The state No. 19-ranked Pasadena City College baseball team took a page out of the MLB World Champion Boston Red Sox playbook in the Lancers' 6-5 victory over #9 Chaffey on Tuesday.
With an injury to one of his starting pitchers, Lancers head coach Pat McGee chose to start reliever Lorenzo Llorens. Lorens threw five strong innings, and in the ninth McGee made another critical move by inserting starting ace Gordon Ingebritson with the Panthers threatening to tie it with runners on first and third and two outs. Ingebritson came through in the closer role by getting pinch hitter Rhese Gomez to pop up to second base to clinch PCC's 1-run, South Coast Conference North Division win.
Lorens picked up his first win while Ingebritson earned his first save as PCC stopped a 2-game losing streak, improving the Lancers to 13-7 overall and 5-4 in the SCC North. More important, Pasadena moved into a tie for second place with Chaffey as they chase first-place Mt. San Antonio, two games ahead of both at 7-2.
PCC jumped out to a 6-2 lead, including a pair of RBI line singles by leftfielder Edward Manzo in the third and fourth innings. First baseman Vic Zepeda lined a sacrifice fly to center in the sixth for the team's sixth run, which proved to be the most important run of all for the Lancers.
Lorens allowed just three hits and struck out six (two earned runs). After taking over for reliever Benny Torres in the seventh, reliever Frank Gonzalez pitched well with 2-1/3 innings of 1-hit relief (one unearned run).
Lancers centerfielder Gabriel Arellano saw his season-long, 19-game hitting streak stopped as he went 0-for-5. Picking up the slack was third baseman Marco Martinez, who slugged two doubles and batted 3-for-4 and Manzo, who was 3-for-5. Catcher Cole Pilar batted 2-for-4 with two runs scored while designated hitter Johnny Cedeno was 1-for-2 with a RBI double.
The team's defense again featured another spectacular diving catch of several this year performed by rightfielder Shane Ogata, who made his web gem in the right-center gap in the sixth inning to rob Andy Otterson of an extra-base hit. Twice, the Lancers picked off Chaffey baserunners, one by Lorens and another by Pilar with an assist by second baseman Andrew Scannell.
Pasadena is 8-2 now in home games at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field.
PCC will continue its 3-game series with the Panthers on Thursday, March 21 in a 2:30 p.m. road start.