East County Sports

Davis, Casey, Temple clutch in final ABs



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LA MESA —.A dramatic contest for six innings between traditional rivals became a single-inning blowout.

Eagles senior Spencer Davis followed a leadoff double by Grant Mac Arthur with a g-ahead home run, leading Granite Hills to a 7-3 conquest over host Helix in Friday’s Grossmont Hills League battle.

The razor-tight ballgame crumbles apart for Helix after the homer, as the bullpen issued five walks among the next six batters, leading to a pair of additional runs.

“I knew the pitcher was going to want to come after me with strikes because we had a man in scoring position,” said Davis. “I got the pitch I was looking for and I didn’t miss it.”

Davis opener the scoring with a third-inning sacrifice fly, then Ethan McNish-Heider single in JJJ Embleton for a 2-0 lead.

Helix immediately answered with three in the third.

Cameron Tarling drilled a lead double to set the tone. Following an error, consecutive RBI singles by Ben Haar and Wyatt Laub tied the contest. The Scotties took the lead on a ground out by Trevor Young.

However, the Eagles got even in the fourth on an identical RBI ground out by Beamon , scoring Tanner Vielguth (lead double).

The contest then belonged to the pitchers before Davis’ game-winning blast on a liner to right field.

The tension-building saw Mac Arthur, the East County home run leader with seven, get hit by a pitch to open the fifth. The next lead batter for both teams then were hit by pitches, gaining warnings from the umpiring crew.

The pitching win went to Granite Hills reliever Brenden Lewis, who yielded just one hit over the final three innings.

At 4-0 in league play, Granite Hills moves a half-game in front of idle Santana for the GHL lead. Both are 11-2 overall

Helix, which received two hits from shortstop David Blome, fell to even at 6-6 (0-2 GHL)..

Foothills Christian 7,
Cornerstone Christian (WIidomar) 6 (10 inn.)

SPRING VALLEY — The third time proved to the charm for the Foothills Christian Knights.

After receiving game-tying hits in the sixth and eight innings — if that’s not an April Fool’s prank, then there is no such thing –, Knights shortstop Billy Temple singled home Colby Johnson for a walk-off winner over Cornerstone Christian, 7-6 in 10 innings, during Friday’s (Apr. 1) non-league triumph over the visitors from SW Riverside County.

“Billy absolutely came in clutch with that walk-off,” said Seth Gilbody, the winning pitcher in relief.”Billy is one of our best hitters and deserves that spot in the lineup.”

Trailing 5-0, Foothills Christian began its comeback with four runs in the fourth, then got into the head of the visiting Crusaders like a leech by continually re-tying the score.

The first set of game-tying hits came off the bat of the recently-activated Taylor Casey.

The senior stroked a two-out double to bring home Dustin “Dusty” Baker to force extra innings. Two frames later, Casey’s sacrifice fly brought home Elijah Morr after he and Johnson recorded consecutive leadoff singles.

Finally in the 10th, on what the umpires later said was going to be the final batter as the sun was setting at Mount Miguel High, Temple flared the ball to the gap in right-center field.

Although normally a double, Temple didn’t take the chance of a relay throw to second base, leaving all of the focus on Johnson.

With head coach Dave Lewis waving him home from the third-base coaches box, Johnson beat the throw — and the Knights were bouncing.

“The only thing going through my mind was to push the ball to the right side to move the runner as far as possible,” Tem spot,” Temple noted. “Luckily, it actually worked out.”

“It was definitely a very stressful spot, but it was very rewarding in the end.”

Casey finished with three RBI on 3-for-4 batting, falling a homer short of the cycle.

Baker, the new Foothills Christian leadoff hitter, went 3-for-6 and scored twice in a solid debut.

Gilbody fired the final three frames from out of the bullpen to collect the victory.

“My arm is getting a lot stronger since my shoulder injury in the off-season,”said Gilbody. “Since it was extra innings, i had so much adrenaline that i was throwing even faster than i would have been.”

Foothills Christian (5-7) will receive some extra CIF power index points against the Southern Section opponent, as the Crusaders fall to 13-7.


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