The week that started with the Pasadena City College baseball team earning a SoCal No. 11 ranking by the coaches association has veered in the wrong direction. The Lancers had both their 6-game win streak and 6-game home winning streaks snapped in consecutive days, losing at Long Beach City, 5-3, on Monday and falling to Los Angeles Harbor, 5-4, at Brookside Park on Tuesday.
PCC (9-5 overall) is 1-2 now in the South Coast Conference North Division, currently fifth out of the five teams in the league. However, the Lancers also started 1-2 in conference last season only to bounce back and take second place to earn an automatic SoCal Playoff seed.
Against Harbor, the Lancers fell behind, 3-0, before recording an out in the first inning and despite rallying with two runs in the sixth and eighth innings, could not catch the Seahawks (6-11, 1-1 in the SCC South). The home loss at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field ended the team's 9-game winning streak at their off-campus diamond dating back to last season.
PCC shortstop Ryan Lewis batted 3-for-5 with a triple while centerfielder Gabriel Arellano (1-for-5) extended his season-long hit streak to 14 games with a hard single to left in the fifth inning. The freshman had a remarkable streak of six straight multiple-hit games come to an end, a tear that saw him bat 17-for-30, a scorching .567 clip. He is still third in the state in batting with a .464 average.
Johnny Cedeno, the team's fourth designated hitter of the game, went 1-for-2 with three RBI, including his clutch, 2-run, 2-out single to center on an 0-2 count in the sixth.
Harbor closer Jake McKenna (second save) worked his way out of a first-and-third, 1-out jam in the eighth. After Lancers second baseman Andrew Scannell lined a RBI single to right to cut the score to 5-4, McKenna got Arellano to ground into a fielder's choice as Vic Zepeda was thrown out at third base, and then retired Marco Martinez on a fly out to right to end the inning. McKenna closed the win by getting rightfielder Shane Ogata to hit into a game-ending, 4-3 double play as Harbor second baseman Isaiah Bumgarner tagged Lewis running to second and adeptly gunned out Ogata at first.
The Lancers bullpen continues to be a brightspot overall for PCC. Benny Torres hurled 2-1/3 innings of no-hit relief while Frank Gonzalez allowed just one run in three innings with three strikeouts. In six appearances this season, Torres has dominated, allowing only two hits and no earned runs (one unearned) in 9-2/3 innings. Gonzalez gave up just his first earned run of the season in 12-1/3 innings of work.
Against Long Beach, Lorenzo Llorens was brilliant in relief in throwing 4-1/3 innings of 2-hit, shutout ball while picking up 6 Ks. Patrick Pena's four-game win streak on the mound was stopped after allowing six hits, six walks and five runs in 3-2/3 innings of work. Down 5-0 after six innings, PCC finally got on the board with three runs in the seventh on a RBI double by Lewis and a 2-run single hit by leftfielder Edward Manzo.
The Lancers will play at LA Harbor to close their 2-game series possibly on Friday, Mar. 8 (rain will likely cancel Thursday's original date).