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Lancers shade Mustangs, 1-0, in Metro's annual trip to Petco Park Phillip Brents | Sat, May 07 2011 12:13 AM

Runs were at a premium all the way around during last weekend’s Padres Presents High School Baseball program at Petco Park. While the Major League Baseball San Diego Padres were up in Los Angeles for a key National League Western Division series against the Dodgers, prep baseball took the field in downtown San Diego’s East Village.

Ten teams combined to play five games (all of which counted in their respective leagues’ standings) last Friday and Saturday.

The Hilltop Lancers and Otay Ranch Mustangs were the designated teams from the Mesa League and both paired up on Saturday, April 30. Like the other games played that weekend at Petco Park, it proved to be a low-scoring affair, with the Lancers avenging an early extra innings loss to the Mustangs with a terse 1-0 victory.

“It was a great experience,” Hilltop coach Kurt Gritts said. “The kids had a good time. We got timely hits when we needed them. We made some plays defensively, and so did they.”

Both teams managed only three hits apiece. The Lancers made the most of theirs as Erick Tec drove in the game’s lone run in the top of the sixth inning to break a scoreless deadlock.

Tyler Acosta scored the game-winning run. Robert Martinez and Steven Sherwood also picked up hits in the contest for the winners.

Greg Allen starred on the mound by striking out six batters while issuing only one base on balls to highlight the complete game effort.

“Greg pitched a heck of a game,” Gritts said.

The thrilling experience of playing in a major league ballpark, however, likely overshadowed the outcome for both teams.

“It felt great,” said Hilltop catcher Robert Martinez, who went 1-for-2 and threw out one runner (while kneeling) trying to steal. “It felt like you were in the pros. It felt like you were one step closer to your dream. To play there was amazing.”

Hilltop improved to 2-2 in league play following Saturday’s win, 11-10 overall. Otay Ranch dropped to 1-3 in league play, 11-11 overall.

Ironically, both teams were coming off league losses the previous day. Hilltop dropped a 3-2 decision to Chula Vista while Otay Ranch fell, 2-1, to Eastlake.

Gritts may have an answer for the low scoring output this season.

“It has a lot to do with the bats — the old aluminum bats that the ball seemed to fly off are now illegal,” he said. “It’s more of a small ball game now. I think we’ve hit only two home runs all year.”

Hilltop will play Eastlake Saturday, May 7, at EHS in the championship game of this year’s Metro Conference tournament. Both teams are 5-0 in tournament play.

Metro Conference Baseball Statistics
Mesa League Standings

(Through May 1)

School         W-L     W-L
Bonita Vista     4-0     13-9
Eastlake         3-1     18-5
Hilltop         2-2     11-10
Otay Ranch     1-3     11-11
Chula Vista     1-3      8-13
Mater Dei Catholic     1-3      5-15

Saturday, May 1

Hilltop 1, Otay Ranch 0 (Petco Park)

Friday, April 29

Bonita Vista 13, Mater Dei Catholic 2
Eastlake 2, Otay Ranch 1
Chula Vista 3, Hilltop 2

Wednesday, April 27
Bonita Vista 12, Mater Dei Catholic 4
Eastlake 8, Otay Ranch 0
Hilltop 7, Chula Vista 4

South Bay League Standings
(Through May 1)
School         W-L     W-L

Montgomery     6-0     12-9
San Ysidro      6-0     13-9
Mar Vista     6-2     9-14
Olympian         3-5     11-11
Sweetwater     1-5       7-12
Castle Park     1-5     7-14
Southwest     1-6      3-19

Friday, April 29
Montgomery 18, Castle Park 1
San Ysidro 10, Olympian 1
Mar Vista 6, Southwest 0

Wednesday, April 27
Montgomery 6, Castle Park 1
San Ysidro 16, Olympian 3
Mar Vista 10, Southwest 0

Metro Conference
Baseball Leaders

(Through April 24)

Hitting Average

Marcos Zazueta (Southwest) .481
Brian Lockey (Bonita Vista) .429
Marco Gonzalez (Olympian) .429
Greg Allen (Hilltop) .415
Jesus Garcia (San Ysidro) .414
Alec Echevarria (Olympian) .414
Jose Garcia (San Ysidro) .400
Justin DiStefano (Bonita Vista) .393
Eduardo Rubalcava (San Ysidro) .393

Jose Hidalgo (San Ysidro) 5-1
Alejandro Bernal (Hilltop) 4-1
Estevan Carrillo (Montgomery) 3-2
Steven Shafer (Montgomery) 4-3
Troy Cruz (Bonita Vista) 3-3
Slater Putland (Mar Vista) 3-3
Earned-run average: Steven Shafer (Montgomery) 1.27, Jose Hidalgo (San Ysidro) 1.86, Diego Piceno (San Ysidro) 2.10, Troy Cruz (Bonita Vista) 2.22, Slater Putland (Mar Vista) 2.83.
Strikeouts: Slater Putland (Mar Vista) 68, Troy Cruz (Bonita Vista) 44, Steven Shafer (Montgomery) 36.

Metro Conference
Pennant Races

Upcoming key series

Mesa League

Eastlake at Bonita Vista, May 11
Bonita Vista at Eastlake, May 13
Bonita Vista at Otay Ranch, May 16
Otay Ranch at Bonita Vista, May 18
Eastlake at Hilltop, May 16
Hilltop at Eastlake, May 18

South Bay League

Montgomery at San Ysidro, May11
San Ysidro at Montgomery, May 13
Montgomery at Olympian, May 16
Olympian at Montgomery, May 18
Mar Vista at San Ysidro, May 16
San Ysidro at Mar Vista, May 18

Metro Conference Tournament

Championship: Hilltop at Eastlake, May 7 at 1 p.m.

San Diego Section Rankings

MaxPreps: 1. La Costa Canyon (20-4), 2. Cathedral Catholic (20-2), 3. Rancho Bernardo (17-5), 4. El Capitan (17-5), 5. Helix (17-5), 6. Grossmont (16-5), 7. Poway (18-4)

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