As good as the team's state No. 2 batting average, the Pasadena City College baseball team is relying on some of the state's best pitching as well. The Lancers lowered their team ERA to 2.41, eighth in the state, behind a 7-inning, 4-hit effort by Matt Orozco in an 8-2 win over Fullerton Tuesday afternoon.
PCC won its fifth straight game, all at its off-campus home--Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field. Coach Pat McGee's Lancers are 8-3 overall.
Orozco held a shutout through six innings and gave up his only run on a balk after Fullerton's Ryan Penalber hit a triple in the seventh inning. Orozco allowed only one walk and struck out three for his first collegiate pitching win. Last year, the hard-throwing Orozco was the team's full-time catcher and now he has made the transition to be a full-time pitcher in his sophomore season.
Lettermen relievers Lorenzo Llorens (one inning, one hit, one unearned run) and Frank Gonzalez (one no-hit, scoreless inning) closed it out for Orozco. Gonzalez has not allowed an earned run this season in five appearances and 9.1 innings pitched. As a team, the Lancers staff is allowing less than seven hits per nine innings (6.96) and limited opponents to .208 batting average and .297 slugging percentage.
The team's offense started with a RBI double by leftfielder Edward Manzo (2-for-2) in the third then second baseman Andrew Scannell lined a single that scored two runs (one on an error) for a 3-0 lead in the fourth. After the Hornets (3-9) cut the lead to 4-2 in the eighth, PCC batted around the order in the bottom of the inning to score four runs. The Lancers took advantage of five walks, including a bases-loaded free pass drawn by catcher Cole Pillar.
Centerfielder Gabriel Arellano lined a 2-RBI single for the big hit in the rally. Arellano, who was 2-for-4 with a bloop double, raised his batting average to .491 and extended his season-long hitting streak to 11 games. Designated hitter Austin Ruiz went 2-for-2 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt and reserve leftfielder Wyatt Coates was 1-for-1 with a walk. PCC collected 10 hits overall and its team average is at .323.
PCC begins its 22-game, South Coast Conference schedule on Thursday, Feb. 28 when it hosts Long Beach City College (6-8 overall) in a 2 p.m. first pitch.