Grossmont College 2014

Varsity Grossmont College Baseball Highlights 2014

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East County Sports

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Griffins Trio Earn All-PCAC laurels

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EL CAJON (5-10-14) — Three Grossmont College players were named to the 2014 All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball team. Catcher DIEGO REYNOSO, a freshman out of Helix, received the honor, as did second baseman NICO MAIDA, a freshman out of Grossmont High. Hard-nosed sophomore outfielder KACY SMITH, a product of Helix High, made the all-conference team for the second year in a row.

Another East County product included KEVIN GINKEL out of El Capitan, who played baseball at Southwestern.
Griffins earning honorable mention are: Shane Coleman, Neil Lang, Zach Ambrose, Keith Kruger, Stephen Haviar and Jordan Kunz.

2014 All-PCAC Baseball
(Selected by the coaches)

Player of the Year / Dillan Smith, Palomar
Coach of the Year / Buck Taylor, Palomar
FIRST TEAM
Pitchers
Jake Barnett, Fr., Palomar
Kevin Ginkel, Fr., Southwestern
Zach Wilkins, So., Palomar
Emilio Esquivel, So., Palomar

Relief Pitchers
Gary Cornish, So., Palomar
Catchers
Diego Reynoso, Fr., Grossmont
Francis Christy, Fr., Palomar

Infielders
Miguel Solano, So., Southwestern
Zachary Taylor, Fr., San Diego Mesa
Dennis Morton, So., Palomar
Chris Stratton, Fr., Palomar

Nico Maida, Fr., Grossmont
Outfielders
Dillan Smith, So., Palomar
Chris Allen, So., Southwestern
Ryan Lawson, So., San Diego Mesa
Raymond Jones, Fr., San Diego City
Kacy Smith, So., Grossmont
Matt Matlock, So., Palomar
Isaiah Cruz, So., Imperial Valley
Manny Mendoza , So., Mt. San Jacinto

Designated Hitter
Kash Mattson, Fr., Mt. San Jacinto
Utility
Johnny Valdez, Fr., Mt. San Jacinto
Honorable Mention

Grossmont: Shane Coleman, So., pitcher; Neil Lang, Fr., pitcher; Zach Ambrose, So., pitcher; Keith Kruger, Fr., outfielder; Stephan Haviar, So., infielder; Jordan Kunz, So., pitcher.

Fade to Black: Following fast start, Griffins’ season ends in disappointment to Palomar

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EL CAJON (4-26-14) — Grossmont College’s baseball season can be looked at twofold. The Griffins won 21 games in 35 starts. That’s the high point .

However, losing 6 of their final 7 games the Griffins knocked themselves out of a potential playoff berth as they concluded a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference season by dropping a 4-3 decision to PCAC champion Palomar on Friday (Apr. 25) at Noel Mickelsen Field.
Grossmont went 0-5 against Palomar, which led to the Griffins’ demise.

“I’m extremely pleased that we were able to win 21 games this season,” said Griffins coach RANDY ABSHIER. “We have seven starters who didn’t even play last year.”

Shortstop JAVIER GONZALEZ paced the Griffins’ 8 hit attack with 3 singles and an RBI against the Comets (27-9, 22-2 PCAC.
NICO MAIDA was 2-for-5 in the losing effort.

Four Grossmont pitchers allowed only 2 earned runs in the season finale.

“We’re going to have more than a handful of guys getting scholarships going out this year,” Abshier said.

Fading Griffins eliminated in extra innings

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SAN MARCOS (4-23-14) — Front-running Palomar continued its dominance of the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference by clipping Grossmont College for the 4th time in as many tries, edging the Griffins 3-2 in 11 innings.

The Comets (26-9, 21-2 PCAC) won the game with two outs in the bottom of the 11th on Chris Stratton’s sacrifice bunt single to score Jared Hunt (Granite Hills).

Grossmont, which suffered its fifth loss in six games, fell to 21-13 (13-10 PCAC).

The Griffins held the lead over the Comets two times, but couldn’t hold on. In the 2nd inning Grossmont ROMELLO CARBUCCIA drove in the first run with a ground out, giving the Griffins the early edge.

Palomar tied it in the 5th and the game went into extra innings.

