Offense Heats Up In Baseball's Back-to-Back Wins

Marco Martinez has been slugging in PCC's most recent wins, photo by Richard Quinton.
Marco Martinez has been slugging in PCC's most recent wins, photo by Richard Quinton.

After leading the state in batting during the month of February, the Pasadena City College baseball team's bats cooled off in a couple of recent defeats. But in the last two days, the Lancers offense has heated back up with winning results.

On Saturday, PCC recorded its sixth win by 10 or more runs this season in a 13-3 rout over Compton at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field. This followed Friday's 20-hit road barrage at LA Harbor when the Lancers crushed the Seahawks, 20-4. 

Against Compton, PCC rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the fourth inning when backup shortstop Jake Sanchez, who replaced an injured Ryan Lewis in the field in the third inning, lined a 2-run single to left center for a 3-2 Lancers lead. Third baseman Marco Martinez launched a triple high off the center-field fence in the fourth that plated two more runs.

PCC batted around in the eighth inning capped by a 2-RBI single from second baseman Andrew Scannell. Overall, first baseman Vic Zepeda went 2-for-3 with two doubles, Scannell was 2-for-4, and catcher Cole Pillar was 1-for-2 with three walks. The Lancers took advantage of 11 walks and four hit batsmen.

Patrick Pena improved his mound record to 5-1 by hurling five innings, scattering seven hits, allowing one earned run and striking out six. The relieving tandem of Benny Torres (two innings, one hit, one run, two Ks) and Frank Gonzalez (two no-hit innings) continue to impress form the bullpen. Torres gave up his first earned run in seven pitching appearances and has a 0.77 ERA in 11-2/3 innings while Gonzalez is just as stingy with a 0.63 ERA in 14-1/3 innings. 

Pasadena is now No. 2 in the team state batting race with a .324 average behind only Mission College of Northern California (.333). Centerfielder Gabriel Arellano is fifth in state batting at .444 and extended his season-long hit streak to 16 games.

PCC's defense has been stellar often. In this win, rightfielder Shane Ogata made a spectacular diving catch in right-center in the third inning. Sanchez fired a strong relay throw from Manzo and Pillar put on the bang-bang tag at the plate to erase a Compton run in the seventh. Zepeda made a leaping grab and tag on the helmet off a high throw from the hole by Sanchez to rob Compton of another hit in the eighth.

In the hit show over Harbor, Martinez slugged a 2-run homer over the left-center field fence and was 4-for-4 with three RBI. Arellano was 3-for-7 with a double and three RBI, leftfielder Edward Manzo batted 3-for-6 with a triple while Lewis, Scannell and Pillar all collected two hits each. Pasadena plated seven runs in the fifth. Starter and winning pitcher Gordon Ingebritson moved to 3-1, hurling six innings and allowing seven hits and three earned runs.

"The offense has been better of late," said PCC head coach Pat McGee. "A willingness to take the walk, draw a HBP, creates tremendous duress for the opponent. We are going to get our hits, so anytime we can add additional baserunners, it's a lot of pressure for the opponent. We need to play hard and smart as we head deeper into conference play. The outcome of these games always comes down to aptitude and detail."

The Lancers complete their 2-game series at Compton College on Tuesday, Mar. 12.