by Christopher Mohr
May 24, 2011 (El Cajon) - Grossmont High School's varsity baseball team has earned a first round bye as the second seed in the CIF-San Diego Section Division I baseball playoffs. They will face the winner of today's first round game between two North County rivals, Rancho Buena Vista (Vista) and Mission Hills (San Marcos), on Wednesday.
UPDATE : Mission Hills defeated Rancho Buena Vista 9-8 in a playoff game at RBV's field in Vista on Tuesday afternoon (5/23). The Grizzlies improved their record to 18-14 with the win and travel to Grossmont High School to face the Foothillers Wednesday in the second round of the playoffs.
The Foothillers continue a long trend of winning baseball after winning nine CIF championships dating back to 1990. Even teams that did not win CIF titles often made deep runs in the playoffs, such as the 2009 team, which lost the title game to El Capitan, 5-2.
The current Foothillers team finished the regular season with a 23-6 record overall and 13-2 in Grossmont Hills league play. The team's offensive numbers are impressive with an overall batting average of .324 and a .404 on base percentage. The team scores an average of 6.75 runs per game. Joe Musgrove leads the team with 8 home runs and 28 RBI, while Tyler Timmer has a .419 batting average.
The pitching is as impressive as the offense, giving up an average of 2.62 runs per game. Robbie Nesovic leads the team with a 9-0 record and 0.81 ERA.
It's easy to see why the team has a 23-6 record when on average, they score over four runs per game more than they give up.
Three of the team's losses in the 2011 regular season came against longtime rival Helix. However, because of divisional pairings, the Foothillers and Highlanders (Division II) will not face each other in the playoffs.
One team that could be a problem for Grossmont in the playoffs is Rancho Bernardo. The Broncos (23-6) are the first seed in the Division I bracket and defending Division I champions. The other teams rounding out the top seeds in the division I bracket are third-seed San Pasqual (Escondido) with a 23-7 record and fourth seed Vista (25-5).
The tournament is a double-elimination format. When two teams face each other it will be at the home field of the higher seeded team, with two exceptions. The first exception is that all third round games will be played at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad regardless of seedings or playoff game outcomes. The other exception is that the CIF championship game will be played at Tony Gwynn Stadium on the campus of San Diego State University.
Click here for more details on the bracket for Division I. The link will take you to the CIF-San Diego Section site and display a spreadsheet showing the pairings.
Christopher Mohr is a freelance writer in the San Diego area and is a big Chargers, Padres and Red Wings fan.