But once again the Griffins took the lead in the 10th as NICO MAIDA doubled down the left field line to score KEITH KRUGER, who had drawn a one-out walk.

The Comets tied it in the bottom of the 10th on Dennis Morton’s RBI single.

The Griffins wasted quality pitching by DOUG BRANNVALL, NEIL LANG and ZACH AMBROSE. Ambrose, who walked 3 in a third of an inning, was tagged with his 4th loss in 7 decisions.

The two teams will meet again Friday (Apr. 25) at Noel Mickelsen Field in the regular season finale at 2 p.m. If the Griffins expect to have any chance of making the playoffs they need a victory or they’re a long shot, at best.

Postseason plans on hold following loss

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EL CAJON (4-19-14) — Grossmont College’s chances for a postseason playoff berth are fading fast following Friday’s (Apr. 18) loss to visiting Mt. San Jacinto, 12-6. The Griffins have slipped into third place at 13-8 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and 21-11 overall.

With only three games remaining – all against front-running Palomar (24-9, 19-2 PCAC) – the Griffins would need a sweep or at least win two of their final three if they hope to catch second place Southwestern (24-9, 14-7).

Losing to Mt. San Jacinto put a crimp in the Griffins’ plans for sure. Now they must play catch-up with one week left in the regular season.

Grossmont never led in its latest bout against Mt. San Jacinto . The Eagles garnered a 5-0 lead and never released the advantage from its talons, as the visiting team won all three games in the week-long series.

KEITH KRUGER, the Griffins’ leadoff hitter, was 4-for-5 with 2 runs scored, one RBI and 2 stolen bases in the losing effort.

NICO MAIDA and BRANDON LEWIS added a pair of hits apiece to Grossmont’s 12-hit attack.

The Eagles bullied six Grossmont pitchers for 15 hits. Leadoff man Johnny Valdez set the tone as he went 4-for-6 with 6 RBI and 4 runs scored.

Next up the Griffins will host Palomar on Tuesday (Apr. 22) at 2 p.m. at Noel Mickelsen Field.

One inning costs Grossmont

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EL CAJON (4-16-14) — Visiting Mt. San Jacinto College scored seven runs in the 2nd inning to take an 8-1 lead over host Grossmont College in Tuesday’s (Apr. 15) Pacific Coast Athletic Conference action.

The result was the Eagles registering a 13-2 victory, which has all but eliminated Grossmont from winning the conference championship.

The Griffins are now 20-10 (12-7 PCAC) with its hopes focused on gaining a berth in the Southern California Regional playoffs as an at-large team.

The Griffins have one game remaining against Mt. San Jacinto (16-15, 11-8 PCAC) and closes the season with three games against Palomar, which will probably claim the conference championship.

Ironically, in their latest outing the Griffins pounded out 14 hits, which is the same number for which Mt. San Jacinto raked five Grossmont pitchers.

Griffin highlights were few but MICHAEL KOLEK was 3-for-5 was the best that Grossmont had to offer. Kolek was also responsible for the only extra base hit for Grossmont as he doubled down the left field line in the bottom of the 5th.

NICO MAIDA, KEITH KRUGER, KACY SMITH and DIEGO REYNOSO chipped in with 2 hits apiece for the Griffins.

Next up for the Griffins is a trip to Hemet on Thursday (Apr. 17) where they will take on Mt. San Jacinto at 2 p.m. for the third time this season.

Griffins seek another season-series sweep of Southwestern

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EL CAJON (4-11-14) — Grossmont College broke a 6-6 tie with a run in the bottom of the 8th inning to knock off Southwestern in a key Pacific Coast Athletic Conference victory at Noel Mickelsen Field on Thursday (Apr. 10).

JAVIER GONZALEZ drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a bunt by ROMELLO CARBUCCIA. NICO MAIDA then slapped a ground ball that was booted by the Southwestern shortstop that allowed Gonzalez to score the go-ahead run for the 7-6 decision.

The triumph was Grossmont’s 8th straight over the Jaguars (9 of 10 since 2012).

KYLE SAGER pitched a shutout 8th inning in relief for his first win, and DOUG BRANNVALL came out of the bullpen in the 9th to record his third save for the Griffins (20-8, 12-5 PCAC). They have won 12 of the last 13 games.

