SPRING VALLEY — When Rob Phillips took over the Monte Vista High School baseball program, which won just five games last season and finished last in the nine-team Grossmont League with one victory, he knew there would be some tough days ahead.
Tuesday was one of those days.
Granite Hills, a traditional league power, crushed Monte Vista, 17-0, on a five-hitter by Jon Rice at Monte Vista. The game brought the young Monarchs back to the reality of baseball in the always-tough Grossmont League.
Monte Vista (8-7 overall, 1-2 in league play) won four straight games last week to reach the AAA division semifinals of the 38th Lions tournament. The Monarchs lost, 10-3, in the semifinals to eventual champion Mt. Carmel, but the tournament victories helped Monte Vista surpass its victory total for all of last year.
The tournament was a positive sign for the Monte Vista program, especially considering that the Monarchs started three sophomores and three juniors against Granite Hills. But Monte Vista's youth and inexperience showed Tuesday.