The Millikan baseball team graciously accepted all of the gifts given to them on Friday at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.
Before the Rams took the field against Long Beach Poly they watched Wilson knock off Lakewood to put Millikan (18-10, 9-1) alone atop the Moore League standings. Then the Rams took advantage of Jackrabbit miscues to take an early lead on their way to a 7-3 win.
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“Taking the lead early is so big at this park,” Millikan coach Ron Keester said. “And if you don’t make mistakes you’ll have a good chance of winning. Our kids are doing a good job of being in touch with the moment.”
Millikan starter Kelly Hawkshaw took a no-hitter into the sixth inning when Poly scored all of its runs. The senior gave up four hits and three runs in the sixth after his teammates scored four in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead.
“Yeah the gas was leaking out of the tank,” Hawkshaw said. “It was all working for me and my team had my back. I think that was my sharpest outing of the season.”
Hawkshaw retired 11 in a row from the second to the fifth inning, and senior Trevor Sutt pitched a perfect seventh. Senior right fielder Troy Gallitin made an incredible diving catch on the foul line for the first out of the third.
“That’s exactly what we thought we’d get from (Hawkshaw) all year,” Keester said. “He’s really coming on and giving us momentum.”
Millikan scored in the first inning without a hit after Moises Guzman ledoff with a walk, took second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a fielders choice and scored on another wild pitch from Poly starter EJ Andrews. The Poly senior was replaced in the fifth inning after giving up six hits and five runs.
Millikan third baseman Cody Bey doubled the lead with an RBI sacrifice fly in the third when Millikan loaded the bases. Ty Goldman also scored on a wild pitch in the inning. First baseman Cole Baker had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI. He was part of starting the four-run rally in the fifth.
“Our mentality is to never give up,” Baker said. “We just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Millikan plays Cabrillo on Tuesday, and the will face Lakewood at Blair Field on Thursday in the regular season finale. Poly (13-15, 5-5) is now fighting for its playoff life with games against Compton and Wilson left on the schedule.