Sun, Apr 04 2010 11:24 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
Metro Conference baseball teams uttered a collective roar following Monday's slate of openers in the 60th San Diego Lions tournament. A total of nine South County squads - Otay Ranch, Eastlake, Olympian, Sweetwater, Hilltop, Mar Vista, Castle Park, Bonita Vista and Montgomery - each collected a victory to jump-start bracket play.
Of Monday's nine Metro winners, four - Montgomery, Eastlake, Hilltop and Bonita Vista - each won games on Tuesday to go up 2-0 heading into Wednesday's round-robin finals of the 112-team tournament, the oldest and largest of its kind in the nation.
Tournament finals were scheduled Thursday. Teams from as far away as Florida and Virginia participated in this year's event.
Otay Ranch and Montgomery both competed in the highest-tier Classic Division while San Ysidro was included in the Premier Division lineup, the next competition tier down.
Bonita Vista and Eastlake participated in the 6A Division while Hilltop and Mesa League rival Chula Vista competed in the 5A Division.
Mar Vista and Castle Park were included in the 4A Division while Olympian, Sweetwater and Southwest were included in the 3A Division.
Otay Ranch got off to an 11-0 start following Monday's 6-1 win at Granite Hills and has jumped up the San Diego Section rankings to the No. 2 spot behind No. 1 Montgomery (10-1).
Alex Perez (2-0) scattered 10 hits and stranded 14 base runners while Fernando Perez clubbed a two-run home run in the first inning and Adrian Guzman slammed a solo shot in the fourth inning.
Michael Cortez picked up the win in relief as Montgomery shaded Nevada's Green Valley, 9-7, in Monday's opener. Marco Arellano went 3-for-4 with a home run and double to lead the Aztecs. Steven Schafer (2-0) tossed a complete game three-hitter and Jovani Reynoso smashed a solo homer in the sixth inning in the Aztecs' 8-4 victory over El Camino Real on Tuesday.
Kevin Carreon leads Montgomery with a .436 hitting average.
Eastlake trimmed Point Loma, 5-4, on Monday and continued to impress early on with another 5-4 win in tourney play on Tuesday against Patrick Henry. The two Lions wins built on an 8-7 upset victory against Montgomery on March 25 in a Metro tournament outing.
The Titans (6-4) are 2-1 in the concurrent Metro tourney following a 13-1 win against Southwest on March 22. Finals are scheduled May 1 at Sweetwater High School.
"We're a very young team," Eastlake coach Dave Gallegos said. "We've lost three one-run games and lost two two-run games. We're competitive. The kids have a lot of heart and desire and don't give up. They just lack varsity experience. But it's a great group."
Top performers so far for the Titans include hurlers David Kopas and Henry Ojeda, left fielder Paulo Isaac, center fielder Andrew Calica and first baseman Jeffery Patacsil.
Kopas evened his record at 2-2 with Monday's win. In 30 innings so far this season, he had 35 strikeouts against eight walks to go with a 2.56 earned-run average.
Ojeda had 12 strikeouts in 19 innings to go with a likewise 2.56 ERA.
Calica leads the team with a .423 hitting average, followed by Patacsil (.393) and Isaac (.375).
Calica drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning in the Metro tourney win against the Aztecs and starred at the plate in Monday's win over the Pointers by going 2-for-3 with two RBI. Christian Loera also went 2-for-3 in Monday's game.
Kopas was joined on the hill by Josh Palet and Ojeda in relief. Ojeda earned credit for the save.
Dillon McDonald pitched six strong innings to pick up the win on Tuesday while Palet earned the save in relief.
Meanwhile, Bonita Vista (8-3) clubbed Mira Mesa, 10-5, on Monday behind an 11-hit attack. Jesse Hernandez got the win to improve to 3-1 while Justin DiStefano went 3-for-3 with three RBI and two stolen bases. On Tuesday, Troy Cruz went the distance with a five-hitter in a 5-0 victory over Cypress Bay.
Hilltop (4-6) aced San Diego, 6-0, on Monday behind a three-hitter by Miguel Silva and stymied Madera South, 6-1, on a one-hitter by Thomas Padilla (2-1) on Tuesday. Victor Curiel swung the big lumber on Tuesday for the Lancers with four doubles and four RBI.
Chula Vista (4-5) picked up its first tourney win on Tuesday as four pitchers combined to scatter five hits in a 13-3 win against Escondido. Michael Souza picked up his first win of the season in relief.
Craig Capistran hurled a complete game four-hitter and Fabian Cosio went 2-for-2 at the plate with two RBI as Mar Vista (6-3) downed Las Vegas Desert Oasis, 7-2, on Monday.
Castle Park (3-5) got seven strikeouts and a four-hitter from winning pitcher Jose Fernandez in Monday's 13-2 romp over Nevada's Del Sol. Boise Limon drove in three runs while teammate Carlos Rivera went 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Olympian (5-6) got out of the Lions tourney chute with a 3-2 win in 11 innings against visiting Brawley. Marko Gonzalez gave the Eagles the win on a sacrifice fly to make a winner out of Brandon Lozier.
Winning Sweetwater pitcher Ruben Magallanes helped his own cause by driving in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning in Monday's 4-3 victory over visiting Valley Center as the Red Devils improved to 3-6-1.
For compete results, visit the official tournament Web site at www.lionsbaseball.org.
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