After losing season, Grossmont captures CIF

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Following the poorest season in school history, Grossmont High School bounced back to become champions once again.

In an unlikely turnabout from a 2012 campaign which closed with a school-record 20 consecutive losses. A new coaching staff took basically the same cast of players and captured the CIF San Diego Section Division I title, outlasting Mira Mesa, 5-2, at recently-opened Ron Fowler Park at the University of San Diego.

Following the poorest season in school history, Grossmont High School bounced back to become champions once again.

In an unlikely turnabout from a 2012 campaign which closed with a school-record 20 consecutive losses. A new coaching staff took basically the same cast of players and captured the CIF San Diego Section Division I title, outlasting Mira Mesa, 5-2, at recently-opened Ron Fowler Park at the University of San Diego.

The about-face started when the Foothillers, dead last in league play at 0-15 a year ago, bounced back to gain a share of the Grossmont Hills League championship with Granite Hills.

Then in postseason play, the Hillers blanked Patrick Henry 2-0, twice skated past GHL rival Valhalla, grabbed an early 5-1 against Mira Mesa in the title game held on Friday.

It’s the 10th CIFSDS crown for Grossmont, which posted a 26-8 overall record this season.

Trailing early 1-0, Grossmont scored all five of its runs in the fourth inning, featuring a bases-loaded double by senior first baseman Tyler Gardetto to drive all three runners home.

Catcher Hunter Stratton first tied the contest with a base hit, and then the Hillers took the lead on a RBI knock by third baseman Derek Rustich.

Meanwhile, starting pitcher Brandon Weed limited the Marauders to a mere four base hits in his five innings of work. Weed struck out four.

Mira Mesa (21-15) had a late opportunity to move back into the contest. However, on a blooper over the Hillers’ first baseman, not only did right fielder Danny Rolf make a diving catch along the line, he quickly got up and fired home to nail a runner attempting to tag from third base for an inning-ending double play.

Meanwhile, second-seeded Granite Hills (24-10) also gained a title-game berth in the new Open Division, but dropped the finals to Rancho Bernardo, 4-2, in the section’s premiere showcase on Saturday, June 1.

The top-seeded Broncos (30-5) secured a 3-0 lead early, including an opposite field, solo home run by Alex Jackson, the San Diego County leader in homers. His 14th of the season bounced off the right-field foul pole in the first inning.

RB then staved an Eagles rally to hang on.

In the fifth, Jayson Rose banked a double down the left-field line. Rose would score on consecutive base hits by Jordan Verdon and Daniel Vasquez.

An inning later, brother Josh Rose short-hopped the left-center wall with a resounding double. With two outs, Jayson Rose lined a single to left for the RBI.

The other East County ball club to do well in the playoffs was Christian High.

Playing as the No. 9 seed in Division III, the Patriots (23-12) shocked top-seeded San Dieguito Academy before falling to the Mustangs in the semifinals. San Dieguito then lost the championship game to San Ysidro, 2-1, for the Cougars’ first CIFSDS crown in any sport.

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