It was a heated battle that featured an attempted ninth inning rally in the second game of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Super Regionals showdown as the Long Beach City College Vikings hosted the Los Angeles Mission College Eagles at Joe Hicks Memorial Field Saturday afternoon. After holding a sizable lead entering into the bottom of the ninth, the Eagles put up a three spot in the bottom half of the inning to make things interesting. However, it was not enough as the Vikings reigned supreme by the final score of 7-5.
Head Coach Casey Crook tossed the pearl to freshman starter and ace Josh Agnew (Long Beach, CA) for his second-career playoff start. After coming off tossing two-consecutive complete game shutouts, Agnew got off to another solid start by blanking the Eagles through the opening four frames.
The offense hit the ground running early by plating two runs in the top of the second inning. Sophomore designated hitter Jared Mayeda (Cypress, CA) poked a seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield to plate sophomore first baseman Vincent Byrd II (Sacramento, CA) who led off the inning with a base hit. Mayeda scurried home a handful of batters later on a wild pitch to snag an early 2-0 advantage.
The offensive action continued in the top of the third inning compliments of an RBI single from freshman third baseman Reese Berberet (Fallbrook, CA) to extend LBCC's lead. Byrd II followed two innings later with an RBI double that nearly left the ballpark to extend the Vikings lead to 4-0.
The Vikings continued to swing the bats with authority by scoring a run each in the sixth and seventh innings. Freshman center fielder Val Stammler (Long Beach, CA) lined a double down the left-field line to score freshman right fielder Zach Martinez (Long Beach, CA). Martinez followed the next inning by notching a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Byrd II to lead to a 6-1 lead after seven full frames.
The game became interesting in the bottom of the ninth with the Vikings holding a comfortable, five-run lead. However, a three-run jack from L.A. Mission's Lukas Granado brought the score to 7-5 with one out in the inning.
Freshman defensive replacement Ian Konek (Long Beach, CA) kept the Vikings from facing potential damage by making a diving catch in left field to take away an extra base hit. Sophomore power arm Schuyler Hill (Long Beach, CA) entered into the game for the next batter and recorded the final out en route to a series victory.
Agnew picked up his 10th win of the season after tossing seven frames and allowing one run off a scattered seven hits. He recorded five punch outs as well. Hill earned the save after facing just one batter.
Every starter for the Vikings recorded a hit with Berberet leading the way on a 3-for-5 day that included an RBI and a run scored. Byrd II and freshman second baseman Tyler Wilber (Los Alamitos, CA) each barreled two base knocks.