The562’s high school baseball and softball coverage for the 2022 season is sponsored by LBUSD Board of Education Member Megan Kerr
Lakewood baseball is putting it all together at the perfect time.
“We’re playing such better baseball the second half (of the league season) and now we’ve won nine of our last ten,” Lakewood coach Spud O’Neil said. “We couldn’t finish games last year and the beginning of this year. But we’re starting to get it. And having Anthony helps.”
Senior pitcher Anthony Eyanson was phenomenal for the Lancers yet again on Thursday on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field. He tossed a complete-game shutout while giving up three hits and striking out 11 batters in a 3-0 win over Long Beach Poly. Eyanson has now pitched 28 consecutive scoreless innings in Moore League play.
“When he’s on the mound the whole vibe just changes,” first baseman Jared Stephenson said. “Everybody’s confidence goes up once he’s on the mound. As you can see it’s just lights out. We don’t really want anyone else on the mound pitching for us.”
Eyanson didn’t walk a batter and struck out the side in the seventh inning.
“He’s the hardest working guy on this team for the last few years,” O’Neil said. “He’s so strong at the end of games because he does things on his own. He’s amazing. Just amazing.”
This win comes less than a week after Eyanson pitched seven hitless innings in a disappointing loss to first-place Millikan. Therefore, he pitched 12.1 consecutive hitless innings in league play before Ryan Skjonsby singled in the fourth inning for Poly.
“We just wanted to bounce back from last week,” Eyanson said. “We were all really excited to get back on the field and try to enjoy the rest of our season playing with each other. We know that it’s going to end soon so we just want to enjoy the moment.”
“Everybody knew this is a game we had to win to at least put ourselves in position to at least tie Millikan,” Stephenson said.
Stephenson has been struggling this season, but he went 3-for-3 with a run scored.
“This season has been a little bit rough,” Stephenson said. “I’ve been piecing balls and they just haven’t fallen. So I’ve kept the same approach. I know a lot of guys will pitch me oppo so I’ve got to take that pitch the other way.”
“I’m really proud of Jered,” Eyanson said. “He’s a great baseball player, and I feel bad because he’s pieced so many baseballs that have just gone right at guys. So to see him go 3-for-3 today I’m really happy for him.”
Lakewood took a lead in the first inning when senior James Provencio drilled a one-out triple to left center field, and senior Kane Yonamine doubled to right center field to drive him in.
The Lancers doubled their lead in the third inning when they loaded the bases and senior MJ Norquist plated Provencio with a ground ball out. Stephenson scored the insurance run in the sixth inning on a wild pitch.
Poly starter Lucas Scott went the distance by pitching incredibly well out of the stretch. The junior righty stranded 12 runners on base as the Lancers put runners on in every inning.
An error in the second and Skjonsby’s single in the fourth were the only times Poly put a runner in scoring position. Eyanson used a pair of strikeouts to end both innings. Eyanson hasn’t given up a run on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field this year.
“I tried to get ahead early,” O’Neil said. “I’m up for anything. Physically I’m just ready.”
Lakewood and Poly will return to Bohl Diamond at Blair Field on April 27 for the final Moore League baseball doubleheader of the year against Wilson and Millikan, respectively.