Baseball Mid-Season Report
by Stephen Morales
Baseball hits the halfway point on a stride, looking to keep rolling in the later innings.
Coming off a two-year pause due to COVID-19, and the retirement of longtime head coach James Hines, one might not fault the ELAC Huskies Baseball team for having a up and down season in 2022.
Luckily for Huskies fans, this baseball team decided to rewrite the norm.
With new head coach Alec Adame at the helm, the Huskies rebounded from a tough 0-5 start to the season and have won 15 of their last 21 games, including a 11-4 record in conference play and, as of this writing, stand in 2nd place of the South Coast Conference just mere percentage points behind 1st place Mt. SAC.
Furthermore, the Huskies have based their streak on dominant pitching, clean defense, timely hitting and a flair for the dramatic, with multiple wins coming from behind. This was punctuated by a three-run two-out two-strike 9th inning rally against LA Harbor.
East LA hits the mid part of the season, facing three crucial upcoming series. We caught up with Coach Adame and got a mid-season Huskies update.
SM: Your overall impressions of your first season so far?
AA: This season has been really fun so far! Our model as a coaching staff is to implement the team concept and get better at the process! It is fun to watch our student-athletes grow as a team and get better individually to help out this team in the best way possible!
SM: How were you able to rebound from the tough 0-5 start?
AA: Our guys were able to rebound from an 0-5 start because they believed in the process of winning! In most of those 5 first games, we were in every ball game until the end! It felt like we gave wins away. Our guys knew they had to get better at closing out games with better defense! We knew our tough schedule will help us prepare for conference and help us learn from our mistakes played in those early games!
SM: Your team has shown a major knack for rallying late and winning in your last at-bat. Talk about what that means to you as a coach?
AA: Winning the close games means the world to us! It says a lot about our guys in terms of their character and heart for all nine innings! In practice, we prepare for those dog fights! Winning those one or two run ballgames helps our guys believe in the process and responsibility of their individual roles on the team!
SM: You have three tough series ahead: El Camino, Mt. SAC and LBCC. Thoughts as you prepare for them?
AA: We have a tough road ahead to close out conference play! We understand as a team that all games ahead with ECC, Mt. SAC, and LBCC are going to be dog fights! We put ourselves in a good spot where we hold our own destiny! This was one of our team goals heading into conference. We are now here, and I know our team is going battle!
SM: Any performances you feel are worthy of mention?
AA: Our pitching has kept us in every ball game and has given us a chance to win! Our three starting pitchers (Julian Tellez, Gustavo Gutierrez, Paco Dominguez) have done an amazing job with limiting walks and keeping runs scored to a minimum in almost every conference game! Our role relief pitchers (Alex Castellanos, David Morales, Isaias Miramontes, Joe Campos, and Justin Rios) have done the same in those crucial innings late in the ball games when it really counts!
- Baseball is a game of numbers and quirky stats, and the Huskies certainly have cornered the market in one such stat: they lead the entire state of California in HBPs (Hit by Pitches) with 80. That's a lot of painful free passes to first base, but ELAC will gladly take it.
- Francisco (Paco) Dominguez ranks 5th in the conference with a 3.16 ERA.
- As of March 29th, ELAC is ranked #13 in the Southern California Coaches Poll.
- As logistics permits, we plan to live-stream as many baseball games as possible for the rest of this season.