Catcher Matt Orozco hit a walk-off, bases loaded single to right field, giving the Pasadena City College baseball team a come-from-behind, 5-4 victory over San Diego Mesa in 10 innings Tuesday afternoon at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field.
The Lancers (2-1) rallied from down 4-0 in the sixth inning, starting with a 2-RBI triple by designated hitter Tony Shue in the bottom of the sixth. First baseman Daniel Netz delivered a 2-run, line drive single to center in the seventh that tied it at 4-4. In the 10th, Shue singled to center to load the bases. Orozco, who was 0-for-9 this season as he entered the batter's box, made his first collegiate hit a big one with his opposite field, game winner as the players mobbed him in the ensuing celebration.
PCC's bullpen helped save the day after starter Race Gardner endured shoddy defense (four errors behind him) and gave up three runs (two earned) despite allowing only two hits in four innings. Lorenzo Llorens (two innings, four hits, one run), Jesus Zarazua (three scoreless innings of 1-hit ball) and winning pitcher Nathan Garkow (one shutout inning, two Ks) combined for six innings of 5-hit work.
The Pasadena offense outhit Mesa, 15-7, as both Netz and shortstop Jose Jimenez batted 3-for-5. Centerfielder John Bicos slugged two doubles (2-for-5) while Shue and second baseman Nico Martinez added two hits a piece. Sub third baseman Ryan Whithorn was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk while playing stellar defense. Jimenez twice made big plays on defense including a diving catch on a liner that stranded two runners in scoring position to end the fifth inning.
In a 6-3 home loss on Jan. 27 against Victor Valley, Lancers rightfielder Ardon Fryer batted 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI as he started the season a perfect 7-for-7 (and a sacrifice bunt) before going hitless in Tuesday's win. Jimenez hit 3-for-5 with a double and DH Jared Esquivel came off the PCC bench to go 2-for-2. The big story in this game was PCC hit into five double plays, all of the ground ball variety. The Lancers also hit into three more twin-killings in the Mesa triumph.
After three games, Jimenez is 8-for-14 (.571) while Fryer is 7-for-11 (.636). The Lancers reached double figures in hits in each of the contests and are hitting .336 as a team. Opponents are hitting just .194 overall.
The Lancers next make a short trip to LA Valley College on Thursday, Feb. 1 in a 2 p.m. game.
PCC Niner Notes: When Pasadena won its season opener on Jan. 26 v. West Los Angeles, it was career victory No. 50 in Coach Pat McGee's tenure, now in his fourth season...PCC's offense has gotten late starts v. opposing starting pitching. VVC's Mauricio Bueno and Mesa starter Nick Marinac each pitched five shutout innings v. the Lancers as PCC fell behind 4-0 in both games.