By Carlos Alvarez
East Los Angeles College baseball team began a three game series against Long Beach City College this past Tuesday with an 8-2 loss. The Huskies have dropped two games in a row after losing last Saturday, 5-3 against El Camino College Compton Center.
ELAC 8-8 (1-3 in conference) is currently tied with Pasadena City College for last place in the South Coast Conference standings. The same two teams play again today at 2:30 at Long Beach City College with ELAC being the home team.
“We got to play better. We don’t want to fall behind other teams too much. We have to go out there and play,” Coach James Hines said.
ELAC’s offense was dominated by Vikings starting pitcher Sean Hale (4-0) who gave up two runs in the first inning, but settled down holding the Huskies scoreless the rest of the way. Hale pitched seven strong innings, allowing two runs off of two hits.
“We scored two runs in the first and I’m thinking great, but then we go back to our old habits,” Hines said.
After the Huskies jumped all over Hale in the first inning, Hale retired 18 of the 19 batters he faced allowing two Huskies to reach base via walk.
“He pitched well. He made adjustments after the first and our hitters didn’t. Not to take anything away from their pitcher, but our hitters did not make adjustments,” Hines said about Hale’s performance.
With a 2-0 lead in the first starting pitcher Sergio Luna struggled to maintain the lead with his control problems once again. Luna (2-3) took the loss after pitching five shaky innings, allowing six runs (5 earned) off of five hits, while walking five Vikings batters.
“He wasn’t sharp at all. He walked too many guys and they had some clutch hits. It wasn’t the Luna we are used too,” Hines said, when asked about Luna’s performance.
The five walks lead to three runs for the Vikings, who were led by right fielder Phil Visico. Visico was perfect on the plate going 2 for 2 with a double, collecting five runs batted in while drawing two walks.
The Vikings took advantage of Luna’s control problems in the third scoring three runs off of two hits taking a 4-2 lead.With the offense struggling and Luna not having his best stuff the Huskies were unable to make a comeback.
“We have no continuity. We are just not consistent in all aspects of the game,” Hines said.
The Vikings added to their lead with two runs in the fifth and sixth inning taking a commanding 8-2 lead. The Husky offense had a total of three hits in the game with two of those coming in the first inning.
Vikings Head Coach Casey Crook relieved Hale in the eighth inning with Manuel Berragan who was effective in his two innings of work. Berragan pitched two scoreless innings while allowing only a single to Joseph Tellez.