Warriors push past Fullerton with strong fourth inning

The+El+Camino+Warriors+and+Fullerton+Hornets+baseball+teams+stand+together+following+their+game+on+Wednesday%2C+April+17%2C+at+Warrior+Field.+The+Warriors+won+the+game+3-1+and+improved+their+season+record+to+29-6.+Photo+credit%3A+Melanie+Chacon

The El Camino Warriors and Fullerton Hornets baseball teams stand together following their game on Wednesday, April 17, at Warrior Field. The Warriors won the game 3-1 and improved their season record to 29-6. Photo credit: Melanie Chacon

El Camino’s baseball team hosted Fullerton College on Wednesday afternoon and earned a 3-1 victory over the Hornets in their second meeting of the season.

Former EC baseball player and current head coach for Fullerton, Nick Fuscardo, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Fuscardo was the starting second baseman for EC from 1962-64.

“Not to brag or anything, but I’m even in the Hall of Fame here. How ’bout that?” Fuscardo said.

Fuscardo was inducted into El Camino’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.

“Don’t ask me why. They must have ran out of guys to put on the wall,” Fuscardo joked.

Game Time

Freshmen right-handed pitcher Jimmy Galicia took the mound to start the game for the Warriors and found himself in trouble early on. His first pitch was a ball that led to a walk for the Hornets.

With two outs and bases loaded in the first inning, Galicia was able to strike out Fullerton’s Harrison Nation who went down swinging, taking both teams into the bottom of the first.

Galicia bounced back after the first inning and went on to pitch seven innings. He faced 27 batters and allowed two hits, gave up one run and secured seven strikeouts in his twelfth appearance this season.

Third baseman Ryan Stephens got it started for the Hornets with a lead off home run in the top of the fourth. However, despite his solo shot, the fourth inning belonged to the Warriors.

It was a base hit by EC’s Ty Conrad that got it rolling for the Warriors and designated hitter Aaron Orozco followed up with an RBI to tie the game at 1.

Two more RBI’s from infielders Matt Beserra and Jerry Granillo put EC on top and the Warriors took the lead, 3-1.

“We got lucky when third baseman [Fullerton] made an error so we get a guy on base, and then we bunted to him and he mishandled it … and then we did get a couple of clutch hits which helped,” EC head coach Nathan Fernley said.

EC Sophomore second baseman and right-handed pitch Spencer Long entered the game in top of the eighth and pitched two shutout innings and notched one strikeout to close out the game.

The Hornets were never able to catch up and the Warriors earned their 29th win of the season, beating Fullerton 3-1 at home.

“I don’t think we played our best game, but we pitched really well and that kept us in it and here we are,” Fernley said.

Previous Matchup

The two teams met for the first time this season at Fullerton on Saturday, February 23, where two players for the Hornets were injured in a collision in the outfield. One player, sophomore Josh Sanchez, was critically injured.

“We didn’t know what to expect from that one,” Fuscardo said. “We just ended the game right then. It’s not worth it to play baseball when a kid’s life is at stake.”

Fullerton teammates Ryan Stephens and Josh Sanchez were chasing a fly ball when Sanchez dove and his head collided with Stephens’ knee.

“I don’t really remember the initial impact … I guess I caught it and threw the ball in but I don’t remember that at all,” Stephens said. “… people were coming up to me but I knew that Josh was in way worse condition than I was so I was telling people to go to Josh.”

Sanchez received two fractures in his skull and was placed in an induced coma for five days.

Fuscardo, or “skipper” as the players call him, shared that Sanchez is still in rehab and recovering nicely.

“We drove up there a couple of Sundays ago and it was so cool, [Sanchez] was playing catch,” Fuscardo said.

Next Game

With this 3-1 win over Fullerton College, EC improved their overall record to 29-6, and their home record also improved to 13-2. The Warriors will take on Taft College at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 19 at Warrior Field.