By Will Ranos/Sports Editor
Scoring seven of its eight runs in the first three innings, the LBCC baseball team held on for an 8-6 win over the El Camino College-Compton Center Tartars and captured their second consecutive South Coast Conference championship Friday, April 24, at the MLB Urban Youth Academy.
With the bases loaded in the top of the third, freshman center fielder Tai Tiedemann hit a single that brought in two runs. Through a couple errors by ECC Compton, the Vikings totaled five runs in the third and increased the lead to six with the score being 7-1.
LBCC sophomore pitcher Julian Griego was having a good game up until the fifth inning when he gave up three runs. Griego also gave up a run in the sixth inning, which allowed ECC Compton to reduce the lead to 7-5.
With the Tartars climbing their way back into the game, Vikings Aaron Fawcett scored a crucial run by hitting a solo home run in the top of the seventh.
ECC Compton scored one more run in the eighth, but the early advantage built up by the Vikings proved to be too much to overcome for the Tartars.
Griego picked up the win for the Vikings, improving to 8-2 on the season. Freshman pitcher Schuyler Hill picked up the save, pitching the last two innings and allowing no runs.
LBCC sophomore first baseman Tanner Levine said, “We had a lot of faith in Julian today. We just had to get runs for him. If we hit like today, there is no stopping us.”
With the win, the Vikes finished 20-16 overall on the season and 15-6 in conference play.
Heading into the SoCal Regionals, the Vikings will be the No. 7 seed and host No. 10 seed Orange Coast, which went 21-15 on the season and beat the Vikings in two of their three meetings. The two teams will play a best of three series with game 1 scheduled for Friday, May 1, at 2 p.m. and game 2 scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 2. If needed, a game 3 will be scheduled soon after game 2.
Ticket prices for the postseason tournament are $10 for general admission and $7 for college students, employees with IDs as well as seniors ages 60 and over and children, according the LBCC athletic website.