He wasn’t exactly drawing to an inside straight, but Monte Vista (Spring Valley) bushy-haired centerfielder Nick Sabo had to like his chances of hitting for the cycle against West Hills (Santee).
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound junior homered in the first inning, tripled in the second and doubled in the fifth while driving in three runs and scoring two. When Sabo came to plate for his fourth at-bat in the sixth inning, the count quickly rolled into his favor at 2 balls, no strikes.
That’s when he got a bit anxious and popped up the next pitch to the catcher.
"I was thinking too much about it and I got way under it," said Sabo of his final at-bat. "If I had stayed back and taken a level swing I’d like to think I could have stroked a single."
As it stacks up, Sabo didn’t have a bad day, anyway.
Broncos can play the numbers game
Baseball by the numbers is pretty detailed at Rancho Bernardo (San Diego). In fact, it’s difficult to believe the Broncos have lost three of their 15 games. The pitching staff of Max Homick (2.66), Trevor Williams (2.56), Sam Bakken (2.42), Max Lai (1.62), Nick Montgomery (1.31), Nick Troyer (1.00) and Rylan Sankey (0.00) have compiled a team ERA of 2.08.
Montgomery (3-0) pitched a complete-game one-hitter as Rancho Bernardo whipped Westview (San Diego) 7-1 in the North County Tournament championship game. He struck out seven and at one stretch retired 13 batters in a row.
"I’d like to be the No. 1 guy," Montgomery told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "But all three of our starters are really good, so I wouldn’t put me above anyone else in our rotation.
These Broncos can hit, too. They began the week with a .397 team batting average. Junior shortstop Andrew Daniel is the leader of Rancho Bernardo’s hit parade with a .537 average, five home runs and 17 RBI as a leadoff batter.
St. Augustine runs over Scripps Ranch
In basketball, they call it taking an opponent off the dribble. In baseball, it’s more a case of putting the brakes to a rival’s running game.
"Every time the ball is in the dirt or someone juggles one in the field, we’re going," said St. Augustine centerfielder Connor Hofmann who batted .526 (10 for 19) and stole six bases in the six tournament games.
"That’s our style – we force the issue," Hofmann told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Although St. Augustine (San Diego) (10-8) does not possess a spectacular record, the Saints can take pride in knowing they won the City Conference Tournament championship by knocking off Scripps Ranch (San Diego) 7-5.
Label this one an upset, considering the Saints snapped Scripps Ranch’s 13-game winning streak, dealing the Falcons just their third loss in 18 decisions.
SOFTBALL: Padres to showcase Granite Hills pitcher
Granite Hills’ Jenny Lahitte, who has eight no-hitters and two perfect games to her credit, will get to see her face on the scoreboard at Petco Park on Friday. The USD-bound pitcher, who has 153 strikeouts in 73 innings, will be honored as an athlete of the month.
FOOTBALL: Tight end grabs SDSU offer
Tight end Robert Craighead of Lakeside El Capitan has verbally committed to San Diego State for the 2011 football season. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Craighead caught 40 passes for 516 yards and five touchdowns as a junior.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
— Senior southpaw Michael Fagan is a double-threat for the San Diego Jewish Academy, including 80 strikeouts and a 5-0 record in 32 innings. As a batter, Fagan owns a .528 (19-for-36) average that includes five triples.
— Mystery man of El Capitan Anthony Vigil is undefeated on the mound with two wins and three saves. Ironically, the senior southpaw has also been stung for a 6.24 ERA in 21 1/3 innings. Guess the kid isn’t a starter.
— Designated hitter Anthony Sorrentino of Steele Canyon went 4 for 5 with a double, a home run and three RBI.
— Valhalla catcher Bryce Mosier was 4 for 4 with a home run and three RBI in a Grossmont Conference Tournament game.
— Francis Parker junior Kyle Dowdy went 4 for 4 with four RBI and a save as the Lancers toppled El Cajon Christian.
For the third consecutive season the Padres and Petco Park will host five regular-season CIF-SDS baseball contests May 7-8. On Friday, Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) will tackle Bishop in a Coastal League encounter at 4 p.m. followed by a South Bay League clash between Mar Vista (Imperial Beach) and Castle Park (Chula Vista) at 7. On Saturday, El Capitan (Lakeside) meets Santana (Santee) in a key Grossmont Valley League duel, followed by Holtville-Palo Verde Valley at 1 and Valley Center at 4.
Funny how parents believe every base hit has leverage on whether their son or daughter will be worthy of earning a scholarship.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear – hefty statistics do not guarantee major college scholarships. Grade-point-averages do.
Oh sure, stats do carry some weight at the Division II and III ranks, as well as at the NAIA level. But overall batting averages and ERAs are hardly the bottom line.
Parental bickering flourishes in the spring as softball and baseball parents focus way too much on box scores. When will they ever learn – it is talent, not base hits that attract college coaches.