East County teams hit their stride following the 67th Annual Lions Tournament in March

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Grossmont

Grossmont junior Jack Hyde had his two-seamer working on last week when he went up against nationally-ranked Bishop Gorman in the 67th annual Lions Tournament.

Hyde pitched a no-hitter against the visiting Gaels from Las Vegas, who came into the tournament ranked third by one major prep poll. 

Hyde struck out seven and walked one, facing just two batters over the minimum. Grossmont was ranked ninth in the county in the latest media poll, released last Monday.

Grossmont

Grossmont junior Jack Hyde had his two-seamer working on last week when he went up against nationally-ranked Bishop Gorman in the 67th annual Lions Tournament.

Hyde pitched a no-hitter against the visiting Gaels from Las Vegas, who came into the tournament ranked third by one major prep poll. 

Hyde struck out seven and walked one, facing just two batters over the minimum. Grossmont was ranked ninth in the county in the latest media poll, released last Monday.

The Foothillers shutout Bonita Vista on Tuesday, 6-0, to resume play in the GMC.

Tyler Parent pitched a complete-game four-hitter for the Foothillers.

Helix

The county sixth-ranked Helix Highlanders went 2-1 at the 67th annual Lions Tournament, including a win over state No. 8 Elk Grove as Eric Smelko’s hit tied the game in the bottom of the sixth.

The Highlanders resumed play in Grossmont-Metro City Tournament at Lions Premier Division champ Scripps Ranch on Tuesday, as Helix improved to 3-1 in the GMC with a 6-1 victory. Carlos Oquita drove in two runs for Helix.

Highlander senior Zack Owens joined the bevy of other Highlanders landing terrific baseball opportunities at the college level. On Tuesday, Owens announced that he would continue his baseball and academic persuits at Asuza Pacific University.

Granite Hills

Granite Hills remained in 11th in the media poll, as Eagles coach James Davis earned his 400th win at the Lions Tournament.

Eagles senior Brayden Anderson, who was sidelined with a blood clot before the season, which almost cost him his leg, scored the game-winning run vs. West Linn, Ore., at the Lions even.

Sean McGrew led the Eagles with .359 average after the Lions Tournament, while Trevor Hazelhurst had a 2.04 ERA.

Santana

Santana coaching legend Jerry Henson passed away last week, although the Sultans cheered up following their slow start, making Lions Premier Division semifinal with a 2-1 record, including a 4-2 win over Crespi to earn the berth, T.C. Simmons’ two-run hit in sixth in support of freshman Tyler Glowack before falling to a red-hot Scripps Ranch in the semi.

El Capitan

El Capitan fell to 16th-ranked Madison last Monday in the GMC tourney, 9-4. Anthony Benedetto has been a dual-star for the Vaqueros, with an ERA under 2.00 and hitting well-above .300.

Steele Canyon

The Steele Canyon Cougars went 2-1 in the Lions Premier Division for new coach Jesse Evans, including a win over semifinalist Santana behind junior Aaron Taylor’s homer and double.

Taylor is hitting .400 entering the week, while junior Richie Pedrin is batting .471.

Senior left-hander Trevor Back pitched a shutout versus Mira Mesa in late March and has an ERA of 2.15 so far this season.

Monte Vista

The Monte Vista Monarchs improved to 4-0 in the GMC Tournament with a 2-0 shutout victory behind the arm of senior star Ivan Plazola, who pitched a four-hitter, striking out 10.

Derrick Wiley drove in the two runs with a single in the top of the fifth.

The Monarchs have a strong trio of starting arms with Plazola, Jon Gulley (2-0) and Abraham Sanchez, who pitched an eight-inning complete game against Castle Park on March 23.

Valhalla

The Valhalla Norsemen beat Mountain View in Lions Premier Division behind Even O’Neill, who struck out five in four scoreless innings of relief, and senior Jacob Barba, who had a two-run double.

Valhalla defeated La Jolla, 9-1, on Monday to improve to 3-1 the GMC event. Kyle Casper had three hits and drove in three runs for the Norsemen.

Mount Miguel

The Mount Miguel Matadors snapped 5-game losing skid with wild 11-10 win over Maranatha Christian in 8 innings to get in Lions Tournament win column, as sophomore Erik Kelly drove in junior Nico Camacho with the game-winner.

El Cajon Valley

The El Cajon Valley Braves donned some new uniforms, then went out and won two-straight games in the new threads, finishing a commendable 2-1 at the Lions Tournament.

Sebastian Sanchez drove in five runs in a 15-2 rout of Temecula Prep, and senior Jesus Favela pitched four shutout innings.

West Hills

The West Hills Wolf Pack suffered three-straight one-run losses at the Lions Tournament and have five losses by one this season.

However, last Monday, the Pack was back in the win column with a 13-3 win over host San Diego High in the GMC.

Starting pitcher Kai Dennis drove in three runs on a pair of hits and combined with two other pitchers on a two-hitter.

Christian High

Christian High head coach won his 500th game as a head coach at the Lions Tournament as Brad Jeremiah hit a grand slam in an 11-3 win over Del Oro.

The Patriots won a consolation game in 12 innings on Thursday as Luke Rynkofs pitched seven innings in relief.

Rynkofs pitched a no-hitter in the second game of the season against Mater Dei. Christian beat up on Steele Canyon, 14-3, on Monday in the GMC tournament, as Garret Nielsen and Jakob Beck homered.

Foothills Christian

The Foothills Christian Knights beat Mount Miguel, 5-4, for the second time this season at Barona Field on Monday. The teams played to the exact same final score on the same field back on March 10.

Newcomer Preston Saccone, a transfer from Granite Hills, playing in just his second game after waiting out the transfer-eligible period, singled home the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh.

Chris Stallard, making his season-debut, got the win with two innings of relief work, allowing no earned runs. Corbin Harris hit an inside-the-park home run for the Knights in the bottom of the fifth to snap a 2-all tie. The Knights won the Bully’s Tournament championship game over Del Norte on March 17, a revenge game for a 10-0 season-opening loss.

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