Huskies Strike Back at Lancers with Extra-Innings Win
by Cerwin D Haynes
East LA baseball head coach Alec Adame often preaches about the mental aspects of the game and applying pressure to the opponent. After having their season-high six-game win streak snapped at Pasadena City College (#11 CCCSIA, #8 CCCBCA-South) on Tuesday, Coach Adame looked to see how quickly his team could get right back to those principles - and back to winning.
It only took one game, thankfully.
Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning with one out, the Huskies (#24 CCCSIA, #19 CCCBCA) applied said pressure to the Lancers (15-7, 7-4) by inducing PCC into a throwing error which allowed the winning run to score from third, giving ELAC a 4-3 victory and retaking sole posession of first place in the South Coast Conference (12-10, 8-3).
ELAC began their half of the 10th with a leadoff walk by Ruben Hernandez. Jeffrey Smith, who took over for starter Jarred Robles in RF, sacrified Hernandez to second on a slow bouncer to pitcher Benny Olguin. Antonio Gomez would then take to the plate, and knocked a single to right, advancing Hernandez to third. Daniel Vierra, who took over at DH for starter Juan Guardado, would step to the plate. And with only one out, the Huskies knew there were a few ways to get the winning run home that did not involve a base hit - something that puts a great deal of pressure on the fielding team.
On a 1-1 count, Vierra swung and hit a slow bouncer to Lancer Isaac Luevano at SS. Hernandez - who was a few steps off the bag at third on the pitch - held his lead as Luevano fielded, and decided to test the shortstop's decision-making as he broke for home plate. Luevano threw home, trying to prevent the winning run from plating, but his throw was high and to the right of his catcher Matt Rice. The ball sailed past Rice to the backstop, and Hernandez - whose initial slide home was just a bit short of the plate - had enough time to stretch out his arm and slap his hand on the plate.
- C Michael Easter continues his strong March play by going 2-4 with a walk. His batting average is now up to .333 on the season and is hitting .405 at home.
- 3B Antonio Gomez went 2-5 with a run scored. SS Richard Ponce hit 3-4 with an RBI.
- CF Jason Vela went 0-5 but had 2RBI on the day.
- Reliever Justin Rios got the win: he came on in the sixth inning and pitched five innings of shutout ball on five hits and three walks with three Ks.
The rubber game of this three-game set will be played back at PCC on Saturday, March 19. First pitch at 12-noon.