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First For Now: PCC Baseball Knocks Off SoCal No. 2 El Camino, 4-2

First For Now: PCC Baseball Knocks Off SoCal No. 2 El Camino, 4-2 image

For several seasons, the Pasadena City College baseball team has been looking from the bottom up at the South Coast Conference standings. But following Monday's 4-2 upset victory over the South region's No. 2-ranked team, El Camino College, the Lancers find themselves in a 4-way tie for first place in the early going of the conference race.

PCC (4-8 overall) won their second straight SCC game to move to 2-1 in the conference. El Camino dropped to 11-4 overall and 2-1. Both Mt. San Antonio and El Camino-Compton Center also are 2-1 in the 8-team league. Monday's contest was a makeup of a rainout from Saturday.

The host Lancers again received tremendous pitching from three of their four pitchers used against the highly-rated Warriors. Starter Cameron Copping (2-2) was magnificent in hurling 7-plus shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits. The sophomore right-hander recorded the save in the team's March 4 win over East Los Angeles College.

Copping tired in the eighth inning, walking the bases loaded before being pulled by PCC Head Coach Evan O'Meara. With PCC leading 4-0, lefty Trevor Hendershott wiggled out of the jam by getting a popup, then starting a perfect pitcher-to home-to first (1-2-3) double play in preserving the shutout at that point.

In the ninth, O'Meara replaced Hendershott after a walk. El Camino plated two unearned runs against reliever Jeff Stirling before the coach called on Jon Paul Salazar to hold on to a 4-2 lead with bases loaded and one out. Salazar earned the save as he induced ECC second baseman John Hein to hit into a 4-6-3 double play turned by second baseman Mike Flynn, who flipped to shortstop Mike Vasquez, who then fired the last out on the ensuing throw to first baseman Max Romero.

The sophomore Romero delivered a 2-RBI triple down the leftfield line to give PCC a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The Lancers extended it to 3-0 on a single by third baseman Jose Serna.

Romero went 3-for-4 and had a streak of seven straight hits in eight plate appearances (a walk in the other at bat v. ELAC) stopped when he popped up a foul out to the catcher in the eighth inning. Romero raised his season average to .385, second on the team. Serna also batted 3-for-4 and Stirling hit 2-for-4 from the designated hitter spot as the Lancers totaled 11 hits.

PCC upped the lead to 4-0 in the eighth on a run-scoring single by Vasquez.

Copping struck out 5 batters and had perfect innings in the second, sixth and seventh frames. Although the four PCC pitchers were wild at times (8 walks allowed), O'Meara was pleased with the mound team.

"You start believing that good pitching beats good hitting, and not because it's an old adage," O'Meara said. "I've seen more clutch pitching by our guys in the last two games alone than in the previous three years combined. Copping is turning into the ace we are hoping for. Hendershott and Salazar just gave the team such a great lift with the double-play balls. We're also hitting and fielding well. When everything comes together like that, you win. We just hope to keep it going."

PCC will go for its third in a row Tuesday, March 9 when it hosts Cerritos College in a 2 p.m. SCC game at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field.

[Photo--Sports information photographer Richard Quinton captures the game's final play as Mike Vasquez completes a 4-6-3 double play with second baseman Mike Flynn (21) looking on as the Lancers beat El Camino, 4-2, Monday at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field.]

Release Date: 03/08/10
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu