Hornets storm the Vikings for the win at home


Starting Pitcher sophomore Masen McDonnell trying to execute a great pitch during Saturday, Feb.11, 2023 afternoon home game. Photo credit: Phil Thurman

Pedro Saravia, Staff Writer

Coming back from a loss in their previous clash, the Hornets (7-2) scored in abundance, getting themselves an 11-2 win against the Vikings (2-7) during a home game Saturday afternoon.

The Hornets’ starting pitcher, sophomore right hand pitcher Masen McDonnell, took the win by only giving up five hits and two runs in his five innings of work. Defeating Vikings starter sophomore Evan Vazquez who gave up eight hits and five runs in his 4.2 innings pitched.

Short stop Jimmy Blumberg about to throw the ball to first base and send out the opponent player. Feb.11, 2023
Sophomore shortstop Jimmy Blumberg gathers to throw the ball to first base during Saturday, Feb.11, 2023 afternoon home game. Photo credit: Phil Thurman

As the game continued, the Hornets were able to build up their momentum. Scoring two runs in the fourth inning off back-to-back RBI singles from sophomore shortstop Jimmy Blumberg and freshman outfielder Diego Franco.

“We just cleaned up our approach and stuck to what we practiced,” said Head Coach Chad Baum.

In the fifth inning, sophomore third baseman Kaipo Haole boomed a triple to deep centerfield, allowing sophomore DH Bryce Gamble and freshman outfielder Britton Beeson, to take Fullerton to a 5-2 lead.

The Vikings lost control of their pitching game, not being able to stop the Hornet lineup, forcing Manager Casey Crook to ask for three mound visits all together. Yet, they were unsuccessful trying to get back into the fight.

Centerfield Haku Dudoit after missing a ball that was catch by Vikings catcher. Feb.2, 2023
Sophomore catcher Haku Dudoit puts the ball in play on Saturday, Feb.11, 2023 afternoon home game. Photo credit: Phil Thurman

With the Hornets still not satisfied, in the sixth inning, Beeson knocked a double down the left field line with the bases loaded, pushing across Franco and Blumberg. The very next hitter, freshman first baseman Tank Espalin took an unselfish approach at the plate, grounding out to second base, which was enough for sophomore outfielder Isaiah Marquez to score a run. This put three more on the board for the inning, bringing the score to 8-2.

The Hornets got another run in the seventh inning and finished their big scoring day in a messy eighth inning for Long Beach City. Marquez reached on an error followed by an Espalin walk.

Marquez would go on to round the bases on three separate wild pitches to score. Haloe then knocked in Espalin on a slow roller to third, which put the Hornets up to their final score, 11-2.

Finding themselves in a tough spot down 2-0 after RBI singles from Vikings’ freshmen outfielders Xander McLaurin and Danny Rodriguez during the top of the second inning, the Hornets answered quickly.

The Hornets pitching neutralized the Vikings chances of scoring more runs after the second inning with great performances, such as sophomore pitcher Joe Linehan, who closed out the game with a win by recording two strike outs.

“My job today was pretty much to come on in the ninth, pound strikes, and finish the game for the boys,” said Linehan. “I want to help these guys win and that’s what I am going to keep doing.”

Catcher Haku Dudoit discussing the play with a staff coach from the Hornets. Feb. 2, 2023
Catcher Haku Dudoit discussing the play with Hornets Assistant Coach AJ Kennedy during Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, afternoon home game. Photo credit: Phil Thurman

When the game finished, Coach Baum shared, “We are going to stick to the same plan of being able to be on the fast ball. When we do that, we are really tough to beat.”

The Hornets will travel to Golden West College (5-2) in Huntington Beach on Tuesday, Feb.14 to face the Rustlers at 1 p.m.