High school baseball and softball seasons have arrived

Spring has officially arrived and so have high school spring sports. Baseball and softball, boys and girls lacrosse, boys volleyball, beach volleyball , swimming and diving and and track and field are now on dis­play on local playing fields to fuel primary interest.

Returning San Diego Section baseball champions include La Costa Canyon (Open Division), Santana (Division I), Sage Creek (Division II), Fallbrook (Division III), Calexico (Divi­sion IV) and Lincoln (Division V).

Last year’s runner-up teams in the championship playoffs included Eastlake (Open Divi­sion), Patrick Henry (Division I), Cathedral Catholic (Division II), Maranatha Christian (Divi­sion III), Bishop’s (Division IV) and St. Joseph Academy (Divi­sion V).

Closer to home, Valhalla (Di­vision III), El Capitan (Divi­sion IV) and Liberty Charter (Division V) all finished one win short of advancing to the championship game in their re­spective divisions.

Returning San Diego Sec­tion softball champions include Poway (Open Division), Otay Ranch (Division I), Holtville (Division II), Imperial (Divi­sion III), Madison (Division IV) and Coastal Academy (Division V).

Last year’s runner-up teams in the championship playoffs included Rancho Bernardo (Open Division), Mater Dei Catholic (Division I), Santana (Division II), Christian (Divi­sion III), Palo Verde Valley (Di­vision IV) and Liberty Charter (Division V).

Falling just short of advanc­ing to the championship game were El Capitan (Open Divi­sion) and Foothills Christian (Division IV).

The opening three weeks of the new season have reward­ed several teams with strong starts in tournament and non-league play.

A rundown of the Grossmont Hills League baseball circuit features Granite Hills at 7-1, Helix and Steele Canyon, both at 4-5, Grossmont at 3-6 and Santana at 1-8.

The Grossmont Va l ley League’s early season baseball honor roll includes El Capitan and Monte Vista, both off to 6-3 starts, and Valhalla and Mt. Miguel, both off to 5-3 starts. El Cajon Valley follows at 3-3 while West Hills is 3-5.

Christian, which competes in the City Western League, is 5-4 to start the season while Foothills Christian, is off to a 1-0 start in Pacific League play, 6-4 overall.

Mountain Empire and Liber­ty Charter both compete in the Summit League. Though non-league play, Mountain Empire was 2-0 while Liberty Charter was 2-6-1.

Among the early season East County hitting leaders are Mt. Miguel senior Alex Sandoval (0.565 average, 11 RBI), Gran­ite Hills junior Phillip Jones (0.500 average, 11 RBI, two home runs), Foothills Christian sophomore Jack Morgan (0.423 average, 10 RBI), Helix senior Walker Laub (0.391 average), Foothills Christian senior An­drew Burke (0.387 average, 14 RBI), Monte Vista senior Gavin Daley (0.385 average, two home runs) and Mt. Miguel senior Junior Ettleman (0.371 average, 19 RBI).

El Capitan senior Gerald Warrick and Santana junior Noah Lewis both possess 0.364 hitting averages.

Among the early season East County pitching leaders are Monte Vista senior Jacob Schweitzer (3-0 record, 0.40 ERA, 30 strikeouts in 17.2 in­nings), Christian senior Brody Gundert (2-0 record, 0.93 ERA, 23 strikeouts in 15 innings), Granite Hills senior Chandler Henry (2-0 record, 0.93 ERA, 17 strikeouts in 15 innings), Granite Hills junior Brenden Lewis (3-1 record, 1.20 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 23.1 innings), He­lix junior Antoin Simpson (2-1 record, 1.34 ERA), Mt. Miguel senior Charlie Sandoval (2-0 record, 1.88 ERA, 16 strike­outs in 22.1 innings), Valhalla junior Mathew Ibrahim (2.49 ERA, 28 strikeouts in 19.2 in­nings), Liberty Charter senior Jaxon Adrain (2.71 ERA, 41 strikeouts in 20.2 innings) and El Capitan senior Brody McAu­liffe (2.74 ERA, 27 strikeouts in 15.1 innings).


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