By Bill Tamburrino
The Ramona High School Bulldog baseball team played the first two of three games against Poway High School (13-9, 4-4) and split with the Titans as each team won on its home diamond.
The two teams will meet again in the season finale at RHS on May 16. The Bulldogs are 9-12 on the season and 2-6 in the Palomar League.
One bad inning cost the Dawgs the 6-2 loss at the opening game of the series at Poway High School. Ramona held a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the second inning when Poway scored five runs off RHS starter Beau Sulser. Sulser went the distance and gave up one more run in the sixth inning. He surrendered six hits and walked six while striking out three.
The Dawgs out-hit the Titans 9-6 but could not get key hits with men in scoring position. Kevin Hagan had a stellar day at the plate. Hagan went 2-for-2 with a double and scored both of Ramona’s runs. Christian Drews and Kyle Wilson both stroked RBI singles with Hagan on base. Brandon Fitzpatrick also had a two hit outing as he went 2-for-3 with a double. Jackson Willeford, Sulser and Henry Flecker also hit safely for the Dawgs.
Harrison McGhee pitched his best game of the season and got the Dawgs back in the win column as he tossed a one hit shutout in a 5-0 victory on Rocky Lawler Field. The score does not indicate the how close the game actually was.
“We have been struggling at the plate especially with runners in scoring position. We used the short game to move runners and put the ball in play. However, we welcomed Jackson’s (Willeford) home run. That got us to relax and then we had a big inning. As it turned out, one run is all that we needed with the way Harrison pitched. But insurance runs always make coaching easier,” said Coach Dean Welch with a smile after McGhee had pitched his gem.
“My best pitch was my curve. It was working nicely and it kept the hitters off balance. I was throwing the ball well and hitting the spots with strikes with all of my pitches,” said McGhee.
His catcher, Christian Drews, agreed with the senior right hander. “His curve was the best it has been all year. His control was great on all of his pitches. After their second hitter got a hit, he was in complete control,” he said.
McGhee struck out seven and walked four as his defense turned two double plays and made some heads up plays in the field.
Jordan Farhat hit two doubles and scored the only run the Dawgs would need in the first inning when Willeford drove him in.
For the next five innings McGhee and Justin McSorley locked up in a pitching duel. Willeford hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to give McGhee some breathing room. It was Willeford’s eighth round tripper of the season.
The Dawgs then rallied for three runs in the sixth inning as Farhat drove in a run and Henry Flecker stroked a two run single.
The Dawgs have a three game series against Mount Carmel High School this week, capped off with an 11 a.m. game on Cinco de Mayo at the Mount.