EL CAJON — Granite Hills High third baseman Jordan Verdon made a leaping one-handed catch of a line drive to halt a Valhalla rally in the third inning of Tuesday’s Grossmont Hills League baseball game.
At the time, the Norsemen were leading 2-1 as Verdon robbed Andy Van Antwerp of a double and at least one RBI.
No. 3-ranked Granite Hills went on to score a 7-5 triumph over Valhalla, which had the tying run at the plate in the final inning.
Reliever Adrian Andrewson got a game-ending strikeout to preserve the victory for the host Eagles (17-6, 8-1).
“Obviously it was a great catch,” Granite Hills coach James Davis said of Verdon’s grab. “But you couldn’t tell at the time how big it really was. If that ball had gone into the left-field corner, it could have turned into a big inning, and we could have come out on the short end.”
Verdon didn’t view himself as a game-saver.
“It was a matter of inches and timing, but the ball wasn’t hit that hard,” Verdon said. “It was just floating up there.”
Verdon was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Sophomore Dillan Shrum supplied a key two-run double for the Eagles.
No. 5 Valhalla (15-8-1, 5-4) was playing without starting catcher Chris Hudgins, who had a 102-degree temperature.
“It’s hard to replace a guy like that,” Norsemen coach Mike Wilson said of Hudgins, the East County home run leader with eight.