East County Sports

Scotties accept all challenges, win in 8

2022 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

GRANITE HILLS — The editorial staff at CalHiSports.com asked a question over the weekend. While congratulating Granite Hills for capturing their flight in the Classic Division of the 71st annual Lions Tournament, the editors wanted to know why the Eagles played Helix instead of unbeaten pool winner San Marcos.

By coincidence, Helix was in the same pool as San Marcos and lost to the Knights. However, Lions officials allowed the North County squad to play at home in the final round against Poway.

Social media rumors state reasons from protecting their record and ranking, all the way to being “afraid” and “chicken” (and worse) in not facing the Eagles.There were also possible implications to the CalHiSports state rankings, which could adversely hurt all San Diego Section ballclubs.

Not Helix.

Whether the chat was true or not, the Scotties proudly accepted the challenge — although they lost to the Eagles, 4-2; Santana took the other Classic division, both last Thursday.

Less than a week later, back in Grossmont Hills League competition, the Highlanders garnered their revenge.

In another GHL thriller — isn’t that the norm now-a-days! — Helix leadoff batter Cameron Tarling single home the tie-breaking run in the 8th inning for a 6-5 triumph at Granite Hills.

The decision leaves several questions, like: does San Marcos deserve the top ranking in the San Diego Section; if not Granite Hills, who should now ne No, 1; and, who is the favorite to capture the GHL crown?

For now, idle Santana (14-3 overall, 3-0 GHL) now assumes the league leadership by holding a higher winning percentage over Granite Hills.

Granite Hills was down 5-0, but tallied five times in the bottom of the seventh to forge extra innings.

Down by five with two down, Eagles leadoff batter Brenden Lewis cleared the loaded bases with by lining a grand slam to left field. It was [art of his 2-for-4 outing.

However, they still trailed by a run with two down. but were gifted an unearned run when an infield error allowed Grant Mac Arthur to reach base, then pinch-runner Jake McDonough took three bases on a double by Jacob Embleton.

The Eagles also refused to roll over in the eighth after Spencer Davis opened with a lead double. A hit batter put the potential game-winning runner on base, too.

However, Helix escaped on a double play grounder and a victory-clinching strike out by Wyatt Laub.

Helix led early as James Whitman, the game’s second batter, launched a solo home run. The drive to left field was the first of five straight batters to reach base.

Following Whitman’s fifth homer of the season, Ben Haar doubled, Laub walked, then the pair scored on consecutive RBI singles from Trevor Young and Gabe Lainer.

Haar, the Helix starting pitcher, again was lassoed with a no-decision after the unearned run after 5.2 innings of work.

Laub went the final 1.1 to collect the victory for Helix (9-8 overall, 1-2 GHL)

Granite Hills (15-4, 4-1 GHL) received two hits from Lewis and Ethan McNish-Heider.

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