Tuesday afternoon’s CIF Southern Section Division 3 second-round playoff baseball game between Long Beach Poly and Great Oak ended in disappointment for the Jackrabbits—but not heartbreak. Poly was outplayed on their campus field but their heads weren’t hung low after a 6-1 loss to the Wolfpack.
In large part that’s because the Jackrabbits already achieved success this year by winning the Moore League title.
“I think we did the unexpected this year,” said Poly ace Jesse Simon, the Moore League Pitcher of the Year. “Everyone thought Millikan was the big dog in league and we were the underdog. But we did it.”
“Nobody wants to end the year on a loss, but that happens to every team except one,” said Poly coach Brent Lavoie. “Winning the Moore League title this year was amazing—they feel great about that.”
Tuesday’s action wasn’t so great for Poly and its fans. The Jackrabbits scored just one run, notched just two hits, and committed three errors in the loss. Great Oak took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second then expanded it to 2-0 in the fourth on a sacrifice fly. Poly got one run back in the bottom of the fourth after back-to-back singles from Daniel Mariscal and Chris Murphy, and a sac fly from Ethan Tapia. But that was all Poly was able to manage offensively, while the Wolfpack were able to get to Poly pitchers Isaac Richardson and Tim Fife, and errors compound the situation. The Wolfpack opened their lead in the fifth after loading the bases with no outs, scoring a pair to take a 4-1 lead. In the sixth, there was a close play at the plate with a Great Oak baserunner called safe under the tag, and the normally even-keeled Lavoie stormed out to argue the call with the umpire, doing so forcefully enough to get tossed.
“I know they’re trying to get it right, I’ve gotta respect the decision and go back to work,” said Lavoie.
The Jackrabbits saw two batters draw walks in the bottom of the seventh, but a double play ended the game, and Poly’s season at 20-8.