MONTEREY PARK, CA — The East Los Angeles College baseball team rallied for a 4-3 win over Rio Hondo College in a South Coast Conference North Division game and won the three games series.
ELAC, 20th-ranked in the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association South Region Poll, improves to 18-13 overall and 8-5 in SCC play.
The Huskies remain tied for second place with Chaffey College (14-17, 8-5), who defeated conference leading Mt. San Antonio College (22-9, 10-3) today. Rio Hondo (11-17, 4-8) dropped its fourth straight by an average of 1.3 runs per game.
ELAC pitcher Paul Kosanovich (Temple City High School), who has 10 saves, got the win and improved to 3-3. He tossed eight innings and had a season-high seven strikeouts. Kosanovich leads the Huskies in strikeouts with 49.
The Huskies scored in the first inning. Third baseman Matthew Sosa (Whittier HS) walked then stole second. Second baseman Grant Victor (St. Francis HS) singled Sosa home (RBI). The Huskies singled three more times in the inning from left fielder Zech Jarrard (Temple City HS), designated hitter Oscar Osorio (Charter Oak HS) and center fielder Elias Maldonado (Northview HS). ELAC led 2-0 entering the second.
In the second inning, Rio Hondo scored a run on three hits. Kosanovich struck out two batters looking. ELAC led 2-1. ELAC added a run in the bottom half for a 3-1 lead. Three Huskies singled, catcher Matthew Shults (South Pasadena HS), Jarrard (RBI) and first baseman Bryan Duenas (Warren HS).
Rio Hondo tied it at 3-3 with two runs in the top of fourth from four singles sandwiched with two outs. After the latter single, ELAC executed a double play to shut down the threat. The Huskies looked to answer in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff single by Sosa, but with the bases loaded Rio Hondo got two quick outs and ELAC lost the opportunity.
In the eighth Sosa banged out a lead-off single and the Roadrunners went to the bullpen. Sosa stole second base then Victor singled. Jarrard reached first on a fielder's choice (RBI) and Victor was out at second while the Huskies scored the winning run.
Kosanovich retired the side in both the seventh and eighth innings. ELAC pitcher Adrian Cardenas (Baldwin Park / Sierra Vista HS) took care of the ninth and earned the save.
ELAC outhit Rio Hondo 13-9. Jarrard and Sosa who have batting averages of .391 and .364 respectively, each singled twice (2 RBIs each). Sosa leads the Huskies with 40 hits.
Maldonado singled three times (RBI), Shults singled (2 RBIs) and Victor singled twice (2 RBIs). Duenas and Osorio each singled.
The final game of the series, which ELAC leads 2-0, is set for Saturday at Rio Hondo at noon.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia