Grossmont Hills’ baseball conference season swings into gear with double-header

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With scouts holding radar guns behind the home base fence and fans sitting eagerly in the palm-shaded bleachers of the Granite Hills ballpark, Eagles senior Andrew Brown threw the opening pitch of the 2016 conference season. 

Saturday was a long day for baseball families in East County, with three double-headers in the Grossmont Hills League. Granite Hills High School hosted the double-header against Steele Canyon High School on Saturday, April 16. They won both games.

With scouts holding radar guns behind the home base fence and fans sitting eagerly in the palm-shaded bleachers of the Granite Hills ballpark, Eagles senior Andrew Brown threw the opening pitch of the 2016 conference season. 

Saturday was a long day for baseball families in East County, with three double-headers in the Grossmont Hills League. Granite Hills High School hosted the double-header against Steele Canyon High School on Saturday, April 16. They won both games.

Eagles Head Coach James Davis said it was a hard-earned victory.

“Every game that you win in the Grossmont Hills League is a tough, good win,” he said. “There are no soft wins this year.”

The first game was a battle between two pitchers. Brown completed the game for Granite Hills with just three hits and Cougar senior Trevor Row threw a four-hitter before getting relieved in the seventh inning. 

It was nothing but eggs on the scoreboard until the bottom of the seventh when Granite Hills drove in a run for the 1-0 win. 

“That was a tough game,” said Davis. “Their pitcher threw really well, our pitcher threw really well. We got fortunate at the end to score a run. There were a lot of good defensive plays and some tough plays for the umpires to call. It was just a good solid win for us.”

The hurlers set the tone for the defense on both teams. Steele Canyon made the only two errors of the game, which cost them the win.

It was a good game to start the season with, said Steele Canyon’s head coach Dan Nerat.

“That’s the kind of ball game you want to be in,” he said. “Trevor threw an awesome game. I mean, with the two errors that we had it’s going to hurt, but when you can stay with Granite Hills for six innings, it’s a good game.”

Nerat said the club is younger, but they have some real star power.

“Our future is bright,” he said. “We definitely have potential draft picks. We’re young, but we’re going to be okay for the future. We’re strong. We just need to learn how to win.”

Row, one of Steele Canyon’s five returning seniors, said he has known Brown for a while, giving the game an added flavor of friendly competition.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Row. “He pitched pretty hard so it’s cool to see two big guys up there and to battle with him. It’s good competition.”

Brown agreed that Steele Canyon’s hurler was quite an opponent, but said he was proud of his own efforts and his team.

“We just need to keep it up hitting the ball and scoring runs,” he said. “As of right now, I think we have pretty good pitching. We have pitchers who throw strikes and go the whole game.”

After retiring the big men on the mound for the second game, both clubs picked up their offensive. The Eagles scored five runs in the first inning, taking the game 10-6.

Row said the Cougars have improved a lot this season, despite the tough losses against Granite Hills.

“The season is going a lot better than last year,” he said. “Honestly, the difference would be the maturity and just growing together as a team and working harder and not caring about who’s playing that day. Being a team and loving each other and wanting to see each other succeed has brought us together a lot.”

Playoff is a realistic goal for the Cougars, said Row.

“We’re losing a lot of tough games but we’re always in every game,” he said. “We’re fighting and we’re going to make a run for the playoffs this year for sure.”

Helix High School won their double-header against the Valhalla Norsemen on Saturday, 13-2 and 5-1. Grossmont took both wins away from El Capitan, with an 11-1 victory in the first game and then claiming the second game, 6-5 in eight innings.

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