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Baseball Cabrillo Long Beach Poly

Baseball: Long Beach Poly Beats Cabrillo, Secures Playoff Spot

The562’s high school baseball and softball coverage for the 2022 season is sponsored by LBUSD Board of Education Member Megan Kerr

The562’s coverage of Cabrillo Athletics is sponsored by the Cohn Family

Fourth place in the Moore League and a playoff spot was on the line Monday afternoon as Poly hosted Cabrillo in their last home game of the season.

Cabrillo hung with Poly for most of the game but an early six-run first inning for the Jackrabbits helped them earn a 12-6 win.

Poly got RBI from Ryan Skjonsby, Mike Moku, Jordan Kramer, Grant Atwood, and Raymond Jenkins in their first at-bats.

“It was massive,” Poly Coach Brent Lavoie said of his team’s big first inning. “We’ve played a lot of nail biters with these guys over the years. (Cabrillo) is scrappy, they’re good, so getting that early lead gave us a lot of confidence and something to build on.”

One of those RBI came off a double from Poly senior Ryan Skjonsby, who finished the day 2-for-2 at the plate with two huge extra base RBI.

“I was just trying to put good swings on the ball,” Skjonsby said. “I made sure I wasn’t doing too much. I just tried to hit the ball hard and move runners over so we could score.”

Regardless of his big day at the plate, Skjonsby cared more about winning than anything else.

“The most important thing was to win today and get in the playoffs,” Skjonsby said. “That’s really all we were worried about. Any way possible that it could happen, doesn’t really matter. We were just looking to win.”

Poly’s defense helped it keep the lead as pitcher Lucas Scott tossed five-innings and Jackson Haberland finished the game.

Cabrillo threatened in the second inning by loading the bases with two out. Scott was able to work under pressure by picking off the second base runner.

It was smooth sailing for Poly up until the last out of the final inning when Cabrillo put up their biggest fight of the game. With two out, the Jags put together a rally of hits including RBI from Gustavo Sinsun and Jesus Baron. They also tacked on a run off a pass ball to score Aaron Strawberry. However, Poly was able to get the last out to end the threat.

“I’m just proud we didn’t give up,” Cabrillo coach Phillip Berman said. “We just kept on fighting and whatever happened, happened. I’m proud of our guys.”

Although the Jaguars season was cut short, Berman was able to reflect on his team’s success.

“We didn’t even win a game last year,” said Berman. “Coming from where we came last year we wouldn’t have expected to make it into the last week of the season with a chance of making the playoffs. I’m just proud of my guys for not giving up.”

Regardless of the win, Poly looked to honor their seniors for all their hard work and contributions to the team.

After the game, Lavoie spoke about his message to his seniors before their final home game.

“I told em, ‘Final day to suit em up, seniors. You’ve been here grinding for a while now it’s time to put it all together’,” he said. “The awesome thing is, every senior on this roster positively impacted this game today.”

Cabrillo will host Jordan on Wednesday to conclude their season.

As for the Jackrabbits, Poly will take on first-place Millikan Wednesday on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field in the final Moore League doubleheader of the year.

“It’s all momentum,” said Lavoie. “We got a fun one under the lights Wednesday night with a lot on the line for Millikan. We’ll be ready for that one.”

Eli Aquino
Eli Aquino is a high school student with plenty of writing and technology skills. He has a healthy knowledge and passion for sports and looks to take on journalism as a future career.