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By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter
Two city rivals, both on mini two-game losing streaks but yet going in the opposite directions, met this past Wednesday afternoon and the result was easily one-sided. In two innings early in the game, John Glenn High made sure which team was still the king of the city of Norwalk.
The Eagles scored six runs in the top of the second inning and eight more in the third as they pounded Norwalk High 17-6 in their Suburban League opener. It’s the most runs Glenn has scored against Norwalk in at least 19 years and the 23 combined runs makes it the highest scoring game between the two rivals in at least 19 years as well. Glenn which began the season with seven wins in its first eight games, improved to 8-3 overall while the Lancers dropped to 5-4 overall and 0-3 in league play.
“We played El Camino Real and we played Birmingham [in the Babe Herman Tournament], who is great,” said Glenn head coach Jack Brooks. “We played two great opponents head to head. It’s about how we played the game. Norwalk is a tough team. They’re a cross-town rival; they’re well-coached. We had a couple of big innings that broke open the game.”
Glenn loaded the bases on two walks sandwiched around a base hit from junior second baseman Alex Alcaraz to begin the second inning. On a 1-0 count, senior designated hitter Sergio Sandoval cleared the bases with a double to centerfield. Three batters later, sophomore shortstop Joseph Figueroa doubled the score with a home run to center.
Glenn would send 13 batters to the plate in the next frame as eight different players touched home plate. The Eagles received a two-run single to left field from senior left fielder Bobby Acosta and a run-scoring single from junior starting pitcher Humberto Chiquito. Norwalk pitchers walked five in the inning and hit another one in the inning.
Chiquito went four innings, scattering three hits and striking out eight batters. He would give way to junior Jose Llamas who worked two innings but yielded six runs on seven hits. He too would load the bases on a walk to junior third baseman Isaiah Villa and singles to junior pitcher Mark Gil and junior center fielder Richard Lozano. Up came junior first baseman Anthony Gonzalez, who drove in all three runs with a double to center.
Norwalk senior catcher Manuel Martinez and senior left fielder Caleb Baca, who was busy on defense with five putouts, would each single to load the bases again. Following a double play, junior second baseman Adrian Perez tripled to make it 14-6.
“Jose Llamas has done well for us all year and he just kind of lost his focus there in the sixth,” Brooks said. “But we came back and got a few runs in that last inning.”
Any chances of the Lancers staying in the game were quickly dashed as the Eagles loaded the bases once again in the last inning with junior pinch hitter Chris Munoz scoring on an error and Figueroa and senior pinch hitter Alfredo Hernandez each coming home when Alcaraz was hit by a pitch and sophomore center fielder Damone Hale reached on a fielder’s choice respectively.
Figueroa went two for three and drove in three runs while every Glenn starter drove in at least one run. For Norwalk, Lozano and Perez each had a pair of hits. The two teams will meet again today, this time on Glenn’s field with the projected starting pitchers being sophomore Joseph Angulo for Glenn and Perez for the Lancers. Glenn will then visit Artesia High on Wednesday while Norwalk is home to Bellflower High.
“We still have a lot of room to go,” Brooks said. “We only start two seniors; we only have three seniors on the roster. We’re still growing. We’re still trying to get better every day in practice. The kids are working hard. This league is going to be really tough. Cerritos is playing well, Bellflower played La Mirada tough. Obviously, La Mirada is loaded. Mayfair is playing well. We have to get a lot better if we want to make the playoffs and if we want to compete for a league title.”