Baseball Long Beach City College

Baseball Preview: LBCC Looking For Third Straight Title

Photo courtesy LBCC

Entering his 26th season as the head coach at LBCC, Casey Crook is the seven-time conference coach of the year. He didn’t get to that point by mincing words, and he chooses not to in evaluating where the Vikings are a few weeks into the 2019 season.

“Well we’re 2-6, so you’d have to say we’re not very good right now,” he said. “That being said, our pitching is really not that bad–we have some guys we’re counting on who haven’t pitched that well yet.”

LBCC hasn’t been able to practice much due to the weather. Since other JCs have turf fields, that has put them at a competitive disadvantage.

Crook is excited about catcher Brett Wells, a bounceback from Dayton that Crook says is the best throwing catcher he’s had in several years. LBCC also boasts a stud pitcher in Garrett Rennie, a sophomore from Los Al who’s committed to the University of San Diego. Scouts have already been out to see Rennie and Wells, who are the expected leaders in terms of production.

THere are also talented returners in infielders Travis Aversa and Raul Gonzales.

“Hitting wise, we haven’t scored many runs, but we’re hitting balls right at guys,” said Crook. “My biggest question mark is our defense–once we can get some practice in and get that shored up I think we’ll be okay.”

After a tough series at Orange Coast that saw LBCC go 0-3 and lose by a combined score of 25-6, Crook was looking forward to getting to work in practice.

“We got beat up all week, I was thinking, ‘At least we’ll get a real practice in on Saturday,’” he said. “Then it dumps for three hours.”

Crook said he’ll have a better handle on what his team looks like by the time conference play starts again on Feb. 28th against Pasadena. The Vikings are trying to win a third consecutive SCC-South Conference title.

Long Beach High School Baseball Preview

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.