Lucio shakes slump to spark Fountain Valley
Jordan Lucio wasn't supposed to play in the Beach Pit Classic championship game Saturday because of a batting slump, but after his replacement overslept, Fountain Valley coach Ron LaRuffa put the junior left fielder in the lineup.
Lucio responded with three hits and two runs scored as he helped power the Barons to a victory over Beckman, 7-4, at Fountain Valley High.
"I just needed to change my mental game. I haven't been swinging very well," Lucio said. "But man, it feels great. We just need to keep staying hot with the bats."
Fountain Valley (13-7) has been a streaky team this season, going 10-1 against nonleague teams but only managing a 3-6 record against Sunset League competition. LaRuffa will try to use the tournament victory as a push in the right direction for the rest of the regular season.
"We talked about using this week to get some momentum," LaRuffa said. "We dug ourselves a hole in the Sunset League and now we need to get out of it."
Barons junior Monty Plattner pitched the final 3 2/3 innings to collect the victory. He provided drama in the seventh when the Patriots loaded the bases and scored a run when Plattner hit senior first baseman Tyler Cook with a pitch.
Junior catcher Alex Shenasi flied out to end the game, ending another day of frustration for the Patriots (15-5). Beckman, ranked ninth in the county, lost, 5-0, a day earlier to Woodbridge.
Beckman sophomore designated hitter Jake Hazard, younger brother of UCLA infielder Justin Hazard, went 3 for 4 including an RBI triple in the top of the third.
"I felt like we improved from yesterday," Hazard said. "But we still didn't play our best."
Beckman senior third baseman Zack Rivera went 2 for 4 including a solo home run in the fifth to cut the Barons' lead to 4-3.
Fountain Valley scored three runs in the sixth, helped by a costly throwing error by senior shortstop Jake Hellar, to extend its lead to 7-3.
In other baseball:
In the Redondo Tournament:
No. 5 Cypress 7, Oaks Christian 4 of Westlake Village: Stephen Lohr had three hits and Kevin Lillicrop had two doubles and drove in two runs as the Centurions (19-5) defeated the Lions (8-12) in the tournament semifinals at Oaks Christian.
In the San Luis Obispo Tournament:
Edison 8, Long Beach Poly 5: The Chargers (8-10) scored seven runs in the sixth to pull out a victory over the Jackrabbits (18-4) at San Luis Obispo. Cole Frazelle earned the victory, pitching four innings and allowing three earned runs.
In the Corona Centennial Tournament:
Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga 8, Tustin 7: Jake Riggs slugged a first-inning grand slam and the Tillers (9-11) scored six runs in the first, but the Grizzlies battled back to get the victory at Los Osos. Riggs finished 2 for 3 with four RBIs and two runs scored.