By Carlos Alvarez
The East Los Angeles College baseball team kicked off South Coast Conference play with a 2-1 home loss to El Camino College Compton Center on March 3.
“We came away with the win, but it wasn’t easy. ELAC has a great program, they always play us hard. In close games you have to have strong pitching and defense and we had both today,” Compton Head Coach Shannon Williams said.
It was a pitcher-dominated game as the Huskies’ sophomore starting pitcher Gabriel Ramos went head to head with Compton freshman Pedro Fierros.
ELAC was unable to capitalize on a strong pitching performance by Ramos, who had Compton batter’s off-balanced with his fastball and curveball combination.
Ramos (2-3) pitched eight strong innings allowing two runs (one earned), five hits while striking out seven.
“I had my fastball and curveball working. I wanted to attack the strike zone and give my team a chance to win,” Ramos said.
Fierros matched Ramos pitch-by-pitch blowing ELAC batter’s away with his low 90s fastball.
“I stayed away with my fastball and worked my off-speed pitches. I was shaky early, but I settled down as the game went on,” Fierros said.
Fierros (3-2) pitched eight solid innings allowing one run, six hits while striking out six.
“He (Fierros) was good, but when you get so many fastballs to hit and you don’t you’re going to have a long game,” ELAC Head Coach James Hines said.
According to Fierros, ELAC batter’s battled him all game. He explained that he had to locate and move his fastball inside and out, he knew that one bad pitch could cost him.
With a one-run lead Compton took a 2-0 lead in the top of seventh inning when freshman third baseman Julian Perez safety squeezed bunt scored the runner from third.
“They (Compton) executed in scoring opportunities and we didn’t, that’s why we lost,” Hines said.
ELAC’s offense left six runners in scoring position. According to Hines, his team needs to have a better approach at the plate. He went on to add that it’s frustrating when his team doesn’t apply what they work on in practice.
The lone run for the Huskies came in the bottom of the eighth inning, when freshman left fielder Chris Flores scored on a groundout to the shortstop.
ELAC’s record falls to 6-7, 0-1 in SCC play. With the victory, Compton’s record moves to 6-6-1, 1-0 in the SCC.
“These are games that may impact if you make the playoffs at the end of the season. This game might come back to us, but all we can do is move forward,” Hines said.
Compton will host ELAC today at 2:30 p.m. in the MLB Urban Youth Academy field in Compton. The three-game series will conclude March 7 at noon in ELAC’s Husky Park.
According to Williams, the next two games will be a chess game. “We have to counter their (ELAC’s) moves and they’ll do the same,” Williams said.