Pasadena City College baseball head coach Pat McGee knows he has a roster of talented hitters. He just didn't know how fast the offense would dial in. Try game No. 1. The Lancers erupted for 14 hits, scored four runs in the third inning, four in the sixth and five in the seventh to rout host Citrus, 14-2, Saturday afternoon to open the 2019 season.
The pitching also came out strong out of the gate as returning sophomore ace Gordon Ingebritson delivered six shutout innings, allowing just two hits, two walks while striking out five for the mound win. The Benny Brigade posted shutout innings by freshmen Benny Torres (one hit in the eighth) and Benny Olguin (two Ks in the ninth) to close out the opener.
Designated hitter Austin Ruiz had a powerful PCC debut as he went 2-for-5, slugging a 3-run homer in the seventh and a RBI double in the third. It was the team's only extra-base hits in the contest. Sophomore shortstop Ryan Lewis also knocked in four RBI, batting 3-for-5 (and scored three runs) and catcher Cole Pilar was 2-for-6 with three ribbies.
New leadoff hitter Gabriel Arellano did his job too as he scored four runs and was 3-for-6. Highly-touted incoming third baseman Marco Martinez scored three runs out of the second spot and was 2-for-4. The first six batters in the Lancers lineup were a wrecking crew with 12 hits, 13 runs and 13 RBI. On defense, the infield of second baseman Andrew Scannell, Lewis and first baseman Vic Zepeda turned two 4-6-3 double plays. Behind the plate, Pillar gunned out a base stealer in the fourth.
The 14 runs is not a season-opening high under Coach McGee as his 2017 conference champions started that season with a 15-5 win over West Los Angeles. In 2016, PCC opened with also 14 runs in a victory over West LA. Saturday's win was the program's fourth straight season-opening triumph. Last year, the team's highest runs output was 11 in a season-finale, playoff loss to Glendale.
On Tuesday, Jan. 29, the Lancers travel to face San Diego Mesa College in a 2 p.m. first pitch.