East County Sports

Grossmont forges playback final in D-1

Grossmont's Justin Tucker slodes to score / Nick Pellegrino



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

FLETCHER HILLS — The free-for-all display of offense for five innings saw defense and pitching take over late, allowing the Grossmont Foothillers to avoid elimination in the CIFSDS Division I championship.

The Hillers downed Cathedral Catholic, 12-8, Tuesday (May 24), forcing a playback final on Wednesday after handing the Dons their first setback in the double-elimination phase of the tournament.

The final game of the bracket will start at 3:30 p.m. at Gizoni Field.

In the other half of the draw, Carlsbad also gained a playback finale after defeating Eastlake, 11-7.

Down 4-2, Grossmont’s early display of offense came courtesy of home runs by Cody Bigley, Jose Carranza and Barron Zamora, with Biugley’s shot to left gong for a go-ahead grand slam in the third inning.

Grossmont’s Jose Carranza slugs a home run to center field against Cathedral  Catholic / Photo by Nick Pellegrino

But with the contest on the line late, Zamora turned an unassisted double play at first base, while Jake Holman fired 2.1 innings of shutout relief for the save to force the playback final..

“Our bats really came alive today,” said Zamora, who is headed to the university of Washington to play ball next season. “The pitching for both sides wasn’t the best, but we came up with the plays when we needed to.”

The Hillers offense was so good, a peek at the Cathedral Catholic record book showed that Grossmont’s 12 runs were the most conceded by the Dons in a CIF contest since 2008, when El Capitan rolled up 15 runs on “Uni.”

Could the run total be a harbinger of things to come for Grossmont?

The winner of Wednesday’s Hillers-Dons game will meet the Lancers-Titans victor on Thursday at 7 .m. at UC San Diego’s Triton Field (far north end of campus by Scripps Hospital).

Trailing 3-0, Zamora ignited the comeback with a 2-run homer inn the second, also scoring Justin Tucker (single). Zamora would finish with three RBI.

Still down 4-2, Jose Carranza homered to open the third, Then the big rally came in the fourth.

A lead single by Tucker was followed by a RBI double by Zamora. Later, Bigley connected on his grand slam for an 8-5 lead.

Cathedral Catholic moved even at 8-all in the fifth, but Grossmont trolled the balance of the contest.

Carranza sent an RBI double to center for the lead, later scoring on a Joaquin aez double.

In the sixth, Zanora reached deep to his right side to snag a line drive But with the Dons runner moving on contact, it was an easy unassisted double play to end the rally.

Grossmont then placed three runners on base, but Dons reliever Ryan Ostrowski escaped with three straight strikeouts.

In the seventh, Holman stranded the Dons potential game-ting run on-deck by coaxing a pop out to River Diaz De Leon in center to cap the triumph.

Grossmont (14-17-1) saw Carranza and Diaz De Leon each finish with two hits,

Cathdral Catholic (15-17) saw their 3-4 hitters — James Castagnola and Charlie Mirer — each go 4-for-5 with two RBI. No. 5 hitter Eli Selga walked three times.

In addition, Baez, the Hillers catcher, threw out a Dons runner attempting to steal third base.

Notes: When El Cap scored 15 on Cathedral some 14 years ago, the Dons won 18-15 in a bazaar contest. The Dons totaled 11 runs in the fifth inning, but the Vaqueros answered with 10 runs in the bottom of the seventh and left the bases loaded.

If it was a Major League Baseball game, the 10 runs in the final inning would’ve equled an ancient record.

In 1901, in the debut game of the expansion Detroit Tigers, the hosts trailed the original Milwaukee Brewers, 13-3. The Tigers scored once in the eighth, but in the ninth, tallied an MLB record which still stands with 10 runs in the walk-off win.

What a way to open the season, the century and the history of the franchise.


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