By Tadzio Garcia
The Huskies, ranked 16th in the SoCal poll moved into third place in the South Coast Conference after winning their first series of the season over Long Beach City College.
The Huskies, 10-8 overall, 3-3 in SCC play closed out the series at Long Beach (9-10, 2-4) with two wins after losing the series opener 8-2, at Long Beach last Tuesday.
The Huskies bounced back from the series-opening loss by defeating the Vikings 6-3 and 9-4 last Thursday and this past Saturday.
The Huskies play against Pasadena City College (3-15, 1-5) at Brookside Park tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. and again on Saturday at noon.
East Los Angeles College led by five runs heading into the sixth inning in Saturday’s game. It was all ELAC when the Vikings started a rally. The Vikings’s crowd joined the game after the ELAC lead was cut to one-run.
“We let them back in the ballgame,” Assistant Coach Adan Millan said.
Long Beach scored four runs with the help of three Husky errors. “It started with my error,” Husky catcher Armando Lomeli said.
Husky pitcher Leonard De La Rosa got the final out of the inning after relieving Elias Novelo. Novelo pitched five and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs (three earned) off of four hits.
After the long inning, Assistant Coach Philip Valdez encouraged the Huskies and said, “Shake it. Shake it (off). Let’s keep playing.
The Huskies did just that. They answered back with a rally of their own, scoring a run taking a 6-4 lead. “Our guys moved on from the sixth inning bouncing back with competitive baseball they kept throughout the game,” Millan said.
Infielder Kevin Rodriguez began the rally advancing to second base off a single scoring outfielder Chris Flores.
“We stayed in the game. Even the dugout was in it.
“Tough play and a great job on the hill by both pitchers earned us the win,” pitcher Anthony Chavez said who supported the team from the dugout.
The Huskies slammed the door on the Vikings after scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning off of five hits.
“Playing in games like this, the way we did is what we prepare for,” Millan said.
Lomeli started the rally. “I said to myself that I was going to hit the ball to get a rally started for the ‘Dawgs,’” Lomeli said.
His hit was followed by singles from Flores, Rodriguez and outfielders Andrew Gutierrez and Kyle Peralta.
The Huskies began their barrage of 16 hits by scoring one run in the second through fourth innings.
“Getting ahead of the (Long Beach) batters with first pitch strikes throughout the game put their hitters in a whole.
After taking the lead we lost focus, but we were able to maintain our edge to close out the win,” Hines said.
After the game, when asked about his save De La Rosa said, “We fed off each other’s energy. We are excited. We got the team win together.”
The Huskies are on the road after the Pasadena series. They face two ranked opponents in three games all at Allan Hancock College in two weeks.
ELAC faces Hancock (9-10) on March 22, No. 17 Cuesta College (8-11) and No. 17 (NoCal poll) Merced College (9-9). ELAC is 4-5 this season against ranked opponents.