Sophomore righthander Patrick Pena and freshman centerfielder Gabriel Arellano each etched their names into the Pasadena City College baseball record books on Tuesday when Pena earned his eighth win of the season, the most in the modern era by a Lancers pitcher, while Arellano shattered the program's single-season hits record now at 68.
Pena hurled 6-1/3 innings of 4-hit ball (one unearned run) with six strikeouts as PCC downed Cerritos, 13-6, in the team's final regular season home game at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field. Pena (8-3 overall) lowered his ERA to 2.82 and performed his record in 12 starts this year. He broke a record held by five different pitchers since the 1960s, including seven wins by Race Gardner (2016) and Gordon Ingebritson (last year).
"Patrick has been a bulldog for us the entire season," said PCC head coach Pat McGee. "He continues the traditon of outstanding leadership and production that we have come to expect from our sophomores at PCC. I am so happy for him. His work ethic is relentless and absolutely deserving of reaching this achievement."
In his past five starts, the lanky, 6-foot-2, 190-pound letterman from Salesian High has been lights out superb. In this stretch, Pena has hurled 35-1/3 innings, allowing only 26 hits, eight runs (only six earned), surrendered just nine walks and struck out 26 batters. His record was 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA, and his only no decision of the season was his best performance in his Lancers career on April 17 when he pitched nine innings of 4-hit shutout ball v. Santa Barbara City College, but left a 0-0 game (PCC lost 2-0 in 10 innings). He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 15.1 innings.
Arellano batted 3-for-6 and it was his eighth-inning RBI single to centerfield that allowed him to break the Lancers single-season hits record set by Jeremy Conant (67) just two seasons ago. The Monrovia High product is tied with Barstow's Judah Wilbur for the state lead in hits, but Arellano has done it in two fewer games played (36).
"Gabe's been an extremely consistent player for us throughout the year," McGee said. "The young man is on base all the time, nearly every game, and he has an aggressive approach at the plate. He continues to be a huge part of our success."
The Lancers improved to 23-13 overall. The South Coast Conference North Division is still a 3-way race to the end this week. Mt. San Antonio leads the division at 13-7, PCC a half-game back at 13-8 and Chaffey now at 12-8. The Lancers can win at least a share of the SCC title if it beats Cerritos on the road in their regular season finale on Thursday, April 25 coupled with Mt. SAC losing one of its last two games v. East Los Angeles (April 25 and 26). Another scenario is if PCC wins, Chaffey wins its last two games v. Rio Hondo and Mt. SAC splits their last two. That would create a 3-way tie for the title with PCC earning the North's top seed and a home playoff berth. A tie with only Mt. SAC would give the Mounties the top seed after they had beaten the Lancers, 2-games-to-1 in their recent SCC series.
PCC could only win the title outright if it beat Cerritos, Mt. SAC lost its last two games and Chaffey lost one of its last two contests.
Against Cerritos, the Pasadena bats erupted for 16 hits as redshirt sophomore rightfielder Shane Ogata resembled the hitter he was like when he was an All-SoCal Region selection two years ago. Ogata hit a home run shy of the cycle with a single, double, triple along with two walks as he went 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Third baseman Marco Martinez added to his PCC single-season walks record with three more free passes to give him 34 on the season. Although he was 0-for-2, he scored three runs (also was hit by a pitch), reaching base four times out of the lead-off spot.
Second baseman Jake Sanchez went 3-for-5 with three RBI while shortstop Ryan Lewis was 3-for-5 with two RBI. Designated hitter Wyatt Coates batted 2-for-4 and leftfielder Edward Manzo was 1-for-3 with a triple, three runs scored, a sacrifice fly and two RBI. Catcher Cole Pilar was 1-for-3 with two walks.
PCC trailed 1-0, then scored two runs in each of the third, fifth and sixth innings for a 6-1 lead. The Lancers added four more in the seventh, but Cerritos rallied for five runs in the eighth.
Gabriel Arellano pictured below: