The Pasadena City College baseball team extended its win streak to a season-best three games in rallying to defeat Santa Barbara City College, 6-3, Wednesday at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field. Winning pitcher Nathan Garkow struck out 10 batters over seven innings and returning All-South Coast Conference First Team hurler Race Gardner picked up the save with two shutout frames.
PCC improved to 9-6 and SBCC dropped to 9-7. Garkow recovered from a shaky start as he allowed three Vaqueros runs on four hard hits, including a booming, 2-RBI double to deep left by Phil Quartararo. A Charter Oak High product, Garkow proceeded to baffle Santa Barbara hitters over the next six innings. He struck out the final batter of the first, whiffed the side in the second, then struck out the first two hitters in the third as he recorded six consecutive Ks, all swinging.
In the fourth, he got out of a 2nd-and-3rd jam by striking out Boston Hubbard. Garkow (3-1) twirled 1-2-3 innings in the second, third, fifth and seventh. He picked off a runner at first in the sixth. Naturally, his final out was a striking out swinging of SBCC leadoff hitter Reinhard Lautz, the third time Garkow had fanned the rightfielder. Gardner, who signed with the University of Hawaii-Hilo in November, had perhaps his best outing of the year so far with two sharp innings, allowing only one hit.
The team's offense was led by sophomore shortstop Jose Jimenez, who extended his season-long hit streak to 15 games by going 3-for-5. PCC picked up single runs in the first and third innings. Still trailing 3-2 in the seventh, the Lancers seized the lead with three runs keyed by a 2-RBI, bases-loaded single to left from letterman third baseman Nico Martinez. Freshman second baseman Ryan Lewis (1-for-2, two walks) ripped a RBI hit earlier in the inning. Jimenez added a RBI insurance basehit in the eighth.
Today, Thursday, March 1, the defending SCC North Division champion Lancers play at the SCC South Division champs El Camino College as they open the 2018 conference, 22-game schedule. The Warriors were responsible for 27 percent of PCC's losses last year (4 out of 15), including ending the Lancers magical '17 run in the SoCal Super Regional Playoffs. First pitch is 2 p.m.