By Noe Ortega
East Los Angeles College baseball had its best season with an overall record of 23-19, its best since 2013-14 season that ended with an overall record of 25-15.
The Huskies were eliminated by Saddleback College after a best out of three game series where ELAC lost the first two matches 16-5 and 7-5.
Although the Huskies had an early exit from the California Community College Athletics Association Southern California Regionals, ELAC finished second in the South Coast Conference-North behind Mount San Antonio College.
“Even though we did some things that were uncharacteristic of what we work on in practice. In the middle of the games it cost us some games but the result of our guys and their ability to move on from having disappointing losses was something that kept us going,” head coach James Hines said.
Out of the 37 players on the roster, 21 of those players played their last season for the Huskies.
Sophomore third baseman Matthew Sosa ended his season with the highest batting average for the Huskies with an average of .353, 40 runs, 54 hits and 19 runs batted in. Sosa placed fourth in the SCC-North in batting average and placed first with the most bases stolen.
Freshman infielder Bryan Duenas finished his season with 22 runs, 46 hits, 31 RBI’s and a batting average of .319. Duenas placed fourth in the SCC-North for RBI’s.
Sophomore pitcher Zech Jarrad is another player who played his last season for ELAC and who was also ranked in the SCC-North. Jarrad got seven pitching wins that placed him in second place in the SCC-North with most pitching wins.
Although the Huskies season ended with a positive record, there were times when ELAC struggled to win games.
ELAC started off with six straight wins, but then collapsed with a 10-3 loss to Citrus College and went on a three-game losing streak.
The Huskies seemed to recover after a short losing streak, but then went on a five game losing streak between February and March. Three of which were conference games.
“We lost our first two conference games to Cerritos. We almost felt like we dug a hole but the hole isn’t necessarily that deep when you look at the fact that you’re 0-2 in the conference but we just had to move on to the next series to play and we did a good job,” Hines said.
Husky baseball started off 0-3 in the SCC-North, but turned their record around with six conference wins.
And then had their best run last month, winning seven conference game out of 11 played.
Including a three-game-series win over Rio Hondo College and a win against SCC-North champions Mt. SAC.
“We ended up in one of those situations where your team just doesn’t play very well. They get away from the principles early in the season that guides them to be successful and having a good record. For us as coaches, it’s important for us to get them back on track at some point,” Hines said.
Hines said that the most challenging experience that his coaching staff and himself have done is motivating their players to get back into games when they’re down or when they’ve lost a difficult game.