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Lakewood entered Moore League play on a four-game slide, looking to get things back on track for the start of the second season. The Lancers started well in their league opener against Cabrillo, scoring in each of the first three innings to jump out to a 10-0 lead, eventually winning 11-0 on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.
“We’d lost four in a row, so this was a good start for us in the Moore League,” said Lakewood head coach Spud O’Neil. “And the way we look at it is we’re starting all over again. It’s a new season for us.”
Leadoff man Nohea Mapu had a huge day at the plate for the Lancers, going 4/5 with a triple, three runs scored and three RBIs. Mapu scored Lakewood’s lone run in the bottom of the first inning, then tripled home two runs with a well-hit triple down the left field line in the second, plating Alex Mayfield and Joey Gann to make it 3-0 Lancers.
“It felt good off the sweet spot,” said Mapu of his ringing triple to left. “We just wanted to keep the energy up (in the first few innings). We saw from the plate there wasn’t a ton of velocity (from the Cabrillo starting pitcher) but I’ve got to keep the same approach, stay short and sweet, and I saw a lot of good pitches.”
Starting pitcher Anthony Eyanson was a standout both on the mound and at the plate. Eyanson threw four scoreless innings, allowing two singles while racking up seven strikeouts. Offensively, Eyanson was 3/3 with two runs, two RBIs and two stolen bases. Senior M.J. Norquist was 2/2 with a pair of RBIs for the Lancers.
After getting precious few games at Blair Field the past two seasons, Eyanson said the players were grateful to be back on the field and look forward to having a full regular season at their home ballpark.
“Everyone’s really stoked to be able to play here,” said Eyanson, a UC San Diego signee. “Last year, we all looked forward to it and then we weren’t able to play here very often, but the times we did, the energy was just different for our whole team. We’re just really excited to be able to play out here on this field, we all know how much blessing it is for everyone, so we’re all just excited and ready to go crazy this year.”
Cabrillo was unable to overcome the slow start, but settled in fairly well after those first three innings. In fact, Cabrillo started off a nice rally in the top of the fourth with well-hit singles by Jesus Barron and Carlos Monreal, but Eyanson struck out the next two Jags to strand the runners. Barron also added a walk and a stolen base later in the game.
Jags head coach Phillip Berman was pleased with how his team competed, especially after falling behind early. Playing without senior third baseman Tyler Harvey, the Cabrillo defense did well to limit mistakes and turned a double play in the fifth to help support the pitching staff.
“I think the guys are leaving here pretty positive,” said Berman. “The score is not really what we’d like to see, but our defense played well and they had a D1 guy on the mound. I think we only made one or two errors, they just hit the crap out of the ball. That’s just what it was. I think we had maybe one or two walks, but we’re leaving here pretty positive. Lakewood is one of the best teams in the Moore League, so we’re happy about today. Obviously we wanted to win but I think we showed progress.”
Berman said he hopes to have Harvey back soon, which will provide a big lift to the Jags in all phases of the game.
Cabrillo is at Millikan on Friday while Lakewood will get a week between league games. Once the Lancers are back in action, they’ll host those same Millikan Rams next Wednesday at Lakewood.