East County Sports

Baseball: ‘Happy Days (will be) here again’



ECS staff report

EL CAJON — Three East County baseball clubs that were feeling pretty good about themselves of late entering Friday’s (Mar. 18) final round of the Bill Dickens Memorial/GMC Tournament were all doused by a realty check in particularly ugly losses,

In fact, all six local schools in action all lost — at least, the weekend has arrived.

Among the worst of the worst:

Hilltop 10, Foothills Christian 9
CHULA VISTA — The Hilltop Lancers tallied four times iin their final at-bat to muzzle Foothills Christian, 10-9, at John Baumgarten Memorial Field, completing pool play in GMC Tournament play.

Of course, walks and more than a half-dozen errors contributed. However, once the game was tied, Hilltop utilzed a sacrifice bunt by Oscar Ortega and a hard ground basehit through the left side from third baseman Diego Garcia to go happy happy.

To make matters worse, the Knights once held a 6-0 advantage, In the batting order, the 2-3 combo of Billy Temple and Colby Johnson each matched career highs with four hits.

Look at this! A pair of Knights ballplayers, via text message, were asked to respond about the horrible loss.. and they did

Said Temple:

“I think the problem is our players tend to overthink too much. In games when we loosen up, we always do miles better”

“I feft like it was really easy to see the ball out of the hand. I felt confident at the plate, and Colby felt the same. This is a good reason for why when we are loose, we play better.”

“Thanks for reaching out!”

For Temple, he continues to swing a hot bat since coming off the injury list.

.Meanwhile, Johnson added:

“I have to be honest, our pitching actually only gave up two earned runs today. John (Popka, in his three innings) pitched the best I’ve seen him this year,not giving up any earned runs.”

“Seth (Gilbody, in relief), came out firing today and only gave up two earned runs. However, we made eight errors which put unnecessary pressure on our pitching.”

“I believe our guys will turn it around in the next coming games.”

As far as the offense of Temple and himself, Johnson noted:

“Billy was great today especially coming off injury. All together, we just need to do some of the little things better. We have great energy in the dugout, and I believe if it translates to the field we’ll be able to play loose and make plays.”

Class moves to respond by both ballplayers.

In addition for Foothills Christian (3-6 overall), Colton White recorded four RBI, one each on four different trips to the plate.

For Hilltop (4-5), Garcia,the third baseman, collected two hits and drove home three runs.

Lincoln 5, Mount Miguel 4.

LINCOLN ACRES — The winless Lincoln Hornets were well on their way to yet another setback, this time by shutout, when someone turned on (or off, deoending on your perspective) the light switch.

The Hornets, suffering a 4-hit shutout through six innings, tallied five times in the bottom of the seventh to send the Matadors reeling.

Plus, the Matadors (4-5 overall) can’t blame nobody but themselves on defense — the final three Hornets batters all reached on errors, when the game-tying and walk-off runs — obviously, both unearned — to score.

Mount Miguel starting pitcher Josh Hollis yielded just three hits over six innings, but was hung with a no-decision.

The highlight on offense found Mount Miguel’s No. 9 hitter Johnathan Trader going 2-for-3 and scoring a run.

Matadors coach Frank Coit onhis Matadors (4-5):

“We had a loss of focus on defense. We’re having one ‘blow-up inning’ per game when we are committing multiple errors on routine plays  We will get that fixed.”

“It’s just very frustrating this week, losing three games that we should’ve won.:


Sweetwater 14, ECVHS 0
EL CAJON — The Sweetwater Red Devils hit the board in every inning except the third to boat-race host El Cajon Valley on a 1-hit shutout.

SuHi senior Ryan Garcia struck out nine Braves batters along his five innings, then John Svehla added three additional Ks over his two frames.

The lone Braves hit came early, registered by catcher Ruben Cosio, who belted a two-out double to center field in the first. Cosio has collected a hit in every Braves ballgame so far this season.

The Red Devils received five RBI from shortstop Aaron Gallarzo, four more from Garcia, and three basehits by sophomore third baseman Isaac Tovar.

At this point, ECVHS almost always, always, always, offer a quote from their head coach. But even he politely asked for a mulligan following this setback to Red Devils (7-2),


Three other East County pitching staffs also went MIA (“Missing In Action”), combining to allow 41 runs among them (13.7 runs/contest).

The list of the naught includes:

El Capitan, in an 18-13 setback at home to San Diego High;

Patrick Henry, which allowed double digits to Torrey Pines,10-1;

and Liberty Charter, who were consumed by Ocean View Christian of Chula Vista, 13-2.

— Compiled by Nick Pellegrino


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