Story By Will Ranos / Sports Editor
Photo By D.A Phillips / Contributor
After losing to Cerritos, 11-2, in their previous game, the Vikings were able to beat the Falcons, 3-2, on Saturday, March, 21, and picked up baseball coach Casey Crook’s 500th win.
LBCC’s game Saturday was a pitching duel with the majority of the action not coming until the sixth inning. Both teams combined for a total of five hits leading into the top of the sixth inning. The Vikings did score once in the top of the third. Sophomore catcher Robert Castaneda started the inning with a double to left center and later scored on an error by Cerritos shortstop Benny Arce.
In the top of the sixth, with freshman right fielder Stevie Castro on third and sophomore left fielder Justin Davis on second, LBCC was able to score two unearned runs due to a throwing error by Arce, which allowed freshman pinch hitter Aaron Fawcett to reach first and advance to second.
In the bottom of the sixth, LBCC freshman pitcher Schuyler Hill struggled to keep Cerritos off the bases. Hill started the inning allowing a single to Falcon second baseman Justin Walsh. The freshman pitcher hit Arce with a pitch in the second at-bat of the inning, sending him to first and advancing Walsh to second. Hill then threw a wild pitch in the next at-bat allowing both runners to advance and ended up walking designated hitter Mike Heenan in the same at-bat.
The Viking pitcher was then pulled for fellow freshman pitcher Evan May. Being brought into a bases loaded situation, May was unable to keep the Falcons from scoring when he allowed first baseman Brett Thompson to single through the right side, bringing in two runs. That was the only hit the freshman would allow the rest of the game.
May finished the game pitching the final four innings, striking out three batters. Hill picked up the win, pitching five innings and only allowing two hits and striking out four batters.
Robert Hewitt, ASB representative of athletics said, “With over 20 years of dedicated coaching service to LBCC, he is most deserving of this achievement.”
Crook explained in a phone call that the players weren’t concerned with the 500 wins. The LBCC coach said, “There were players in the dugout that didn’t know what was going on with (the 500 wins). We’ve scrapped our way to first place and right now we are focused on keeping that.”
Crooks’ next milestone could be 514 wins, which would be the school record for wins by a coach, and would surpass LBCC coach Joe Hicks, who has 513. After their win on Tuesday, March, 25, over East Los Angeles, 4-3, Crook would have to win at least 13 of the 14 games left in the regular season to break the record.