Strong pitching not enough for Vikings

Story by Kevin Chittum

Despite a solid pitching performance, the LBCC Vikings’ baseball team were unable to generate a sufficient offensive effort after trailing early to the El Camino College Warriors in the first of a three-game series on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, losing 5-1.

The Warriors struck early, jumping to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning and scoring again in the top of the third to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Warriors seemed to have a much easier time getting on base, earning 13 hits while the Vikings only managed to get 4.

The Vikings were able to cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh when sophomore center fielder Val Stammler scored a run off a double hit in to right field by sophomore left fielder Colin Perez.

But the Warriors responded in the eighth with two runs of their own bringing the game to its final score of 5-1.

The loss comes in spite of a strong pitching performance from sophomore Jacob Alcorn, who struck out 9 batters in 7 innings.

The defeat moves the Vikings’ record to 17-15 overall and 8-6 in the CCCAA South Coast conference, and bumps El Camino, who now hold a 9-6 record in the conference, into the second-place spot previously held by the Vikings.

The Vikings Play the Warriors twice more this week, at El Camino College on April 12 and again at home on April 14, and the games will be crucial for playoff contention for the Vikings.

Hitting seemed to be the downfall for the Vikings in this game, and sophomore outfielder Aaron Fawcett had a simple answer for the Vikings’ success in the upcoming games against the Warriors.

“We need to make an adjustment at the plate,” Fawcett said.

Head Coach Casey Crook thinks his team needs to focus on reaction to pitches by the Warriors.

“We were bad on fastballs,” Crook said, “We were late all day. We need to get more aggressive and turn some balls around.”