Baseball Lakewood Millikan

Baseball: Lakewood Holds On To Beat Millikan

The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

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

You could tell how much the 3-1 win over Millikan meant to Lakewood on Friday night on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field by how the Lancers celebrated every moment.

“It’s huge,” Lakewood left fielder Angel Jacobo said. “We’ve been battling tough teams and losing so this is a really big win for us.”

Lakewood had lost its last four games against rival Millikan, and the win Friday moves the Lancers into a tie for second place in the Moore League with Millikan.

“The whole week has been about getting into second place,” Lakewood coach Spud O’Neil said. “We haven’t been successful against Millikan the last couple of years.”

Senior Adrian Arellano returned to the mound after suffering a hamstring injury last week and pitched four scoreless innings while only allowing two hits.

“It was definitely motivation against a rival team, so there was more adrenaline tonight,” Arellano said. “My fastball came through the last couple of innings so I relied mostly on that.”

“Arellano getting those four inning in was huge because he was hurt last week and we didn’t know if he would be good,” O’Neil added. “His ball moves all over the place when he’s on, and he was on.”

Lakewood took the lead on Millikan starter Austin Paul in the third inning when Alex Ortiz, Jacobo and Brandon Luna hit consecutive singles. Luna drove in Ortiz for the 1-0 advantage.

Support The562.org

The Lancers added to their lead in the fifth inning thanks to a pair of walks and a pair of bunts. The first one from Jacobo brought in a run.

“He’s huge on the small ball,” Jacobo said of coach O’Neil. “I’m practicing almost every day just trying to get (bunts) down. To make sure that bunt gets down you just stay there.”

Sophomore Joseph Dizon and senior Brady Stephenson came out of the bullpen to shut the door after Millikan’s Anthony Pack blasted a triple to right field and fellow sophomore Ben Keisler drove him in for the Rams’ only run in the sixth inning.

“Now we have to build on this,” O’Neil said. “We have to find out what we can do.”

Arellano and Jacobo both think the emotion that Lakewood showed on Friday night is key to maintaining this momentum headed into the last week of the regular season and into the playoffs.

“This team works on mood,” Arellano said. “When we’re down, we’re down. When we’re up, we’re up. This is a big one for us so it meant a lot to us.”

“Every player on this team depends on each other and if we keep doing that we’ll keep rolling and keep winning,” Jacobo added.

Jacobo reached base three times with a pair of singles and the fifth-inning bunt. Ortiz reached three times and scored twice while Luna chipped in a pair of singles at the top of the lineup.

Millikan finished with five hits, and Stephenson left the possible tying run at the plate with a pair of strikeouts in the seventh.

Lakewood will finish the regular season against Poly next Thursday, and can spoil the Jackrabbits bid for an undefeated league title.

“They’re a very very good team and deserve to be where they’re at,” O’Neil said of Poly. “We’re going to try and beat them, we’re not going to let them off the hook.”

Before the game, Millikan paid respect to former coach Bob Myers before the game with a moment of silence. Myers, who passed away this month, coached the Rams to a pair of CIF Championships in 1967 and 1969.

VIDEO: Lakewood vs. Millikan, Baseball
PHOTOS: Lakewood vs. Millikan Baseball, Intern Gallery
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.