With a difficult weekend looming, the Poly High baseball team was actually looking forward to facing hard-throwing Monroe right-hander John Ennis.
Like many who have faced the 6-foot-5 senior, the Parrots didn't have much success, but they still managed to scrape together a 2-1 victory in a Valley Pac-8 Conference game Monday at Poly.
"We're a fastball-hitting team," sophomore first baseman Manuel Flores said. "[We] just sit and wait for it. I don't why we didn't do better, but we did enough."
Poly (6-1-1, 3-0-1) had to rely on junior right-hander Moe Reguengo, who matched Ennis pitch for pitch--and then some. Ennis gave up four hits. Reguengo allowed three.
Ennis (2-2) struck out five batters and walked two, both intentionally. Reguengo had seven strikeouts and walked two.
But Reguengo (3-0) also picked off two runners at first base, and faced only two batters over the minimum.
"He's got an outstanding pickoff move," Poly Coach Chuck Schwal said. "He picked off a lot of JV guys last year."
Reguengo's serious pickoff move, which usually followed a couple of soft tosses, isn't particularly deceptive, but it worked against Ennis in the second inning and Adam Kaplan in the fourth.
"I just want to get them thinking," Reguengo said.
Poly got a lead on Ennis in the first. Leadoff batter Johnny Manuel beat out a ground ball to third base, stole second, and scored on a single by Flores.
Then the Parrots capitalized on a throwing error on a ground ball by Flores to open the fourth inning. Flores advanced to second on the error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mark Castardo.
The Vikings (4-5, 2-3) finally came alive in the fifth. Ennis led off with a double and scored on a single by Victor Hall. Monroe had runners on first and second with one out. But Glen Wiley hit a sharp ground ball to second baseman Salvador Trujillo, who tagged Rafael Arroyo and threw to Flores to complete the double play.
"I have a great defense behind me," Reguengo said. "They don't make any mistakes."
Because of rain, Poly hadn't played for a week. But after another game against Monroe on Wednesday, the Parrots play Kennedy and Chatsworth on Saturday in the Kennedy tournament.
Although those games are against City powers, Poly is more concerned with upcoming Valley Pac-8 Conference games against Canoga Park and Reseda.
"We're looking at these games to get ready for those really important ones," Flores said.