The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
Wilson had the unique pleasure of hosting Moreno Valley on a beautiful Monday afternoon at Angels Stadium of Anaheim. The game started slow, but the Bruins went on to win 3-0.
There were a combined four total hits and no runs scored in the first three innings.
Maverick Torres entered the game to pitch for the Bruins in the top of the third, creating an immediate impact by allowing just one hit and no runs.
“Just gotta come in, throw some strikes and let them hit,” Torres said. “I just tried to pound the zone, get outs, and help us get back in the dugout to get us some hits.”
Torres helped his team settle down in the fourth, where Nick Koenig was able to make a big splash. After two walks and a hit by pitch, Koenig stepped up to the plate with three on and no one out. A beautifully hit double by Koenig brought in Ryan Barack and Zack Wakefield for two runs.
“I’ve always tried to come up in these clutch situations,” said Koenig. “He threw me a slider inside, and I knew I had to do my job with the bases loaded. I took him down the line, got those two RBI, and it helped motivate this team.”
Wilson tacked on one last run off an RBI single by Ryan Burack in the bottom of the fifth.
Moreno Valley did however threaten the Bruins in the top of the sixth, after a nice sequence of singles by Anthony Robles, Hector Rodriguez, and Jason Arevalo. With the bases loaded and two out, a loose pitch sent the runner at third to home base. Wilson catcher Dawson Precht chased after the ball, spun around, and sent a throw to Jack Eckenrode for a close call at home plate. Unfortunately for Moreno Valley, the incredible effort by Precht and Eckenrode was just enough to tag the runner in time before touching the plate, putting an end to their hot inning.
Win or lose, Wilson coach Andy Hall felt as if he needed to give all his players a chance to play on the stage of an MLB field.
“You can’t come to a place like this and not get everybody in the game,” said coach Hall. “I couldn’t be the bad guy and not get everyone in. If we win we win, if we don’t we’ll be disappointed, but I wanted to get all my guys in either way.”
Maverick Torres also talked after the game about his experience playing at Angel Stadium. “It’s like a dream come true. I know it’s every kid's dream to pitch at a major league baseball stadium.”
Wilson will take on Millikan on Wednesday at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.