By Alfonso Rivera
The host Huskies pounded Los Angeles Harbor College, 14-2, off of 17 hits in the second game of a three game series at Cal State Los Angeles last Thursday, April 26.
The Huskies have won seven straight and are ranked No. 14 in the Southern California Community College Coaches poll.
The Huskies are 20-15 overall, 14-6 in the South Coast Conference play.
East Los Angeles College stands in second place in SCC play and controls their destiny fighting for a playoff berth.
The Huskies were deadlocked in a three way tie for second place in the SCC with El Camino College and El Camino College Compton Center on April 19.
ELAC currently has a one game lead over No. 6-ranked El Camino (26-9, 13-7) with one game left in the regular season.
No. 18-ranked Compton (20-15, 12-8) was eliminated from a playoff berth by losing to Long Beach City College, 1-0, last Thursday.
In the 14-2 pounding, the Husky offense was led by sophomore left fielder Robert Gonzalez (Long Beach Milliken High School).
Gonzalez went 3-for-4 (all doubles) with two runs scored and three runs batted in. Sophomore Manuel Estevez (Cathedral) was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a stolen base as well.
“Our pitching has been keeping us in the ballgames. Our bats came alive because we are playing with a lot of confidence. We need to continue to work hard and we can make a strong run in the playoffs,” Estevez said.
Freshman center fielder Andrew Gutierrez (Bishop Amat) was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a triple.
Freshman right fielder Kyle Peralta (St. John Bosco) contributed to the onslaught going 2-for-3, including a triple, scoring three runs and driving in one run.
The Huskies scored two runs in each of the first three innings and broke the game wide open in the seventh inning.
In the seventh inning, the Huskies scored six runs, aided by three Seahawk miscues on the diamond.
Harbor did not help its cause committing five errors total. Six of the 14 Husky runs were unearned.
On the mound, the Huskies were led by sophomore Juan Vera (John Glenn).
Vera picked up his sixth victory, pitching a solid 6 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs and striking out three.
Sophomore Martin Valdez (Northview) pitched the final 2 2/3 of the ballgame, allowing no runs.
“This was our biggest offensive output of the season. We came from having a 13-15 record, overcoming adversity and winning seven straight. We are now looking at a playoff berth,” Head Coach James Hines said.
Hines went along to say, “The team is beginning to swing the bats well, which will be key in the playoffs.”
If the Huskies win game three against Harbor, they will receive a probable home game in the SoCal division of the playoffs.