East County Sports

Another Grossmont finals loss to Titans

ECS file photo from Tuesday vs. Cathedral Catholic




By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

LA JOLLA — In a marathon championship game that ended at11:16 p.m., the midnight hour struck a little too soon for the Grossmont Foothillers.

A wild pitch allowed Eastlake’s Daniel Mora to score from third base in the 11th inning Thursday (May 26), allowing the Titans to claim the CIFSDS Division 1 championship after out-lasting the Hillers, 7-6, at UC San Diego’s Triton Field.

In this re-match from last season’s Open Division title game also captured by the Ttans, there were six lead changes, with clutch hitting,then timely pitching which lasted just over four hours.

The decisive run saw Mora lead off with a bloop single over the first baseman. He took second on a wild pitch, third on a sacrifice bunt by late-inning substitute Josh Garcia.

No. 3 batter Nico Libed was internationally walked, bringing up the cleanup hitter in James Taylor III. However, an 0-1 pitch went to the backstop to send Eastlake bouncing at the plate.

It was a a tough way to go out for Grossmont relief pitcher Gabe Sanz-Miller, who fired 4.1 shutout innings until the final pitch. He threw more than 70 pitches from out of the bullpen, which is too many for MLB relievers, but the Hillers had few option from the pen as the final days of the season approached.

Both sides registered key moments, but the biggest in extra innings came from Grossmont catcher Joaquin Baez, who threw out a runner trying to steal in the ninth to prevent the potential game-winning runner from reaching scoring position.

Early on Grossmont scored twice in the first, but Eastlake answered on a Jacob May 3-run homer.

In the second, the Hillers again scored twice, The first was a lead home run by Cody Bigley to left field. The next batter, Box-Augustine, walked, then with two down, Justin Tucker singled him home for a 4-3 advantage.

Eastlake came back with single runs, but Grossmont took its third lead with two runs in the sixth.

Tucker doubled in River Diaz De Leon (safe on error) for an unearned run to pull even, then Tucker scored on a sacrifice fly by senior center fielder Noah Barnes.

But when the Titans countered with their own sac fly by Michael Rocha in the seventh, the contest would roll deep into the night.

However, the miracle finish to Grossmont’s season would end one game short, as the Hillers (15-18-1 overall) closed by winning 8-of-9 before Eastlake another whammy to end the season for the G-House.

For the Hillers, Tucker batted 3-for-6 with three RBI, collecting half of the ballclub’s hits.

Eastlake (21-10) saw Mora, the leadoff hitter,, bat 2-for-6 and score the decisive run as the club’s lone multiple hit player.

In another stellar bullpen outing, the Titans’ Trevor Adame pitched 5.2 innings of shutout ball, yielding just one hit while striking out four Hillers batters.

Foothillers starting pitcher Skyler Sasena-Ruth allowed five runs (only three earned) in his five frames before the pitch count ended his outing.

If a similar situation occurs as it did last season, the year may not be over for Grossmont. In 2021, the state CIF office took a pair of San Diego Section schools to the Southern California regional.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *