Montgomery High School started with a bang Tuesday afternoon against Sweetwater.
Darryl Crawford, the Aztecs’ leadoff hitter, hit the second pitch of the game against the fence in left-center field for a triple.
Said Sweetwater starting pitcher Victor Ramirez: “I thought it was going to be a long day.”
Actually, it turned out to be just the opposite.
Ramirez stranded Crawford at third and went on to beat Montgomery, 2-0, in a game that took only 1 1/2 hours to play at Sweetwater High. Ramirez (2-1) allowed just four hits and needed only 74 pitches to beat the county’s fifth-ranked team. “He really hung in there,” Sweetwater Coach Jim Mann said. “He pitched an excellent game and he didn’t have his usual velocity.”
Defense was a factor in the victory, as Sweetwater turned two double plays and catcher Juan Price threw out a pair of baserunners.
“It’s a lot easier when you can play that kind of defense,” Mann said. “We had some troubles earlier but I think we’ve found the right people to play the right positions now.”
Sweetwater got only six hits off Tim Hayward. Price singled in a run in the fourth inning and left fielder Raul Espino singled in another run in the sixth.
That was all Ramirez needed. He kept Montgomery off-balance with a slow curveball. He struck out four and got seven Montgomery batters out on fly balls. Paris Jones, the Aztecs’ cleanup hitter, popped to short three times.
“He (Ramirez) took us out of our game plan,” Montgomery Coach Manuel Hermosilio said. “We’re not a fly-ball hitting team. But we kept hitting it in the air and it’s hard to do anything with that.”
Montgomery (4-1, 11-4 overall) is tied for first place in the Metro-Mesa League with Chula Vista. Sweetwater (3-2, 6-10) is only one game back.
Elsewhere in the Metro-Mesa League:
Chula Vista 5, Hilltop 2--Jose Sosa drove in three runs with a bases-loaded double in the fourth inning to help the Spartans (4-1, 8-7) gain a share of first place at Chula Vista.
In the Metro-South Bay League:
Southwest 6, Marian 3--Robert Carrillo (2-2) threw a three-hitter and didn’t allow an earned run as the Raiders moved into a tie for first place in the league with Coronado. Southwest (3-2, 7-6) scored five runs in the first inning, highlighted by Alfonso Silva’s run-scoring triple. Marian is 1-4, 3-12.
Coronado 2, Mar Vista 1--The Islanders (3-2, 8-6) scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth. J.D. Douglas scored on Allen Lane’s sacrifice fly to snap a 1-1 tie. Paul Austin (4-2) pitched a complete-game four-hitter. Mar Vista is 1-4, 5-8.
In the Grossmont League:
Grossmont 4, Valhalla 1--Shon Boney’s single in the fourth scored Mike Clavell, and gave the Foothillers (5-1, 9-7) the victory over the county’s No. 1-ranked team. Grossmont is tied for first with Valhalla and Santana. Lance Dickson went six innings to pick up the win. Losing pitcher Rob Sharp had a solo homer for the Norsemen (5-1-1, 12-4-1).
Santana 3, Helix 2--Kenny Todd sacrificed Jeff Gay home in the bottom of the sixth to give the second-ranked Sultans (5-1, 13-2) the win and a share of first place in league. Scott St. Clair hit a two-run home run in the sixth for Helix (3-3, 5-9).
Granite Hills 14, Mt. Miguel 5--The Eagles (3-3, 7-7) scored seven runs in the third inning to erase a 4-2 deficit and beat the Matadors (1-4-1, 6-8-1) at Granite Hills.
Monte Vista 4, El Cajon 0--The Monarchs (1-6, 5-10) snapped a seven-game losing streak with the win over the Braves (1-5, 1-8) at El Cajon.