With Long Beach Poly beating Millikan on Thursday, Wilson and Lakewood’s game at Walter “Spud” O’Neill Field on the Lancers’ campus became even more important. With Poly still clear of the rest of the league with only one loss, the two-loss Bruins and Lancers were duking it out to decide who would be the potential challenger for the crown next week.
After another strong pitching performance from Jacob Ribitzki with some huge plays from Crixtian Taveras, it was the Bruins who prevailed in a 5-1 win.
“We haven’t changed too much, we’re just working hard in practice, taking a good approach, and getting hits when we need them,” said Taveras.
Taveras was the one coming up with clutch hits. Wilson took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after Alex Seguine drew a walk and Jaylin Cannon reached on an error. Taveras bunted them over, then Ryan Pettway’s sac fly scored Seguine. Lakewood evened it up on an RBI double from Kevin Kolb in the bottom of the inning, but Seguine singled in Nolan Ornelas in the second, and then Taveras had an RBI hit in the fifth and a two-RBI triple in the seventh to make it 5-1.
“I think we started taking practice more seriously,” said Wilson coach Andy Hall. “We’re making sure the guys are taking a good approach, and we’re trying to do the little things right..”
Ribitzki went the complete game and gave up one earned run as well as eight hits, while striking out seven.
Lakewood had chances to score but had three players called out on the basepaths including two who were trying to come home early, with Taveras gunning a pair of balls home to stop them from making it.
“We hit the ball well, but right at them,” said Lakewood coach Spud O’Neill. “They were playing us out on Woodruff and we were hitting it right to them. We had bad baserunning, dumb mistakes. They had more spirit than we did.”
Wilson could still win a share of the league title with wins against Millikan and Cabrillo, but would need Poly to lose to Lakewood or Cabrillo to make that happen.