutch two-oit, line double to right field by Wyatt Laub.

Haar also pitcher four innings of shutout ball, but was nicked in the fifth when Westview pulled even,leaving Haar with a no-decision.

Tyler Wanless accepted a lead walk, with pinch-runner Gavin Jensen advancing on a wild pitch. He scored on a one-out basehit by Jason Wright, a rare catcher who also serves as a leadoff batter.

Westview starting pitcher Joseph Halter lasted 6.1 innings with six strikeouts, but also left with a no-decision. The win went to reliever Connor Shaw despite allowing the hits over the final 2.1 frames,

Helix placed runners on base in every inning except the fifth, but couldn’t get by Halter and Shaw. A double play in the third also aided the Wolverines pitchers..

Thus, Helix (3-1) will need some assistance in order to advance to the tournament’s championship contest despite four solid efforts.

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The Westview Wolverines own a history of recent success against the Grossmont Conference.

Just last season during the double-elimination phase of the CIFSDS Division I bracket, the Wolverines took a 1-0 lead on Granite Hills before the Eagles rallied to take the ensuing two contests before going on to take the crown.

The season before in 2019 (’20 was canelled at mid-season by the pandemic), Westview nipped Grossmont in the CIFSDS championship game, 1-0, avenging a 2018 setback to the Hillers, 7-4.

The Wolverines also owns’16 wins over West Hills (in extra innings) and El Capitan before falling in the title game to Scripps Ranch in 11 innings.In ’17, the defending champions fell to Steele Canyon.


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