The Griffins banged out 14 hits, led by DIEGO REYNOSO’s 3-for-4 effort. MAIDA finished 2-for-4, while Brannvall was 2-for-3. Carbuccia also had 2 hits.

Grossmont has seven games remaining in their regular season, including three key games against front-running Palomar.

On a side note, Grossmont acknowledged Southwestern’s veteran coach Jerry Bartow in his final appearance at Grossmont College . Bartow is retiring at the end of this season.

Grossmont goes for the season-series sweep when they meet Southwestern on the Jaguars’ field on Saturday (Apr. 12) at noon. The Griffins are currently 3-0 against the Jags this season after sweeping all five meetings in 2013.

Griffins go 10 to down Southwestern

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CHULA VISTA (4-9-14) — Grossmont College posted its 11th win in the last 12 games on Tuesday (Apr. 8) by knocking off Southwestern College, 4-3, at Apache Junction.

The Griffins pushed across the winning run in the 10th inning with a two-out rally.

KEITH KRUGER laced a leadoff single and advanced to second on a bunt by NICO MAIDA. Kruger scored on a base hit by STEPHEN HAVIAR, giving the Griffins the winning run.

Haviar finished 3-for-5 with 2 RBI in the contest, as did MAIDA.

ZACH AMBROSE pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief to pick up the win. DOUG BRANNVALL logged a save.

These same two teams will play again on Thursday (Apr. 10) at Noel Mickelsen Field at 2 p.m.

Griffins bounce back in rubber game

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KEARNY MESA (4-5-14) — Grossmont College relocated the winning trail Friday (Apr. 4) as the Griffins clubbed host San Diego Mesa College, 11-2, in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference contest.

Grossmont, which has now won 10 of its last 11, snapped a 2-2 tie with 6 runs in the 3rd inning, pushing its record to 18-8 overall and 10-5 in conference.

In the pivotal 3rd inning, ROMELLO CARBUCCIA ignited the rally with a single up the middle. KEITH KRUGER reached base on an error to put two runners on the sacks. NICO MAIDA then walked to load the bases.

Then Grossmont broke out the heavy lumber.

KACY SMITH doubled to left-center to give the Griffins a 4-2 lead. STEPHEN HAVIAR singled to right to score MAIDA. DIEGO REYNOSO then set down a bunt single to score Smith. The runners advanced on a passed ball. With one out DOUG BRANNVALL singled to left field to score Haviar. JAVIER GONZALEZ hoisted a sacrifice fly to bring in Reynoso.

Carbuccia was 3-for-3 to lead the Griffins’ 13 hit attack.

JOEY VISKAS pitched the first five innings and did not allow an earned run as he upped his record to 3-0.

The Grossmont bullpen took over from there. ZACHARY AMBROSE pitched 2 shutout innings, Brannvall and KYLE SAGER each pitched one shutout inning. As a team the Griffin staff struck out 9 with Viskas logging 6 of the Ks.

For Mesa , former Helix standout MAURO OLIVARRIA was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Next up for the Griffins is a PCAC encounter at Southwestern on Tuesday (Apr. 8) at 2 p.m.

Griffins complete sweep of Chaffey

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EL CAJON (3-30-14) — Grossmont College’s JOEY VISKAS, ZACH AMBROSE, JORDAN COOMBS and KYLE SAGER combined to shut down Foothills Conference-leading Chaffey College, 7-4, in a non-conference game Saturday (Mar. 29) at the Griffins’ Noel Mickelsen Field.

Viskas was awarded his 2nd win after toiling 6 1/3 innings for Grossmont. He lowered his season ERA to 2.91 for 19.3 innings work. Against Chaffey he served up 14 ground balls.

“That’s typical of a sinker ball pitcher like Viskas,” said Griffins’ coach RANDY ABSHIER. “He got in a bit of a jam in the 7th inning so I brought in Ambrose, who got a 5-4-3 double play on one pitch.”

JORDAN KUNZ and KYLE SAGER finished off the game with Sager picking up the save.
The Griffins pecked away on the offensive end as they rolled up their 8th straight win, which increased their record to 16-7.

Offensively Grossmont executed two safety squeezes to produce runs.

DIEGO REYNOSO, who provided one of the squeezes, was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, while STEPHEN HAVIER was 2-for-3, 2 walks, a double and an RBI.

