By William Hernandez
The Husky baseball team clinched their spot in the postseason last Friday with a regular season ending win against the Los Angeles Harbor College Seahawks, 8-4. The Huskies came into the game on an eight game winning streak and put up 14 runs against the Seahawks the day before.
The Huskies picked up right where they left off on Thursday’s game by getting on the board in the first inning on Fridays game, with a lead off single by Sophomore second baseman Ruben Ramirez. Left fielder Robert Gonzalez came up and hit a screaming line drive double to right field putting two runners in scoring position at second and third base.
One run scored when Seahawks shortstop Jeff Ramsey couldn’t field a ball hit by sophomore first baseman Manuel Estevez putting runners on the corners and giving the Huskies an early one run lead 1-0.
Gonzalez was brought home when freshman third baseman Michael Aguilar singled to center advancing Estevez to third, Aguilar was followed by freshman center fielder Andrew Gutierrez who singled trough the left side of the infield bringing in the Huskies third, first inning run. The starting pitcher for the Huskies was Freshman Elvis Novello who pitched five strong innings for the Huskies retiring seven Seahawks in a row, a streak that went through the first, second, and third inning.
In the top of the fifth and sixth inning the Huskies fortified their 3-0 lead adding a run in both innings to push the lead up to five runs with a lead-off triple by Gutierrez who was brought in by a sacrifice fly out to left field by sophomore shortstop Ernie Aguilera in the fifth, and a two out RBI double by freshman right fielder Kyle Peralta in the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, after getting two quick outs, Novello gave up four earned runs on five consecutive hits cutting the Huskies lead to one, 5-4. After the fourth run came across home plate, head coach James Hines brought in relief pitcher Robert Engles.
In the top of the eighth inning the Huskies added some insurance runs to their one run lead thanks to a two out, two run, double by Peralta, that started with a leadoff single by Estevez, later followed by a two out walk by Gutierrez. In the bottom of the eighth Coach Hines brought in closer Greg Alderete to close the door on any potential comeback for the Seahawks as it happened in the sixth.
With Alderete retiring the Seahawks in order, in the bottom of the eighth, the Huskies put the nail on the coffin adding one more run when Ramirez scored on an error by the Seahawks second baseman and was brought home with a triple to the gap by Gonzalez increasing the lead by four, 8-4. Closer Alderete ended the Seahawks 2012 season and put his team back in the playoffs with a legitimate chance to make a run for the State Championships considering the confidence and energy they’re playing with.
Gutierrez contributed three total runs with both his hitting and base running, he also made an outstanding play out in center when he made a diving catch to track down a ball hit to the left-center field gap.“We’ve been coming through as a team, both hitting and pitching have been great and if we keep doing this we got a shot at State, I’m really confident we can achieve that,” said Gonzalez.
The bats have been coming alive through this eight game winning streak, while the pitching has been carrying most of the load. “Our bats have really picked up after starting off slow, pitching is still good, and I really good about our chances in the playoffs, we just need to find out who we’re playing and prepare for them,” said Coach Hines.
The Huskies will begin postseason play this upcoming weekend against Riverside City College.