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 baseball completes first-round sweep of Pasadena City

The El Camino Warriors celebrate following their Game 2 victory and series sweep of the Pasadena City Lancers Saturday, May 4, at Warrior Field. The Warriors scored five runs on 11 hits and committed no errors. Photo credit: Kealoha Noguchi

In the top of the first inning with runners on first and second base and one out, El Camino Warriors second basemen Spencer Long hit a ground ball into left field, bringing home a Warriors runner.

Up 1-0 and later in the batting order, Warriors pitcher Aaron Orozco hit a blooper into center field, and scored another run.

In Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs, the El Camino Warriors got on the scoreboard early and beat the Pasadena City Lancers 5-1 on Saturday, May 4, at Warrior Field. The Warriors swept the postseason series in two games.

In the bottom of the first inning with two outs and Pasadena City runners on second and third base, Orozco threw a pitch to Lancers catcher Cole Pilar. However, the third base side umpire called the play a “balk”.

A balk is when the pitcher performs an illegal move on the mound with runners on base. When a balk is called, all runners advance one base. This is to prevent pitchers from making exotic movements to try to throw runners out.

With the balk, the Lancers cut the Warriors’ lead to 2-1.

Warriors assistant coach Nick Jones did not think that the Orozco did anything worthy of a balk.

“I understand the call but I don’t think he did anything different,” Jones said. “Usually a warning is given out before.”

Orozco was surprised by the call but did not to get mad about it.

“At first I was shocked, but those plays are all about how you deal it,” Orozco said.

In the top of the third inning, Warriors center fielder Joseph Borges stole second base with one out. Long followed and hit a grounder up the middle for a single and Borges scored, stretching the score to 3-1.

Warriors left fielder Ty Conrad hit a fifth inning pitch up the middle and the Warriors would yet again score, now up 4-1.

In the sixth inning, Warriors right fielder Jerry Granillo came up to bat. And again, balks would become the centerpiece of discussion.

Granillo wanted to step out of the batter’s box during his at-bat, but the home plate umpire refused to call a timeout. Lancers pitcher Patrick Pena saw Granillo attempt to call a timeout, so he stopped his pitching motion midway through.

The umpire explained that Granillo initiated the play and wanted to step out of the batter’s box, and as a result Pena stopped his pitch. And in the rulebook, that does not qualify as a balk.

Jones was unaware of the ruling called for the play.

“I don’t know about the rule. I have to look it up,” Jones said. “You learn something new everyday I guess.”

Granillo then hit a ground ball into left field and shortstop Taishi Nakawake advanced to third.

With Warriors first basemen Spencer Palmer hitting a deep fly ball to center, the Warriors scored their final run of the game and sealed the win 5-1.

Warriors coach Nate Fernley was nervous that the Lancers would make adjustments after playing them twice in the regular season.

“You worry that the team will make adjustments, but our team was able to execute the plan well,” Fernley said. “It’s always interesting to play conference opponents in playoffs.”

Orozco went onto throw a complete game and gave up only one run and six hits with eleven strikeouts.

“Good to pitch Game 2, you can either take the series or help your team tie the game up,” Orozco said. “You just got to focus and keep doing you.”

The Warriors didn’t have to take anyone out of the bullpen for either game, but Jones said that wouldn’t change any plans heading into the next round.

“We have the same format,” Jones said. “Relievers are ready and it’s good to have our entire bullpen ready to go next series.”

Orozco is excited to move on in the playoffs and is highly motivated.

“It’s great to win the series. We are highly motivated,” Orozco said. “This whole journey is for Sladen.”

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