East County Sports

Simpson’s double duty lifts Scotties



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS Senior writer

LA MESA – It was dobule-duty day for Helix High pitcher Antoin Simpson. The junior gave himself the advantage by slamming a pair of early home runs, then carried a shutout into the fifth inning to power the Scotties in a battle for first place over Santana, 4-3, in Thursday’s (Apr. 11) showdown.

Simpson slammed a 3-run homer to left in the first inning, then sent an opposite-field shot to right in the third, staking the Scotties to a 4-0 advantage.

“The¬†first pitch was a curveball that went middle-middle over the heart of the plate,” Simpson recalled. “Then I went to the opposite field agaijst their lefthander who tried to go sidearm on me in the third.”

Santana finally got to Simpson in the fifth, but Helix reliever s Trevor Raybould (1.1 IP; hold) and Gabe Lanier (1 IP; save) combined to retire all seven Sultans batters to prevent the comeback.

“They started to get to me in the fifth, but our bulpene did a great job,” Simpson added. “They retired every hitter.”

With the triumph, Helix (8-8 overall() retained first place in the GHL at 2-0 in a battle between ballclubs which suffered through the preseason, yet open with fast starts GHL play. Santana is now 4-14 (2-2 GHL).


Grossmont Hills League

Granite Hills 4, Steele Canyon 0

EL CAJON – Another Granite Hills victory. Another Eagles shutout of an opponent.

Luke Bailey made his debut as a starting pitcher one to remember by striking out nine Cougars batters, firing a 3-hitter to blank visiting Steele Canyon, 4-0, in Thursday’s (Apr. 11) Grossmont Hills League game at Granite Hills Field.

It was the Eagles’ second straight shutout of Steele Canyon, out-scoring the Vougars by a 15-0 count.

Bailey, who entered with just 5,1 innings of action on the mound while waiting his turn behind a pair of stanfouts in Chandler Henry and Brenden Lewis, faced just 26 batters — a mere five above the minimum.

Thus, with Helix off to a 2-0 start to top the GHL in the early going, both Henry and Lewis will be available when the Eagles and Scotties tangle next week.

All four Granite Hills runs came during its first trip to the plate.

Kade Gaeir drove in a run, then the next three were unearned on a critical error. Thus, Cougars starting pitcher JT.. Hendrie was saddled with a tough loss despite yileidng just four hits.

Scoring ththe runs were Phillip Jones, Jordan Mansfield, Lewis and Gaeir.

Granite Hills (12-4 overall) has captured half of its victories by shutout. This was the team’s second straight blanking, running their streak of conseutive scoreless innings to 14.1 frames.

The Eagles have also shutout the Cougars in three straight for asting of 24.1 innings.

Steele Canyon (4-14, 0-4 GHL) has dropped 11 straight, equalling the school record set in the school’s first season (Spring 2003). In the team;slast five games, they have scored just a single run.

Grossmont Valley League

Monte Vista 11, Mount Miguel 5

SPRING VALLEY – Monte Vista’s Orlando Rupley drove in two runs on two hits, helping the Monarchs tally six times before Mount Miguel took its first swings in building a 7-0 lead en route to a conquest of the host Matadors, 11-5, in GVL action.

Gavin Daley also belted a 2-run double for Monte Vista, making a winner of starting pitcher Trevor Gonzales.

Mount Miguel received a late charge from Jeremiah Castillo with an RBI triple.

The games was the GVL debut for the Monarchs (124-1 overall). The Matadors slipped to 9-8 in dropping their fifth straight since downing Mountain Empire.


Small Schools

Julian 8, Warner 0

WARNER SPRINGS – On Julian High School’s annual trek to the Pacfic Crest on the north-east side of Palomar Observatory, the Egles blanked the host Warner Wildcats, 8-0, in Manzanita Legaue competition.

Julian (2-2 overall,1-1 league) has defeated Warner (0-7, 0-2) in 16 straight times dating bacvk to 2007.

Borrego Springs 13, Vincent Memorial 7

BORREGO SPRINGS – In a battle between the top two Manzanita League ballclubs from 2023, the Borrego Springs Ramsmoved to4-0 in league play after pounding defending champion Vinvent Memorial;, 13-7, to move to 4-0 in cleague action.

The Rams(7-5 overall) snap the Scotstheir second straight Manzanite loss after Vincent Memorialwent 8-0 in its first seasaon in the leagye after transferring from the Ocean League.

Rams senior Peter Rodriguez bater 2-for-4, driving in a game-nesy four runs to fuel the Rams’ 10-hit attack.

Three others — Alejandro Morales, Chris Alcaraz (the winning [itcher) and Mauricio Rodriguez — also contributed two hits each. Alcaraz scored three times, and P.J. Sexton stole a season-best four bases.


Mountain Empire 10, at Liberty Charter 1

ALPINE – After the Mountin Empire RedHawks lost to its new “neghbor”in the Liberty Charter Lions of Alpine in 2023, the Empire stuck backtoavenge the losses with Thursday’s (Apor.11) easy victory at Joan Macqueen Middle School.
Th contest was the Summit League opener fpr Mountain Empire (6-2 overall, 1-0 league) tosed a 1-hitter, but no pitcher(s) names were reported.

Liberty Charter (4-11) entered with a share of the Summiot lead with Chula Vista-High Tech (which was idle), but theLions fell to 1-1 in the Summit.

The Lions’ nit and RBI were registered by junior Nathan Banks.


Ramona 2, Valley Center 1

RAMONA -The Bulldogs’ Tait Karlson came within one out of a complete game, but freshman reliever Noah Bedia entered the register the final out to give Ramona a dramatic 2-1 verdict over league-leading Valley Center in Thursday’s (Apr. 11) Valley League ballgame.

Karlson struck out 10 Jaguars batters, but with added to three walks and four hit batsmen led to a high pitch count. Still. Bedia coaxed a game-ending ground ball for the win.

Two Bulldogs rusn in the first inning held up.

Justin Jarrett first singled home Ryan Truman (leafoff walk) for a 1-0 lead, then Jarrett came across ons a basehit from another frosh in Tallon Ogilvie.

The loss was the first for Valley Center (10-6, 2-1) in league play. Mission Vista and El Camino(both 3-2) are a half-game back, followed by the Dawgs.


Escondido Charter 12, Foothills Christian 4

ESCONDIDO – At Hidden Valley Middle School, the Pacific League-leading White Tigers scored five times in th first and fourth innings, mounting an 11-0 lead to clock the Knights.

Foothills Christian (11-9 overall, 3-2 league) recieved a run-scoring triple from Jack Morgan.

Escondido Charter, which moves to 10-4 (4-0 in league), is the defending league titlist.


Monte Vista 11, at Mount Miguel 5
Helix 4, Santana 3
Granite Hills 4, Steele Canyon 0
Borrego Springs 13, Vincent Memorial 7
Mountain Empire 10, at Liberty Charter 1
Ramona 2, Valley Center 1
Escondido Charter 12, Foothills Christian 4
Julian 8, at Warner 0