PCC freshman righthander Race Gardner pitched within five outs of a no-hitter Thursday, but settled for a 1-hit gem over 7.1 innings as the Lancers baseball team stunned state No. 15-ranked Chaffey, 6-1, in Rancho Cucamonga.
Gardner (3-2), who overcame wildness with seven walks while striking out six, was replaced immediately after Jordan Hernandez broke up his no-no bid with one out and one batter on base (walked) in the bottom of the eighth inning on a single. Sergio Valenzuela could not complete the team shutout as he surrendered a home run by Jake Nichols in the ninth, but his 1.2 innings of work did give the staff a 2-hitter overall.
Centerfielder John Bicos, who went 3-for-5, belted a 2-RBI double in a 4-run, fifth inning to pace the Lancers offense. First baseman Jeremy Conant (1-for-4) also drove in two runs while hot-hitting rightfielder Shane Ogata was 2-for-4. Ogata is 9-for-his-last-27 and already had a wall double in the halted game.
The Lancers were briefly in a first-place tie in the South Coast Conference North Division race with a 5-4 mark but East Los Angeles' victory at Rio Hondo allowed the Huskies (6-4) to take a half-game lead over PCC and Chaffey.
PCC is 13-8 overall as head coach Pat McGee matched his season wins total of all last season. The Lancers now have a big day in finishing the 3-game series v. Chaffey on Saturday, Mar. 25. Pasadena will first complete its halted game from Tuesday, leading 7-0 after three innings, starting the fourth inning of the rained-stopped contest at 11 a.m. at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field. The regularly scheduled game will begin 30 minutes following the completion of the halted game.