East County Sports

CIF: Norsemen, Eagles march forward

Valhalla catcher Mace Wheeler gets airborne to make the tage for the second out in the fourth inning / Photo by Nick Pellegrino

CIF-San Diego Section Championships


By Nick Pellegrino
ECS Senior writer

RANCHO SAN DIEGO – There is plenty of alledged history between Valhalla and La Jolla high schools.

One incicent that is still rumored from 1973, a year prior to the opening of Orange Nation: students at La Jolla petitined Grossmont Union High School District officials to not allow Valhalla to also be nicknamed the Vikings.

They wanted (demanded?) to bethe only Vikes in the San Diego Sectgion.

However, since logo gear — a Viking with a horn in itrs helmet; Thor — had already be ordered and puchased, the school needed to determine a similar moniker.

Thus, the “Norsemen” were born.

The funny thing, it became a moot point less than a decade ater when many schools from the Imperial Valley switched from the Southern Section and joined San Diego, and the Holtville High Vikings were not about to change their name.

The city of “Holton” — its original name — dates back to the 1880s, with the school soon to follow.


The ballgame

TWith La Jolla leading 2-1, the decisive fourth inning was all set for the Vikings to grab full command following a pair of Norsemen defensive misstales.

However, when the defense finally hit the “O.N” switch, the ballgane turned 180 degrees.

La Jolla held two chances to expand the lead.

With a runner at second base, a basehit to rightcenter field seemed to bounce between defenders wide enough to send the baserunner home.

However, Norsemen right fielder Colton Stinkeoway fired a strike home to catcher Mace Wheeler, who made an acrobatic dive to take out the runner for the second out.

The Valhalla durout floods the field to congratulate first baseman Julian Jerjees for his diving catch / Photo by Nick Pellegrino

Moments later, the next La Jolla batter send a line labeled for the right field corner and at least two runs.

However, Norsemen first baseman Julian Jerjees made a diving, back-handed grad for the third out, carrying the momentum to the home side.

And did it ever carry over, as Valhalla quickly posted a 6-run rally to secure a 7-2 advantage.

The play-by-play:

– Josh Rivera slead single

– Jesse McCormick bunt sngle, beating the throw to first base by the pitcher.

– Sumonet with another bunt single, again fielded late by the pitcher. Bases loaded.

— Nate Moulton ground single through the left side. Two RBI (VHS 3-2). Molton advances to second base on te throw. This woulf result to be the game-winning RBI.

— Wheeler doubleS to left, two RBI *VHS 5-2).

Tanner Lough with the third bunt single of the fourth inning by Valhalla in their 6-run rally to topple La Jolla, 9-2 / Photo by Nick Pellegrino

— Tanner Lough bunt single to third base. Wheeler freezs at second base.

– Jerjees doubles to venter,two RBI (VHS 7-2).

1B Julian Jerjees

An inning later,La Jolla had a chance to resond, with a single to the outfierld loading the bases.

However, the runner at third base wjo was heldc up by the base coach, still over-ran the bag. So when the throw went home to Wheeler, he fired the ball behind the runner for the out third.

The Norsemen later added two runs on an unusual play in the fifth.

Valhalla’s Matt Ibrahim

With a pair of runners in scoring position, a wild pitch allowed the lead runner to scoe.

However, the throw from the catcher hit either the pitcher or runner at he plate, bounding to a different corner backstop. Bu the time the ball was recovered, the other Norsemen runner ran 180 feet and also scored.

La Jolla’s early lead incuded a solo home run by Shane McMillan, Otherwise, Norsemen pitcher Matt Ibrahim tossed five solid innings to gain the victory. Ibrahim struck out five Vikings batters.

The D-3 title game will be held at UC San Diego’a Teriton Field, where Valhalla will take on the winner of the series between Mira Mesa and SD-Southwest. The finale is slated for Saturday at 7 p.m.

Open Division

Granite Hills 6, Torrey Pines 5

CARMEL HIGHLANDS – In this, the 50th season of varsity sports at Torrey Pines (and Valahlla) High School, the Falcons hold championships in a wide variety of sports.

However, when it comes to baseball, the school’s one major roadblock has always been the Granite Hills Eagles.

Dating back to a playoff no-hitter fired by the Eages in 1981,m Torrey Pines might own a single-game victory here or there, but never have they defeated Granite Hills in a playoff series. This included three postseason battles this century.

On TueSDAY (mAY 21), THE Falcons owned an opportunity to re-write history,

The Falcons again failed.

Leading the contest from start to finish — although barely — Granite Hils mounted a 6-2 lead,then held on for a 6-5 triumph in the Open Division of the CIF San Diego Championship.

The Lower Bracket deicision gave Torrey Pines its first loss, forcing a playback final on Wednesday for the right to advance to Thursday’s title game at UC San Diego,

Winning pitche Luke Bailey last five innings, but was tagged for three runs in his final frame to see the lead trimmed to a single run.

However, Eagles relievers Rowan Haynes (hold) and Brenden Lewis (save) entered the shiut the door.

Haynes allowed just one hit, then Lewis finished with a domiating appearance, firing 1.1 frames of no-hit ball to force the playback final.

Lewis was also part of a pair of dubl plays by the Eagles defense to stop Torrey Pines, the secdond seeds in the event. Granite Hills is the third seed.

In addition, Lewis joined teammate Parker Vancein belting home runs. For Vance, his was a 2-run shot to expandthe lead to 6-2.

Phillip Jones also smacked a 2-run single for the Eagles (22-6 overall).

Torrey Pines (21-10) saw Aidan Stroot stroke a pair of RBI doubles.