NICO MAIDA, Grossmont’s most consistent hitter, was 2-for-4 with a walk and a sacrifice.

Next up for the Griffins is a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game at San Diego Mesa College on Tuesday (Apr. 1) at 2 p.m.

Knights bestow gifts to Grossmont -Griffins sweep 3-game series

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BALBOA PARK (3-22-14) — Grossmont College capitalized on five San Diego City College errors for six unearned runs en route to a 6-3 victory over the Knights on Friday (Mar. 21) in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference at Morley Field.

The victory was the 6th in a row for the Griffins (14-7, 8-4 PCAC), who trail Palomar (9-2, 13-9) in the PCAC race.

Grossmont erased a 3-0 deficit with five runs in the top of the 5th inning.

KEITH KRUGER reached on a throwing error by the shortstop and eventually stole second. He scampered to third on a passed ball and scored when NICO MAIDA reached base on a throwing error. Maida advanced two bases on the miscue and took third on a wild pitch. KACY SMITH tapped into a fielder’s choice and Maida scored.

STEPHEN HAVIAR doubled to left field to score Smith and tie the game at 3-3.

DIEGO REYNOSO singled through the left side, bringing in Haviar and giving Grossmont the lead. BRANDON LEWIS then singled to left, sending Reynoso to second. With two outs JAVIER GONZALEZ singled and advanced to second on an error and Reynoso scored on the play.

The Griffins added a run in the 8th inning on a San Diego City College throwing error.

Grossmont will be idle until taking on Chaffey College on Thursday (Mar. 27) at Noel Mickelsen Field at 2 p.m.

Smith says, “Good Knight, now” to City College

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EL CAJON (3-21-14) — Helix High alum KACY SMITH drove in four runs with a triple and a pair of double, continuing Grossmont’s College recent mark of success following Thursday’s (Mar. 20) easy 10-4 victoru over visiting San Diego City in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference contest at at Noel Mickelsen Field.

Smith fnished by going 4-for-5, lifting the Griffins to 13-7 overall (7-4 PCAC).

ZACH AMBROSE came out of the bullpen to blank the Knights (5-14, 3-8 PCAC) on two hits over 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out 4 while posting his 2nd win in five decisions.

Grossmont took a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning as Smith had an RBI single and STEPHEN HAVIAR clubbed a solo homer.
The Griffins tagged on 3 more runs in the 3rd.

Smith tripled down the right field line to score NICO MAIDA, who got on base on an infield single.

DIEGO REYNOSO later added a 2-run single to make it 5-0.

San Diego City cut it to 5-4 in the 4th inning, but the Griffins countered with 2 in the bottom of the frame on an error and an RBI single by Smith.

In the 5th inning DOUG BRANNVALL stroked an RBI double to left-center field, scoring BRANDON LEWIS. Brannvall scored on a base hit by JAVIER GONZALEZ.

Grossmont capped its scoring on an RBI double by Smith in the bottom of the 8th.

These same two teams will play again on Friday (Mar. 28) at Morley Field at 2 p.m.

Griffins knock the Knights

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BALBOA PARK (3-19-14) — Grossmont College stretched its Pacific Coast Athletic Conference winning streak to four on Tuesday (Mar. 18)l knocking off San Diego City College 6-4 at Morley Field.

Left-hander SHANE COLEMAN limited the Knights to 3 hits and no earned runs over seven innings as he posted his 2nd win in as many decisions. Coleman struck out 6.

NEIL LANG finished the job on the hill while striking out 3 and earning his first save.

NICO MAIDA sparked the Grossmont offense by going 3-for-5 with a run and 2 RBI.

Leadoff man KEITH KRUGER was 1-for-3 with 3 runs scored for the Griffins.

BRANDON LEWIS chipped in with 3 hits in 4 at-bats for Grossmont (12-7, 6-4 PCAC).

Next up for the Griffins is a rematch with the Knights on Thursday (Mar. 20) at Noel Mickelsen Field at 2 p.m.

Abshier collects 200th triumph – By Bill Dickens

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EL CAJON (3-15-14) — Grossmont College head baseball coach RANDY ABSHIER celebrated a personal milestone on Friday (Mar. 14) when the Griffins knocked off visiting Imperial Valley College, 12-2, in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference contest at Noel Mickelsen Field.

