Coad Ignites Baseball's First SCC Win

Evan Coad robs a home run during PCC's victory (photo by Richard Quinton).
Evan Coad robs a home run during PCC's victory (photo by Richard Quinton).

The Pasadena City College baseball team needed a boost and so did rightfielder Evan Coad. The sophomore, who had been mired in a difficult batting slump, took matters into his own bat and glove on Thursday in helping the Lancers end their 4-game, South Coast Conference losing streak by pounding Rio Hondo, 13-5, at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field.

Coad collected his first two hits of the 2024 season--in the same fifth inning to start and end a 6-run, scoring frame for PCC, then robbed a home run with a circus, Leap Day catch (Feb. 29) in the seventh.

The Lancers, 8-8 overall, moved to 1-4 in SCC play behind a season-best, 17-hit attack as the entire starting nine picked up at least one hit each.

Leading 3-2, Coad led off the with a line single to center field as his teammates roared from the dugout, knowing it was a big moment for their teammate. Another player previously without a hit this season, second baseman Ryan Ivanyi followed with a perfectly placed bunt single toward the third base line. Leftfielder Bryan Richman singled in Coad with catcher Mark Manuel and first baseman Adrian Roman then delivering two more RBI basehits. Centerfielder Thomas Villanueva hit a run-scoring infield single, then Coad made it 2-for-2 in the inning with a single to left that capped the rally. 

Winning pitcher Jameson Ferraro hurled seven innings, allowing only six hits with five strikeouts, but was touched for three solo home runs. It might have been more had it not been for Coad's defense. After Rio Hondo's Michael Salcedo and Ethan Orton slugged back-to-back home runs, Ferraro (2-2, team-leading 2.73 ERA) struck out the next hitter before Carson Slager lifted a high fly to deep right field. Coad got to the fence and made a leaping grab (see photo) and Ferraro was able to complete the seventh. Reliever Aiden Nunez tossed two innings of 2-hit shutout ball to close out the win.

Overall, Villanueva went 3-for-5 with three RBI, a double and a stolen base while Manuel was 2-for-5 with three ribbies. Richman (hitting .377) put on a clinic on the basepaths as he was 3-for-4 with a triple and four runs scored. The freshman made a heads up running play in the eighth after drawing a walk as Manuel hit a sharp grounder that was booted by the RHC third baseman. Running at full speed, Richman took off and made it all the way to third even though the ball never left the infield after it trickled toward the deep shortstop dirt. 

Richman is second in the state in runs scored with 28 in 16 games. 

Roman continued his season-long hitting streak as the frosh lefty was 2-for-4 with a double. He has a .470 batting average to lead the SCC by 20 points. His 31 hits is tied for second in the state and he is 10th overall in batting. 

Letterman shortstop Jack Esguerra (.381) saw his 9-game hit streak stopped in the series opener on Tuesday, but went back to work in going 2-for-4 with a double. Designated hitter Evan Nahra hit the longest ball of the day for the Lancers, a bomb double off the base of the left-center field fence in the second inning. Third baseman Devin Munoz was one of eight Lancers to record at least one RBI. 

In the series opener on February 27, Rio Hondo winning starting pitcher Matthew Leyva limited PCC to just five hits over eight innings in a 4-1 Lancers loss. Pasadena lefty starter Ernesto Duenas allowed just one hit in five innings, but some wildness (four walks) and two wild pitches led directly to two Roadrunners runs. Villanueva was 2-for-3 at the plate. 

PCC finishes the series v. Rio Hondo with a 1 p.m. game Friday, March 1 in a 1 p.m. first pitch at the Whittier campus diamond--nicknamed "The Jungle."