by Cerwin D. Haynes
(photos by code5photos)
As East Los Angeles College finally played their home opener, they found themselves trailing Long Beach City College going into the bottom of the fourth inning. But the Huskies would put up five runs, and combined with strong relief pitching ELAC would notch a 7-5 comeback win. Catcher Melanie Torres (aka "Baby Shark") went 3-4 from the plate with two RBIs, and first baseman Puatausaga Johnson hit 2-2 with two RBIs, two walks and a run scored. Freshman Raylena Valencia (2-0) got the victory in relief, giving up only two hits and an unearned run in 3.2 innings while striking out five batters with one walk.
Trailing the LBCC Vikings 4-2, the Huskies created and took advantage of opportunities in their half of the fourth. With one out, second baseman Irene Dorado singled to shortstop to get aboard. Right fielder Amber Cortez followed Dorado by reaching first base on a fielding error, and pitcher Raylena Valencia - in the game to relieve starter Lauren Tate - took to the batter's box. She helps her own cause by notching her first hit and RBI of the season, singling to left center to drive in Dorado. Jasmin Flores was up next; she grounded out to second, but it moved Cortez and Dorado over a base to create a two-RBI opportunity for first baseman Johnson. Pua delivered, blasting a hard single to left-center to drive in both runners.
ELAC was now up 5-4, but they weren't finished: Priscilla Ortega would reach base safely on another Long Beach City error, and that brought Baby Shark to the plate. She knocks an RBI single to center which was misplayed, allowing Ortega to also score all the way from first. Huskies finished the fourth up 7-4, and would only give up an unearned run in the top of the fifth to hold on for the win.
- Dorado hit 2-4 with a run scored. Shortstop Eliza Flores also notched a hit in four at-bats
- Vikings shortstop Jade Wittman hit 2-2 with 2RBI's and two walks.
- Valencia was impressive in relief, mixing good power and command to fool Long Beach hitters. She caught all five LBCC batters looking on her strikeouts.
- Huskies make the mush up north (by northwest) to Antelope Valley tomorrow to take on the Marauders at 1pm.