Baseball's Rocky Defeat Part Of Conference Journey

Race Gardner picked up his second pitching victory at ECC Compton on Thursday, photo by Richard Quinton.
Race Gardner picked up his second pitching victory at ECC Compton on Thursday, photo by Richard Quinton.

One of the great Spaghetti Westerns in 1960's movie making was the Clint Eastwood-starred "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."  The Pasadena City College baseball team went from good, a 2-game win streak over El Camino Compton Center, skipped bad, and went directly to ugly Saturday in a 21-0 loss to Cerritos College at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field.

The Lancers, who briefly were tied for first place in the South Coast Conference North Division the past few days, are now 10-7 overall and 2-3 in conference games. The Falcons, from the SCC South, improved to 8-12 and 3-2 in their division. In baseball, SCC crossover games count toward the division standings for South Coast teams.

Cerritos led 3-0 after six innings, then scored 18 runs over the last three frames, including eight in the ninth. Designated hitter Christopher Gomez had four hits while cleanup hitter Rolando Nichols knocked in five runs including a 3-run homer over the right-center field fence in the ninth. Cerritos collected 20 hits off six PCC pitchers.

For PCC, centerfielder John Bicos hit a double, outfielder Chance Cobb lined a single in his first collegiate at bat as a pinch hitter. Sophomore first baseman Jeremy Conant went 1-for-3 with a walk and is on top of the state's batting race with a .492 average. 

Conant put on a power clinic on Thursday in the Lancers' 6-2 win at Compton. The lefty-hitting Conant batted 3-for-5 with four RBI. In the third, he tied the game at 1-1 with a double to the right-center fence. In the fourth, he crushed a 3-run homer over the RF wall. In the ninth, Conant one-hopped the left field wall for another double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Andres Kim. By game's end, Conant had raised his average to an even .500 through 16 games.

Third baseman Jose Jimenez went 3-for-5 with a double while Bicos (a double) and leftfielder Nico Martinez each added two hits. Race Gardner (2-2) pitched five strong innings, allowing just four hits, one run, no walks, and striking out five. Nick Esparza picked up his second save with 1.1 innings of shutout ball. PCC has a 5-game win streak in its series v. Compton under third-year head coach Pat McGee.

Cerritos holds now a 13-game win streak against Lancers teams that dates back five years. That same season of 2012, PCC lost a game at Mt. San Antonio, 31-1. The Lancers also suffered a 28-0 loss at East Los Angeles back in 2004. Those are the two largest margins of defeat in school history. The worst home loss runs margin came in 2009 when Southwestern handed PCC a 25-3 defeat. 

PCC closes its 2-game series v. Cerritos on Tuesday, Mar. 14 in a 2:30 p.m. first pitch at the Norwalk campus.