This win had special meaning as it was coaching victory number 200 for Abshier in 10 seasons.

“I’m very humbled by it all,” Abshier said. “It’s about the players. Every one of them who walks through the door is like family.”
Actually, none of the players knew that Abshier was approaching making history.

“It’s not something we sat around and talked about,” Abshier said. “I’m not a big stats guy. Sure I like to win games and championships, but my job is to give every guy the opportunity to reach the next level.

“Of course winning 200 games is a great feeling, and I’m thankful to all the people who helped me reach that mark. I couldn’t do it without the great support of my players, coaches and family.”

Designated hitter STEPHEN HAVIAR was 2-for-4 with a double and 5 RBI to lead the Griffins.

ROMELLO CARBUCCIA was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, while KACY SMITH went 3-for-5 with a home run and 4 runs scored.

NICO MAIDA was 2-for-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI. He also stole a base, as did Smith, KEITH KRUGER and DIEGO REYNOSO.

RANDY WYNNE scattered 6 hits and allowed only one run over six innings to pick up his 3rd win in 4 decisions for the Griffins.
Next up for the Griffins is a meeting with San Diego City College at Morley Field on Tuesday (Mar. 18) at 2 p.m.

Coleman cools IVC in shutout win

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IMPERIAL (3-12-14) — SHANE COLEMAN and three Grossmont relievers combined to pitch a 6-hit shutout as visiting Grossmont College clobbered Imperial Valley College, 13-0, in Tuesday’s (Mar. 11) Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Coleman allowed 4 hits and struck out 5 during his six-inning stint.

ANDREW GRANT, NEIL LANG and KYLE SAGER each pitched one shutout inning as the Griffins avenged an earlier 3-2 loss to the Arabs.

DIEGO REYNOSO and STEPHEN HAVIER each had 2 hits and 2 RBI to spark the Griffins.

NICO MAIDA also drove in 2 runs, as did JAVIER GONZALEZ.

These same two teams will meet again at Noel Mickelsen Field for games on Thursday and Friday (Mar. 13-14), both at 2 p.m.

Strong Grossmont pitching, but where are the bats?

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EL CAJON (3-6-14) — Grossmont College wasted a strong pitching performance by ZACH AMBROSE and NEIL LANG in dropping a 3-1 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference makeup contest to visiting San Diego Mesa College.

Trailing 2-0 the Griffins (7-6, 1-3) avoided a shutout with a run in the 6th inning. KEITH KRUGER singled to right and stole second base. Kruger eventually scooted home on a single by DIEGO REYNOSO.

Reynoso andNICO MAIDA accounted for two hits apiece as Grossmont totaled nine.

Ambrose and Lang scattered nine hits and struck out six in the losing effort.

Next up for Grossmont is a Thursday (Mar. 6) PCAC encounter in Hemet against Mt. San Jacinto at 2 p.m.

Reynoso delivers walk-off winner to shock Southwestern

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EL CAJON (3-5-14) — Grossmont College catcher DIEGO REYNOSO singled up the middle to knock in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning Tuesday (Mar. 4), giving the Griffins a 3-2 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference victory over visiting Southwestern at Noel Mickelsen Field.

Trailing 2-0 the Griffins broke into the scoring column with a run in the bottom of the 7th on an RBI single to right center field by NICO MAIDA, which plated BRANDON LEWIS.

Two innings later Lewis’ bunt single set the table for the Griffins last inning heroics.

After ROMELLO CARBUCCIA sacrificed Lewis to second base, KEITH KRUGER reached base on a throwing error by the Southwestern shortstop, followed by an intentional walk to MAIDA. KACY SMITH followed with a walk to load the bases. However, JAVIER GONZALEZ popped out to first base, leaving the Griffins with the bases loaded, one run short and only one out left at their disposal.

Reynoso followed by slashing a single up the middle that cashed in the winning run.

Now 1-2 in the PCAC (and 7-5 overall) the Griffins travel to Mt. San Jacinto Thursday (Mar. 6) for a 2 p.m. PCAC challenge.

