Another Shutout As Baseball Brings Out Brooms Again v. Rio Hondo

Lancer Edward Manzo, an All-SCC First Team selection as a freshman, raised his average to .387 this week. He rips a hit in Tuesday's victory, photo by Richard Quinton.
Lancer Edward Manzo, an All-SCC First Team selection as a freshman, raised his average to .387 this week. He rips a hit in Tuesday's victory, photo by Richard Quinton.

For the second straight game, the Pasadena City College baseball team pitching staff recorded a shutout and for the second consecutive South Coast Conference North Division 3-game series, the Lancers swept their opponent as Rio Hondo was this week's victim in a 12-0 PCC win on Saturday.

Pasadena, the state's No. 16-ranked team and No. 6 in SoCal RPI, matched its longest win streak of the season at six games and extended its string of wins v. Rio Hondo, now at eight straight since the 2017 season. For today, the Lancers (18-7 overall) are in sole possession of first place in the SCC North at 10-4, one half game ahead of Mt. San Antonio (9-4). 

PCC collected its 10th win this season by 10 or more runs after outscoring hapless Rio Hondo (8-17, last place in SCC North at 4-10), 33-2, in the series. The Lancers pitchers were outstanding throughout the 3-game set, allowing only 13 hits in the entire series, finishing with 18 consecutive scoreless innings.

Gordon Ingebritson became PCC's individual pitching wins leader in at least the modern era at 12 by throwing six innings, allowing three hits, no walks, one hit batter while striking out five. Ingrebritson (5-1) has his own streak of scoreless innings, now at 18-1/3 in a row as his team-leading ERA keeps dropping at 2.15. The sophomore ace, already committed to UC Irvine for his 4-year university choice, was named the SoCal Pitcher of the Week for March 18-24.

Finishing off Saturday's whitewash was Lorenzo Llorens (one no-hit inning), Matt Orozco (one no-hit inning, two strikeouts) and Cody Crowder (one inning, one hit). The PCC relievers group, including Frank Gonzalez, Benny Torres, Benny Olguin has not allowed a run in 13 straight innings. In 21 games this season, the Lancers have allowed less than 10 hits and have a 16-5 record in those contests. The pitching staff, directed by assistant coach Nico Calderaro, is 11th in team ERA in the state with a 3.09 mark. The staff is allowing 7.46 hits per nine innings, which is currently No. 9 in the state in lowest hits allowed average.

Offensively, when the Lancers reach 10 hits or more, the team is a nearly unbeatable 15-1. PCC has won all 10 games when it reached double digits in runs scored. Pasadena is third in the state in batting (.326, tops in SoCal) and second in on-base percentage (.437, also No. 1 in the South). PCC is 10th in runs scored (227) and 11th in total hits (290). 

Against Rio Hondo, leftfielder Frank Yokas took advantage of a rare start (2-for-4) by slugging a solo home run in the fifth inning. Regular leftfielder Edward Manzo was 2-for-3 with a double out of the DH spot. First baseman Vic Zepeda led a 14-hit attack by batting 3-for-5 with with two RBI. Ryan Lewis, the team's regular shortstop, played last year's position at second base, was 2-for-5, and third baseman Marco Martinez (0-for-3) added to his team-leading RBI total of 27 with two runs driven in. Centerfielder Gabriel Arellano added a double and was 1-for-5 with three runs scored. Arellano is tied for second in the state in total hits with 49, which is the most currently for a South Region player. 

The month of March though belonged to sophomore transfer catcher Cole Pilar, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Pilar batted .480 in the month (24-for-50), had 16 RBI, a .567 on-base percentage and a .560 slugging percentage. In just his last four games, the switch hitter is 11-for-21 with three doubles, eight runs scored and eight RBI. Pilar is fourth in the state in batting at .429 and his .547 on-base percentage is third in the state.

Head Coach Pat McGee has 90 career victories in just his fifth season with an opportunity reach the 100-win milestone this year. Since the start of 2017, the Lancers are 67-42 overall for a .615 win percentage. PCC is likely to garner its third straight appearance in the postseason after the program had not made the playoffs in 45 years.