By William Hernandez
Hosting their first regular season opener at East Los Angeles College since 2009, the Husky baseball team lost a one run battle Tuesday afternoon, 3-2.
ELAC is ranked No. 21 in the Junior College Pacific Association’s Division Pre-Season Poll.
ELAC needed three outs to cement their first victory of the young 2014 season against non-conference opponent College of the Canyons. Husky relief pitcher Daniel Moriel took the mound in the top of the ninth inning up 2-1.
He walked the leadoff hitter, Moriel next surrendered the go ahead two-run home run to the big stick of 2013 CIF City player of the year, Roberto Ramos.
Ramos who’s an all-city standout, helped take San Fernando high school to the division I championship game where they defeated Cleveland 2-1.
He turned on an inside pitch, and slammed it over the right field fence with his wooden bat, that ultimately, won the game for COC.
“We really had nowhere to put him, after we walked the leadoff guy. Our pitcher put the pitch where it needed to be, hard and inside, but the guy (Ramos) just turned on it and hit it out. There’s no shame in that. Our guy did what he was suppose to do and the hitter did what he had to,” ELAC Head Coach James Hines said.
The Huskies would not go down without one last fight. They rallied in the bottom half of the ninth as Yamel Zamudio reached second base after a leadoff single. Zamudio came around on a bloop single to shallow-center, but was gunned down at the plate by COC’s centerfielder Nicholas Vigo to end the game.
“We lost a dogfight, coming in we knew what we were getting into, especially with their (Canyons) starter who helped them get to the 2013 Super Regionals. I’m sure we’ll be able to bounce back from today and come out tomorrow for practice and get ready for Thursday’s game,” Hines said.
A positive sign for the Huskies, were starting pitcher Ryan Kennedy and catcher David Sanchez.
Kennedy tossed seven strong innings with a total pitch count of 92, and retired his last six batters in a row, while Sanchez came up big behind the plate and protecting it with his bat.
At the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning, ELAC trailed 1-0, Sanchez delivered with a two out base knock up the middle that drove in two runs and gave the Huskies their first lead, 2-1.
Sanchez, a freshman out of Cathedral High School Los Angeles, said “it felt really good” to play in his first collegiate game and take home two RBI’s.
Until giving up the lead off walk in the ninth inning that lead to the ensuing home run by Ramos, the Huskies pitchers were in a groove. Sophomore relief pitcher Tonatiuh Monroy relieved Kennedy of his duty at the start of the eighth inning and retired COC in order. It marked the ninth-consecutive batter retired for the pitchers.
“It’s good to get some of our other guys in their that’ll be playing some roles for us as relievers, like Monroy who came in and threw his inning of relief. And Moriel, I thought did a really good job of competing. The last thing I want is for him to go off and feel down about giving up the lead. He’ll bounce back along with the rest of the team,” Hines said.
The Huskies host Citrus College today at noon.