That El Segundo High’s talent pool appears to be a little dry this season took none of the luster off Simi Valley’s 7-4 win over the Eagles on Wednesday at Simi Valley.
That El Segundo made eight errors took nothing away from the Pioneers’ 11 hits and four-run fifth inning that won the game.
Perhaps it even served as a reminder that the best of programs run aground on occasion, especially given that only one El Segundo letterman returned from last season’s Pioneer League co-champion. But Simi Valley’s program seems to be intact, given its 4-0 start and subsequent berth in the El Segundo tournament semifinals Friday against Artesia.
“I see good things,” said Kenny Hood, whose two-run home run in the fifth inning gave the Pioneers a 5-4 lead they never relinquished. “I have a lot of confidence. One through nine (in the batting order) can hit the ball out of the park.
“To come out with the wins gives us confidence.”
Coming out of the El Segundo tournament with confidence is a plan Simi Valley has employed since 1983, when it first played in the season-opening event. The Pioneers won the championship in 1985, and, according to Coach Mike Scyphers, have never lost more than one game in the tournament.
“We put a lot of emphasis on the tournament,” Scyphers said. “By playing, you get more games early and the kids need the competition. It’s not the same as you do in practice.”
Maybe not for Simi Valley, but El Segundo Coach John Stevenson, whose program has nurtured the likes of George and Ken Brett and Tracy and Heath Jones, saw a game like this one coming.
Only two of Simi Valley’s runs were earned and the Eagles committed three errors in the third inning, two in each of the fourth and fifth innings and another in the sixth.
El Segundo errors led to two Pioneer runs in the third, one in the fourth and four in the fifth. It might have been worse had would-be home runs by Terry Hill and Mike Morano not been ruled foul by the plate umpire. The ball Hill hit, especially, appeared to clear the fence several feet in fair territory.
Hill still finished with two hits, and Andy Hodgins and Greg Santos each added two hits in support of Rich Langford’s five-hitter. Langford (2-0) struck out four and walked six.