By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Warriors sweep previously undefeated Golden Eagles


Last updated 5/10/2019 at 8:23pm

San Pasqual High School’s baseball team was undefeated in Valley League play when the Golden Eagles began their three-game series with Fallbrook High School, but the Warriors won all three of those games.

The Warriors improved their Valley League record from 4-4 to 7-4 with the sweep over San Pasqual.

“It was kind of what we needed to do, and we got it done,” Fallbrook coach Pat Walker said. “It’s a great thing to build on.”

Fallbrook’s overall record improved to 12-12 with the sweep. The victories over San Pasqual, along with a win over Ramona High School, also helped Fallbrook’s power rankings which are the primary factor in playoff selection and seeding. The Warriors were 14th in the Division III power rankings before the series against San Pasqual and 12th after the three wins over the Golden Eagles. Twelve teams will participate in the Division III playoffs.

“It’s all about how we can improve our power ranking,” Walker said.

San Pasqual held the league standings lead by one game entering the series against Fallbrook. Ramona was second with a 7-1 league record, and the Warriors were responsible for that Bulldogs defeat. The three Fallbrook wins against San Pasqual put Ramona into first place.

“It’s kind of a battle going between Ramona and San Pasqual,” Walker said.

Fallbrook had a 4-6 record entering Valley League play.

“We were struggling,” Walker said. “We’ve had so many injuries.”

Harrison Brown was ill and did not play in the Warriors' league opener March 25 at Valley Center. The Jaguars prevailed by a 4-0 score in that game. Fallbrook hosted Valley Center in a March 27 match and scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth en route to a 15-4 victory. The March 29 game at Valley Center was a 3-2 Jaguars triumph; a run apiece in the fifth and sixth innings allowed Valley Center to overcome a 2-1 Fallbrook lead.

“Valley Center played well and pitched well. I just have to hand it to them,” Walker said. “They just played us very well.”

Ramona traveled to Fallbrook for an April 1 match. Two runs in the top of the second gave Ramona a 2-0 lead, but Fallbrook scored four times in the bottom of the fifth and twice in the sixth for a 6-2 triumph. Zach Allegro was Fallbrook’s pitcher for the first five innings and gave the Bulldogs five hits and three walks while striking out three opponents. Brown threw the final two innings and allowed two hits while whiffing two Bulldogs. A double by senior Derek Diamond, who will play for Mississippi if he is not taken in the June draft, was the Bulldogs’ only extra-base hit.

“We got a lot of ground balls, and defensively we played well,” Walker said.

An April 6 doubleheader in Ramona allowed the Bulldogs to win the series against Fallbrook. The Warriors began the morning game with a run in the top of the first before Ramona scored once in the bottom of the first, once in the second, and twice apiece in the fourth and sixth for a 6-1 win. A complete game was thrown by Ramona junior Jacob Jaramillo, who allowed six hits and a walk while striking out two Warriors. The afternoon game against Fallbrook ended as a 3-0 Bulldogs triumph. The complete-game shutout was pitched by senior Ben Knowd, who allowed five hits and no walks while striking out six.

“We lost two tough series 2 to 1,” Walker said.

A complete game is more likely to be thrown later in the week, as pitchers are limited to 30 outs in a week. Brown allowed three hits and three walks in six innings April 10 when Fallbrook hosted Mission Vista High School and won the 7-0 contest. Allegro pitched the final inning for the Warriors and allowed one hit. Josue Navarro had three hits in four at-bats. Brady Hoff had a triple and drove in three runs.

The Warriors’ April 12 game at Mission Vista was a 12-4 Timberwolves win.

The Lions Tournament began play April 15, and Fallbrook hosted Classical Academy, who defeated the Warriors by an 8-6 margin. An April 16 game at Hilltop ended as a 7-3 Lancers triumph.

“We had not played together, that group of kids,” Walker said.

That was actually beneficial to the Warriors. Shortstop Alex Lopex had broken his wrist in the Warriors’ final winter ballgame and was out of the lineup until the Lions Tournament.

“Defensively it made us solid having him back at shortstop,” Walker said.

Fallbrook concluded Lions Tournament play April 17 with an 8-1 win at San Diego High School. Five runs in the top of the fifth gave the Warriors an 8-0 lead. The Cavers’ run was unearned; Grant Knox allowed four hits and a walk in his complete game while striking out five.

“We’ve continued to play really well since then,” Walker said.

San Pasqual entered the series against Fallbrook as the top-ranked Division III team.

“I told the kids, ‘let’s not focus on the three games; let’s just focus on one game at a time,’” Walker said.

Last year San Pasqual took two of three games from the Warriors with one of those victories being by a 3-2 score.

“We were back to the team that really battled them last year,” Walker said. “I knew we had a good shot.”

The April 22 game in Fallbrook had a 6-5 final score. San Pasqual took a 2-0 lead before the Warriors scored twice in the bottom of the third. A run in the fourth gave Fallbrook a 3-2 lead, but San Pasqual scored three times in the fifth. Three Fallbrook runs in the bottom of that inning returned the lead to the Warriors.

Brown allowed five hits in five innings. Only one of the five runs was earned. He walked one and struck out five.

Knox began the sixth inning on the mound.

“I wanted to save Brown for Friday,” Walker said.

Knox struck out the only batter he faced. Allegro threw the final 1 2/3 innings for the save.

“Pitching was great to start off the week,” Walker said.

Tristan Smith had a double and a homer in three at-bats while also walking once and driving in two runs. Navarro had two hits and a run in three at-bats.

Fallbrook never trailed April 24 at San Pasqual, scoring in the first and the top of the fourth before the Golden Eagles put a positive number on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. Two runs in the sixth and two runs in the top of the seventh gave the Warriors a 6-1 lead. The Golden Eagles narrowed the final deficit to 6-4 with three tallies in the bottom of the seventh.

“Timely hitting scored some runs, made them chase us,” Walker said.

Knox pitched the first 6 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out three.

“Grant Knox pitched really well,” Walker said.

Allegro struck out one of the two final batters to obtain the save.

Navarro had a double and a home run with three runs batted in. Dean Olivo had two hits and scored twice. Allegro also had two hits.

“We scored runs,” Walker said.

The April 26 game in Fallbrook was scoreless until the Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Fallbrook scored once again in the fifth inning. A San Pasqual run in the top of the sixth was countered by two Fallbrook scores in the bottom of that inning to finalize the 4-1 score.

“Game three again was having the pressure on them,” Walker said.

Joel Calhoun had hits in all three of his at-bats. Knox had two hits in three at-bats and scored two runs. Allegro threw the first 5 2/3 innings and allowed five hits and a walk with the run against him being unearned. Brown received the save for his 1 1/3-inning performance in which he allowed a walk but no hits.


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