Baseball Still In Hunt For SoCal Playoff Spot

Third baseman Devin Munoz and catcher Mark Manuel have to avoid each other on a pop foul bunt in Thursday's win (photo and gallery by Richard Quinton).
Third baseman Devin Munoz and catcher Mark Manuel have to avoid each other on a pop foul bunt in Thursday's win (photo and gallery by Richard Quinton).

It was an old-fashioned slugfest at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field on Thursday as the Pasadena City College baseball team earned a much-needed, 15-10 win over Compton. The Lancers evened their South Coast Conference record to 10-10 as they remain in position to possibly earn a Southern California Regional Playoff seed.

As of April 12, the Lancers (18-15 overall) were holding on to #24 in the SoCal RPI, which would earn them an at-large bid as 24 teams make this year's postseason. 

Currently in fourth place in the SCC standings, PCC will close out the rubber game of the series today (Friday, April 12) at Compton College. Game time is 2 p.m. as the contest was moved up due to the rainy weather forecast for Saturday. 

In the second game of the series, outfielder Bryan Richman took over the conference batting lead in raising his average to .402. Richman batted 4-for-5 with a double, triple, three runs scored and a hit-by-pitch.

The only time Compton pitching was able to get Richman out was in an epic, 15-pitch at-bat as sidewinder reliever John Stangl struck the lefty freshman out looking on a corner fastball in the eighth. Richman continues to lead the SCC in runs scored, crossing the plate 43 times in 33 games.

Designated hitter Evan Nahra hit 3-for-4 with a double, triple and four RBI. the right-handed hitting Nahra lined an opposite field 2-run triple to highlight a 6-run, first inning for the Lancers. With PCC ahead 10-7 in the seventh, he lined a 2-run single to left. 

Catcher Mark Manuel was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI and shortstop Jack Esguerra went 2-for-5, including a 2-run single to center in the eighth for insurance runs. Centerfielder Tyler Garcia batted 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI while first baseman Adrian Roman picked up his 51st hit on a drag bunt single to third base. Both Roman and Esguerra are tied for the team lead in hits, just one behind conference leader Reef Danner of Long Beach City. 

The teams combined for 31 hits (16 by PCC), 12 for extra bases and 25 runs. The third inning was the only frame where both offenses were held scoreless. 

On the mound, PCC starter James Ferraro moved his record to 6-3 as he pitched six innings, allowing four earned runs, one walk and striking out five. He is third in the SCC in ERA a 2.17 in 70.2 innings and 12 overall appearances. Connor Campbell became the third Lancers pitcher to reach at least three saves in hurling the last three innings (five hits, three earned runs, three Ks). 

In Tuesday's series opener, the Lancers saw a 15-game progam win streak in games v. Compton, dating back to head coach Pat McGee's first season in 2015, end in an 11-4 road defeat. 

Roman was 2-for-5 with a double and regular second baseman Ivan Barragan had a RBI single as a pinch hitter. The only effective Lancers pitcher was reliever Alex Saucedo who threw two shutout innings, allowing one hit, one walk and striking out two.

Compton's Jacob Pech slugged a 2-run homer in the third and ripped a 2-RBI double for a 6-1 lead in the fourth.

PCC is trying to make the postseason for the sixth straight complete season (2017-2019, 2022-23).