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Max-imum Effort: Romero Pitches, Hits Baseball To 5-3 Victory Over ELAC

Max-imum Effort: Romero Pitches, Hits Baseball To 5-3 Victory Over ELAC image

Max Romero pretty much did it all for the Pasadena City College baseball team Thursday afternoon. Romero pitched a shutout into the eighth inning and went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate to lead the Lancers to a rare victory over host East Los Angeles College, 5-3, in a South Coast Conference played at Cal State Los Angeles.

Pasadena evened its SCC record to 1-1 and moved to 3-8 overall. ELAC dropped to 4-9 and 0-2. The win was a first for PCC Head Coach Evan O'Meara, who won for the first time against the Monterey Park college since taking over the baseball program in 2005. The Huskies had a 15-game winning streak v. the Lancers snapped.

Romero, a 6-foot, 185-pound sophomore, was brilliant on the mound as he limited the Huskies to only 5 hits over the first seven innings before tiring in the eighth. After Romero's shutout was broken on a bases-clearing double by ELAC's Austin McFarland, reliever Cameron Copping came in to shut the door.

Copping, a sophomore and considered the team's pitching ace, struck out 4 of the 5 batters he faced to record his first save and give Romero his first pitching victory of 2010 (1-2).

At the plate, Romero drew a walk in the second inning, ripped a RBI single to left during PCC's 3-run third inning, singled up the middle in the fifth inning, slugged a double to center in the seventh inning, and capped the day by lining a single to right-center in the ninth inning. Romero would come around to score an insurance run in that frame on a 3-base throwing error by ELAC closer Jesse Silva.

On the hill, Romero befuddled Huskies' hitters for most of the game by spotting fastballs and using a sharp breaking ball as he wiggled his way out of a few jams. In the fourth, PCC centerfielder Garrett Adams gunned out a runner at home plate with a perfect one-hop throw to catcher James Stephens that ended the inning and kept Romero's shutout alive.

In the fifth, Romero stranded runners on first and third with a strikeout and a ground out to third base. After again leaving a pair of runners on base in the sixth, Romero faced a bases-loaded situation in the seventh after two walks and a PCC infield error. The veteran calmly preserved a 4-0 lead at that point by striking out ELAC cleanup hitter Chris Machado to end the threat.

Overall, Romero threw 125 pitches over 7-1/3 innings, allowing 9 hits, 3 runs, and recording 5 strikeouts.

Lancers' first baseman Jose Serna aided Romero's cause with a 2-RBI triple to center in the third that gave PCC a 2-0 lead. Serna, who batted 2-for-4, also made a sensational diving stop to rob Machado of a hit in the first inning. Rightfielder Vincent Panteleo was 2-for-3 with a double.

"Romero had an amazing day, and we played sound baseball," O'Meara said. "We got a clutch hit from Serna, a great throw by Adams, and some nice infield plays on defense. Stephens did a great job behind the plate for Romero. In the ninth, Adams gets down a sacrifice bunt and it turns into an insurance run for us. Copping's performance was icing on the cake."

On March 2 in PCC's conference opener at LA Harbor College, the Lancers were tripped up by the Seahawks, 12-5. LA Harbor totaled 9 doubles and 18 hits v. three PCC pitchers. Lancers' leftfielder Enrique Reynoso went 4-for-5 with a triple and third baseman Ahmed Razi batted 2-for-2.

On Saturday, March 6, Pasadena hosts El Camino College in a 12 noon conference game at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field.

[Photo--Max Romero fires a pitch during PCC's 5-3 victory Thursday v. East Los Angeles at Cal State Los Angeles, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 03/04/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu