By Diego Linares
The East Los Angeles College baseball team shutout Los Angeles Harbor College 12-0 in a key South Conference game with fine pitching and patience at the plate April 24 at Husky Park.
ELAC plays at Harbor tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. A win will give the Huskies at least a share of the SCC title.
ELAC’s starting pitcher Shawn Kennedy gave up five hits through seven innings of work, striking out one batter while walking two in the process.
“He was just hitting his spots,” ELAC closing pitcher turned-starting-catcher Daniel Moriel said.
“When he didn’t hit his spots he was still down in the zone, which is a plus.”
According to Moriel, who was productive at the plate with three hits and three RBIs in Thursday’s game, the timely bunts the ELAC batters apply are used to take the initiative.
Five bunts were peppered into the Huskies offense. Three of those bunts were converted for two singles. One drew an RBI, and the other garnered appreciation from the crowd as it died in the turf after coming to contact with center fielder Kevin Amezquita’s bat.
“We just need to do some things that are important to us, and that’s just play catch and put the ball in play,” Harbor Head Coach Art Lopez said.
“We’ve just got to secure the baseball and be fundamentally sound.”
According to Lopez the tempo and pitch count were contributing factors to the loss.
The seventh inning was particularly tough for the Harbor defense. After an error, relief pitchers Tyler Vaughn, Andres Dorado and Andrew Morales had a dismal stat line with a combined four walks, a wild pitch and a hit batter, giving up one hit and four runs.
ELAC Head Coach James Hines seemed pretty secure and confident of his inexperienced catcher. According to Hines, Moriel has been forced to play due to nagging injuries to the top of the depth chart.
“That’s something a lot of programs don’t have, is a guy like (ELAC assistant) coach (Adan) Millan,” Hinessaid. “(Milan) could probably take a guy off the street and teach him how to catch. That’s how good he is. He took our closer, (and) started working with him. (Moriel’s) doing pretty good for us and now he’s starting to swing the bat, so it’s hard to get him out of the lineup.”
Although Moriel felt good about the game, Hines still saw room for improvement.
“We kind of missed a couple pitches. We called the wrong pitch a couple times. I mean that’s normal stuff. We kind of have a new guy (Moriel) behind the plate catching for us, who’s actually a pitcher,” Hines said.
Recently announced awards for some of the ELAC baseball team members:
South Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year
So. 5-2, 1.19 ERA, 53 IP, 5 BB, 33 K, 2 CG
All-SCC First Team
So. RH, 6-1, 1.33 ERA, 47.1 IP, 36 K
So. SS, .300, 12 RBI
(Second year named to the All-SCC First Team)
All-SCC Second Team
So. RHP/Catcher, 0-0, 4 saves, 1.35 ERA; .368 BAVG
So., .364, 15 RBI, .994 FPCT
Fr. CF, .351, 2 3B, 15 RBI, 7 SB, 1.000 FPCT
All-SCC Honorable Mention
Tony Moroy, So. P
Michael Aguilar, So. INF
Yamel Zamudio, So. INF