East County Sports

Christian presses rewind button


Compiled by Nick Pellegrino
ECS Senior writer

EL CAJON – In his return to East County in a
league contest, former Santana head coach Rigo
Ledezma, who guided the Sultsans to the CIF-
San Diego Section Division 1 championship last
spring, was facing host Christian High in an
important Western League contest with less
than a week to play before the section

Now heading the program at Point Loma, even
though Ledezma is now in charge of a while new
set of ballplayers, his hidtory still follows

And what a history.

Six league crowns in nine seasons (over 10
years because of the pandemic), a series of
all-section players, and a composite record of
166-105-1, including a top mark of 26-5 in

Did we mention history?

The Sultans of 2016 dropped their season
opener in extra innings to long-time powar
Rancho Bernardo, plus single setbacks to Mira
Mesa and West Hills, So when Santana entered
postseason play with a 24-3 mark, the top-seed
they were awarded seemed warranted.

However, in a contest that surprisingly
mirrored Wednesday’s (<ay 8) ballgame, the
Sultans dropped the playoff opener to
Christian High by a horrendous 12-2 count.
Included was a six-run rally to dominate anf
send the hosts into the losers bracket.

For the underdog Patriots, Kyle Stowers, who
now plays Triple-A pro ball for the Baltimore
Orioles, blasted a two-run homer and a

Say what you want about deje vu and how things
in lfe can repeat, but the numbers don’t lie.

Christian again scored six runs in single
inning, this time in the fifth, to score all
of the runs needed in a 6-3 victory.

The pitchers’ duel saw Point Loma open the
scoring in the fifth, then th Patriots
counted, making a late Pointers rlly in the
seventh almost meaningless.

Not only did the setback drop Point Loma from
second place down to fourth with only a teams’
return contest remaining, the Pointers may
again face questions entering postseason play
about the pitching staff.

After pitcher Brody Gundert was touched for his
only run allowed, his teammates made him the
winning pitcher by batting through the line-

The funny thing: Patriots veteran head
coach Mike Mitchell was only playing for the
tie after Jeremiah Morgan opened the frame by
reaching base on an infield error, so pinch-
hitter Logan Major placed a successful
sacrifice bunt.

Two pitches later, sophomore Roman Gustin
turned on an inside pitch, sending an RBI
double to left field and knot the contest at

Then the ballgame collapsed on the Pointers.

D.H. Kim intentionally slapped a grounder to thr
right side to advance Gustin to third base
with two outs. So shortstop Benji Molina was
walked by Point Loma to allow for outs on
either side of the diamond, but the strategy

Anticipating a first-pitch fastball inside,
Patriots catcher Xavier Farnum also turned on
the delivery to send another ;iner to left for
a double. Gustin and pinch-runner Steven
McDonald both scored to secure a 3-1 lead.

Point Loma pitchers then lost focus.

First baseman Johnny Rocco was hit by a pitch,
then a new pitcher came in yet walked Ashton
McCurty walked to load the bases.

Freshman right fielder Braeden Casey followed
with a two-run basehit to center for a 5-1
cushion. Morgan then singled to left to cap
the rally.

Mitchell then called on Peter Zacharzuk to
pitch the final two innings.

Christian (12-156 overall) vclinched fifth
place at 3-6. Point Loma (13-8-4) is now 4-3-2
in league. The amazing total of four times —
two occurring after daylight savings time — is
more than the one tie Ledezma had over his
first 10 seasons while at Santana.

Rigo Ledezma
126- 4 11-10-year Santana record

2023 21-11 8-4 t1/5 GHL CIF D1 Champions
2022 18-11 6-6 3/5 GHL 
2021 21- 6 9-0 1/5 GVL
2020 6- 1 not played/pandemic
2019 14-17 5-7 3/4 GHL
2108 10-21 4-8 3/4 GHL
2017 22-10 9-3 t1/5 GHL
2116 26- 5 11-1 1/5 GVL
2015 16-11-1 13-2 t1.6 GVL
2014 12-12 10-2 1/5 GVL
TOT 166-105-1 74-33 6 titles/9



It was party time at Hickman Field after hist
St. Augustine clinched the Western League
crown by whipping historic rival Cathedral
Catholic, 15-4.

The victory was the biggest in the series
since 2010, when Cathedral posted a 17-0

The runs were the most by the Saints in the
serie since piling up 16 markers in 2006.

Meanwhile, Patrick Henry again won in a
picthers’ battle, nipiing Madison, 1-0 in 9

Patriots pitcher Cody . Cappelletti fired a 4
-hit shutout for seven innings, but Nico Lopez
gained the victory with a pair of 1-2-3

The lone run saw llon Foster single home Alex
Mestman (safe on error) to cap the marathon on
an unearned run. Foster posted two of Henry’s
nine hits.