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Baseball Lakewood Wilson

Baseball: Wilson Gets Much Needed Win Against Lakewood

The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.

There’s a big sign at Lakewood’s baseball field that proclaims, “Two outs, so what?” but it was Wilson providing the two-out magic on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field on Thursday night.

The Bruins scored all of their runs with two outs and held off the Lancers for a 4-1 win in the second game of a Moore League doubleheader.

Wilson (13-7, 5-3) and Lakewood (10-11, 5-3) are now tied for third in league as the second round of play begins.

“It’s good to see us get up off the mat a little bit,” Wilson coach Andy Hall said. “Going 3-3 in the first round of league play was kind of disappointing so hopefully we can run the table like we did last year and put ourselves in a pretty good spot.”

Diego Orozco, Owen Ehmann, Gavin Piechota and Rudy Carlos had the RBI for Wilson, and those were the only four Bruins hits. Meanwhile, pitchers Jaaden Romero (3.2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, R) and Kevin Jones (3.1 IP, 0 H, 3 K) limited Lakewood offense to just a few scoring opportunities.

The Wilson victory is even more impressive considering the Bruins were without regular starters Aaron Mingo and Matt Pappas. They were injured on a fluke play earlier this week during their game against Compton.

“We lost two of our guys so we came out here to win for them,” Orozco said.

“When we took infield (before the game) I thought we were really down and I didn’t feel like we had a lot of energy,” Hall said. “But the ability to score runs with two outs was the difference.”

Orozco got his team going with an RBI double in the first inning, and then the senior was dedicated to keeping his dugout loud all night.

“Energy is key,” he said. “You have to back up your guys and feel that momentum.” 

Almost all of the Bruins came to the ballpark with their hair bleached blonde after they all did it together at a team party as a bonding experience.

“I was the ringleader for that, I saw it on Tic Tok and thought we had to do it,” Orozco said. “I feel like it brought us together a little more.”

“I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll dye my hair too,’ but I thought better of it,” Hall joked. “I’m a little old for that now… But (Orozco) is one of our senior captains and he does a great job leading his boys.”

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Lakewood had a great chance to take a lead in the first inning with the bases loaded, but Romero used a strikeout and a ground ball to escape the jam.

Ehmann ripped a triple to left field in the second inning to score Henry Whelan and put Wilson up 2-0.

The Lancers got one back in the top of the third inning when Mason Yorba led off with a double and scored on a ground ball off the bat of Matt Maines.

Wilson responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to cap the scoring. Orozco got the two-out rally started by drawing a walk, and he came all the way around to score on Piechota’s double. Piechota would score on Carlos’ single.

The Bruins got to Lakewood starter Joseph Dizon, but reliever Brady Stephenson pitched three scoreless innings while striking out four of the last six batters he faced.

Jones was equally as impressive in the latter innings. He threw a first-pitch strike to all three batters he faced in the seventh while retiring the last five batters in a row. The only Lancer to reach base against Jones did so via error.

“That’s a big win for us moving forward for our confidence,” Hall said.

Lakewood returns to Blair on Monday to face Cabrillo before Wilson comes back to take on Jordan on Wednesday.

VIDEO: Wilson vs. Lakewood, Baseball
PHOTOS: Lakewood vs. Wilson, Photos
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.