The No. 19 Long Beach City College baseball team was tested on Thursday evening as they hit the road to play the second game of a three-game series against the EC-Compton Center Tartars in conference action. After trailing early, the Vikings used a two-spot in the sixth and eighth innings to jump ahead of EC-Compton and hang on to an 8-7 victory.
Freshman hurler Josh Agnew (Long Beach, CA) climbed the hill and had a rough outing for the first time in a long time by allowing five runs in the opening three frames. Defensive woes were evident as well to put the Vikings in an early hole.
Nevertheless, the Vikings chipped away at the lead and plated their first run in the top of the first inning off a suicide squeeze executed by freshman right-fielder Zach Martinez (Long Beach, CA). Sophomore shortstop Antonio Monroy (Maywood, CA) scored the following inning on a throwing error to bring the score to 5-2 in the Tartars' favor.
The Vikings scored two more runs in the top of the fifth inning with freshman center fielder Val Stammler (Long Beach, CA) sending home freshman catcher Robert Barham (Long Beach, CA) with an RBI single to center field. Monroy followed with a sacrifice fly to score freshman left fielder Collin Perez (Long Beach, CA) to trim the deficit to 5-4.
However, the Vikings allowed two more runs the following inning to put them back at a three-run deficit.
Martinez responded to the following inning by launching a towering, two-run homerun to left field, scoring sophomore designated hitter Jared Mayeda (Cypress, CA) to shave the deficit back to two-runs at 7-6.
Freshman reliever Lorenzo Haycox (Long Beach, CA) entered the game and did an excellent job by tossing two-consecutive scoreless innings to give Long Beach a chance to push for the lead.
Stammler did just that the following inning by lacing a two-RBI double down the left-field line scoring Perez and Martinez to grab an 8-7 advantage.
Haycox continued on to throw another scoreless inning and handed the pearl over to freshman closer Chase Ambrose (Long Beach, CA) in the bottom of the ninth who promptly slammed the door in order en route to the victory.
Ambrose earned his second-consecutive save and second of the series, pushing his season saves total to five. Haycox was lights out in relief by scattering four hits en route to his first-career win.
Stammler finished the contest by going 2-for-5 with three RBI which included the go-ahead, two-RBI double. Martinez launched his second homerun of the season on a 1-for-2 day at the dish.
The Vikings (22-13-1, 13-5 SCC-South) will look to take out the brooms for a series sweep on Saturday, April 22nd at home at 12 noon.