East County Sports

Lewis, Embleton spark Eagles’ return



ECS staff report

EL CAJON – Similar to Major League Baseball, where pitchers are either dominating or going down with injuries, Granite Hills faced a difficult choice to remain in contention for the Grossmont Hills League baseball race.

The eventual choice by the Eagles was sophomore Brenden Lewis, who was making just his third start of the season, following an otherwise strong season out of the bullpen. The decision turned out to be the perfect choice.

Lewis finished with his second complete game of the season, not allowing an earned run to spring Granite Hills (11-6 overall, 5-3 GHL) back into the GHL chase by downing league-leading Santana, 5-1, on Friday (Apr. 28).

There was also some Granite Hills hitting heroics by Jacob Embleton, who blasted a pair of early two-run home runs.

Lewis struck out six Sultans batters and walked just one in tossing his five-hitter.

The unearned run came early in the first inning, but the Eagles answered with two runs in both the first and third innings to seize control, moving to within striking distance of the Sultans in the standings.

The Eagles offense was fueled by Embleton, the first baseman, who bombed a pair of home runs to forge the early rally.

Embleton, a senior, made sure his ballclub would trail for only a few seconds. Moments following a leadoff walk to Tommy Entrekin, Embleton sent a drive to center field to immediately assume a 2-1 lead.

Two frames later, Embleton completed his four RBI performance with another blast, this time to left field to also bring home Colin Riley (leadoff HBP).

For Santana (13-7, 6-2 GHL), Destin Allen-Fox registered two of the team’s five hits, including a double.

The setback also prevented the Sultans from becoming the first GHL ballclub to win league (created for the Spring 2010 season) with an undefeated mark. They were, however, the last school to go perfect in the Grossmont Valley League, going 9-0 two seasons ago.


Helix 4, Grossmont 2

LA MESA – The Helix Highlanders may have, figuratively speaking, thrown in the towel for the 2023 GHL season, but the Scotties are serving notice on their return for ’24.

Since recalling several players from the Helix JV, the ballclub has now won three of four ballgames, including Friday’s (Apr. 28) decision over rival Grossmont, 4-2.

Trailing 2-0, Helix left fielder Max Ruiz drilled a game-tying, two-run double, followed by Gabe Lanier’s sacrifice fly, which proved to be the difference.

An inning later, another sac fly by call-up Adrian Espinoza provided the bonus run.

In each frame, Grossmont put themselves in trouble by allowing a series of hits or hitting three batters with a pitch. The Hillers allowed only three hits, but all of them came in the fifth. This included Ruiz’s double. which came following consecutive leadoff singles from Harris and Anthony Matthiesen.

Helix (5-14 overall, 3-5 GHL), split a two-game set with the Hillers. They now own a bye until Thursday when they host Santana.

Grossmont ((8-13, 4-3 GHL)  dropped into third place after losing for the third time in four starts.


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