East County Sports

Norsemen ‘O.N.’ Track, Capture D-3 Baseball

CIF-San Diego Section Championships
Division 3


By Nick Pellegrino
ECS Senior writer


LA JOLLA – The San Diego Section owns its share of outstanding pitching postseason performances, but it would be hard to match Saturday’s (May 25) effort in the championship game by Valhalla senior Colton Stinkeoway.

Always assumed to be the No. 2 pitcher in the Norsemen rotation, Stinkeoway came through in his final prep contest — unless Valhalla advances to the CIF Southern California regional — firing a one-hit shutout to overwhelm Mira Mesa, 2-0, in the Division 3 championship game held at UC San Diego’s Triton Field.

The left-handed Stinkeoway capped the outing with two of his eight strikeouts in the seventh inning, including a called strike three to clinch the crown.

For Stinkeoway, it was a downhill production from almost the very beginning after the Norsemen scored twice in the first.

After Stinkeoway retired Mira Mesa in order on a trio of groundballs in a 1-2-3 frame — a dropped third strike with a play to first base, a tapper to themound,m then a routine ball to shortstop Nate Moulton –, the Valhalla bats were prepared for a ball game under the lights.

Moulton laced a 3-1 pitch to right field for a base hit. Nace Wheeler sent a line single to center field.

Then Valhalla, the top seeds, again caught an opponent’s infield defense playing flat-footed when Tanner Lough bunted for a scratch single to load the bases, The strategy was similar to the winners bracket final victory over La Jolla to give the Norsemen a 3-0 record in the tournament.

The play may have upset the Mira Mesa pitching, which then walked first baseman Julian Jerjees for what turned out to be the game-winning RBI.

Four batters, one run, and still no one out right out of the gate.

A controversial choice then was made by the Marauder’s defense.

With one down, Aidan Treltas sent a fly ball down the right-field line, but it was in foul territory. The defender had the option of allowing the ball to fall without being scored an error, yet elected to catch the flare.

Thus, Trektas was awarded a sacrifice fly when Wheeler tagged up and scored for a 2-0 advantage.

The other run by Valhalla (24-6 overall) came in the third inning, again produced by the heart of the batting order

Again, the ball did not initially leave the infield, as leadoff batter Wheeler was struck by a pitch, then Lough bunted for a base hit.

The next two batters were retired, but Treltas followed with a ground single up the middle, giving the senior third baseman a multiple RBI performance after Wheeler beat the throw to the plate.

The lone Marauders hit was a fifth-inning single by freshman Ziggy Avinion. Stinkeoway, who faced just two batters above the minimum, also walked sophomore Tristan Aguon of Mira Mesa (20-12)., the runner-up in the Eastern League to Scripps Ranch.

Closing the section tournament on a 17-game victory streak, Valhalla’s 24 wins is the school’s highest total since 2019 — the year of their previous CIF championship — which went 25-8 overall.

The school record is 27 in 2004 (prior to MaxPreps; ECS possesses a list of records).


Mira Mesa (20-12)..... 000 000 0 - 0 1 0
Valhalla (24-6)....... 201 000 x - 3 7 1


Remember when?

For some reason, we noticed that the 2019 Valhalla Norsemen team photo for capturing the CIFSDS championship was not published by us. However, we found the a copy on the internet, so here it is!: