The Pasadena City College baseball team is scoring runs of late, but its heralded pitching staff has run into some struggles of late. The Lancers trailed 2-0 and 5-3, but rallied to take a 7-5 lead in the fourth inning Friday. Visiting Merced bolted back to regain the lead in the seventh and go on to down PCC, 11-9, at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field.
The Lancers fell to 5-5 overall. Centerfielder John Bicos batted 1-for-3 with a triple and three RBI and leftfielder Edward Manzo added a triple and two RBI. Despite only collecting five hits, the Lancers drew eight walks, two each by rightfielder Daniel Netz (0-for-2 but scored three runs) and second baseman Ryan Lewis (1-for-2). Four Lancers pitchers were touched for 16 hits, nine earned runs with reliever Jesus Zarazua taking the loss.
PCC freshman ace Gordon Ingebritson (3-0, 2.23 ERA) left with his team leading 7-6 after five innings. Ingebritson allowed nine hits, four earned runs, walked one and struck out five.
Merced (7-2) was carried by an explosive 1-to-5 hitters, who combined to go 12-for-23 with first baseman Ryan Frakes leading the way on three doubles and four runs scored. The Blue Devils relievers shut down PCC's bats, allowing no hits over the final five innings with Chase Whitaker (three innings) earning the win.
On Feb. 13, it was PCC's bullpen that closed the door with eight shutout innings, five by winning pitcher Nathan Garkow (four hits, 5 Ks) in a 7-2 win at West Los Angeles. Lefty Gary Acuna hurled two no-hit innings (three strikeouts) and Zarazua threw a scoreless ninth. The pitchers combined for 10 strikeouts overall. The Lancers banged out 10 hits, two each by shortstop Jose Jimenez, Bicos, Lewis and designated hitter Tony Shue. They were keyed by a 4-run fourth highighted by a RBI double by Jimenez.
On Feb. 9, host Cypress pounded Pasadena, 12-4, including belting two home runs, including a 3-run shot by Aaron Lizarraga in the second inning. Third baseman Nico Martinez and Shue had two hits for the offense.
PCC plays at Victor Valley on Saturday, Feb. 17 in a 1 p.m. non-conference contest.