By Jerry Flores
The Huskies won their first South Coast Conference-North game at home against Long Beach City College last Thursday with a final score of 5-4.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, with a player on second base, East Los Angeles College won the game after sophomore outfielder Damian Lomeli smashed a hit to left field, allowing sophomore outfielder Elias Maldonado to reach home plate. Maldonado finished the game with two runs.
“It was the most amazing feeling. It was just a rush. My head was about to explode. As soon as the (Long Beach) outfielder got back and did not catch the ball, it helped me to score,” Maldonado said.
Long Beach took the lead in the top of the first inning when third baseman Reese Berberet made a home run.
In the bottom of the first inning the Huskies were able to tie the game after sophomore infielder Matthew Sosa stole second base.
Then, sophomore designated hitter Oscar Osorio smashed the ball to the right field and the bases were loaded.
Freshmen infielder Bryan Duenas connected with the ball and got a straight hit to center field so that Sosa scored the run for the Huskies.
In the bottom of the second inning, with a player on second and third base, freshman outfielder Ruben Hernandez hit the ball right field and sophomore outfielder Maldonado turned the score around for ELAC.
Losing by a run, Long Beach were able to tie the game after designated hitter Mark Stanford reached second base after an error from ELAC freshman infielder Grant Victor who let the ball slide through his arms.
Freshmen infielder Michael Kunipo hit to the center field allowing Stanford to reach home plate for Long Beach.
Sophomore catcher Matthew Shults gave the lead back to ELAC in the bottom of the fifth inning after he scored the third run for the Huskies.
With a player on third base, Victor smashed a hit to left field and Shults scored the run.
“Their pitching was good, we did not had the opportunity to load the bases, so it was hard for us to score,” said Vikings head coach Casey Crook.
The Huskies momentum carried to the bottom of the seventh inning when Hernandez hit the ball left field where Long Beach first baseman slided to the ground but could not grab the ball, allowing sophomore outside fielder Steven Nuno to score the fourth run for ELAC.
Up by two runs, the game seemed controlled by the Huskies in the top of the eighth inning after ELAC sophomore pitcher Zech Jarrard made two strikeouts.
Jarrard finished the game with six strikeouts from the hill and allowed two runs.
“I am not the best strikeout pitcher but I did get a lot of ground balls, and having a good defense as we did was easier for us to get the win,” said Jarrard.
Long Beach City College designated hitter Reese Berberet connected a hit to center field that allowed outside fielder Danny Gill to score the third run for Long Beach.
ELAC head coach James Hines switched Jarrard for sophomore pitcher Tyler Oblea. Oblea allowed Long Beach to tie the game from a run scored by Berberet.
Before this game, the Huskies had lost five consecutive games. “Our guys are motivated (for the win). They do not like losing. We found a way to go out of these negative results. We played a little bit more complete today and did not make many mistakes. It was the key for getting this win,” said Hines.
ELAC are 10-9 overall and 1-3 in the South Coast Conference-North play. The Huskies will face LA Harbor away in another conference game tomorrow at 2:30 pm.