Sports in the News
In Like Flynn: Second Baseman Helps Baseball Win Opener Over AVC, 8-6
There wasn't a lot to smile about last season for the Pasadena City College baseball team, an eighth-place finisher in the South Coast Conference. But PCC Head Coach Evan O'Meara knew he had a keeper in infielder Mike Flynn. After playing first base last year, O'Meara was so impressed by Flynn's pre-season practices that he moved the sophomore to one of the key middle infield positions at second base. O'Meara also feels Flynn, a South Pasadena High grad, exhibits leadership abilities that he hopes will help foster a positive attitude with his 2010 squad.
On Thursday in the Lancers' season-opener at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field, Flynn jump-started PCC with a bases-clearing, 3-RBI double in the second inning. Flynn batted 2-for-4 with two doubles overall as Pasadena held off a late rally to defeat Antelope Valley College, 8-6.
PCC's oldest player, 26-year-old sophomore Max Romero was called on by O'Meara to get out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the ninth inning. Romero, who had previously played first base the entire afternoon, promptly threw one strike, getting AVC outfielder Cole Wassner to hit a grounder to Flynn for the game's final out. One pitch, one save for Romero, and a 1-0 season start for the Lancers.
Romero's short work capped a game in which PCC was outhit, 10-5, but saw the Lancers use strong pitching, effective defense, and timely offense for a successful outcome. PCC starting pitching ace Cameron Copping picked up the mound victory, retiring 12 straight at one point during a 5-inning stint in which he allowed only four hits, two runs, and struck out five.
Sophomore Ruben "Buddy" Sanchez pitched two shutout innings of relief before being touched up for a 3-run homer by AVC cleanup hitter Robert Reyes in his third inning of work in the 8th. Redshirt freshman reliever Greg Bond recorded the first two outs of the ninth, but two walks and an infield single pressed O'Meara into bringing in yet another veteran pitcher in Romero for his heroic finish.
Like Flynn, freshman centerfielder Garrett Adams (Alta Loma High) came through at the right time, lining a 2-run single to center during a 3-run Lancers' seventh inning that made it 8-2.
PCC's opening lineup featured Romero at first, Flynn at second, freshman Mike Vasquez (Schurr High) at shortstop, Damian Santamaria (Arcadia HS) at third, returning sophomore Enrique Reynoso in left field, Adams in center, and first-year player Vincent Pantaleo (Bishop Amat) in right. Sophomore Brian Smith, the state leader in throwing runners out stealing last year as a freshman, is back as the team's catcher. Reserve catcher Jose Serna (Roosevelt) was the designated hitter.
"We have guys not only returning from last year, but from other years at PCC," O'Meara said. "Our pitching staff is made up of primarily seasoned sophomores. Our position players are mostly freshmen, so we have an interesting mix. Flynn, Reynoso and Smith give us experience in the starting lineup, and all three are good guys and good teammates. We've had talent before, but cohesion we've lacked. I'm hoping this unit will continue to show a team-first attitude. If we can keep that approach, the wins will come."
PCC is scheduled to play a doubleheader at Antelope Valley Saturday, Feb. 6, but wet weather is expected postpone the games. Check this website for an update.
[Photo: Mike Flynn drives a double here during the Lancers' 8-6 season-opening victory over Antelope Valley College at Brookside Park Thursday, image by Richard Quinton.]
Release Date: 02/04/10