Millikan

Baseball Preview: Millikan Rams

The balance of power shifts slowly in the Moore League but it’s been moving East towards Millikan the last few years. The Rams (7-6, 3-0) have had a share of the league championship three of the last four seasons including an outright title in 2016. If Millikan wins a share of the title again this year it will be their first three-peat sine 1991-93.

“We like the talent that’s coming into our school but the three in a row doesn’t really pertain to these kids,” said Rams coach Ron Keester. “A lot of them weren’t on the team. We do introduce them to the alumni at the alumni game and say, ‘These guys are watching you.’ We really promote what has taken place at Millikan.”

Keester is a Millikan alum with a dozen years of experience coaching in the program including three as head coach. Pitching coach Kevin Gail is also a Millikan alum who’s been in the program for 12 years and assistant coach Paul Slater has also been in the program for 12 years.

In other words, it’s easy for Keester and his staff to be the bridge to Dan Peters and the CIF championship teams of old.

“We want the kids to know how it started and the expectations that we have,” said Keester.

This year’s team certainly has the potential to meet those expectations.

Centerfielder Moises Guzman has already proven to be a spark for the Rams offensively with a triple and a double on opening day. Other key offensive contributors have been Christian Yogi, the team’s standout sophomore shortstop/catcher, and first baseman Cole Baker. On the mound Kelly Hawkshaw returns for his senior year and the Rams got good relief innings last week from sophomore Tyler Conant. Third baseman Julian Aguilar is also in the rotation.

“This is more than just us, this is a Millikan baseball community that we’re a part of,” said Keester. “That community has high standards.”

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.
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