East County Sports

Cena wrestles Pats to upset Montgomery



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS Senior writer

EL CAJON – Although it wasn’t the bottom of the seventh inning, the Christian Patriots weren’t complaining. The C-Pats did win in their final trip to the plate against one of the top ballclubs in the CIF San Diego Section.

The Patriots doubled their score by posting five runs in the sixth inning — the final two on a booming double by senior Nate Cena, thus wrestling a victory from defeat — then bullpen closer Peter Zacharzuk  did his job to edge the powerful Montgomery Aztecs, 10-9, in non-league action on the Greenfield Drive diamond.

The loss was just the second of the season in 17 starts for Montgomery, which is ranked second in most polls behind St. Augustine.

Christian (13-7 overall) trailed all contest after allowing six Aztecs runs before the hosts took their initial swings. They clawed back to within 7-5, but Montgomery scored twice in the sixth to double their lead to four runs.

The Aztecs’ run total included a three-run homer by senior Khalyl Perez, making up for last season’s 0-for-4, three strikeout disaster against the Patriots.

Then something happened.

The comeback started on a series of three consecutive singles — by Shane Bailey, Johnny Rocco and Xavier Farnum (RBI) –to lead off the inning and move to within three.

A ground out moved both remaining runners into scoring position, so Montgomery intentionally walked Kunter Kaul to  load the bases, yet keep the double play in order.

However, freshman Beni Molina walked for a run, then senior Nate Cena blasted a 2-run double on a liner over the center fielder for the tying and go-ahead runs. A third runner attempted to score on the play, but the Montgomery relay nailed him at the plate.

Zacharzuk , the Patriots reliever, then survived a two-out error to garner the save.

For Christian, Ashton McCurty and Vaughn Major also chipped in with doubles.

Christian, the leaders of the Eastern League, own a bye this week. Thus, they will play non-league games  at Mission Hills on Wednesday, then home to Otay Ranch on Friday.


City Conference shutouts

SAN DIEGO – Among the four league games in the City Conference involving ballclubs from the Eastern and Western leagues, all resulted in shutouts. And a few weren’t even close.

Included was Patrick Henry becoming road kill for St. Augustine, 11-0. At least the other Eastern contest was close after Cathedral Catholic nipped Point Loma, 1-0

In Western League action, Coronado blanked La Jolla, 6-0, while the other ballgame was a pitchers’ duel, won by Clairemont over Scripps Ranch, 1-0.

In the crossover contest, it was Madison 7, at University City 1.

Mountain Empire 17, at Ocean View Christian 4

CHULA VISTA – The Mountain Empire RedHawks climbed back into the Summit League baseball race by whipping the Patriots of Ocean View Christian,17-4, Monday (Apr, 24) in the South Bay.

The 17 runs matches a season high for Mountain Empire, set twice earlier this season — against Bonsall and Bayfront Charter.

The RedHawks (6-5 overall, 3-3 league) continues its league road trip on Tuesday, traveling to meet their closest rival, Liberty Charter (7-2) of Alpine, in a 4 p.m. start slated for Joan MacQueen Middle School. Liberty’s Lions are in first place at 3-0 and own East County’s best record (based on winning percentage).


West Hills 3, Otay Ranch 2 (8 inn., walk-off)
Christian 10, Montgomery 9 (CHR: 5 runs in Bot. 6th)
Madison 7, at University City 1
Western League
Cathedral Catholic 1, at Point Loma 0
St. Augustine 11, Patrick Henry 0
Western League
Clairemont 1, Scripps Ranch 0
Coronado 6, La Jolla 0
Summit League
Mountain Empire 17, at Ocean View Christian 4

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