Baseball Picks Up 12th Win By Double Digits

Infielder Jake Sanchez has played three different positions this season as a key player for the Lancers, photo by Richard Quinton.
Infielder Jake Sanchez has played three different positions this season as a key player for the Lancers, photo by Richard Quinton.

The Pasadena City College baseball team recorded its 12th win by double figures this season in a 16-5 blowout win at Victor Valley on Friday. It was also the sixth time in 2019 that the Lancers reached at least 16 runs in a game. PCC upped its record to 22-13.

PCC, ranked #18 in the state, broke out of a team-wide hitting slump in which the Lancers lost four of their five previous games, compiling only 13 runs on 36 hits. In this game, PCC knocked out 21 hits, including a season-high five doubles. Of the team's double-digit victories, nine of them have come on the road. The team has near identical records at home (11-6) and on the road (now 11-7). 

Leading the offensive breakout was catcher Cole Pilar, who was 3-for-6 with two doubles and four RBI. The team's infield had a big day with first baseman Marco Martinez going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI, second baseman Nick Paschal hitting 3-for-5 with three runs scored and reaching base five times (walk and hit-by-pitch), and third baseman Jake Sanchez also 3-for-5 with two RBI. 

Centerfielder Gabriel Arellano batted 3-for-6, including a double and three runs scored as he tied PCC's single-season runs record of 43 set by Andres Kim (University of South Carolina Upstate) just two years ago. The freshman has upped his overall hits total to 65, now just two from tying Jeremy Conant's record of 67 also in 2017. Arellano, from Monrovia High, is in a 3-way tie for the state hits lead with Barstow's Judah Wilbur and Cerro Coso's Tyler Stokes. He leads the team with a .387 batting average. 

Also entering the PCC record books is Martinez, who has 31 walks this season, a new Lancers record, breaking a 20-year-old mark of 29 set by Armando Mojica in 1999. 

Rightfielder Wyatt Coates was 2-for-3 while Brennen Mace came off the bench with a 2-RBI single in the team's 8-run fourth inning. 

Lorenzo Llorens hurled six shutout innings, scattering seven hits with two walk and three strikeouts to improve to 3-1 on the season. The sophomore Llorens lowered his ERA to an impressive 2.88. Frank Gonzalez pitched 1-2/3 innings of shutout relief and has a sparkling 0.92 ERA in 29-1/3 innings. Both pitchers lead the team in appearances with 14 each, mostly in relief although Llorens now has four starts to his credit. Arty Zambrano threw a scoreless ninth.

On April 18, host Santa Barbara City College won for the second time in three days v. the Lancers, 4-3. Gordon Ingebritson pitched a complete game (eight innings, allowing just six hits, no walks and collecting six Ks) but saw his record fall to 5-3. Arellano was 2-for-4. PCC led 3-1 before the Vaqueros scored three runs in the seventh to go ahead.

The Lancers now prepare for their final South Coast Conference series, a 2-game set against Cerritos College on April 23 (at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field) and on the road on April 25. PCC (12-8 in conference) is in a 3-way battle with Mt. San Antonio and Chaffey for not only the SCC North Division title but an automatic playoff spot, which goes to the first and second place teams. Mt. SAC leads the division at 12-7 and plays a 3-game series v. East Los Angeles while Chaffey (11-8) faces last-place Rio Hondo also in a 3-game set. 

A sweep over the Falcons would insure at least second place as PCC swept Chaffey (3-0) earlier this season. Cerritos is a woeful 7-27 overall and the last place team from the SCC South at 5-15. PCC could win a share of the SCC title if it finishes 14-8 and East LA wins at least one game v. Mt. SAC. However, Mt. SAC would have the higher seed in that scenario due to winning its series v. the Lancers. In a 3-way tie for the crown, if Chaffey were to sweep Rio Hondo, the Lancers would finish with the highest playoff seed with a 4-2 best overall record v. the other two teams.