East County Sports

From big-to-small, Santana leads GHL

File photo of Santana catcher Landen Baile, who held his ground for an inning-ending out at the plate / Photo by Nick Pellegrino



ECS staff report

SANTEE –  In a series typically dominated by Helix,Santana finally discovered a way to conquer the Highlanders. After utilizing the long ball to capture the first game of the ballclubs’ series, the Sultans switched to “small ball” to garner the sweep in Friday’s (Apr. 14) triumph, 3-1,

The decision gives Santana sole possession of first place in the GHL They lead idle Grossmont (1-0 GHL) by one full game, while the rest of the league is at or below .500 just 20 percent into the GHL slate.

Like in the past, three singles usually nets a club just one run, and maybe none if one of those baserunners is thron out at the plate. However, a pair of errors in the outfield gave Santana three runs in the fourth inning, enough to carry them to the win.

Meanwhile, Sultans senior Jayden Agramont, who is normally the shortstop, was asked to start on the mount and he delivered. Agramontfired four no-hit innings, striking out out seven Highlanders batters.

Luckily for Agramont, when he was schedule to come out, that’s when Santana scored its runs, giving him the victory. Thus, reliever Josh Hixson, another senior, garnered the save with three solid frames, tagged for just an unearned run on three hits.

In the fourth, a walk sandwiched around a pair of singles typically woud load the bases, but sa misplay in the outfield allowed Zander Allex0Fox to take an extra base to open the scoring.

Two batters late, Lucas Kelly slapped an RBI single too score Agramont (single) but when another error in the outfield occurred, Bradley Phillips (single)  also raced home for a 3-0 advantage.

Helix received a bad break in the fifth.

With a runner on first, Wyatt Laub blooped the ball to right field, but the runner needed to play halfway to avoid getting caught for a potential backdoor double play.Instead he was out at second base for the second out.

An error moved Laub to third, then scoring moments lateron a wild pitch.

The Highlanders had a chance for more, but the Sultans defense bailed out Hixson.

On a line single by Jackson Berry, Allen-Fox in left field made a relay throw to third baseman  Caden Corderman, then the senior fired to catcher Landen Bailey for the third out,

Hixson followed by posting 1-2-3 innings in both the sixth and seventh innings for the save.

Santana (9-5 overall) owns a mid-week by next week, thus will play a pair of non-league games: Tuesday at Westview, then Wednesday hosting St. Augustine.

Helix ( (2-11, 0-2 GHL)starts an away-and-home series with Granite Hills on Tuesday.

Santana now hold a two-game win streak on Helix after the Scotties had won seven of the previous eight.


Steele Canyon 2, Granite Hills 1

JAMUL -The cold weather might be a determent to ballcubs throughout the region, but maybe none for so than the Granite Hills Eagles.

For the 12th time in 13 starts this season, Granite Hills was limited to single-digits in total hits — the odd game was exactly 10 — to falling to host Steele Canyon, 2-1, to complete a split of the two-game set.

Oddly, the Eagles actually mounted twice as many hits as the Cougars (8-to-4) but ,but Steele Canyon pieced together consecutive hits in the fourth inning for the game-deciding run.

With two down, senior shortstop Ethan Browne drilled a line-dive  double to left field, scoring when freshman Austin Hall followed with a basehit on a grounder to left, snapping a 1-1 deadlock.

Browne also had the game-tying RBI when both clubs scored in the second.

Granite Hills opened the scoring when sophomore right fielder Parker Vance stroked a lead double, moved to third on an error, then raced home on a basehit through the right side by DH Noah Figuered.

However, Browns recorded the RBI on an infield single to score Matt Marshall (leadoff walk).

The Cougars were in position to add-on and take the lead at that moment, but Granite Hills escaped the jam with an inning-ending double play started by second baseman Tommy Entrekin — we assume he is related to Steele Canyon assistant coach ale Entrekin.

Both pitchers offered standout displays.

The Cougars’ J.T. Hendire struck out seven Eagles without a walk to collect the complete-game victory. Eagles pitcher Nico Tomasello yielded just four hits, and struck out six.

Steele Canyon (10-7 overall, 1-2 GHL) finally recorded the club’s first league win. The Cougars are also 3-3 in the series with Granite Hills after dropping 14 straight to the Eagles (2013-21).

Granite Hills (8-5, 1-2 GHL),  next meet Helix in a home-and-away series syarting on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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