ELAC baseball struggles at home

By Sonny Tapia

East Los Angeles College baseball lost to Long Beach City College on Thursday at home 6-2 due to poor execution at the plate.

ELAC showed signs of frustration during the game by slamming bats to the ground and screaming profanities.

Sophomore left handed pitcher  Andres Alonso was the starter for the Huskies.

The game started with a lead-off single to the left field from Long Beach sophomore second baseman Raul Gonzalez.

The fourth batter up for Long Beach in the first inning was hit by a pitch in the foot by Alonso.

Even with a shaky start for ELAC on defense it got the game started with early hits in the game.

ELAC sophomore right fielder Ruben Hernandez got on base with a single of his own followed by freshman center fielder Steven Villagran who took a pitch to the back.

With two runners on base freshman first baseman AJ Gama hit for one run batted in to center.

Sophomore third baseman Andy Rodriguez followed suit and got another run for the Huskies on the board.

These would be the only runs acquired by the Huskies for the rest of the game.

Long Beach tied the game up in the top of the second inning with RBIs coming from sophomore center fielder Chris Rubottom’s hit to center and Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly ball to deep center field.

ELAC battled in the top of the fourth inning by having a quick one-two-three inning with two groundouts and a fly out by Long Beach.

Freshman shortstop Brandon Hernandez showed off his speed for the Huskies when he laid down a bunt up the third baseline for a single.

In the top of the fifth inning head coach James Hines came out to the mound to make a pitching change after Alonso walked two straight batters.

Freshman pitcher Francisco Avena came to the mound for the Huskies with freshman right fielder Zach Rivas on second and sophomore designated hitter David Balboa on first for Long Beach.

Avena’s first batter had an RBI single to left giving Long beach a one run lead going into the bottom the fifth inning.

ELAC recorded three straight hits off of sophomore pitcher Garrett Rennie.

The first hit was a double to left field from sophomore second baseman Anthony Soto.

The next two hits were singles by Ruben Hernandez and Steven Villagran which loaded the bases for the Huskies.

Gama came up to bat in a position to take the lead for ELAC when he hit an infield fly ball to shortstop.

He proceeded to slam his bat to the ground while yelling profane language in frustration.

Andy Rodriguez watched a called strike three and had a few words of his own to say after his at bat.

Long Beach’s Raul Gonzalez got his second RBI of the game off his third hit in the game when he singled to center.

ELAC’s Avena dropped the ball out of his hand to force the umpire to call a balk and advance the runner on first to second.

Continuing the trend of anger and frustration, freshman left fielder Erick Espinoza struck out in his at bat causing him to do much of the same as his fellow teammates by throwing his bat to the ground.

The bottom of the seventh inning had promise, as the Huskies got two runners on base, after Ruben Hernandez and Steven Villagran both singled to left field.

The runners advanced to scoring position after they both tagged up after a pop fly by Aj Gama to center field.

The Huskies were knocking at the door, but it was cut short when Andy Rodriguez struck out to end the inning.

The eighth inning sealed the victory for Long Beach with a couple hits to the outfield.

Chris Rubottom started the inning off with a double to the left field wall.

Freshman left fielder Tyler Vargas singled to left and was followed by another RBI single to the right center gap by Raul Gonzalez.

“We have kind of dug ourselves a bit of a hole but it’s not one that we can’t climb out of,” ELAC head coach James Hines said.

Sophomore short stop Travis Aversa hit a sacrifice fly to shallow right field scoring the runner from third.

Searching for answers ELAC had a pitching change when freshman Mario Huizar replaced Avena.

The Huskies have struggled as of late on the mound, “If we can pitch like I know we are capable of and become more consistent on offense, we will have far better success,” Hines said.

Huizar started off on the mound by hitting his first batter in the shoulder.

This loaded the bases for Long Beach but the Huskies stopped the bleeding with a strikeout.

Erick Espinoza tried to start a rally with a double to left field.

This hit proved to be no help whatsoever as the Huskies failed to score going into the ninth inning.

The Huskies ended the game when AJ Gama hit himself into a double play to put the Huskies out of its misery.

“We basically couldn’t get anything going after the first inning,” Hines said. “We made a couple of costly errors that gave them momentum and they scored some runs off that. Our bullpen the past two weeks has struggled to shut down other teams, especially since we moved Andres Alonso in to a starting role.”

The Huskies next game will be away against Compton College tomorrow at 2:30 p.m.

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