Last year was a mixed bag for Long Beach Poly, as the Jackrabbits went just 6-6 in the Moore League but also won some playoff games for the first time in a long time. This year is one to determine which of those trends is likely to evolve into the program’s future, which is likely part of why head coach Brent Lavoie wishes his team had been able to practice on their home field more this year.
Instead they’ve been heading to the On Deck Batting Cages in Signal Hill to work out in the back room, where there’s room to practice fielding and pitching, as well as cages all in the same area.
“We’re excited for the year,” said Lavoie. “We did a little winning last year, so the guys really believe they can win, and that they should win this year.”
Poly hopes to compete with Millikan, Lakewood, and Wilson this year, but is still in Division 3 for the playoffs, where they made a little noise last year.
Leading the charge from the mound will be Jesse Simon, Dominic Salerno, and Isaac Richardson, with Tim Fife and Will Hallock in the rotation as well.
Senior shortstop Chris Murphy is a four-year varsity stud and one of the top players in the league, offensively and defensively. Catcher Daniel Mariscal has stepped up in a big way, and Lavoie said he expects him to be a leader this season. Sophomores Edgar Rosales and Troy Criss are back in the infield for Poly this year, and should bring some big at-bats as well.