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Falcons cap tourney with 10-1 victory over Patriots

The Torrey Pines baseball team won the Kendra Couch Classic.
(Courtesy)

Torrey Pines wins Kendra Couch Classic by beating Patrick Henry

It’s a tournament that’s played for a cause, cancer research.

And the teams embrace the Kendra Couch Classic, wearing special uniforms with the names of grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and friends on their back.

“My gramma passed away recently, and I wore her name, Laurette, on my back to honor her,” said Torrey Pines second baseman Ryan Jackel after recently leading the Falcons to a 10-1 championship-game win over Patrick Henry at the Patriots’ pristine field. “We came in here ready to play, ready to win a championship. We had a nice win over Westview on Thursday and rode the momentum into this game. We were focused. We were engaged.”

Torrey Pines (5-2) scored once in the first, twice in the second, six times in the third and once in the fourth.

Jackel had a single, double and drove in two. Thomas Maher had two hits, scored twice and drove in one. AJ Guiliana drove in two and scored twice while Liam Kelly scored twice.

Cole Wilson hit Torrey Pines’ first home run of the season, a solo blast that clanged off the scoreboard beyond the 345-sign in left-center field.

The Falcons, who came into the game with a .231 team batting average, scored their 10 runs on just seven hits, but took advantage of three walks and three errors. They also stole six bases.

“Patrick Henry (7-3) is a good team, so we wanted to jump on them early,” said Torrey Pines coach Tommy Simis. “We have a lot of speed on this team. It’s the fastest group I’ve ever been around. So the guys had the green light to run.

“It’s nice to win this tournament because it means something. The kids really embraced wearing the name on the back of their uniforms.”

The championship game was originally scheduled for March 5 at Mt. Carmel but was rained out.

And while other tournaments — the GMC and the Hilltop — decided not to play a championship game, the cause spurred Simis and Patrick Henry coach Sheldon Watkins to finish.

The Classic also included Bishop’s, Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, Clairemont, Ramona, Point Loma, San Pasqual, La Jolla Country Day and Canyon Crest Academy.

“I’m glad we got it in, but I wish the outcome had been a little different,” Watkins said. “We got a little rattled early and let it get away from.

“This isn’t who we are.”

Torrey Pines, which entered the game with a team ERA of 0.93, got a strong four innings from Jack Weisenberger.

In improving to 3-0, he allowed just two hits with nine of his 12 outs coming on ground balls.

“We don’t have much pop in our lineup, but when we get on base, run the bases, get good pitching and play defense behind our pitchers, we can be pretty tough,” Simis said.


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