Santana squeezes El Capitan as teams jockey for playoff positions in Grossmont Conference

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Small ball triumphed in a game of attrition in a fierce rivalry between local powerhouses El Capitan and Santana. Both sides tested each other’s fundamentals of bunt coverage and situational defenses that resulted in tight game that maintained its intensity until the final out. In the end, it was Santana who left the field triumphant with a final score of 5 – 4.

Sophomore ace pitcher, Tristan Duncan, led the Vaqueros. He went the distance and had knees buckling with his sharp-biting curve, fanning 9 Sultans in the process.

Small ball triumphed in a game of attrition in a fierce rivalry between local powerhouses El Capitan and Santana. Both sides tested each other’s fundamentals of bunt coverage and situational defenses that resulted in tight game that maintained its intensity until the final out. In the end, it was Santana who left the field triumphant with a final score of 5 – 4.

Sophomore ace pitcher, Tristan Duncan, led the Vaqueros. He went the distance and had knees buckling with his sharp-biting curve, fanning 9 Sultans in the process.

“He’s a very good pitcher,” said Sultan head coach Rigo Ledezma. “Any opportunity we had to take advantage of.”

And take advance they did, with capitalizing on botched pick off play that gave them an early 2–0 lead, and a 5th inning throwing error by the Vaqueros first baseman that gave them another run.

A young Santana team was led off and finished (literally) by third baseman Jacob Odenkirk, Being a good leadoff man, he just wanted to get on base and “get things started and move the momentum forward.” He did exactly that with a lead off double and contributed another hit and a crucial sacrifice bunt. He also summoned his inner Trevor Hoffman and shut the door for the final two outs on El Capitan’s last chance rally on the mound.

The old school baseball guard, which preaches station-to-station offense and aggressive base running to put the pressure on the opposition, would have been proud. The Sultans laid down six total bunts on the day, including a suicide squeeze in the 6th that scored 2 runs and broke the 3–3 tie. El Captain forged a bottom half comeback, and had the tying run in scoring position, but ultimately came up short.

A game as nail biting as this should come at no surprise at this point in the season. Both of these teams are jockeying for playoff positioning. In addition, the teams came in the day at a virtual tie for first atop the Grossmont Valley League. Just to compound the drama, these teams play again May 6. At this point in the season every game becomes “bigger and bigger,” Ledezma put simply.

This has all the makings for an exciting finish to the season in the Grossmont conference and further.

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