If ever a pitcher owned an opponent, it's Pasadena City College baseball team ace Gordon Ingebritson and his spell on Chaffey College. A year after hurling a complete-game, 2-hitter v. the Panthers, the sidewheeling righty came within four outs of throwing a no-hitter, settling for a complete-game, 1-hitter as the state #19-ranked Lancers won their second straight game over #9 Chaffey, 5-1, at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field.
Ingebritson, already signed to a scholarship to attend UC Irvine next season, mesmerized Chaffey's bats as he struck out the side in the fourth inning and put together 1-2-3 innings in five of the first six frames. In the seventh, he walked leadoff Sergio Ramirez, who then got to third on a passed ball and throwing error by catcher Cole Pilar. A sacrifice fly ended Ingebritson's shutout bid, but the sophomore kept his no-hitter alive by retiring the final two hitters on groundouts.
In the eighth, he struck out the first two batters, then thought he had K'd the side again but home umpire Greg Rogers called his changeup at the knees a ball to Zac Luckey. On the next pitch, Luckey had luck on his side as he pulled a grounder into the deep hole at shortstop and beat out the infield hit, breaking up Ingebritson's no-no bid. Although, the 2018 All-South Coast Conference First Teamer probably sighed at the lost no-hitter, he would go on to finish the inning, and then induced a 6-4-3 double play ball in the ninth that ended a brilliant 1-hit performance. Ingebritson threw 101 pitches, allowing only the one infield hit, two walks, a hit batter, one unearned run and striking out seven. He recorded 15 ground ball outs.
Ingebritson (4-1) had pitched a 1-out save that capped the team's 6-5 win over Chaffey on March 19. In his career v. Chaffey, he threw two complete game victories, allowing just three hits in 18-1/3 innings, no earned runs, three walks and 15 Ks.
"It was kind of a repeat of what he did to Chaffey last year," said PCC pitching coach Nico Calderaro. "He was itching to get back out there after his start got pushed back from our rainout Thursday. Right from the start, Gordon was hitting both corners and all of his pitches were working. It was a tough call to not get in the eighth, but he doesn't let that stuff affect him. He's a bulldog and a leader for us."
Head coach Pat McGee concurred on Gordon's performance, "We had to have these games against Chaffey, and twice he got it done. In the most important games of his Lancers career, he's been lights out. He threw a complete game win v. Glendale in last year's playoffs too. I can't say enough about what it means to have him lead our pitching staff."
The Lancers (14-7 overall) moved into second place by themselves in the South Coast Conference North Division at 6-4. Chaffey dropped to 15-9 and 5-5, but more importantly PCC holds any tiebreaker with the Panthers for second place by season's end. The first two teams get automatic playoff spots in the division. East Los Angeles is in fourth place at 4-5-1 and Rio Hondo currently is fifth at 4-7. PCC has not reached the halfway point of the 22-game conference schedule, but is in control of its destiny with the edge over Chaffey.
PCC took a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to wildness by Chaffey starter Elias Jauregui (4-2 record), who hit first baseman Vic Zepeda with the bases loaded for one run, then walked in another on a free pass to designated hitter Johnny Cedeno. In the fifth, PCC tacked on two more runs on a 2-run single just inside the first bag by third baseman Marco Martinez. Gabriel Arellano added a run-scoring single in the sixth.
Overall, second baseman Andrew Scannell batted 3-for-4 while Martinez was 2-for-2 with a double, walk and hit by pitch. Cedeno, who is batting a sizzling .480 in just 25 at bats this year, was 2-for-3 and Arellano, who had a 19-game hitting streak snapped last game, got back in the swing by going 2-for-5 with a double.
Ingebritson lowered his team-leading ERA to 2.39 in 52-2/3 innings. He has just nine walks and has struck out 41 batters. His victory gives him 11 in his career, meaning his next win would make him the program's all-time wins leader in the modern era (at least post 1960).
PCC continues to be second in the state in team batting average with a .321 mark. Pasadena is 9-2 in home games this season.
The Lancers will try to sweep the 3-game series v. the Panthers when they play at Chaffey on Monday, Mar. 25 in a 2:30 p.m. make-up start from Thursday's rainout.