East County Sports

Cougars: Best start in team history

2022 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

ECS staff report

RANCHO SAN DIEGO — The years were 2009 and 2013, when the Steele Canyon Cougars established school records for the most consecutive victories to start a baseball season.

Hint. Don’t get up and cheer. The mark is a measly two contests — indeed, contemptibly few.

Luckily, the Cougars finally own a streak that really means something, taking their fifth straight by easily out-pacing West Hills, 8-1, on Thursday (Mar. 3).

Steele Canyon pitcher Branden Jackel, a junior, fired a 4-hitter in his complete-game effort.

Jackel registered nine strikeouts against just a single walk.

Tommy Molina smacked a 2-run homer to power the offense, The junior is now batting .600 (9-for-15) to fuel an offense that has tallied at least six runs in every game this season.

“We are always looking for offense,” said Molina. “It just so happened that the inning I hit a home run, everybody got excited and we started to score more runs.”My mentality was to just hunt anything close on the first pitch, and when (the pitcher)gave me a low fastball, I was ready for it.”

The lone run for West Hills (1-3 overall) came on a seventh-inning home run to avoid the shutout by left fielder Ezekiel Sadler, a senior.

El Capitan 13, V alley Center 2
LAKESIDE — After scoring just nine runs all season, the El Capitan Vaqueros found their hitting spikes to posting a 13-spot on the visiting Jaguars in Thursday’s (Mar. 3) action at Hostetler Field.

The Vaqueros posted a 14-hit attack, sending the Jags to their first setback in four starts this season.

In Valley Center’s previous three starts, they generated more than 11 runs per contest, yet were halted by El Cap pitching.

No individual stats were reported by El Cap (2-3).

Patrick Henry 15, The Bishop’s 2
LA JOLLA — Patrick Henry senior Ryan Ellis belted home five runs with a home run and a double Thursday (Mar. 3), powering the Patriots over The Bishop’s School, 15-2.

Talin Gardini, a sophomore, also drove in a pair of runs with a double, part of an 11-hit Patriots attack.

Just like West Hills (see above), the host Knights avoided the shutout with two runs in the seventh.

Otherwise, Patrick Henry pitching yielded just five hits.

Pats’ sophomore pitcher Talin Gardini struck out 10 Knights batters over five innings, walking just one.

Mar Vista 10, Mount Miguel 2
IMPERIAL BEACH — The Mount Miguel Matadors have traveled far and wide in a span of 24 hours.

After Wednesday’s contest in Riverside County was canceled (no umpires), their trip to Mar Vista was also a disappointment in falling to the Mar Vista Mariners on Thursday (Mar. 3).

At least the Matadors played hard for all seven innings, finally avoiding a shutout with a pair of runs in the seventh inning.

Otherwise, Mariners pitchers Hayden Leslie and Trevor Rector, both juniors, carried a 2-hut shutout into the seventh.

Clean-up hitter Matt Acevedo provided both of the runs for Mount Miguel, singling home both David Keller and Steve Gulley.

Acevedo, a first baseman, and Gulley, a third baseman, both batted 2-for-4 to account for all of the hits by Mount Miguel (2-2 overall). Mar Vista moves to 4-3.

— Compiled by Nick Pellegrino

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