Moore League baseball is lucky to play a lot of its games at the beautiful and historic Bohl Diamond at Blair Field, and it just so happened that Millikan got to end its dominant CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoff run in its own backyard in front of an impressive Long Beach crowd.
Traditionally, the way a high school baseball team is successful at Blair is by relying on quality pitching, solid defense, efficient base running and clutch hitting. That’s exactly how the Rams beat Arlington 2-0 in the championship game to win their first title since 1992. It’s the sixth CIF championship in Millikan history.
“This was a dream season to me,” Millikan coach and alum Ron Keester said. “These are the kind of guys who you envision being champions, the ones who have overcome so much. And the fact that they love each other–that says everything right there. I’m just proud of them.”
Millikan didn’t win the league title, but won their five playoff games by a combined score of 22-2. Junior lefty Myles Patton was a huge reason for that success. The Long Beach State Dirtbags commit gave up a pair of runs while striking out 31 batters in 20 postseason innings.
Patton was unable to pitch in the championship game, but Cameron Sims and Daniel Murillo each pitched over three innings to share the shutout. Murillo also made an incredible over the shoulder catch at shortstop early in the game to keep Arlington off the scoreboard.
Millikan scored in the third inning when Tyler Bermundo and Troy Harding led off with hits. Anthony Godfrey and Bilal Ali brought them home with RBI ground balls. All of the Rams gave credit to the home crowd for their confident performance.
“It was phenomenal,” said Harding. “Every time something big happened you just heard the roar of the crowd. Just everyone standing behind you, the support from Long Beach was crazy.”
“The crowd was on our side for sure,” said DeCarlo. “It really helped being in Long Beach and having everyone behind us.”