Arellano Hitting, Pena Pitching Prominent In Baseball's Hot Streak

Gabriel Arellano has been a hitting sensation thus far in his first collegeiate games for the PCC baseball team, photo by Richard Quinton.
Gabriel Arellano has been a hitting sensation thus far in his first collegeiate games for the PCC baseball team, photo by Richard Quinton.

It's hard to find two players off to better starts in any season in Pasadena City College baseball history than freshman centerfielder Gabriel Arellano and sophomore pitcher Patrick Pena. Arellano is hitting the cover off the ball in batting .490 while Pena is a winning machine on the hill, remarkably earning wins in all four of his starting assignments.

On Saturday, the Lancers extended their perfect homestand at 4-0, led by four hits by Arellano and six innings of 1-run ball hurled by Pena in an 11-1 romp over Pierce College. The game was played under sunny skies for a change at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field. 

PCC is simply on an offensive roll. The Lancers are 7-3 overall, and beat an opponent by 10 runs or more for the fifth time already this season. PCC is averaging 9.5 runs a game and is tied for first in state batting average with Cypress at .321. Pasadena is third in on-base percentage at .440. 

With his 4-for-6 with a double and two RBI today, Arellano is 11-for-17 in the last three games (.647). He has 25 hits in just 10 games, hitting safely in each. The Monrovia High product is currently third in state batting, tied for third in total hits, and sixth in runs scored (18).

Pena has not gone very long in his starts, but has been nothing but efficient in his 22 innings this year. The righthander has a 2.05 ERA and has 20 strikeouts. His four victories are the most of any pitcher in the South Region and tied for third in the state. The Lancers pitching staff as a whole is ninth in the state in lowest ERA at 2.56. 

Against Pierce, shortstop Ryan Lewis was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI while first baseman Vic Zepeda drove in two runs as well. Catcher Cole Pillar went 1-for-2 with two walks. On the homestand, he is 5-for-8 with six walks and a hit-by-pitch while his overall batting average is up to .355. Among regulars, his .524 on-base percentage leads the team. 

Lewis, who leads PCC in RBI with 13, and third baseman Marco Martinez each are hitting at a .359 clip. Zepeda is batting .323 and has five games this season where he's driven in two or more runs (11 overall). 

After Pena went six strong innings (balked in the only run in the sixth), reliever Benny Torres fired two perfect innings with three Ks and Cody Crowder gave up one hit in a scoreless ninth. 

Coach Pat McGee's Lancers host Fullerton College on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in a 2 p.m. first pitch.