(Walnut, CA) It has been five years since the Mt. SAC Baseball Team had a dog pile on the diamond to celebrate a South Coast Conference Championship. Tuesday night it happened before a large home crowd.
As a foul-tipped ball was caught by glove of Mounties catcher Chris Sandberg for the final out of an 11-7 win, over visiting East Los Angeles College, the celebrating began as water bottles sprayed and gloves were flung into the air.
It has been a long time coming for a proud Mounties Baseball Program and second-year head coach, John Knott, who was beaming as his players gathered for a championship photo.
"I'm really proud of these guys," Knott said. "The returners that came back really believed in what we were about."
"The coaching staff did an amazing job in bringing in the types of players needed to turn this program around. The players deserve all of the credit."
With the win, the Mounties improved to 28-10 overall and are 16-4 in conference. With two games left to play in the season, the Mounites have a four-game lead over second-place ELAC, who they will play on Thursday (away) and Friday (at home).
A big reason for the teams' success are the transfers from four-year universities looking for a second chance.
Players like Anthony Walters (Cal Berkeley), Elijah Greene (San Diego State), Zach Bromstead (Cal State University Bakersfield), Charlie Verrone (Butler University), Ryan Mauch (Long Beach State), and Tyler Lawson (Long Beach State) are all from the NCAA Division I level.
"It's awesome to see this for this special group of players," said Walters, who had a big night at the plate for the Mounties.
"It's really just a mindset that we have to have. We have to expect to win every battle, every pitch and every game. That's what we did tonight."
Like much of the regular season, Walters was the hitting star of the game going 4 for 4, scoring three runs, knocking in five on two doubles and two homeruns.
"It's something special, really special and I'm really proud to be a part of it," Walters added.
San Diego State transfer Greene (3 for 5, 3 R, Tpl., 2 RBIs), is currently second in the state with 70 hits and fourth in batting average (.435).
Additionally, sophomore right-hand pitcher, Mason Corneliussen boasts a perfect 10-0 record, which is good for third in the state.
As for the game, Mt. SAC took a, 4-0, lead through the third inning, before the Huskies scored three runs in the fourth to bring the score to 4-3.
Nevertheless, that was the closest ELAC would get as the Mounties scored two runs in the fifth and five runs in the sixth, for a 11-3 lead.
Highlighting the Mounties first three innings was a two-run double by second baseman Elijah Zaragoza (1 for 4, 2 RBIs) in the second which scored center fielder Quinn Cotter and catcher Chris Sandberg, for the 3-0 lead.
Walters hit the first of his two round trippers, a solo shot in the third and two innings later, a two-run home run.
In the five-run sixth, Greene had a two-run single while Walters had a two-run double.
The double figure scoring for the Mounties in the game was the fifteenth time this season they have accomplish that feat.
Right-hander Jacob Kampen (6-1) picked up his sixth win of the season, going seven innings and tieing his season-high of nine strikeouts.
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For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.