Knights take over in extra innings

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EL CAJON (2-26-14) — A wild 11th inning saw visiting San Diego City College outscore Grossmont College by a 6-3 couny, allowing the Knights to take an 11-8 decision over the Griffins in Tuesday’s (Feb. 25) Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game at Noel Mickelsen Field.

The Griffins (6-5 overall, 0-2 PCAC) forced extra innings late, when GUILLERMO RESENDEZ lidted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 9th to level the contest at 5-all.

With the victory, San Diego City (4-7) remains tied with Palomar for the PCAC lead with 2-0 marks.

Grossmont pounded out 20 hits, including 4 by KACY SMITH. Three of Smith’s hits went for doubles.

STEPHEN HAVIAR, DOUG BRANNVALL and DREW DANZEISEN added three hits apiece for the Griffins.

Other offensive high points for Grossmont included four stolen bases by NICO MAIDA.

Next up for the Griffins is a home game versus San Diego Mesa College on Saturday (Mar. 1) at noon.

Griffins’ outfield pound Pasadena

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EL CAJON (2-21-14) — Helix High product BRANDON LEWIS posted the biggest hitting day of his brief collegiate career, driving in four runs on three hits to power Grossmont College past visiting Pasadena City College, 15-6, in Thursday’s (Feb. 20) non-conference ballgame at Noel Mickelsen Field.

Lewis, a freshman left fielder, batted 3-for-4, including a 3-run double to left-center field in the 4th inning, when the Griffins scored four times to mount an 8-2 cushion.

Center fielder KACY SMITH, another Helix alum, got the Griffins going with the first of his two basehits in the 1st, when Grossmont (6-3) took a 3-1 lead. Smith finished with a pair of RBI and scored three times.

Meanwhile, right fielder KEITH KRUGER batted 4-for-6 with three runs, as Grossmont’s starting outfield combined to go 9-for-13 against Pasadena (3-7).

The Griffins also received two hits each from second baseman NICO MAIDA, third baseman DOUG BRANNVALL, catcher DIEGO REYNOSO and designated hitter MICHAEL KOLEK as part of a 17-hit attack.

Sophomore right-hander RANDY WYNNE tossed three innings of 2-hit relief to gain the pitching victory, striking out four Lancers without issuing a walk.

The Griffins, owners of the second-best record among Pacific Coast Athletic Conference schools, open PCAC play Saturday (Feb. 22) at Imperial Valley (1-9).

— Nick Pellegrino

Maida propels Griffins past Lasers

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EL CAJON (2-9-14) — NICO MAIDA went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI to guide the Grossmont Griffins past visiting Irvine Valley College, 6-3, in Saturday’s (Feb. 8) non-league action at Noel Mickelsen Field.

The Griffins broke a 1-1 tie with 4 runs in the 2nd inning.

Grossmont pitchers NEIL LANG, ROBERT NELSON, ZACHARY HYMER and JOEY VISKAS combined to scatter 10 hits.
Lang was awarded his 2nd win in as many decisions.

BRANDON LEWIS, STEPHEN HAVIAR and KEITH KRUGER each drove in a run for the Griffins who improved to 3-1 overall.

Grossmont will travel to East Los Angeles College on Tuesday (Feb. 11) for a 2 p.m. start.

Griffins use small ball to top state power

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LONG BEACH (2-2-14) — NICO MAIDA (Grossmont HS) slapped an RBI single to right field in the 7th inning to break a 2-2 tie and propel the visiting Grossmont College Griffins to a 4-3 victory over traditional state power Long Beach City College Saturday (Feb. 1) at Joe Hicks Memorial Field.

It was the second win in as many days for the Griffins, who travel to Fullerton on Tuesday (Feb. 4) for a 2 p.m. game.

The Griffins tagged on an insurance run in the 8th inning against the Vikings (0-1) as JAVIER GONZALEZ (El Capitan) laid down a squeeze bunt, scoring DIEGO REYNOSO (Helix).

NEIL LANG, a left-handed freshman, started and allowed only one earned run for the Griffins, but struggled with his control, walking six. However, he was the winning pitcher.

KYLE SAGER ( Steele Canyon ) pitched one shutout inning of relief, JORDAN KUNZ (West Hills) allowed one run in one inning, and DOUG BRANNVALL (Granite Hills) pitched a shutout 9th to record the save.

