East County Sports

Braves, Vaqueros finding sunshine



ECS staff report

LIBERTY STATION — During the historic struggles of El Cajon Valley High baseball, there is always one contest where the Braves break out in their hitting spikes and run over someone.

The Braves did it again, posting seven runs in the first inning before stretching out to a double-digit advantage before taking down host SD-High Tech High, 14-5, in Tuesday’s (Mar. 8) non-league contest.

The question remains, what can El Cajon Valley do to avoid being a “one-trick pony” this season.

One difference may be why head coach Clifton Thomas intentionally waited and started his schedule a full two weeks after all of their opposition from the Grossmont Valley League

“We have a lot of guys that lack experience, so we needed that extra time with them to get prepared,” Thomas added. “It has benefited our team.”

So far, the results have been encouraging.

Despite just two outings, the Braves (1-1) are not looking up from last place at all of the other GVL sides, they are actually tied with the top winning percentage in the circuit

.”Sometimes the ball just falls in our favor and we are able to capitalize, and sometimes we fail to capitalize,” added Thomas, himself a standout center fielder for the Braves in his day.

For most schools, this may not be of any consequence, but the effect on the Braves seems to be significant.

Only once in the 21st Century have the Braves posted a campaign of double-digit victories — barely (10-16 in 2005). Their last winning season: 13-11 in 1979, some 43 years ago, although the schools did go 16-16 in 1995.

I think that is usually the difference in our season when you look at the wins and losses,” he noted.

It’s truly a one-game-at-a-time outlook that may keep the Braves an opportunity this season.

El Cajon Valley sent 11 batters to the plate in a rare batting-’round-the-order performance to quickly bury the Bruins.

Key hits included RBI doubles by third baseman Eddie Cazarez and center fielder Chris Cosio.

Most of the runs came after two outs on a string of four consecutive hits by Luis Hernandez, Alvaro Alvarado, Jaheim Mendenhall, then Cosio’s double to center field.

An inning later, a lead triple by brother Ruben Cosio, who batted 4-for-4 and scored three times, set the stage for two more runs and a 9-3 advantage, a margin which eventually grew to 14-4.


El Capitan 10, Hoover 0 (6 inn.)
LAKESIDE — Sighs of relief came from the El Capitan Vaqueros. Meeting the Hoover Cardinals, there were thoughts that this could be an extremely long season should they fall to the Cards.

Fortunately, such worries disappeared early after the Vaqs pitcher Jaylin Padilla and two others combined on a 2-hit shutout in a run-ruled shortened decision at Hostetler Field.

Padilla fired the first four-inning, striking out six Cardinals batters before exiting early after El Cap (2-4) scored five times in the third to open the scoring. Padilla was followed by sophomore Nick Barnes and junior Wyatt Carrillo with one inning each in relief.

Catcher Brady Reed recorded two of El Cap’s five stolen bases. Coming off the bench were Jett Hayes and freshman Landon Harbach, each with two RBI.

Hoover (1-6), in its six setbacks, has been out-scored by a massive count of 100-18. Interestingly, the Cards’ lone win was by a score of 28-0 over Victory Christian of Chula Vista.

Scripps Ranch 6, Grossmont 5
LA MESA — The undefeated Grossmont Foothillers did it again. Well, almost.

For the second time in a week, the Hillers tallied three times in the bottom of the seventh inning, yet this time fell short by a run and allowing Scripps Ranch (4-1 overall) to snap the hosts’ season-opening, 5-game winning streak

The Hillers has won six straight to open last season.

An early 2-0 Grossmont lead was countered by a Falcons runs in the fourth, then four more in the fifth.

However, as usual, Grossmont (5-1) nearly pulled out another miraculous victory similar to last week’s triumph over Madison.

Scripps Ranch escaped on a strange, game-ending, fielder’s choice double play.

A ball hit back to the Falcons pitcher Justin Bamford, who fired to second baseman Alex Rewolinski for an RBI for River Diaz De Leon.

However, another runner got caught off a bag, cut down on a throw to shortstop Nate Roos, who fired back to Rewolinski. Indeed, the play was not a “ruse.”

The play reminded many of last week’s East County triple play when one defender also was credited with two outs on the same play.

Grossmont’s late rally was set up on a hit batter and a pair of walks to load the bases, followed by a line drive Anthony Box-Augustine which went for a sacrifice fly on a shot to left field.

How close did Grossmont come to winning? Many thought that if the Box-Augustine drive had any more altitude, it could’ve been a walk-off grand slam.

After a single by Justin Tucker, a walk to Noah Barnes forced in a run before the ballgame’s dramatic conclusion.

Bamford recorded the save for winning pitcher T.J. Bibler as three pitchers combined on a 3-hitter.

Hillers relief pitcher Braxton Ohton went three innings, only allowing a pair of unearned runs.


Mount Miguel 7, Foothills Christian 6
ECVHS 14, at SD-High Tech 5
El Capitan 10, Hoover 0 (6 inn.)
Scripps Ranch 6, Grossmont 5
Liberty Charter at Coastal Academy


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