The Pasadena City College baseball team rallied from five runs down in the ninth, then scored on a walk-off, wild pitch to beat Los Angeles Harbor, 7-6, in 10 innings Tuesday afternoon. If the season ended today, the Lancers would have the tie-breaker for first place in the South Coast Conference North Division. PCC and Chaffey are tied for first in league play with 7-5 marks.
Pasadena, 15-9 overall, didn't come back by hitting as much as it was on the receiving end extreme wildness by the Harbor pitching staff. The Seahawks (11-14-1, 7-5 in the SCC South) used four pitchers in the ninth as PCC scored on four bases-loaded hit by pitches. Harbor reliever Willy Paul plunked shortstop Alex Briggs for the tying run at 6-6. First baseman Jeremy Conant and third baseman Jose Jimenez were the only players to collect hits in the rally.
In his second at bat of the inning, Conant lined into a double play at first base as Harbor momentarily survived the comeback. In the 10th, Harbor put runners on second and third on two walks and two steals, but Lancers reliever Sergio Valenzuela (winning pitcher at 3-1) worked his way out of the jam.
In the bottom of the 10th, PCC reached on back-to-back errors by Harbor reliever Jacob Criss, who then balked the runners for a second and third situation. The Seahawks went to their seventh pitcher (sixth since two outs in the eighth) in Alberto Galicia. Lancers centerfielder John Bicos promptly raced in with the winning run as Galicia's wild pitch sailed over the head of the catcher. Pasadena scored its final five runs without a ball being hit past the mound.
Pasadena's defense performed poorly for the second straight game, committing a season-high five errors. Despite the shaky defense, PCC's pitching staff held strong with starter Jesse Hanckel (5.2 innings, eight hits, four earned runs) and relievers John Mendoza, Paul McAllister, and Valenzuela combining for 4.1 innings of 3-hit shutout ball.
Hanckel was locked in a pitching duel with Harbor starter Alec Abdalah (7.2 IP, four hits, one unearned run, four Ks) until the Seahawks scored five runs in the sixth to take a 6-1 lead. The big blow was a 2-run homer over the LF fence by JJ Duarte.
Conant saw his batting average drop to .457 despite batting 2-for-5, but the sophomore lefty hitter is now second in the state and tops in the SoCal region. Designated hitter Brett Wheat went 1-for-2 with two HBPs and two RBI. PCC totaled just six hits in the game.
PCC is 10-5 in home games this year at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field. The team is 5-3 overall in 1-run games including controversial umpire calls that directly resulted in two of those defeats against Citrus and state No. 2-ranked El Camino.
The Lancers finish their 2-game series v. the Seahawks on Thursday, Mar. 30 in a 2:30 p.m. game at LA Harbor.