East County Sports

D-1: Foothillers seek to repeat history



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

POWAY — The 1969 San Diego Padres, an expansion team, was the ballclub which dropped all four games in a 4-game set to the New York Mets when they rested a season-high 10 games behind first place.

The “Amazin’ Mets” went on to pass the Chicago Cubs and eventually registered one of the biggest upsets in baseball history by downing the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

On Saturday (May 21), the Grossmont Foothillers captured the first of the four contests needed to score a shocking CIF San Diego Section championship.

Buoyed by three RBI from designated hitter Jose Carranza. and two hits and two runs by leadoff batter River Diaz De Leon, the Hillers snapped a 2-2 deadlock with three runs in the fifth inning to topple fourth-seeded Poway, 7-3, in the Division I challenger bracket final.

Grossmont, the No. 5 seed, advances to winners bracket final where they will be a rare home team. Why? The opponent will br Cathedral Catholic, the No. 8 seed which has gone unbeaten in the tournament at 3-0 with wins over Bonita Vista, top-seed St. Augustine and Poway.

The Hillers will need to defeat the Dons twice, starting Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. If they win, the playback final is slated for Thursday., both at Gizoni Field.

Like he has over the recent Grossmont hot streak, Diaz De Leo started the go-ahead rally, this itime with a leadoff double. He moved to third base on a hit batter and a walk to load the bases.

All three runners advanced on a Poway balk, with Diaz De Leo scoring the tie-breaking run. The other base runners — Jason Tucker and Biah Barnes — then came home on a 2-run single by Carranza on a ball to right field.

The rally was enough for Hillers starting pitcher Braxton Ohton, who survived a rough first inning to throw 5.2 solid innings.

Skyler Sasena-Ruth garnered the save with 1.1 frames of no-hit relief.

Division 1
Del Norte 8, Patrick Henry 2
4-S RANCH — Del Norte pitcher Carson Reese tossed a 5-hitter, allowing the Nighthawks to eliminate Patrick Henry, 8-2, in the CIFSDS Division 1 tournament.

Reese, a junior, struck out four Patriots batters over his 5.2 innings. Senior Gavin Cook gained the save with 1.1 innings of no-hit relief.

Del Norte mustered a 5-0 lead before Patrick Hnery tallied swingle runs in the fifth and sixth inings to get back into contention. A pair of juniors — Jackson Goffar and Noah Filson — provided the RBI hits — the Hawks answered with three runs in the sixth to pull awa.

Goffar, who posted just three hits all season entering the game,recorded two hits for Patrick Henry, The Patriots finished with a 23-9 record., the school’s best mark since 2019 *23-8-1).

Division 1

Carlsbad at Steele Canyon
RANCHO SAN DIEGO — This CIFSDS Division 1 elimination conest was not reported by either the visiting Lancers of the host Cougars.

According to MaxPreps, Carlsbad was simply listed as the winner and will meet Eastlake in the next round, but no details were offered.

C’mon, guys, someone had to win!


Division 2
Francis W. Parker 7, Christian 3
LINDA VISTA — Less than 24 hours following graduation ceremonies for Christian High, the groggy Patriots came out flat, allowing the host Lancers to avenge an earlier CIFSDS Division 2 tournament setback.

Parker freshman Diezel Hernandez drove in two runs on a single and a sacrifice fly, while senior  Nevan Noonan posted two basehits and scored both times.

Christian finishes the season at 22-9 overall. It was the fifth 20-win season in the last eight full seasons for head coach Mike Mitchell

From 1997 to present, Mitchell has posted 482 career victories with the Patriots.

Division 5
Calipatria 19, Liberty Charter 7
LEMON GROVE — The best playoff run in Liberty CHarter baseball history came to a crashing halt when the Calipatria Hornets from the Imperial Valley came to town, eliminating the Lions, 19-7, from the CIFSDS Division 5 tournament.

Liberty Charter, champions of the Patriot League, finish the season with a 15-8 record and the school’s first-ever postseason victory, which also broke the school record for most single-eason victories; the previous mark was 14-6-1 in 2017.


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