Two days after losing by a three-touchdown margin against Cerritos College, the Pasadena City College baseball team recovered quickly and stopped a program, 5-year losing streak to the Falcons with a 6-5 road win Tuesday. Cerritos had won 13 straight against Lancers teams dating back to 2012.
PCC jumped ahead 6-0 and cut down a Cerritos rally behind the relief pitching of sophomore Nick Esparza. The all-purpose righthander hurled 3.2 innings (4 hits, 2 runs, 3 strikeouts) and picked up his third save. Esparza blanked the Falcons in the eighth and ninth to maintain a 1-run lead.
The Lancers (11-7 overall) are 3-3 in the South Coast Conference North Division standings.
After Shane Ogata gave the Lancers a 1-0 lead on a RBI bunt single in the second inning, the freshman Ogata struck again with a run-scoring double down the right field line during a 4-run sixth inning. Reserve designated hitter Sumner Smith stroked a 2-RBI, ground-rule double and state-leading hitter and letterman first baseman Jeremy Conant capped things with a sacrifice fly that scored Smith.
PCC starting pitcher Jesse Hanckel moved to 2-0 with 5.1 innings, scattering 9 hits and allowing 3 runs (only 1 earned), while striking out 3.
Second baseman Andres Kim had a big game as he reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs, and two stolen bases. Conant went 1-for-3 and maintains his state batting lead with a .485 average.
On Thursday, Mar. 16, the Lancers host Long Beach City College in a 2:30 p.m. conference game at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field.