May 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Beckman baseball team tries to wrap up eighth PCL title Tuesday with win vs. Northwood

Beckman baseball coach Kevin Lavalle talks to his players after Saturday’s victory over El Dorado (Photo Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Beckman High’s baseball team gets back into Pacific Coast League play Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. against Northwood on the Timberwolves’ field.

With a victory against the second place Timberwolves, Beckman (18-4, 10-1) would clinch a share of the league title with about two weeks left in the league season.

Beckman won PCL titles in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Coach Kevin Lavalle, who led his squad to a 4-2 victory over El Dorado Saturday, said his team takes the same approach for every game as it seeks the program’s eighth crown.

“We pride ourselves on just playing the game the way we play it,” he said. “The opponents are supposed to be irrelevant.”

Lavalle said he and his players have lots of respect for Northwood (10-8-1, 8-3). Beckman defeated Northwood 7-0 on March 12 so a win Tuesday would give the Patriots the season series.

“We wrap up a share if we beat Northwood once and we have the tie-breaker over them,” Lavalle said. “That’s a challenge in and of itself to just play the next pitch and the game that’s in front of you and try not to think about the end just yet.

“They’re playing really good baseball at Northwood and I say this every year, they always bring something different to the table than the other teams in the league. Our kids know that. I have a lot of respect for Rob Stuart as a coach and the coaching staff that he has and they’ve added a pretty young pitching coach in Bob Flint (the veteran coach) so we’re excited about next week for sure.”

Beckman second baseman Sean McLain said the Patriots will be focused on accomplishing their first goal.

“First thing is to win PCL and then CIF comes next,” McLain said. “We’ve got to finish PCL first. Hopefully we can get a title for my senior year; that’s what I wished for.”

McLain has been playing this season with his younger brother, Nick, who plays first base. Nick is a sophomore. Last year, Sean, Nick and Matt McLain all played together on the Beckman team that reached the CIF Division 2 finals.

Matt McLain is now playing for the UCLA baseball team.

“It’s a little different, I wish Matthew was with us still one more year but it’s fun,” Sean McLain said. “Just like last year. I look over in between pitches and I’m talking to him. It’s great to have your brother out there.”

RELATED: Beckman beats El Dorado 4-2 in National Classic

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com