Grossmont’s Cameron Henderson cheers the Hillers’ section championship with teammates.
Valhalla tried a unique twist in an attempt to capture the San Diego Section Division I baseball championship Friday at USD’s Fowler Park.
But Grossmont would not buy in. The Foothillers, in fact, proved they are the real deal as they upended the favored Norsemen 6-4.
It was the second consecutive section title for Grossmont coach Chad Williams, who had taken over a program that had lost its last 20 games.
“I’ve definitely enjoyed my two years here at Grossmont,” said Williams. “This has kinda been a perfect year for character building because we’ve been up and down. But when the time came we really grinded it out and got the job done.”
Grossmont’s Brandon Weed (10-4) put on a powerful pitching performance, toiling 62/3 innings and allowing only four singles.
“It’s easy to win a game when your team puts up six runs,” Weed said. “I didn’t have my best stuff, but baseball is all about adjustments so that’s what I did.”
Williams said before the game he wasn’t sure how far Weed could go due to a sore back that has been bothering him for a few weeks.
“He’s been a little bit banged up ever since the first round so we weren’t sure what we were going to get out of him,” Williams said. “You could tell he was a little rusty with location, but he battled to the end. He’s a big reason why we’re here today.”
Coincidentally, Valhalla coach Mike Wilson was pawing through the Norsemen’s equipment shed earlier this season and came across the actual jerseys worn by the 2006 team — when Valhalla (22-13-1) won its only San Diego Section baseball championship.
“I pointed out to the kids that those were the same uniforms that we won our only CIF championship in,” said Wilson, “and they all wanted to wear them for the playoffs.”
Perhaps that turned out to be more of a jinx.
Grossmont fell behind 1-0 in the first, but the Foothillers (19-14) tied the game on an RBI single by Hunter Stratton in the third. Grossmont jumped on Valhalla starter and ace Mitch Coombs for three more runs in the fourth. Tiger Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly to break the 1-1 tie.
The Hillers extended the lead on run-scoring singles by Alex Marlay and Hunter Reed.