Many of the top players and teams in the baseball-rich state of California gathered at San Diego State’s Tony Gwynn Stadium last Saturday for the San Diego Section High School Baseball Championships. Four teams were able to walk away from the day with the title “San Diego Section Champions.” Major-league scouts, college coaches, recruiters, and media members were littered throughout the stands, as some of the best high school talent in the country showcased themselves in America’s Finest City.

Division IV: Coronado 7 Madison 6

The seventh seeded Islanders finished off their miracle run to the championship in stunning fashion, rallying from a five-run deficit to beat the heavily favored Warhawks. Coronado sophomore pitcher Jake Meloche overcame his team’s early defensive miscues and pitched a complete game while being charged for only two earned runs. Seven of the eight hits he allowed were singles, and the underclassman lefty showed incredible poise while holding Madison to only one run in the final six innings, allowing his team to come back. At the plate, the Islanders were paced by senior right fielder Zack Wheeler, who went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.

Division III: El Capitan 4 Cathedral Catholic 2

As, expected, the DIII Championship was dominated by a left-handed starter. But it wasn’t the left-handed started everyone thought it would be. Cathedral Catholic junior Daniel Camarena, who is expected to be selected for the Aflac All-America game, was solid, holding the Vaqueros scoreless on four hits through the first five innings. But in the fifth inning, it was evident that Camarena was wearing down and balls were being hit hard, and in the sixth inning those hard hit balls found some holes. El Capitan junior Josh Tulledge capped the four run sixth inning rally with a 2-run single that put the Vaqueros up for good.

As good as Camarena was through the first five innings, showcasing a nasty curveball and great athleticism while fielding his position, his lefty counterpart Troy Conyers was even better, going 5 1/3 innings while allowing only four hits and two runs. He allowed only one extra-base hit, a triple by Camarena in the sixth.

San Diego State commit, El Capitan shortstop Tyrone Wiggins went 1-for-4, but was robbed of a base hit twice and showed good range at short. El Capitan sophomore catcher Chuck Moormon went 2-for-3 with a powerful double and had great receiving and blocking skills behind the plate. For Cathedral, Oklahoma State-bound left fielder Casey Munoz had a rough day, going 0-for-2 and misplaying multiple balls in left field.

Division II Championship: Grossmont 8 Helix 0

This was the Joe Musgrove show, plain and simple. The junior right-hander simply overpowered Helix, pitching 2-hit shutout and needing only 68 pitches to finish off the Highlanders. The 6-foot-4 Musgrove showcased a low-90’s fastball and killer curveball along with pinpoint control and impressive mound presence. He finished with six K’s and walked three.

The Foothillers jumped on top early, scoring seven runs and sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, giving Musgrove all the lead he would need, and then some. For good measure, Musgrove also had the hardest hit ball of the day, a line drive that thundered off the left-field wall.

Grossmont shortstop Evan Potter, a San Diego State commit, went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored. Senior left fielder Steven Brault was the offensive star of the day, going 3-for-4, finishing a home run shy of the cycle and two RBI.

Division I: Rancho Bernardo 9 Poway 5

The day’s premier event, featuring two of the most prominent and historic high school baseball programs in the nation, did not disappoint, as probable draftees and college commits galore put on quite a show for the sold out crowd. The long-time rivals each got on the board in the first inning, RB getting one in the top half on a Brandon Berry RBI double and Poway touching up Arizona State commit Trevor Williams for three runs courtesy of back-to-back-to-back doubles and a single by the first four batters. But Williams showed why he is one of the top prospects in the nation, setting down 14 of the next 17 Poway hitters he faced after those first four batters. He also was mostly a two-pitch pitcher, using a low-90’s fastball and a power curve with good break to thwart Poway for the remainder of the game. Williams, who is expected to be drafted in the top 10 rounds of the MLB Draft, went the distance, allowing five runs on ten hits while striking out five and walking none. He allowed six hits and two runs over his final six innings. Leading the way at-bat for RB was Berry, who hit the only home run in the four games today, with a 370-foot blast to left-center along with a double.

Poway’s Evan Thomas lacked the mound presence of his counterpart Williams, visibly showing his frustration and struggling mightily with his control. He would finish with four earned runs on six hits and three walks in five innings of work, and threw at least two balls to almost every batter faced.

The teams entered the seventh inning with RB up 5-3, but the Broncos rocked Titans reliever Keegan Yuhl for four runs in the top half of the inning, with the big blow coming on a two-run double by center fielder Anthony Vanroy.

Poway tried to stage a comeback in the bottom of the frame, scoring two runs off Williams, but in the end it was too little too late for the Titans, as RB wrapped up its fifth section crown since 1999.

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