East County Sports

Barron of Hillers leaving his mark



ECS staff report

EL CAJON — University of Washington bound senior Barron Zamora collected a pair of key RBI hits, leading Grossmont to five early runs in the Foothillers’ 5-3 triumph over the La Quinta Blackhawks in Tuesday’s (May 31) quarterfinals of the CIF Southern California Division 3 regional.

Grossmont (16-18-1 overall), the sixth seeds, advance to Thursday’s semifinals at second-seeded Oaks Christian of Thousand Oaks Christian (22-11). The Lions, the runner-up in the Marmonte League, advanced by defeating another San Diego Section school, Francis Parker, 6-5.

In the other half of the draw, top-seeded Eastlake whipped La Sierra, 9-1. The Titans will host Newport Harbor after the Sailors blanked El Camino Real, 4-0.

Zamora tok advnatge of shaky La Quinta pitching, which allowed five runs on five hits and five walks, although the Blackhawks’ pitcher registered three strikeouts, picked off a baserunner and coaxed a double play grounder.

Meanwhile, Hillers potcher Jake Holman escaped a poor first inning of two walks and a hit batter by allowing just one run. And when Grossmont bounded back with three runs in the second, Grossmont’s pitching– featurng sophomore reliever Jacob Lanza (save in 2,1 innings) delivered.

In the second, Zamora got a bit of a break when the first three batters all walked, forcing La Quinta to call the bullpen early. Still, Zamora patiently looked at a pair of called strikes, then lined a 2-2 pitch to score both Joaquin Baez and Justin Tucker.

Moments later, following the double play, Carranza ripped a run-scoring double to plate Zamora.

La Quita’s comeback showed the Hawks score twice in the fourth, but the arms of the Hillers did the rest.

The only other threat came in the fifth when “La’Q” loaded the bases on a single, walk and hit batter with one down, but Lanza escaped on a shallow fly ball to Ryan Rodieck in center field, then a grounder ball to shortstop Anthony Box-Augustine.

For Larza, who stepped into the closer’s role following the insertion of Holman into the starting rotation, earned his first career varsity save.

Zamora finished batting 2-for-4 with three RBI, while Carranza registered a pair of RBI.

During Grossmont’s current 9-2 run since “the slump,” Zamora has been the major catalyst, batting .485 (16-for-33) with 10 runs and 20 RBI, plus a stellar .575 base percentage.

By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — It’s bad enough to allow a championship to slip away by one’s own volition, but to do so twice over consecutive games might be unforgivable..

The Granite Hills Eagles which lost the CIF San Diego Section Open Division title game with a pair of costly errors in extra innings, did the same on Tuesday’s (May 31) CIF Southern California regional.

Junipero Serra Catholic took advantage of three Eagles errors in the bottom of the sixth inning to snap a 2-all deadlock, advancing to the Division 1 semifinals following a 5-2 triumph.

The fielding miscues ruined a nice outing by Eagles pitcher Ethan McNish-Heider, who held the top-seeded Lions to just seven hits. Included was a single and walk in the sixth, but the senior thought he was out of the inning on a potential double-play grounder.

Unfortunately, a ball wasn’t fielded cleanly and a run scored — technically, an earned run — which led to an avalanche of other mistakes to allow “JSerra: (as they’re called) a ticket to the semifinals.

Both sides jumped to early leads.

JSerra received an a sacrifice fly from sophomore ctacher Caruso in the second inning, but Granite Hills immediately answered,

Basehits by Alex Gibaud and Brenden Lewis set-up an Eagles’ sacrifice fly from Grant Mac Arthur to equalize.

On the very next pitch, Jacob Embleton sent a line to center field for AN RBI single and a 2-1 advantage.

However, the Lions even on another sac fly, this time by Dominic Smaldino.

A trio of Lions relief pitchers limited Granite Hills to just two hits over the final four innings. Parcell pitched a 1-2-3 sixth to gain the victory; Benjamin Reimers was credited with the save, but just barely.

In the seventh, Granite Hills brought the potential game-tying run to the plate after Tanner Vielguth was hit by a pitch, then Cody Macias (fielder’s choice) went to third base on a two-down double from Hector Beamon.

However, Reimers escaped on a fly out to right field, as JSerra was the lone favorite to win on Tuesday. Every other games saw the underdog visitors come out on top.

The Lions gained a home date against Sherman Oaks-Notre Dame, as the fifth-seed Knights pounded the No. 4 Chatsworth Chancellors, 10-2.

In the other half of the draw, No. 3 La Costa Canyon was upset by the Huntington Beach Mustangs, 5-1, while No. 7 Villa Park upset Stockdale of Bakersfield, 6-2.

Granite Hills completes the season with a 24-7 overall record.


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