Brookside Bombers Move Into 1st Place Tie In SCC North Baseball Race

Marco Martinez crosses the plate following a home run earlier this season. The Lancers have been crossing the plate constantly in 2019.
Marco Martinez crosses the plate following a home run earlier this season. The Lancers have been crossing the plate constantly in 2019.

The state #16-ranked Pasadena City College baseball team climbed into a tie for first place in the South Coast Conference North Division Thursday behind a combined 3-hitter by Austin Ruiz, Benny Torres and Benny Olguin in a 5-0 blanking of visiting Rio Hondo College.

On their second-hottest streak of the season, the Lancers won their fifth in a row (earlier in the year, they won six straight) and upped their overall record to 17-7 and conference mark to 9-4, now tied with Mt. San Antonio for the top spot in the North. Rio Hondo is last in the division at 8-16 and 4-9.

Coach Pat McGee's Lancers will try to complete their second consecutive conference sweep of a 3-game series on Saturday, Mar. 30 (12 noon start) when it plays at Rio Hondo in the series finale. PCC will throw ace Gordon Ingebritson, who has rested since his 1-hitter of Chaffey last Saturday. 

Pasadena has an impressive 7-game win streak v. Rio Hondo going back to 2017. PCC improved to 10-2 at its off-campus home--Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field. 

A designated hitter for most of the season, Ruiz took advantage of a rare appearance on the mound by hurling three innings of 1-hit ball in his first collegiate start. Torres was magnificent in relief, retiring the first nine batters he faced and finishing with four innings of 1-hit mastery and three strikeouts as he picked up the victory.  Olguin closed the team's first shutout this season with 1-hit allowed over the last two innings.

The Brookside Bombers collected 13 hits, but scored all of their runs in the first two innings. In the first, catcher Cole Pilar and third baseman Marco Martinez hit back-to-back doubles for the first run and Shane Ogata was the third of three consecutive walks by losing pitcher Abraham Carrillo that made it 2-0. In the third, PCC scored two runs on the same play--an error by Roadrunners' shortstop Diego Perez as Andrew Scannell and a heads-up Gabriel Arellano stormed in to score after the booted ball rolled away from Perez. The Lancers added one more run for the 5-0 lead.

Leftfielder Edward Manzo batted 4-for-5 with a double while Arellano and Pilar each had two hits. The Lancers raised both their state #2-leading batting average (.325) and #2 on-base percentage (.438) in the win. Pilar is sixth in the state in individual batting (.425) and tied for first in on-base percentage at .545. 

On Tuesday, PCC beat an opponent by 10 or more runs for the ninth time this season, crushing host Rio Hondo in the series opener, 16-2. Shortstop Jake Sanchez went 4-for-5 with a 3-run homer, a double and five RBI, and Martinez was 3-for-6 with a 3-run blast in the ninth for his team-leading fifth round-tripper. He finished with four RBI. Pilar was 3-for-6 with three runs scored, Arellano 2-for-5, and rightfielder Frank Yokas 1-for-5 with a 2-run single. 

The beneficiary of the offensive show was Patrick Pena, who won his team-leading sixth game (6-2) by pitching a complete-game, 6-hitter. Pena had his best control of the season, walking one (and one hit batsman) with eight strikeouts. 


Ingebritson's near no-hitter last week helped him earn the CCCBCA State SoCal Pitcher of the Week for March 18-24, see release at link: