Warriors baseball team clinches home-field throughout playoffs

Warriors+right+fielder+Logan+Young+bats+during+El+Camino%27s+game+against+LA+Harbor+on+Friday%2C+April+26%2C+at+Warrior+Field.+Young+had+no+hits+in+four+at-bats.+Photo+credit%3A+David+Rondthaler
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Warriors baseball team clinches home-field throughout playoffs

Warriors right fielder Logan Young bats during El Camino's game against LA Harbor on Friday, April 26, at Warrior Field. Young had no hits in four at-bats. Photo credit: David Rondthaler

Warriors right fielder Logan Young bats during El Camino's game against LA Harbor on Friday, April 26, at Warrior Field. Young had no hits in four at-bats. Photo credit: David Rondthaler

Warriors right fielder Logan Young bats during El Camino's game against LA Harbor on Friday, April 26, at Warrior Field. Young had no hits in four at-bats. Photo credit: David Rondthaler

Warriors right fielder Logan Young bats during El Camino's game against LA Harbor on Friday, April 26, at Warrior Field. Young had no hits in four at-bats. Photo credit: David Rondthaler

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In the bottom of the eighth inning, tied 2-2 versus the LA Harbor Seahawks, the El Camino Warriors had runners on third and second base with no outs.

On a wild pitch that flew by the Seahawks catcher, Warriors infielder Jerry Granillo was able to run home to put the Warriors up 3-2.

Later in the inning, an errant throw by Seahawks second baseman Isaiah Bumgarner allowed another runner to score for the Warriors.

The Warriors finished the game on top, winning 4-2.

After the win, the Warriors waited to hear the result from the game between Long Beach City College and Compton College. The Warriors needed Compton to win in order to clinch the conference and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Compton defeated Long Beach 7-5, officially crowning El Camino the champions of South Coast Conference.

“[Winning the conference] is big. We play to put another ball on the wall,” said Warriors coach Nick Jones. “It’s good to have consistent success, and our real season starts now.”

Warriors starting pitcher Max Pappas was excited about winning the conference but isn’t satisfied.

“Love to finish first in the conference, but there is a lot left to still do,” Pappas said.

The Warriors finished the game with only 3 hits, but had 4 runs. Warriors coach Nate Fernley thinks the team is being too aggressive when up to bat.

“We chased a lot of balls,” Fernley said. “We hit a lot of balls in the air. We need to get back to being more disciplined.”

Jones wants the team to put up a fight at the plate and pressure the other team.

“We need to draw more walks and not hit too many easy outs,” Jones said. “Sometimes we need to put the pressure on the other team to get us out.”

When on the mound, Pappas wasn’t concerned about the offense getting going.

“It’s just a matter of time until the team scores,” Pappas said.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Warriors shortstop Taishi Nakawake was able to hit a line drive off the wall in left center field, which drove in two runs to tie the game 2-2.

Nakawake also hit a walk-off home run on April 23 to beat LA Harbor 2-1. Nakawake was thrilled that he was able to come up clutch.

“It’s huge to come up big, but I’m trying to get it to the next guy,” Nakawake said. “I’m just trying to get on base.”

Heading into the playoffs, the Warriors are on a six-game winning streak.

Jones is glad to see the team get some momentum going into playoffs.

“It’s great going in the playoffs with some wins, and not backing in [the playoffs],” said Jones.

The next game for the Warriors is home on Friday, May 3 at 2 p.m. Their opponent is yet to be determined.

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