East County Sports

Baseball’s new math, Valley League style

2022 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

EL CAJON — In a move which could be considered controversial — although no one seems to be complaining about it — the Grossmont District athletics committee is allowing El Cajon Valley to play two rounds of contests against fellow members of the Grossmont Valley League, while the balance of league members will partake in three full rounds.

This means the Braves will play just 10 league contests, while the remaining quintet will battle 14 times to decide the league champion and the automatic bid to the CIF-San Diego Section playoffs.

There are advantages on several fronts on the unique thinking about the situation.

By remaining a member of a league, ECVHS will remain eligible for CIF playoff competition, as any school not in a league is ineligible. They also can fill those vacated contests with other games with programs in their own division to increase the ballclub’s record and power index.

For the other five GVL members, this unbalanced schedule will also allow an increase the power index, aiding in gaining higher seeding for postseason play.

The district committee’s “off-speed change-up” will also allow El Cajon Valley the opportunity to further improve and possibly not re-establish its own California state CIF record for futility for most consecutive losses in league games only.

Thus, for scheduling purposes, the Braves will not play in the first rotation of ballgames, leaving their originally scheduled opponent a bye — in Friday’s case, Valhalla (see the Norsemen game story from Saturday below).

Monte Vista 8, El Capitan 5
LAKESIDE — The Monte Vista Monarchs took advantage of a half-dozen free bases by walks r hit batsmen over the second and third innings, scoring three runs each time to waltz to an 8-5 verdict over El Capitan,8-5, in GVL action Friday (Mar. 25) at Hostetler Field.

Four consecutive walks to open the second forced in a run, then A passed ball and an RBI single by Caleb Taa-Jones made it 5-1.

El Capitan came back the first time with its own 3-run rally, featuring three hits batters, plus an RBI double by Cole Winsor.

However, when the Monarchs repeated the feat an inning later, there was no turning back. The rally featured an RBI triple by Isaiah Hilke, who later scored on a double-steal with Jacob Schweizer. Taa-Jones later added his second run-scoring basehit.

Monte Vista (4-7, 1-0 GVL) saw starting pitcher Gavin Daley last si frames to collect the victory. The save went to Justyn Stone. They move into a first-place deadlock with idle Valhalla.

For El Capitan (5-7, 1-1 GVL), Winsor knotted three hits, but the Vaqueros fall a half-game behind the co-leaders after the first week of league play.

West Hills 13, Mount Miguel 3
SPRING VALLEY — West Hills High center fielder Connor Evans smacked a tie-breaking, 3-run homer in the second inning, leading the Wolf Pack to build a 7-1 lead to coast over host Mount Miguel, 13-3, in Friday’s (Mar. 25) Grossmont Valley League contest.

Evans took out a 3-0 pitch, also bringing home Conner Tanga (leadoff HBP) and Bryce Smith (single).

Smith was also the starting pitcher, but lasted just three frames, giving the victory to the bullpen. The West Hills staff yielded just three Matadors hits, while the Pack matched their run total with 13 hits.

Mount Miguel’s biggest highlight came on defense.

After West Hills scored four times in the second to grab a 5-1 advantage, Matadors center fielder Daniel Guzman make a catch, then fired the ball to first baseman Eric Sandoval to catch a Pack runner who was playing halfway between the bags but got caught for an inning-ending double play.

Ezekiel Sadler, Tanga, Smith, and Evans all had two hits. Nate Sykowski Owen Rodgers, T.K. Madera and Evans also stole a base for West Hills (5-6-1 overall, 1-1 GVL). Mount Miguel fell to 4-7 (0-2 league).

Elsewhere

Liberty Charter 16, CV-Victory Christian 7

LEMON GROVE — The Liberty Charter Lions (4-5) tallied 16 unanswered runs before CV-Victory Christian posted seven cosmetic runs in the seven-inning in Friday’s (Mar. 25) non-league affair.

For Liberty, the triumph ended a mild 2-game skid to move back within a game of .500 in torching the winless Knights (0-9).

Winning pitcher Brody Harris, a freshman, yielded just two hits to VCA over four shutout innings.

Meanwhile, from the bullpen came sophomore Jaxon Adrain and Andruw Godinez, each with one shutout inning.

On offense, it was also a day for the underclassmen.

Frosh Brody Harris smacked a 3-run homer, while sophomore Jaxon Adrain (So) added a pair of doubles.

Frosh Andruw Godinez and Adrain (4-for-4, 3 runs) each added two RBI.

Liberty Charter next lays a game with important CIFSDS Division V ramifications when they head to El Cajon Valley on Tuesday.

 

Saturday

Mira Mesa 2, Valhalla 0

RANCHO SAN DIEGO — In just his second varsity start, Mira Mesa sophomore Julian Valencia fired a 2-hit shutout to lead the visiting Marauders over Valhalla, 2-0, in Saturday’s (Mar. 26) non-league game in the East County.,

The other scheduled contest between Foothills Christian and El Capitan was re-booked to April 13.

Valencia struck out seven Norsemen batters and walked just three.

“I wanted to get back on the mound after I lost to San Ysidro because (our team) made an error (for an unearned run allowed),” said Valencia. “Coach was looking for a spot, then he saw that Valhalla was already playing league, so he thought they might have a little less focus.”

Not only that, Valencia defeated a ball club that was sharing first place in the Grossmont Valley League with Monte Vista.

Valhalla pitching (not reported) also did well in allowing just five hits. However, one was by another Marauder sophomore, Danny Underwood, for an RBI.

Mira Mesa (5-8 overall) returns to the East County on Thursday for their league opener at Christian, starting at 4 p.m.

Valhalla (4-8, 1-0 GVL) filled Tuesday’s league bye date with a home game against EC-Southwest, Since Imperial Valley schools dismiss classes much earlier than those locally, they can arrive early, so the game time will not at 3 p.mn.

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