The No. 18 Long Beach City College baseball team returned to Joe Hicks Memorial Field under sunny conditions Saturday afternoon in search for a series-sweep against the EC-Compton Center Tartars. In a low-scoring affair, the Vikings pushed ahead of the Tartars in the bottom of the eighth inning by scoring two runs thus leading to a 4-3 win.
Sophomore hurler Schuyler Hill (Long Beach, CA) climbed the bump for his 11th start of the season and displayed some power pitching by utilizing a heavy fastball. He began his day by recording two strikeouts in the first frame.
However, a hanging slider cost him one run as the Tartars' Ivan Navarro sent a solo blast over the left-field fence to put the Vikings in an early 1-0 rut.
Long Beach responded an inning later as sophomore shortstop Antonio Monroy (Maywood, CA) connected for an RBI-single through the left side, scoring freshman left fielder Chase Ambrose (Long Beach, CA) to knot the game up at one apiece.
Hill began to settle in the following frames by tossing up zeros in the fourth and fifth innings, but another Tartars' run in the top of the sixth inning put them ahead once again at 2-1.
Nevertheless, the Vikings responded immediately as freshman third baseman Reese Berberet (Fallbrook, CA) found some grass in shallow right fielder for a base hit, allowing freshman center fielder Val Stammler (Long Beach, CA) to scamper home and tie the contest up at 2-all.
EC-Compton Center remained pesky as a forced fielding blunder by Long Beach allowed the Tartars to go ahead late in the top of the eighth.
LBCC continued to grind and was able to plate two runs in the bottom half of the eighth inning starting with a Monroy double into the right-center gap that sent home Stammler standing up. Freshman second baseman Tyler Wilber (Los Alamitos, CA) followed by laying down a perfect suicide squeeze to send home Monroy. Hill slammed the door in the top of the ninth for a complete-game victory by the final score of 4-3.
Hill (6-3) was nearly lights out with his strikeout total almost reaching double-digits at nine to earn his sixth victory of the season.
Monroy had a clutch day at the dish by going 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored. Wilber had the crucial RBI to go along with a 1-for-3 mark.
The Vikings enter into the final series of the regular season as they face South Coast Conference (SCC) – South rival No. 1 El Camino College Warriors. The first game of the series is on the road on Tuesday, April 25th.