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Baseball Long Beach Poly

Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits Baseball Preview

The562’s season previews for the 2022-23 school year are sponsored by Vertical Raise, the official team fundraising partner of The562.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Poly alum Jayon Brown and PlayFair Sports Management.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Poly athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by JuJu Smith-Schuster and the JuJu Foundation.

Last year was cruel and unusual punishment for the Long Beach Poly baseball team.

After consecutive Moore League championships for the first time in a half-century, the Jackrabbits found themselves on the wrong end of the razor’s edge in league in 2022, finishing in fourth place at 6-6 with tight losses to Millikan, Wilson, and Lakewood.

This year? They’re hoping to get over the hump.

“We will be a much different type of a club than in 2022,” said Poly coach Brent Lavoie. “This squad will be able to execute at a higher level, play really good defense, and hit the ball. ANd we have a couple of arms now, whereas last year we had to really ride some guys. This year we have better depth.”

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Their depth will be improved, but the biggest strength for the Jackrabbits this year will be experience. After rolling out a young roster last year to compete with three senior-laden teams, Poly is the squad with a roster full of vets this season. 

Longtime shortstop Lucas Scott, a UC Irvine signee, said this year has been night and day from last season.

“We have three team captains this year, our coaches have backed off a little because they know we’ve got it,” he said. “No one’s nervous during practices or games, we all know what we’re supposed to do. We’ve been successful this Fall and Winter and we’re excited to compete.”

Lavoie said that after a frustrating season, his 2023 team didn’t even wait a week from the end of last year to start working, something that excited him as a coach.

Max Pemberton is one of several returning starters for the Jackrabbits this year, moving to catcher. photo by Art O’Neill

“They want to do something every day, and they really attacked the Summer,” he said. “We’re letting them steer the ship a little bit. It’s a competitive, hungry group–guys that genuinely like each other. Last year was mentally taxing, losing one run games over and over. This year’s team doesn’t want that, it’s been easy to coach this group.”

Scott echoed his coach’s comments.

“We’ve upped pretty much every aspect of our game, we hit better than we did last year, I think we’re all ready to move ahead and put that frustration (from last year) behind us,” he said.

The Jackrabbits love their pitchers, including transfers Jacob Mason and Joshue Sayre, who should both be big contributors early. Mason threw a complete game two-hitter against Esperanza in his debut for Poly last week. In all, Lavoie has the luxury of more than half of his starters being returners who are used to the bright lights of Bohl Diamond at Blair Field, and he’s not taking that experience for granted.

“The majority of this team is back and their mentality is ‘Go get it back,’” he said. They won back to back titles then lost it last year, it’s time to get it back. This group believes they’re going to win a Moore League title, and as their head coach that’s exciting.”

Projected Starting Lineup

P- Jacob Mason, Jr. / Joshue Sayre, Jr. / Lucas Scott, Sr. / Brayden Martineau, Sr.

C- Max Pemberton, Jr. 

1B- Sebastian Byrd, Sr. / Isaac Holder, Sr.

2B- Nate Berumen, Jr.

SS- Lucas Scott, Sr.

3B- Yahir Torres, Sr.

OF- Jae Simon, Sr.

OF- Sebastian Morales, Sr. 

OF- Marcus O’Keith, Sr. 

UTIL- Jesse Ritz, Jr. / Jordan Malau’ulu, Jr.

Massive Long Beach Baseball Preview
Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.