Southern California's High School Sports Blog

Baseball: Third Time a Charm for Eastlake; San Marcos Wins in SDS (6/3/17)

Eastlake won the San Diego Section Open championship with an 8-3 win over Helix. Photo/SDPrepInsider


Coming off losses in the last two San Diego Section baseball championships, Chula Vista Eastlake wrote a different ending to the story of the 2017 season.

The top-seeded Titans scored first and often en route to an 8-3 victory over No. 7 Helix of La Mesa to win the Open Division title at Fowler Park at University of San Diego.

“We’ve been on the bad side of this the last two years,’’ said Eastlake’s Ben Ramirez, who signed with USC. “To finally get on the winning side is something I can’t explain. It’s the best feeling ever.’’

Ramirez was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Teammate Casey Schmitt was 1-for-2 with a booming home run beyond the scoreboard for his three RBIs.

“All the stress finally went away,’’ said Schmitt, who pitched the final two innings. “I didn’t think that ball was going out. I guess I got enough of it.’’

Winning its first section title since 2002, Eastlake (32-4) extended its school record for wins in a season by opening the game in fine fashion when Schmitt’s homer, his eighth this season, followed Ramirez’s single.

The Titans added two more runs in the third inning on LJ Jones’ single, pushing the lead to 4-0.

A big fourth inning that included Sonny Rivera’s run-scoring single and Ramirez’s two-run triple to right-center pushed the lead to 7-0

“From the first game against Coronado, I knew this was a special team,’’ Ramirez said. “It feels like we failed the project the last two years and now we finally passed it.

“We just had to put everything into this one and we did.’’

The 32 wins ties the section record set by La Costa Canyon in 2003.

Helix (22-12), which last won a section title in 2011, finally scored in the fifth on Austin Kretzschmar’s single.

The Highlanders, who got 2-for-4 outings from Matt Richardson and Kretzschmar, added two more runs in the sixth inning.

San Marcos won the San Diego Section Division 2 title with a 6-4 win over Santana. Photo/SDPrepInsider


San Marcos 6, Santee Santana 4

Down two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, top-seeded San Marcos got a bases-loaded double from outfielder Tyler Holmes to take the lead for the first time, and reliever Zack Prajner pitched the final two innings to preserve the win in the San Diego Section Division II finals at Fowler Park at USD on Saturday.

The 13th consecutive win this season, which went to Prajner — who is 1-3 with 11 saves — allowed the Knights (30-4) to capture back-to-back Division II titles.

San Marcos scored four runs in that sixth-inning rally on just one hit, the double by Holmes, who was 2-for-3 in the game. The game-winning hit was only the fourth hit in the game for the Knights against No. 2 Santana (22-10), whose last CIF title was in 1994.

The Sultans left 11 runners on base.

(NOTE: Report news and notes to So Cal Sidelines editor-in-chief/softball writer Carlos Arias via email (, text (949-606-3602) or Tweet (@SoCalSidelines))

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