Offensive explosion sends No. 5 El Camino baseball team to State Championship Tournament

All it takes is one hit to get things going for any team. Feeling the momentum shift just a bit towards you, knowing that your team doesn’t care about a two-run deficit.

Sophomore third baseman Hunter Lewis came up to bat and banged out a single for the No. 5 El Camino baseball team. That hit forced the No. 1 Orange Coast College Pirates to make a change at pitcher.

But the Warriors were feeling it.

Sophomore shortstop Darian Sylvester came up and hit a single, then sophomore catcher Trevor Casanova followed suit and all of a sudden bases are loaded in the top of the seventh with no outs.

Brady Dorn hits a foul, but because of catcher interference, it forces a run and it all went downhill for the Pirates from there.

Behind 14 hits across the board, the No. 5 El Camino baseball team shocked the No. 1 Orange Coast College Pirates in a 9-5 win on Sunday.

The win gave EC a 2-1 series victory in the Sectional playoff round and pushed the Warriors into the State Championship Tournament on May 27-29.

“I can’t even put it in words,” Casanova, who went 1-for-5 with a run, said. “A lot of excitement, I’m really happy for my guys. I’m honestly speechless.”

Casanova didn’t do much at the plate, but made up for it by leading freshman reliever Kenneth Haus to pitching 6 and 1/3 innings, while only giving up two hits and striking out four.

“The guys really wanted to win,” Haus, who improved his season record to 4-0, said. “They put up five runs, but we knew we were going to pick it up and we knew we were going to get it back.”

Freshman pitcher Ricky Ramos started the game, but quickly gave up five runs in 2 and 2/3 innings before being replaced by Haus.

“(Ramos) didn’t pitch that bad,” EC coach Nate Fernley said. “Just left a couple balls too high and (OCC) got a couple balls to bloop in.”

Orange Coast garnered nine hits and five runs in the loss that knocked them out of playoffs. All five runs and seven of the nine hits came in the first three innings, leaving the Pirates to just two hits with Haus pitching.

“We don’t win this game without Ken,” Casanova said. “He played a great game. The game plan stays the same for us, we’re going to do what we’ve done all season.”