East County Sports

Another Haar slam, another Scottie win

2022 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LA MESA — The Helix batting tandem of Ben Haar and James Whitman has proven to be among the best in the season’s early going.

Add David Blome in the leadoff spot, opposing ballclubs need to find a way to keep baserunners off the basepaths prior to the next plate appearance of anyone among the trio.

Bonita Vista, a rising program that will battle for the top spot in the South Bay, learned the hard way on Monday (Mar. 7) why turning over the Helix line-up card can be so critical.

Following a bases-loaded RBI when No. 9 hitter Cameron Tarling was struck by a pitch for the game-tying run, the Baronas struggled to gain the third out of the second inning.

Instead, Blome singled in what turned into the game-winning RBI, then Haar blasted his second grand slam (third homer overall) for a 6-1 cushion, powering the Scotties past the visiting Barons, 9-2, on Monday (Mar. 7).

On my first at-bat, I was looking outside and he was throwing outside outer half,” Harr explained. “I knew on the second at-bat he was gonna go away again and he was gonna try and work that outside changeup. So in turn, he made a mistake and I punished it.”

“It started with Anthony’s big at-bat, working the count, then Cameron (Tarling), then David (Blome) with the two-strike hit — they all hat great at-bats to set me up for success.”

Bonita Vista’s self-inflicted wound began with a pair of walks and a surprising Anthony Matthiesen bunt single to load the bases. The Barons were on the edge of an end-around to avoid major trouble with a pair of strikeouts.

But that elusive third out came much too late, with Helix posting a 6-run rally.

“It was nice to square-up that baseball,” added Haar on his slam.

Meanwhile, Scottie pitcher Wyatt Laub posted five solid innings. He allowed just one unearned run in the first in tossing five innings of 4-hit ball, striking out six Barona batters.

“We knew we had to be locked in for this game against this team,” said Laub, the winning pitcher. “We are like that in every game.”

The current line-up is in sharp contrast to last season when head coach Cole Holland tried no fewer than 20 different line-up combinations in order to develop some offense.

No such concerns in ’22, as Helix (5-1 overall) remain unbeaten in three home statrs.

“We got some big hits that scored the big runs.,” added Laub.

Meanwhile, the day’s defensive gem was a diving grab by Tarling in left field to hinder any Bonita Vista comeback attempt.

“Super impressive catch in left,” added Laub. “I was in the dugout at the time and came out to see and thought it would be foul. but Cam was able to run it down and end it right there.”

The Highlanders next play Wednesday at Cathedral Catholic, a team which earlier nipped Bonita Vista (3-3), 5-4 in extra innings last week.

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