Game plan remains the same for El Camino’s baseball team


El Camino outfielder Noah Barba crosses home plate during the Warriors game against Pasadena City College on Saturday, May 13 at Warrior Field. Photo credit: Jorge Villa

It’s the No.1 ranked team against the former No. 1 team.

The top seed Orange Coast College Pirates faces the No. 5 seed El Camino baseball team with the winner advancing to the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship in Fresno beginning May 27.

EC heads into the sectionals after a 2-1 series win over No. 12 Glendale College and a 2-0 sweep of No. 7 Pasadena City College in the Super Regionals.

Nothing has changed for the Warriors. Freshman pitcher Ricky Ramos said they are not preparing any differently.

“Practices are the same and game plans are the same,” Ramos said. ” We are looking forward to the upcoming series and having some fun.”

The Warriors and OCC battled for the No. 1 spot towards the end of the season. EC fell from the No. 1 ranking after dropping a five-game losing streak at the end of the season.

OCC is coming off a 2-1 series win over Santa Ana College in the Super Regionals. The Pirates lost, 3-1, in the first game on Friday, May 12 before they evened the series with a 5-1 win on Saturday, May 13.

In the first two rounds of the postseason, sophomore pitcher Taylor Rashi was dominant, throwing two complete games against Glendale and Pasadena.

In both outings, Rashi struck out 19 batters while allowing two unearned runs on four hits. Rashi said they are excited to get back on the field.

“We are practicing and preparing for a battle against OCC,” Rashi said. “We are ready to go out there and get two wins to go to Fresno.”

EC’s second ace is 11-game winner sophomore Cassius Hamm who has 121 strikeouts on the season. The bullpen includes Ramos, freshmans Trevor Talpas and Kenneth Haus and sophomore Jake Carr.

The Pirates pitching staff will have to contend with an offense that has scored 46 runs in five playoff games. Sophomore catcher Trevor Casanova leads the Warriors with a .392 batting average and eight home runs while adding 40 RBIs.

Casanova said OCC is a good team that is going to come out and play hard and it’s definitely going to be a fun series.

“We have trained hard all year for this,” Casanova said. “Our team is ready for this matchup. We are not going to treat it differently than any other game.”

Offensively, the Warriors have many players contributing to the scoring outputs. Freshmans Ty Conrad and Cody Wissler have 119 hits combined on the season.

EC will travel to OCC for Game One on Friday, May 19 at 2 p.m. Game two of the best-of-three series will be on Saturday, May 20 at 1 p.m. at Wendell Pickens Field and a game three will be played on Sunday, if necessary.