Preps step up to the plate at Petco Park, take swings

Photo by Andy Bartotto Helix Charter senior Ben Haar has opened the 2022 spring season on a tear with a 0.474 hitting average, four home runs and 22 RBI through 11 games

The San Diego Padres were nowhere in sight Monday afternoon at Petco Park. But the Granite Hills Eagles and Grossmont Foothillers sure were to inaugurate the iconic downtown San Diego ballpark for the 2022 spring baseball season.
Monday’s Grossmont Hills League game between the Eagles and Foothillers was the opening act of three consecutive double-headers spotlighting high school baseball teams throughout the San Diego Section.
The games are held in conjunction with the Padres, who have also sponsored a post-season all-star game in recent years at the Major League Baseball venue.
Granite Hills entered Monday’s tilt ranked third among section teams. The nightcap featured No. 1-ranked St. Augustine against City Conference rival Madison.
Tuesday’s twin-bill paired Santa Fe Christian and Escondido Charter in a matchup of private schools and Westview versus Mission Hills in a North County Conference clash.
Wednesday’s double-header featured Southwest El Centro against Holtville in an Imperial Valley League matchup and Southwest-San Diego versus Mar Vista in a Metro-South Bay League pairing.
The venue site was not lost on anyone present either on the field or in the stands.
“It was a great opportunity for the kids to play at one of the best places in the country,” GHHS coach James Davis said in regard to Monday’s 4-1 victory. “It was an exciting game. Our pitchers really did a good job of keeping a Grossmont team at bay.”
Soaring Eagles Granite Hills improved to 12- 2-1 overall, 4-0-1 in league play following Monday’s win. Seniors Cody Macias, Hudson Beamon and Spencer Davis each drove in one run while freshman Brendan Lewis scored twice.
Davis had three hits in the game while Macias and Lewis both rapped out two hits. Lewis, Macias and senior Grant MacArthur all slammed doubles on the MLB playing field.
Overall, the Eagles racked up 11 hits in the victory.
Granite Hills sent five pitchers to the mound. Junior William Smale was credited with the win after pitching one inning with one hit and two strikeouts. Lewis pitched two innings with three hits and three strikeouts while junior Devon Saldana and senior Ethan McNish-Heider both pitched one inning of hitless ball. Senior Tanner Vielguth hurled two scoreless frames.
The quintet of Eagles scattered four hits and struck out seven Foothillers. The game was tightly played with the opening two innings ending in a scoreless stalemate.
Granite Hills opened up a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning and added another run in the fourth inning to lead 2-0.
The Eagles added two more runs in the sixth inning to go in front 4-0. Grossmont scored its run in the bottom of the seventh inning before Granite Hills could finally close out the win.
Santana defeated Helix, 7-2, on March 31 to improve to 3-0 in league play. Granite Hills edged Steele Canyon, 1-0, on March 31 while Steele Canyon slipped past Grossmont, 6-4, last Friday.
The Eagles defeated Helix, 7-3, last Friday. Monday’s loss dropped the Foothillers to a 0-3 start in league play.
MacArthur leads Granite Hills with a 0.611 hitting average, seven home runs, six doubles and 19 RBI.

(Through April 4)
Santana 3-0 11-2
Granite Hills 4-0-1 12-2-1
Steele Canyon 1-3-1 8-6-1
Helix 0-2 6-6
Grossmont 0-3 6-8-1