MONTEREY PARK, CA — The East Los Angeles College baseball team will enter the Southern California Regional Bracket as the No. 14th seed announced today by the California Community College Athletic Association.
It is the first time since 2014 that the Huskies are playoff bound and the fifth time in the last eight years. The Huskies were actually named the No. 13-seed, but No. 4-seeded Mt. San Antonio College, champion of the SCC North would have been ELAC’s opponent, so the selection committee switched ELAC with No. 14 Santa Barbara City College.
As the 14th seed, the Huskies surpassed the Wild Card single elimination games and face the No. 3 seed Saddleback College in Round 1.
The Huskies are No. 14-ranked in the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association South Region Poll.
ELAC ended the regular season 23-17 overall and won nine and tied three of its 16 series this season. ELAC finished a three-way tie at 13-9 in the South Coast Conference North Division with Pasadena City (22-18, 13-9) and Chaffey (19-21, 13-9) colleges.
Pasadena received the automatic SCC North second place playoff bid based on its three-game series win against ELAC. Pasadena received the No. 12th seed and will meet Glendale Community College (28-12).
Saddleback took second place in the Orange Empire Conference and finished the regular season at 28-12. ELAC and Saddleback are pretty much even on paper against common opponents. Against eight common opponents, ELAC went 11-4 and Saddleback was 13-3.
Three common opponent examples include No. 5 seed Glendale, No. 11 seed El Camino College and Santa Barbara. ELAC went 4-0 against these higher seeds with an average score of 7-3. Saddleback went 4-1 against the same colleges averaging a 4-2 score.
ELAC has five men that have a batting average more than .300 while Saddleback has two.
ELAC sophomore Matthew Sosa (Whittier High School) hits a .357 batting average that includes 51 hits, 14 of them doubles. Sophomore Zech Jarrard (Temple City HS) muscles a .340 batting average with 36 hits including 14 doubles. Freshman Grant Victor (St. Francis HS) bangs a mean .329 with 47 hits and 14 doubles. Freshman Bryan Duenas (Warren HS) hits .324 adding 44 hits. Freshman Elija Martinez (La Serna HS) with one-fourth less at bats, has a .304 batting average.
Saddleback’s two men that hit more than .300 are sophomore Brett Auerbach (Tesoro HS) at .380 with 57 hits including 15 doubles and freshman Willie Lajoie (Beckman HS) at .358 with 54 hits including 10 doubles.
ELAC has two pitchers ranked in the Top 50 statewide from approximately 400 pitchers and Saddleback has one. For ELAC, it’s Jarrard, 7-2 overall on the mound in 88.1 innings and freshman pitcher Paul Kosanovich (Temple City HS) who is 6-3 in the circle and has thrown 65 strike outs in 79.1 innings. For Saddleback, it’s sophomore Tanner Brubaker (Woodbridge HS) who has an earned run average of 1.17 and stands 11-2 overall with 79 strikeouts in 100.1 innings.
The Huskies will play at Saddleback College on Friday and a double header, if needed, on Saturday, also at Saddleback, times to be announced at ELAC Huskies Athletics Facebook.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia