The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Warriors beat Long Beach in battle for first place

Warriors pitcher Max Pappas waiting for the catcher’s signal during the El Camino’s game versus Long Beach on Tuesday, April 2, at Warrior Field. Pappas allowed eight hits, three earned runs, one walk and got three strikeouts in seven innings. Photo credit: Kealoha Noguchi

The top two baseball teams in the Southern Coast Conference (SCC) stepped onto Warrior Field on Tuesday, April 2, with a combined 16-game winning streak. However, the Warriors would snap Long Beach City College’s ten-game winning streak and extended theirs to seven in a decisive 12-3 win.

El Camino leapfrogged Long Beach for first place in the SCC with the win. The Long Beach City Vikings entered Tuesday with nine straight wins in conference games, having won 10 overall. With seven runs in the first two innings of Tuesday’s game, the El Camino Warriors ambushed Long Beach’s hope of ten straight conference wins.

“The first game of a series is always crucial, especially when the games mean this much,” Warriors centerfielder Joseph Borges said. “These are the best two teams in the conference so coming out with that first game victory is huge.”

The sentiment shared by Borges was also true among other Warriors players.

“We’re looking to sweep, so it’s a good start,” Warriors starting pitcher Max Pappas said.

Starting pitching was strong yet again for the Warriors as Pappas allowed eight hits, three earned runs, one walk and three strikeouts in seven innings. Pappas’ season pitching record improved to 6-1.

“Max did a really good job of throwing some zeros up early,” Warriors coach Nate Fernley said.

The early lead spotted by EC’s offense allowed Pappas to settle in and locate pitches.

“When you’re up that much . . . it just takes a lot of pressure off,” Pappas said.

The Warriors’ bats tallied 14 hits that would translate into 12 runs.

“Our offense did a wonderful job executing,” Fernley said. “Sometimes offense is tough to control, so luckily things fell today.”

Borges collected three hits in five at-bats, including a double, scoring three runs and an RBI.

“[Success has come from] all the hard work that I put into the offseason,” Borges said. “We just need to keep swinging it cause Long beach can pitch a little bit, so just a couple runs on the board and we’re good cause we got some pitching too.”

Warriors shortstop Taishi Nakawake had two hits, including a sixth inning bases-clearing double that made the score 11-1 and virtually sealed the Warriors win.

“We just got to stick to our game plan and execute [in] the situations we need to,” Nakawake said.

Warriors right-handed pitcher and designated hitter Aaron Orozco added three hits in five at-bats, knocked in two RBIs and scored a run.

Vikings starting pitcher Sebastian Irwin made it until the second inning, allowing eight hits, seven runs (five earned) and one walk. With the loss, Irwin’s pitching record falls to 4-2.

Irwin nearly escaped the second inning when Warriors’ catcher Sladen Mohl stepped up to bat and tapped a dribbler in front of home plate.

However, Vikings’ catcher Brett Wells took the ball and mistakenly threw it into right field foul territory, resulting in two Warriors runs rounding home.

Warriors pitcher Garrett Spicuzza relieved Pappas in the seventh inning. Spicuzza finished the game pitching two innings, giving up three hits, a walk and one strikeout. Warriors closer Zach Findlay tossed a scoreless ninth to end the game.

“I’m really just impressed in the way we threw strikes today and played defense. We do that and we’ll be in every game. And if we hit, we can have results like this,” Fernley said.

The Warriors’ season record improved to 24-4 and 12-3 in the SCC. The Vikings fell to 18-11 and 11-3 in the SCC.

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