East County Sports

Sandoval, ‘A-Rod’ fuel CIF regional triumph

CIF-Southern California Regional
Division 5 – Quarterfinals


By Nick Pellegrino
ECS Senior writer

SPRING VALLEY- Mount Miguel High has featured a large variety of CIF champions in a wide range of sports, inclkuding football, boys and girls basketball and softball, plus an array of individual titlists, especially in track.

Baseball? Let’s just state it’s the Matadors best sport.

However, deep into the school’s seventh decade, “hardball” is finding its way.

Following last week’s Division 5 section title, Mount Miguel prodcued another first: a victory in the CIF State Southland regional.

Charlie Sandival

Behind six innings of shutout ball by Charlie Sandoval, the third-seeded Matadors blanked Pacifica Christian of Newport Beach, 2-0. The crown was “guest-amated” as the largest for home game at Mount Miguel this century, if not ever.

The contest was also the first-ever chance for Pacifica Christian in a regional, but the school is only in its third year of operation, with its first full, four-year graduating class not slated until next May.

Since the Tritons were a CIF-Southern Scetion runner-up in their division, they were seeded sixth.

Sandoval finished with a four-hitter, twice stranding runners at third base to preserve the shutout.

“That was the best game I’ve pitched all season with our shutout, so I was happy it was in a state playoff game, too,” said Sandoval, who struck out three Tritons batters

“I knew they were a god team and would be the best challenge I;ve had all season after they finished second in L.A.”

Sandoval also credited his defense with some key stops, including a particular inning-ending double play in the sixth

“I locked myself in and trusted ny defense,” he added. “But the key was that ‘diamond play.'”

A Tritons basehit placed runners on the corners with two down, but the runner at first elected to try for second base, yet nade a last-second decision to return to first.

However, left fielder Matt Barton had other ideas.

“I know that Natt has an arm and knew he would throw him out.”

And whn first baseman Xavier Reyes applied the tag, Sandoval was out of the pudding jam.

James Cibrian pitched the seventh, surviving a one-out walk to garner the save.

Big and ‘small ball’

Alfredo Rodriguez

Mount Miguel (16-16 overall) utilized some power and grave to score its runs.

After taking a 1-0 advantage in the first, POSITIONAlfreso Rodriguez (Jr) cranked a solo home run to left in the third.

“That home run was special,” said “A-Rod.” “And coming in a state playoff game was even mor eiportant.”

For Rodriguez, the blast was his second of the season. Does he remember his first?

“Yeah, it actually came in our first game of the year,” he mused, smiling after he realziede it took three months to repeat the feat.

The initial Matadors run came in opposite fashion, demonstrating the perfect way to okay “small ball.”

Castillo registered the first of his two hits, then advanced to third base on the first of two hits by Reyes.

The next batter, Junior Ettleman, followed with a fly bal to right field, which turned out to be the game-winning RBI went Castillo crowwed the plate.



Mount Miguel heads for Thursday CIF Southland semifinals, traveling to battle second-seeded Azusa. The Aztecs (19-5) stopped L.A.-University High, 3-2.

Dave Dravecky

Pacifica Christian has a couple of players who had grandfathers that once played in the Major Leagues. Included is right fielder Jude Dravecky. His grandfather is former San Diego Padres pitcher Dave CRavecky (1982-87), who eventually lost his left arm and shouder wdue to cancer in a comeback attempt with the San Freancisoc Giants. He is now a motivational speaker, while holding Fsther/Son Christian FellowshipbBreakfasts to support the school.