After a scoreless first inning between Lakewood and Poly it looked like the beginning of a typical low scoring affair between two of the top teams in the Moore League.
But that wouldn’t be the case as swirling winds and untimely errors gave Lakewood everything they needed as they defeated Poly 16-0 Friday afternoon at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.
“For whatever reason, I’ve never seen (Poly) play like that before,” Lakewood coach Spud O’Neil said. “It was a bad day for them defensively, and I know they’ll recover from it.”
At the top of the second inning, Lakewood got on the board against Poly’s Elias Torres when Jared Stephenson hit a routine fly ball to left field, but it was dropped allowing Nohea Mapu to score to take a 1-0 lead.
Torres then struck out Jacob Elliott, but the Lancers continued to take advantage of Poly’s errors as a throw to first base was off allowing Stephenson to score to take a 2-0 lead and a balk allowed Kane Yonamine to score to make it 3-0.
A sacrifice-fly by Diego Gutierrez allowed Eric Yuriar to score to make it 4-0, then a single by Anthony Eyanson scored Blake Jones to score to take a 5-0 lead.
After that, Poly made a pitching change bringing in Ryan Skjonsby for Torres.
Lakewood continued to take advantage of Poly’s errors as a routine grounder was dropped by the second baseman which allowed Eyanson to score and give Lakewood a 6-0 lead.
Heading to the bottom of the second inning, the Lancers led 7-0.
Both teams went scoreless until the fourth inning when James Provencio reached first on an error and then scored after Gutierrez hit a 2-run bomb to left field to give Lakewood a 9-0 lead.
The Lancers continued to take advantage of Poly errors as Mapu reached first base on a walk after a Stephenson single.
Stephen also scored on the play after a 3-base fielding error allowed him to score to give the Lancers an 11-0 lead heading to the bottom of the fourth inning.
Eyanson had control of his curveball throughout the game as he was able to keep Poly’s hitters at bay.
“When we played them the first time they got a hit on us and we kind of didn’t have the same energy as today,” Eyanson said. “We showed up with energy, instead of trying to bring it late in the game.”
At the top of the fifth inning Yuriar hit a double and scored after Jones reached on an error to make it 12-0 with no outs.
After a single by Gutierrez and Eyanson, Mapu hit a 2-run single to give Lakewood a 14-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.
“It was windy for both teams,” Poly coach Brent Lavoie said. “One team team really well and one team played really really bad on defense and you get a lopsided end result when that happens.”
Lakewood added two more runs in the seventh inning after Stephenson hit a 2-run single with bases loaded to score Joey Gann and Brad Greer to take a 16-0 lead.
“They’re a really tough team to shutout,” O’Neil said. “I’m proud of the way (Eyanson and Gutierrez) pitched today.”
Playoff/Championship Scenarios This Week
Currently Poly and Lakewood are atop the Moore League with two losses apiece, while Wilson and Millikan both have three losses. This year there’s an extra wrinkle because the Moore League only gets three auto-playoff bids instead of the usual four. That’s because, since Compton couldn’t field a team this year, the league is a six team league instead of a seven team league–six team leagues get three playoff auto-bids, while seven team leagues get four.
Assuming that Millikan beats Cabrillo and Lakewood beats Jordan on Tuesday, the Moore League is headed for an absolutely crazy Thursday where four teams have a chance to win a league championship, but could also miss the playoffs.
Wilson will host Poly and Millikan will host Lakewood with both games scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m. Kudos to Wilson athletic director extraordinaire Jeff Evans for his help with these scenarios.
If Wilson and Millikan win, the league would have a four-way league championship, and would do an envelope draw to determine who the top two seeds are, then likely a Friday playoff game for the other two teams, provided those teams split the regular season series. If there is a series winner in the two remaining teams then that team would get the third seed and the final auto-playoff bid, with the fourth place team applying for an at-large spot.
If Wilson and Lakewood win, Lakewood would be the Moore League champion, Wilson would be second, Poly would be third, and Millikan would apply for an at-large.
If Poly and Lakewood win, they would be co-Moore League champions, Millikan would be the third seed, and Wilson’s season would be over (the Bruins aren’t .500 and are not eligible for an at-large bid).
If Poly and Millikan win, the Jackrabbits would be the Moore League champions, Lakewood and Millikan would tie for second, and Wilson would finish fourth and be out of playoff contention.