East County Sports

Norsemen sense ‘sound’ for solutions



ECS staff report

RANCHO SAN DIEGO — In the 1965 song “The Sound of Silence,” written and performed by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel — ask your parents — the composition wasn’t considered just a hit, it was recognized as “a cultural touchstone” for the generation.

There’s a point to be made here in a baseball story..

In the lyrics, it is noted about and “people talking without speaking,” and “peiple hearing without listening.”

Well, it seems like the Valhalla High baseball team know how to read, yet unlike the song, with clear comprehension.

What did they theoretically read?

After learning that a setback in Wednesday’s (Mar. 16) ballgame would leave the Norsemen with the school’s poorest start to a season in the 21st Century, and one of the most egregious openings since the campus opened in the mid-1970s.

Probably, quotes echoed from the clubhouse walls wouldn’t make it past the editor (i.e., censor), but one thing’s for sure: the Norsemen took the field, “flashed out its warning” with one of their best performances of the season.

As for game highlights, little information was supplied.

University City (2-8-1) held a 2-1 lead over most of the contests, but Valhalla rallied inits final atbat, scoring twice in the sixth inning.

Norsemen pitcher Colton Stinkeoway fired a 4-hitter to cap his complete-game triumph. He struck out six Centurions batters.

In the sixth, three consecutive one-out singles, capped by an RBI knock by Tanner Lough lel\veled the contest at 2-all. Moments later on a play not listed,a baserunner came home while another was out at second base, probably on a double-steal (with the out, it’s a fielder’s choice) for the go-ahead marker.

Valhalla (2-7) snaps a 7-game stretch of non-enlightenment (i.e., losing).

West Hills 2, Coronado 1 (8 inn.)

SANTEE — The West Hills Wolf Pack maintained a reasonable chance to gain a championship berth in the Bill Dickens Memorial / GMC Tournament, first after upsetting Patrick Henry last week, coupled with Wednesday’s (Mar. 16) extra-inning decision in a mile upset over visiting Coronado, 2-1 in 8 innings.

.Both ballclubs mustered seven basehits, but four errors cost the Islanders.

Wolf Pack center fielder Connor Evans batted 2-for-3, then the senior gained the victory in relief.

With the win, West Hills (4-5-1) moved a half-click ahead of Coronado (4-6), so the decision could greatly impact the CIF-San Diego Section playoffs come May.

The final moments were especially ugly for the Island Boys.

Evans reached when his infield grounder was booted. A dropped third strike on a strikeout advance hime to second, then he came home on Stevens’ game-winning, ine single to left field.

Patrick Henry 3,Otay Ranch 1

OTAY RANCH — The ballclub with the most highly-acclaimed pitching staff in the region  may not be Santana, it could be the Patrick Henry Patriots.

Following another standout performance by Ryan Ellis in a loss erlier in the week, Patriots pitchers Ryan Ruch and Jonah Stepner split duties down the middle in a combined 6-hitter against Otay Ranch, 3-1, in the second division of the Bill Dickens Memorial /GMC Tournament.

Ruch yielded only an unearned run in the third in his 3,2 innings, but Stepner collected the victory with 3.1 frames of shutout relief.

It was a come-from-behind effort foe the Patriots, scoring twice in the sixth inning to move out front, plus an insurance marker in the seventh to muzzle the Mustangs (4-4-1 overall).

Driving in the runs for Patrick Henry (7-2) were senior Bryce Andersen, junior Brady Hull (double) and sophomore Jack Giordano. Also collection two-base hits were Jonah Stepner and Eddy Gomez.


As they say in softball, “If you don’t score, it doesn’t matter how many runs you allow.” That’s why these two contests are officially relegated to the bottom of the story.

Montgomery 8, Christian 0
OTAY MESA — The preseason opinion polls believed Eastlake could repeat in the South Bay, with rejuvenated Bonita Vista in contention. Did someone on the panel forget Montgomery?

In a showdown between undefeated pool leaders, Aztecs junior pitcher Fidel Lopez silenced the bats of Christian to just four hits ver six innings, blanketing the Patriots, 8-0, in the Dick Serrano flight (Division 2) of the Bill Dickens Memorial/ GMC Tournament.

Senior closer Louis Morales was utilized to preserve the shutout to power the hosts

Senior Andres Alvarez paced Montgomery with three RBI, while sophomore Aaron Herrera each and Noah Solano drove in a pair for Montgomery (7-2 overall).

.”Some days you’re the hammer and some days you’re the nail,” head coach Mike Mitchell philosophized  on his Patriots (6-3). “Montgomery is very good, so we need to bring our A; game with us if we’re going to compete with them.”

There was no need to determine which ballclub was the nail.

Christian opens Eastern League play at home on Wednesday against St. Augustine. They will close the regular season on May 9-13 with a three-gae series with Patrick Henry, probably for the league title unless Saints can find one more arm on their pitching staff.

Mira Mesa 7, Monte Vista 0
MIRA MESA — Pitchers from the Mira Mesa Marauders limited Monte Vista to just five basehits in a GMC Tournament shutout victory.

It was all about “Sticks & Stones/” While the Monarchs had the zeroes, Mira Mesa tallied a single run in innings 3-5, then added a 4-spot in the sixth in the eventual runaway.

“We hit balls hard today, but right at people” said said Monarchs coach Craig Neu, “The tides will eventually turn for us, so we have to keep grinding..”

For Monte Vita (2-7 overall) Isaiah Hilke batted 3-for-3 but was stranded each time. Mira Mesa (3-7),which has won two straight following a 4-game skid, saw sophomore Julian Valencia strike out just one, yet still garnered the complete-game victory.

Next for the Monarchs will be their Grossmont Valley League opener on Friday, Mar. 25, headed to Lakeside to meet El Capitan.

— Compiled by Nick Pellegrino


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