Pointers to play for Eastern League title
by SCOTT HOPKINS
Published - 05/15/17 - 03:24 PM | 3213 views | 0 0 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pointers second baseman Trevor Sykes (1) throws to first base, completing a double play at Coronado last week. The Pointers earned a 4-2 win and a season sweep of the Islanders.
PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
Pointers second baseman Trevor Sykes (1) throws to first base, completing a double play at Coronado last week. The Pointers earned a 4-2 win and a season sweep of the Islanders. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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A pair of games against Patrick Henry High School are all that stand between the Point Loma Pointers baseball team and an Eastern League championship.

The teams meet on David Wells Field Tuesday, and again Thursday, on the Patriots' San Carlos diamond in games that should determine what team wears the league crown. Both games begin at 3:30 p.m.

The teams are similar statistically, with the Patriots batting .271 as a team and the Pointers .268. In the Div. 6A Lions Tournament championship game last month, the Patriots outscored the Pointers 5-2, giving the Dogs motivation for revenge.

This scenario assumes the Pointers swept this week's series with last place University City, including a game today, May 11 at home against the Centurions.

The Patriots (6-2 in league, 14-11 overall) have the tougher challenge, as they face scrappy Coronado twice this week leading up to their showdown with the Pointers.

With these four league games left to play, the Pointers have a league record of 7-1, their only loss being a tough 2-0 setback on the road at the hands of Serra pitcher Tate Samuelson, who pitched a complete game, only allowing three baserunners while lowering his ERA to 1.00. Samuelson is normally a reliever.

Overall the Pointers sport a 17-8-1 mark, which places them in fourth place in the CIF Div. II rankings as the regular season winds down.

While head coach David Wells has been disappointed with his team's situational hitting, two recent wins were attributable to hitters who came through at critical moments.

First it was senior Frank Rogozienski breaking a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning with a single that drove in the two game-winning runs to defeat Serra at home April 20 before Samuelson hurled his gem. Junior Mitchell Sardo went six innings, giving up four hits for the win before junior Roman Paniagua came on to hurl a perfect seventh inning for the save.

Then it was senior Santiago Gomez, who came to the plate in a May 2 battle with Coronado, played at Point Loma Nazarene University's Carroll B. Land Stadium. The game was tied 1-1, this time in the bottom of the sixth, as two Pointer baserunners stood on the bags. 

Gomez checked his swing on one pitch, and when the umpires ruled it a ball, the Coronado fans erupted in protest. And then he began fouling off pitches, leaving him with a two-strike count. After fouling off a half-dozen balls, Gomez drilled a pitch into left field where it soared over the fielder's head, allowing both runners to score easily in another 3-1 win.

By the time the Islanders got the ball back into the infield, Gomez stood at second base with a double and the honor of the best at-bat by a Pointer player this season. Particularly happy was senior pitcher Andrew Johnson, who tossed a 76-pitch complete game victory.

The Pointers swept new league rival San Diego 4-0 at home as Johnson threw an 85-pitch, two hit, complete game shutout. Rogozienski drove in two runs, with senior Matt Amberg and Sardo also getting RBI's. Amberg had two doubles and junior Trevor Sykes had one.

Playing next at San Diego, the Pointers prevailed 5-1, with four Caver errors leading to four unearned Dog runs. The Pointers lashed 13 hits, all singles, led by Sardo's three, to record a season-high .419 team batting average for the day.

Pitching duties were shared by Gomez (four innings and the win), junior Austin Correia and senior Dan Berry (one inning of relief each).

Several Pointers are among Eastern League leaders including Rogozienski's 20 runs scored which is tied for first. Amberg is second (15).  Amberg's nine stolen bases rank first.

Defensively, Johnson and Sardo rank third and fourth with 37 and 36 strikeouts respectively. Sardo's 1.02 ERA places him second while Johnson's 1.27 ranks fifth. Sardo leads the league with six wins while Johnson is fifth with four.

Catcher Jared Bacon leads the league with a .991 fielding average.

Volleyball

The Pointer boys volleyball team finished its season with a 25-4 record, good enough for a No. 1 seed and first round bye in the CIF Div. II playoffs that began last week. 
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