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San Pasqual tightens race in Avocado East

05/07/2014, 10:12pm PDT
By John Maffei

Bottom of the order produces winning run against Mission Hills

— The bottom of the order — hitters five through nine — had one hit in 10 tries. And that was a scratch single.

Then with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, No. 6 hitter Caleb Rovell walked and Bryan Engdahl followed with an RBI double into the left-field corner.

That was all it took as San Pasqual High edged Mission Hills 2-1 in a key Avocado East League baseball game Wednesday.

San Pasqual (13-8, 5-2) needed the win to keep pace with league-leading San Marcos, which is 8-2 in the Avo East. The Knights have their league bye this week but went 2-1 in a three-game series with San Pasqual.

Mission Hills (10-13, 5-2) still has a three-game series with San Marcos.

“Both teams needed this game,” said San Pasqual coach Tony Colantono. “We turn around and play Mission Hills on Friday, and we both need that game, too. We need to keep winning and hope Mission Hills beats San Marcos.”

The double was the second game-winner of the season for Engdahl, who beat San Dieguito with a seventh-inning hit on the road.

“Mission Hills was playing me way off the line, so left field was wide open,” Engdahl said. “I was looking for something to pull. I got a pitch on the inner half, a fastball. And it fell in.”

Cole Gorman was the winning pitcher for the Eagles, pushing his record to 5-1. He gave up only an unearned run, dropping his ERA to 0.35 in 39 innings.

Using mostly a cut fastball, he didn’t strike out a batter but got 12 ground-ball outs and five infield pop-ups.

Mission Hills’ only run was helped by Gorman’s throwing error.

“I just developed the cutter this season,” said Gorman, a junior. “And I’m not really sure where it came from. I was pretty much a fastball, breaking-ball guy until this season.

“This was an important game, so when I threw those balls away (he had a second throwing error), my mind was racing.

“I had to get the negative thoughts out of my head and not overthrow.”

Jack Rupe pitched well for Mission Hills. He allowed only four hits, but one of his three walks hurt him in the seventh.

“Rupe was really solid,” Colantono said. “We managed to do just enough to beat him.”

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