El Camino Takes Series Away from Baseball

Jameson Ferraro has been outstanding on the mound this season for PCC baseball (photo by Richard Quinton).
Jameson Ferraro has been outstanding on the mound this season for PCC baseball (photo by Richard Quinton).

El Camino College has been a thorn in the side of Pasadena City College baseball for many years, and this past week was no different as the Warriors won a pair of 1-run games at home to sandwich a Lancers rout in the middle game as PCC lost its South Coast Conference series.

The Lancers, #20 in the most recent SoCal Rankings, are 13-10 overall, but just 6-6 in South Coast Conference play. The Lancers were 17-7 last season when they set a program record for most conference wins in one season. 

In the series opener on Mar. 12 at ECC, the Lancers led 4-2, but the Warriors scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth capped by a Matt Chavez sacrifice fly for a walk-off win. PCC starting lefty Ernesto Duenas pitched well with six innings of 5-hit ball and two runs allowed as he had a no decision. The loss stopped the Lancers' 5-game win streak. 

Shortstop Jack Esguerra batted 2-for-5 with two RBI, catcher Mark Manuel was 2-for-5, and Adrian Roman was 2-for-4 with a walk. 

In the middle contest at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field on Mar. 14, PCC scored in every inning (did not bat in ninth) and posted a season high in runs to down El Camino, 16-4. Designated hitter Trevor Scott reached base safely on all six plate appearances as he batted 3-for-3 with three walks and three runs scored.

Manuel was 4-for-5 with three RBI while hot-hitting leftfielder Thomas Villanueva was 3-for-5 with three RBI, Esguerra was 2-for-4 with two ribbies while third baseman Jaden Guzman came off the bench to go 1-for-1 with two walks, two runs and a RBI. 

The beneficiary of a 17-hit attack (matched season-best) was Jameson Ferraro as the starting pitcher did not allow an earned run in eight innings, scattering eight hits, just one walk and striking out five. Ferraro improved his mound record to 4-2 while he lowered his ERA to 2.06, third in the conference. 

In the finale on Mar. 16 at El Camino, Esguerra batted 4-for-5 with a double and two RBI in a 5-4 defeat. Rightfielder Bryan Richman hit 3-for-5, Villanueva went 2-for-5, and centerfielder Tyler Garcia was 2-for-4. Roman, the team's freshman first baseman, saw a 22-game hitting streak to start the season end. 

Connor Campbell had a tremendous relief performance as he hurled five innings, giving up just three hits, one run, walking four with seven Ks. Esguerra hit a RBI single in the ninth but ECC reliever Aaron Ragat closed out the save. 

Villanueva has raised his average to .394, now fifth in the SCC and has a streak of five straight games with at least one RBI. Richman continues to lead the SCC in runs scored with 34 (tied for fifth in the state) while Roman's 40 hits top the conference and is tied for fifth in the state (fourth in batting with a team-leading .404).

This week, the Lancers play a 3-game series with Mt. San Antonio, beginning with a 2 p.m. game on Tuesday, Mar. 19 at Mt. SAC.