LCC pitcher sidelined; SFC prevails in North County Tournament

Spencer Jones, one of the best players in the country who is rated 26th on Baseball America’s Top 100 Draft Prospects list, is done for the year.

A left-handed pitcher/first baseman at La Costa Canyon High, Jones said he heard “something pop” in his arm last Wednesday in a game against Rancho Bernardo.

X-rays revealed the 6-foot-7 Jones has a fracture in the elbow.

“The bad thing is there is a fracture. The good thing is there is no ligament damage,” Jones said Tuesday before the No. 3-ranked Mavericks lost a 3-2 decision to No. 8 Santa Fe Christian in a key North County Tournament game.

“I don’t need Tommy John surgery. That’s such a relief.”

Jones, whose fastball hits 92-93 mph, will have surgery Wednesday.

Rehab from what is excepted to be a minor, 60-minute procedure is estimated to be four to six weeks.

“Things happen for a reason,” said Jones, whose arm was in a sling. “This is really the best of what could have been a bad situation. I won’t stop pitching, but this probably determines where I play next year. I’m probably headed to college.”

Jones has signed to play college ball at Vanderbilt.

The Mavericks (7-3) could have used Jones’ bat in the lineup against Santa Fe Christian (9-1).

LCC managed seven hits, but scored only two runs.

The Mavericks left runners at second and third in the second inning and left a runner at third in the third.

SFC’s Kian Hogan, who improved to 5-1, worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth. And hard-throwing Ian Coykendall wiggled his way out of a bases-loaded, one-out predicament in the seventh.

“This was definitely the biggest game we’ve played,” said Coykendall, who will attend Duke next year. “We play great defense, so I felt pretty good when the bases were loaded.

“I wanted to keep the ball in, jam the hitters. Get a strikeout or a groundout.”

He got both, getting a one-out strikeout and a weak grounder to end the game.

“Situations like that make the game special,” said SFC coach Lance Roenicke. “LCC is a great opponent, so well coached, a dominant team over the years.

“But I have full belief in my guys, and they rose to the occasion.”

SFC, which is 5-0 in the tournament, needed a Poway loss to avoid tiebreakers and advance to Thursday’s scheduled title game. Poway, however, beat Canyon Crest 3-2 to go to 5-0 and tie SFC.

So the Eagles must wait until Wednesday’s rain makeup game — Mission Hills at Rancho Bernardo — needing an RB win to capture the tiebreaker, which is the winning percentage of your opponents.

by John Maffei