Rolling Their Way Through Conference Play

The Grossmont Griffins (8-5), fresh off their three-game sweep of San Bernardino, continued their domination by steam rolling Southwestern this past week.

In game one of the Southwestern series, Pitcher Tim Holdgrafer gave Coach Abshier exactly what he was looking for: another quality start. The freshman phenom Holdgrafer went the distance, allowing one earned run over six innings. In the process, Holdgrafer notched six strikeouts under his belt.

However, Holdgrafer didn’t get the run support he needed and ended his day with a no-decision. Reliever Hayden Sheffield was able to breathe a breath of fresh air after a four-run bottom of the seventh courtesy of a two-RBI double from first baseman Noah Strohl.

The Griffins put the game out of reach in the eighth, tallying another five runs to their total off of five hits and by executing the fundamentals with a sacrifice fly from center fielder David Maldonado and a Jale Sim RBI groundout to the right side of the infield which allowed his man to cross the plate.

The Griffins took game one of the series, winning by an eight-run margin of 9-1. Shenefield earned his first win of the year in the process.

Some more of the same was expected as ace flamethrower, Donavon McCrystal toed the rubber for the rubber match of the three game series. And boy, did McCrystal deliver.

The UNLV commit tossed six and two-thirds innings and gave his team an excellent chance for their tenth win of the year.

Part of the reason McCrystal was so relaxed on the mound was the fact that his newly announced Pacific Coast Athletic Conference of the Week teammate, Robert Bostedt hit a bases-clearing, three-RBI triple in the top of the third inning which rose the Grossmont dugout to their feet, whoopin’ and hollerin’. Just after that, Team Captain Justen Burkey got situated in the batter’s box and pounded a double in the gap to knock Bostedt in. The Griffins led 5-2 after the third inning concluded.

The Griffins would end up continuing their five game winning streak wth their 7-2 victory and McCrystal would tuck another feather in his cap with his third win of the year.

Coach Abshier handed the ball to Buchach Colony High School alumni Andrew Mitchell in hopes that he’d help his team break out the brooms for a second consecutive sweep.

It was a fairly close ball game for most of the game. The Griffins took a 2-0 lead in the third inning delivered by another Strohl double, his fifth of the year.

Trouble arose in the fifth inning for Mitchell and the Griffins as Southwestern took advantage of two errors committed by Mitchell and Strohl. When the top of the fifth inning was all said and done, Southwestern had a 4-2 lead.

But one thing I’ve learned about these Griffins is to never count their bats out and they proved me right once again by responding to the four Southwestern runs with two of their own thanks to two doubles from David Maldonado and second baseman Reece Hernandez, tying the game 4-4 after the fifth. In the bottom of the eighth, Maldonado stepped up to the plate again with the bases loaded and smacked his second double of the game clearing the bases. The game was in the bag for the Grossmont Griffins, winning 8-5.

The Griffins are living up to Coach Abshier’s expectation of another championship, riding a six-game win streak. The Grossmont Griffins (11-5-1) next match up is against Imperial Valley. The home stand in the series will be on Friday, March 17 at 1 p.m.

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