East County Sports

This is a recording… Hillers vs. Eastlake



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

FLETCHER HILLS – The Grossmont Foothillers gained a berth in the CIF San Diego Section Division 1 championship game after turning back Cathedral Catholic, 10-8, Thursday (May 25) at Gizoni Field.

With the triumph, the fifth-seeded Hillers (15-17-1 overall) will gain a re-match with Eastlake in the title game, slated for Triton Field at UC San Diego on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The second-seeded Titans (20-10) barely earned their berth, scoring twice in the bottom of the seventh inning to garner a 3-2 walk-off decision over Carlsbad.

The two schools met in last season’s Open Division finale, with Eastlake taking the title despite going 0-3 against the Hillers during the regular season. This season, the ballclubs met just once, with Eastlake winning in 8 innings,8-5, in a mid-season tournament contest.

It’s a compete flip from 2021, when Grossmont was capturing a wide variety of ballgames in extra innings or in walk-off fashion, but fell in the title game. Thus, they hope they can complete the flip the results and take the crown this season.


Ryan Rodieck scores in Tuesday’s 12-8 victory.

Grossmont 10,
Cathedral Catholic 8

FLETCHER HILLS — By the end of the third inning, Grossmont registered 21 runs in just nine trips to the plate. Capping the onslaught was a 9-run bulge to carry the Hillers to a 10-8 verdict to win the Lower Bracket and advance to the CIFSDS Division I title game.

Grossmont sent 13 batters to the plate, yet never registered an extra-base hit… and they didn’t need to with eight singles and a pair of walks in a slow, painful blood-letting of the Dons.

Cathedral jumped to a 4-0 lead before the roof fell all over the Dons pitching staff.

The Hillers’  Jose Carranza scores in Tuesday’s victory.

Grossmont started with three straight single, which wasn’t too bad for “Uni” when they registered a force out at the plate.

However, Justin Tucker followed a iwth a 2-run basehit, then a pair of walks but the margin to 4-3.

Then the batting parade really started.

A streak of four consecutive basehits — by Jose Carrrrrr– anza, Cody Bigley, Anthony Box-Augustine and Joaqion Baez — would send the Hillers to a CIFSDS title game for the second straight season.

The Dons crawled back with runs over three straight innings to move within two runs. However, Grossmont inserted Gabe Sanz-Miller from the bullpen.

In his first significant relief appearance since early March, the junior fired two innings of no-hit ball for his first career varsity save and a ticket to the finale.

Meanwhile, Cathedral Catholic pitchoing allowed 11 hits and 10 runs (all earned), yielding double-digit runs in the playoffs for the first time this century.

The only other Grossmont run came on a Barron Zamora solo home run in the fourth to make it 10-6. Zamora’s shot into the wind to left field was his seventh of the season, moving him into fourth place among East County leaders.

The lead is Grant Mac Arthur of Granite Hills with 9, followed two players wth 8 — River Diaz De Leon of Grossmont and Ben Haar of Helix.

Grossmont’s bottom four batters — Carranza, Bigley, Box-Augustine and Baez — combined to bat 8-for-12 (the entire quartet went 2-for-3), with six RBI.

Cathedral Catholic (15-18) stayed in contention on home runs by Michael Podstreleny, James Castagnola and pinch-hitter Haden DeAnda (a two-run shot in the fifth to cap th scoring).

Division 1

Eastlake 3, Carlsbad 2

CHULA VISTA — The Carlsbad Lancers were romping in the seventh inning, easily coaxing the first two outs to move to within a batter of a playback final victory and a berth in the CIFSDS Division I title game.

However, the precious 21st out never materialized.

Eastlake, with two down and no body on base, pulled out a rabbiit on a two-run single by No. 9 hitter Brody Wells, breaking the hearts of the Lancers in a 3-2 walk-off triumph.

Carlsbad registered two easy ground outs, one to shortstop Adrian Macias, then a tapper at the plate that catcher Matthew Sommers, both throwing to first base — it couldn’t have been easier.

But the baseball gods can be fickle.

Eastlake’s Michael Rocha stroked a double, moving to third on a wild pitch with the potential game-tying run.

Pinch-hitter Dereck Borruel walked, which would’ve set-up a force play, but the Titans took a gamble and sent Borruel to second base.

Carlsbad, wary of a double-steal with the bottom of the batting order at the plate, held the ball. But even though there was an open base, the Lancers did not want to turn over the lineup card.

So everything fell on the shoulders of Wells, the Eastlake starting pitcher, who didn’t want the season to end with an “L” attached to his name..

Carlsbad had eight shots at recording the third out on Wells, but he kept fouling off pitches. Finally on the 10th delivery, Wells sent a 2-2 offering to right field and both Garcia and Borruel scored to ignite a Titans team bounce.

Wells went six innings but received a no-decision. His game-winning hit gave the victory to relief pitcher Trevor Adams, who tossed one no-hit inning.

Open Division

LA JOLLA – Granite Hills will play for the CIFSDS Open Division championship at UC San Diego;s Triton Field on Friday at 7 o.m.

The top-seeded and top-ranked Eagles will meet the winner of Thursday’s playback final between Torrey Pines and second- seeded and second-ranked La Costa Canyon.

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