Starting the game at third base Brannvall was 2-for-5 with one RBI.

KACY SMITH (Helix) was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks. The sophomore center fielder has 5 hits in 7 at-bats.

Shutout relief lifts Griffins in ’14 opener

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EL CAJON (1-1-14) — Relief pitcher ZACH AMBROSE pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings and KACY SMITH and STEPHEN HAVIAR drove in three runs apiece as Grossmont College clipped Victor Valley, 10-6, in Friday’s (Jan. 31) season opener at Noel Mickelsen Field.
The Griffins, who play at Long Beach City College Saturday (Feb. 1) at 1 p.m., overcame a 5-2 deficit by scoring six runs in the 6th inning against the Rams.

Smith and Haviar each whacked a 2-run double in the big inning. NICO MAIDA also chipped in with a run-scoring single, and DIEGO REYNOSO batted in another with a base hit in the 6th.

Grossmont totaled 15 hits. BRANDON LEWIS, MAIDA and HAVIAR had three hits apiece to lead the onslaught.

Ambrose, who allowed only one hit and struck out five, was awarded the winning pitcher.

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Grossmont College Website

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Abshier notches win 199

(3/13/2014) EL CAJON, CALIF. — The Grossmont College Griffins secured a 4-3 walk-off win over the Imperial Valley Arabs on Thursday, March 13th. In the process it moved head coach Randy Abshier to within one win of 200 as the head man at Grossmont.

Kevin Kruger, NICO MAIDA and Brandon Lewis all chipped in a pair of hits to the Griffins (10-7, 4-4 PCAC) nine hit attack. The Griffins streamlined their scoring by doing all of the damage in the sixth and ninth innings.

In the sixth, trailing 2-0, MAIDA singled through the right side. Kacy Smith walked to push MAIDA to second. Michael Kolek loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch. Diego Reynoso kept the marry-go-round action going by getting a single to center driving in MAIDA. Lewis singled to center to drive in Smith and moving Reynoso to third. Imperial Valley brought in their designated hitter to pitch, it worked as Oscar Ruiz would get the next three batters to ground out. However, Javier Gonzalez’s ground out brought home Havier to give the Griffins a 3-2.

In the eighth inning, Imperial Valley (3-15, 2-6 PCAC) got a rally going. After Jeremy Dial was hit by a Jordan Kunz curve ball, Cajigas laid down a sacrifice bunt to push Dial to second. After a strikeout for the second out, Ruiz “helped his own cause” by getting a single to left that scored Dial to tie the game up 3-3.

Fast forward to the ninth inning, Drew Denzeisen reached after being hit by a pitch to lead the winning rally off. Romello Carbuccia followed that up with another HBP. Kruger singled to load the bases with no outs. MAIDA hit a groundball to first, Imperial Valley chose to get the force out at home, to keep the bases loaded. Kacy Smith hit a fly ball to medium right center field. On the fly out, Carbuccia tagged up and scored on the out.

Imperial Valley and Grossmont will finish their week-long series up on Friday, March 14. If the Griffins win, it will not only give coach Abshier his 200th win, it will also give the Griffins the sweep of the series.

Griffins sweep the Wildcats

(2/19/2014) EL CAJON — The Grossmont College Griffins swept the West LA Wildcats by identical 8-3 scores in Saturday’s doubleheader at Noel Michelsen Field.

Grossmont (5-3) bounced back after Friday’s defensive debacle versus East Los Angeles. The Griffins shut down West LA’s (0-7) offense for the first three innings until Anthony Spears hit his first home run of the season to give WLA a 1-0 lead.

GC’s offense came alive in the sixth inning when NICO MAIDA (4-for-8, 4 runs) doubled to left center field. Kacy Smith (3-for-8, 4 runs, 3 RBI) drove MAIDA in on his own double to right center field. Doug Brannvall was the hitting star in the first game going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI, singled to left to move Smith to third. After an error by the left fielder to load the bases, the Wildcat pitchers got the marry-go-round action going by issuing consecutive walks. The Griffins ended the barrage by grounding into a double play.

The Green and Gold struck for another three runs in the seventh and tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth inning. West LA scored two runs in the top of the ninth to give a scare to the Griffin faithful.

