East County Sports

Knights earn season series from El Cap

2022 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

 

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LAKESIDE — Foothills Christian’s Elijah Morr and Zach Ortiz snapped a 2-2 deadlock with consecutive two-run doubles, as the Knights tallied eight answered runs to topple El Capitan, 9-2, in Monday’s (May 2) non-league contest at historic Hostetler Field.

El Capitan jumped out to a quick 2-1 lead, but three little mistakes opened the floodgates for Foothills Christian. Knights pitcher Colby Johnson, following the slow start, fired 5.1 innings of shutout ball to easily come out on top.

“Great pitching and making plays,” said head coach Davis Lewis. “. One walk and no errors! That’s how you win baseball games.”

The decision allowed the Knights to claim the season series from the Vaqueros, 2-1.

It didn’t seem like a big deal when Knights No. 9 batter Dylan Koenig was hit by a pitch to open the third inning. He was chased home on a sacrifice bunt by leadoff batter Dustin “Dusty” Baker and an RBI ground out by Johnson to level the ballgame at 2-all.

But when El Cap kept making minute mistakes, the Knights knew what to do.

Another hit batter and an error loaded the bases, then Morr (to right field) and Ortiz (to left) delivered their big blows with two down for a 6-2 lead. The final four runs in the 5-run rally were unearned.

For Morr, it was his second double

Meanwhile, Johnson, the Foothills Christian pitcher, shook off a tough first inning to gain the complete-game victory. Johnson allowed seven hits while striking out five Vaqueros batters.

“I focused on just throwing strikes and letting my team field the ball behind me,” aid Johnson. “My team made it easy for me to just throw strikes.

FCHS scored once in the first, but El Cap answered with two runs, the first on a solo home run by Cole Winsor on a liner into the student pakring lot in left field.

“Yeah, I hung a curveball that Cole was already expecting and he took me deep,” Johnson admitted.

Ethan Curo followed with a double, scoring on a basehit by Jeff Hayes with two down.

Foothills Christian (11-13 overall) saw Baker and Morr register two hits each among the team’s seven. In addition, second baseman Jeremy Saucedo snagged a sixth-inning line drive, trowing to Seth Gilbody at first base for a double play.

El Capitan (13-11) saw Winsor, the shortstop, bat 2-for-2 wit a walk and a run scored on is homer.

Eastern League
Christian 7, Coronado 2
Along the SILVER STRAND — Christian pitcher Shane Bailey just fell short of a complete-game due to the pitch count, but no one on the Patriots was complaining after the Patriots downed host Coronado, 7-2, in action held at Silver Strand Elementary School along the sandy isthmus.

Bailey, a senior, struck out seven Islanders batters without issuing a walk. He yielded a pair of earely runs,then his teammates back him with six unanswered runs to pull away.

The triumph kept Christian (17-5 overall) and Patrick Henry even at the top of the Eastern League standings.at 7-1 with five contests remaining.

The C=Pats are the defending league champion, now owning a 19-1 (.950) league record since joining the Eastern following the pandemic- cancelled 2020 season.

Bailey, the leadoff batter, also doubled in a 2-for-4 performance at the plate, while Andriw McCarty hit a 3-run, go-ahead homer in the third inning, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 advantage.

Coronado later pitched carefully to McCurty, byt he was covered by ensuing batters Hunter Kaul and Xavier Farnum, who both also registered RBI hits.

Coronado (13-12) fell to 6-6 in league play and were mathematically eliminated from oennant contention.

 

Patrick Henry 2, University City 0
UNIVERSITY CITY — Patrick Henry pitcher Talin Gardini fired a 4-hit shutout Monday (May 2), backing Patrick Henry to a 2-0 blanking of host University City.

Both runs were driven in on a pair of doubles by shortstop Eddy Gomez.

The verdict allowed the Patriots to maintain their share of the Eastern League lead heading into next week’s regular-season ending, 3-game series between the schools.

Based on the recent realignment of their starting rotations, Gardini is now expected to open next Monday’s series against Christian’s Shane Bailey, pushing back Henry ace Ryan Ellis to at least Wednesday, probably against Christian’s Vaughn Major.

Gardini, a sophomore, posted a career-high by striking out 14 Centurions batters in posting his second straight shutout. He walked just one.

Gardini’s season record is now 7-1, with his lone defeat coming against a Top 10 ballclub in Torrey Pines.

Patrick Henry (17-6 overall, 6-1 league) registered single run in the third and fifth innings.

The first run was unearned when leadoff batter Bryce Anderson reached on error. Zach Morales bunted him along with a sacrifice, then Gomez drilled an RBI double to left field.

The advantage doubled is similar fashion with a free base to start the rally.

Colin Miller took a lead walk, Morales singled, then Gomez again pulled the bal with a liner to left. Gomez, another sophomore, collected half of the hits by the Patriots.

University City (6-17-1, 2-5 league) starting pitcher Jack Clark struck out seven Patriots over his six solid innings, yielding just one earned run as the UC staff matched Henry by also allowing just four hits.

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