Baseball runs circles around Tartars

By Robert Barrett

Watching East Los Angeles College sophomore Kevin Jones run the bases at Compton College on Thursday was like watching a player abuse a baseball video game.
Jones was on first base four different times in the 8-4 win against the Compton College Tartars, but he never waited more than a few pitches before picking the pitcher’s pocket. Jones stole bases throughout game, including three in the fifth innings.
In the fifth inning, with ELAC leading 3-2, Jones got on base with a walk. Before Ruben Ramirez, the next batter up. could draw a walk of his own, Jones had already stolen second and third base and took home plate on a wild pitch, extending ELAC’s lead 4-2.
Jones ended the game with six extra bases.
“We had a pretty good scouting report on all the (Compton pitchers). I knew what their moves were and I got good jumps,” said Jones.
Cameron Baker started the game for the Huskies, showing potential but still a few flaws. After striking out three of the first four batters he faced, Baker left one fastball over the middle of the plate that was driven over the center field wall.
With a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth, Baker hit a bump after cruising through the third, fourth and fifth innings. Baker allowed two early singles, and after a tag up RBI and a pick off mistake, the Tartars were able to tie the game, 4-4.
“It was good up until the sixth inning when I got a little tired, a little fatigued,” said Baker.
With two outs and the game tied in the sixth, Coach James Hines went to his bullpen and brought in Gerardo Arias. Arias got the final out in the inning and pitched the rest of the game, not allowing Compton to score another run.
“I composed myself, go in there and hit my spots and didn’t  think too much about it,” said Arias.
Staying true to the trend of the game, ELAC did not allow Compton to stay close for too long. In the top of the seventh, with Jones on third and Ramirez on second with one out, Frank Martinez hit a towering double over the center fielder, which once again gave ELAC the lead, 6-4.
“I wanted to cash in these runs. I didn’t come through in other opportunities,” said Martinez.
In the top of the ninth with ELAC leading 7-4, Ricardo Arias gave his twin brother Gerardo a little extra support when he hit a ball so high in the air that he was able to hustle into second base while the ball dropped between three Tartars who lost the ball in the sky.
“Arias hit a pop up a little outside the infield, and he busted his butt to get on second base,” said Hines. The hustle was rewarded when Martinez singled Arias in for his third RBI of the game, giving ELAC the 8-4 lead.
With the 8-4 win over the Tartars, the Huskies have guaranteed themselves the season series after winning on Tuesday 5-2 at Cal State L.A. Compton started the series in first place in the South Coast Conference, but the standings are sure to be shaken after the series finale on Saturday at Cal State L.A. at noon.


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