Game two of the day was a seven inning affair and the Griffins struck early. In the bottom of the first as eight of the ten batters that went to the plate reached safely. Those ten batters scored five runs and racked up six hits.

The Wildcats took advantage of some sloppy fielding by the Griffins and scored a pair of unearned runs in the third
GC scored three more runs in the fifth which was driven in mainly by Diego Reynoso. Reynoso eventually came around on an error.
In the top of the sixth, three Wildcats reached safely to push across the final run of the day.

Griffins break it open with a four-run second

EL CAJON —Grossmont College defeated Irvine Valley 6-3 on Saturday afternoon in a non-conference game at Noel Michelsen Field.

The 20th ranked Griffins (3-1) were led by freshman NICO MAIDA who went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Brandon Lewis, Stephen Haviar and Keith Kruger each knocked in a run.

Neil Lang got the victory for the Green and Gold after throwing six innings of four-hit ball. A trio of relievers came in and closed out the remaining three frames.

Chris Lumanlan (1-1) was saddled with the loss for Irvine Valley (2-4). For IVC the game wrapped up a string of three games against the PCAC, a run that saw them go 0-3 against San Diego, Southwestern and GC.

In the 9th, Irvine threatened to make it a game. After a pair of strike outs to begin the inning, pinch hitter Brady Zinsser reached on a single through the left side. Fellow pinch hitter J’Anthony Sanchez knocked a liner up the middle for a single allowing Zinsser to advance to second. Dallas Porter singled to load the bases. The barrage of pinch hitters continued with Mychal Matzek who doubled to left field after Romello Carbuccia lost the ball in the sun. The double brought in Zinsser and Sanchez to bring IVC to within three. That was as close as they would get as Jesus Meza would foul out to Reynoso to end the game.

Irvine Valley cracked the scoreboard in the first, with two outs Jesus Meza singled to left centerfield. He was driven in on a Teddy Steffel double to the same gap.

Grossmont battled back and put a run up in their half of the frame. Kacy Smith led off the first with a single up the middle. After Lewis got him in scoring position with a groundout to third, Havier walked to put runners on first and second, and Kruger got his RBI with a base hit to right.

The Griffins broke the game open in the second when they sent eight to the plate and scored half of them. With runners on second and third with two out, MAIDA knocked in his two runs with a single right back through the box. MAIDA would come around and score on Lewis’ RBI triple to right. Havier followed the triple with a double of his own to left center to bring in the final run of the inning.

In the eighth, Doug Brannvall reached on a throwing error by the shortstop and advanced to second when the ball got behind the first baseman. After Diego Reynoso reached on a walk, Irvine’s pitcher lost his control and fired back to back wild pitches to bring in Brannvall.

Grossmont will have four games next week. It will get started with a home and home against East LA. On Tuesday the Griffins will travel to Monterey Park for a 4:00 game before returning to Noel Michelsen Field for a 2:00 game on Friday. Next Saturday, West LA comes to El Cajon for a pair of seven inning games, starting at 11:00 AM.

Griffins post 10 runs in season opening win

EL CAJON — The Grossmont College Griffins opened the 2014 season on a high note as they won 10-6 over Victor Valley on Friday (Jan. 31) at Noel Michelsen Field.

Freshman Brandon Lewis went 3-for-5 in the leadoff spot for the Griffins (1-0). Lewis got the game going with a double in the bottom of the first. And teammate Kacy Smith drove him in with a triple. For Smith it was the first of three runs that he would drive in on the day.

Victor Valley (0-1) came back with a run in the third inning to pull within a run of Grossmont. In the bottom of the fifth, the Rams scored four times to take a 5-2 lead.

Freshman NICO MAIDA got the inning started with a single, he was moved to second when Smith walked. Sophomore Steven Havier singled through the right side to plate MAIDA.

Havier went 3-for-5 on the day with three runs batted in.

The Griffins plated a six-pack of runs up in the sixth, with all of the runs being unearned. Grossmont tacked on a single run in the bottom of the seventh. Victor Valley closed out the scoring in the top of the ninth with a run. The Rams had the bases loaded when Robert Nelson struck out Chris Thibodeaux.

The Griffins set out on a three-game road trip. The road trip starts with a game at Long Beach Saturday Feb. 1st. Grossmont will return home for an 11:00 A.M. contest on February 8th.

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