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Baseball Lakewood Long Beach Poly

Baseball: Long Beach Poly Blanks Lakewood, One Win From History

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.

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

Long Beach Poly (20-3, 11-0) celebrated its senior day Thursday afternoon on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field. The decorated class of 2023 has helped bring the Jackrabbits through a historic undefeated Moore League season so far, which continued with a win over Lakewood (14-14, 8-4), 3-0. 

“Obviously, it was a pretty sentimental day,” senior Lucas Scott said. 

“This group’s been through a lot,” returning head coach Brent Lavoie said. “I finally feel like  we’re out there breathing and getting back. Adversity is what these guys were groomed for.”

The Jackrabbits have won a few adverse games in the past weeks, to say the least. After  walk-off wins against Millikan and Wilson, the Jackrabbits needed a win over Lakewood to continue their undefeated run in the Moore League. 

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The Lancers threatened first and overall more, tallying eight hits throughout the game. However, they could never find enough timely hits to bring their runners across the plate.

“It was a matter of we couldn’t hit in the clutch, we had more baserunners than them,” coach Spud O’Neil said. 

The Lancers’ problem wasn’t only at the plate, as some crucial fielding errors allowed the Jackrabbits to score all three of their unearned runs that led them to a 3-0 victory. 

“It would have been a 0-0 game if our defense had played well,” Lakewood coach Spud O’neil commented.

The game was scrappy on both sides, as both teams had a few errors each. But it was Long Beach Poly who was able to capitalize on their opponents’ errors. After Lucas Scott’s leadoff single in the bottom of the fourth, the Jackrabbits put some pressure on the Lakewood defense. A stolen base and bunt allowed Scott to move over to third with one out. That was when Yahir Torres hit a groundball that resulted in an overthrow, allowing Scott to score the first run of the game. A hit by pitch put another runner on for Poly when Sebastian Byrd hit another groundball that found its way under the shortstop’s glove, tacking on two extra runs for the Jackrabbits. 

“We created pressure and pressure changes things,” Lavoie said. “This team has done a good job putting pressure on all season long.” 

That pressure proved to be enough, as those three runs were the only runs scored all game. Scott pitched 6 ⅔ innings, leaving Bohl Diamond for potentially the last time as a high school player with a win over Lakewood. 

“Last time playing a league game here means a lot,” Scott said. “It was a really hard fought game but I’m glad we came out on top. The mission’s almost complete.”

When Lavoie asked Lucas Scott what his legacy at Long Beach Poly Baseball would be, the senior already knew. 

“I told him I was going to take this team to a league championship.”

The Jackrabbits’ mission of a league championship is complete. However, they could make history Friday by beating Jordan and cementing an undefeated Moore League season, a feat which hasn’t been accomplished in over 20 years. 

“It’s pretty special,” Lavoie said. “We hope to finish it off and then focus on a deep playoff run. There’s still ink left in this pen, we’re still writing this story.”

Playoff brackets release Monday, with Long Beach Poly in Division 3 and Lakewood in Division 2.

Nina Fife
Nina Fife is a freshman at Pepperdine University majoring in journalism. She began working with The562 in the inaugural intern class before being hired as their Social Media Director and now Assistant Editor. Nina is a proud Long Beach schools alum who graduated with valedictorian honors.