East County Sports

Granite Hills stands alone, 3X GHL champs



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS Senior writer

Brenden Lewis

EL CAJON – Entering the day deadlocked for the lead in the Grossmont Hills League, only one of two contenders came out on top to decide the championship.

That ballclub was the Granite Hills Eagles after Brenden Lewis fired a 3-hit shutout to stop Santana, 1-0, in a battle of 2023 GHL co-champions

Lewis registered strikeouts on five Sultans batter, running his record to 9-1 and sporting a sparkling 0.65 earned-run average.

“”It was a great game — it was a dogfight, just like every league opponent,” said Lewis.

Since the victory came in just 75 minutes, the Eagles mauled around the dugout, waiting to hear word on the Grossmont contest.

“If Helix can pull it out, we’ll be league champs for the third year in a row,” Lewis noted.

A few minjutes later, cell phone chatter announced the favorable results. Grossmont was denied a share of the crown after neighborhood rival Helix dropped the Hillers, 10-4.

So aftter giving head coach James Davis the traditional “splash: from the water jug, the players sprinted en masse to the school swimming pool for a dip while in full uniform, including spikes.

Phillip Jones drove in the lone run on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, bringing home Tommy Entrekin with the ballgame’s lone marker.

Jones, a designated hitter, also posted one of Granite Hills’ six hits. The team leaders were Entrekin and Lewis with two each.

“I playoffs.was just trying to get the ball in tghe air, anywhere in the outfield, said Jones, a jujior. “Santana did try to throw Tommy out at the plate, but it really wasn;t that close.”

Many of the players and coaches for Granite Hills believe they are virtually locked in as a No. 3 seed for the Open Division. However, who and where they play doesn;t seem to concern the ballclub.

“We just try to play hard as always,” added Jones.

The Eagles hope the third time will be the charm following a pair of close calls — both in extra innings.

The 2023 final was a 9-inning setback to Eastlake. Then in 2022, La Cosdta Canyon won in 8 innings, but at least the Eagles advanced to the CIF Southern California regional.

Meanwhile, Santana, the defending CIF Division 2 titlist, sits on the bubble for the layffs following a poor start under a near coach with a roster which lost more than 10 seniors.

Santana;s individual statistics were not reported by press time (midnight).

Note: Next month, it will be the 10th anniversary of Granite ills head coach James Davis winning the CalHiSports California State Coach of the Year award.

Grossmont Hills League

Helix 10, Grossmont 4

LA MESA – Documentation simply does not exist. Words are rarly spoken. But there is one sijple rule at Helix High:

“If the Highlanders can’t win the league title, do whatever it takes to prevent grosskont from winning it.”

The adage came true once again.

EDntering Thursday’s (May) regular season finale in a share for first place in the Grossmont Hills League, Grossmont failed to come away with a share fdor the crown when Helix raced over the visiting Hillers, 10-4.

The decision, coupled with the 1-0 verdict by Granite Hills over Santana, gave the Eagles a third consecutive GHL championship.’

Meanwhile, Helix finished in…. well,do the Scottties it doesn’t really matter as along as Grossmont did not gain the trophy.

Leading 3-1 in the third inning, the Groffmont bullpen imploded when placed a 7-spot in the fifth to the Hillers’ hopes for a split-title.

Gehrig Syms supplied the major blow, bombing a 3-run home run to move in front.

Another senior, Gabe Lanier, added two hits and a pair of RBI.

Winning pitcher Jake Hopkins fired 3,1 innings of shutout ball in relief, yielding just a single basehit.

Gavin Thompson followed with a hitless frame in the seventh to officvially slamthe door shut on the Hilles.

After snapping a 4-game skid earlier in the week by ripping Steele Canyon, Helix is on the bubble for a CIFSDS playoff berth.

Ballclubs and pairings will be announced over the weekend.