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Daylight Runs Out, But Lancers Walk Off With 3-2, Season-Opening Win

Daylight Runs Out, But Lancers Walk Off With 3-2, Season-Opening Win image

The lights didn't come on at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field to extend an extra-inning affair between the Pasadena City College and Antelope Valley College baseball teams Thursday. Instead, the Lancers beat the impending darkness and avoided a tie on a bases-loaded, walk-off RBI grounder by Matt Chavez in the Lancers' season-opening, 3-2, victory in 10 innings.

The Lancers celebrated the return of 2003 alumnus Brandon Kintzler, the only current PCC alum on a Major League Baseball roster as a relief pitcher with the Milwaukee Brewers. Kintzler, who received his original No. 1 Lancers pinstripe jersey as a gift, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Kintzler and his father drove down from their home in Las Vegas to attend the opening day festivities.

While Kintzler didn't see all of the 3 hour, 18-minute contest before heading back home to Nevada, he certainly could be proud of the pitching efforts of the three Lancer pitchers who saw action v. AVC. Starter Brett Smith, lefty middle reliever Adam Wickham, and closer Kevin Gute combined to strike out 10 Marauders and stranded 14 Antelope Valley runners on base.

Gute, a 6-foot-2, righthander from San Marino High, hurled three innings of 1-hit, shutout relief and struck out four batters to record the win in relief. The freshman worked out of a first-and-third jam in the top of the 10th inning.

In the bottom of the 10th with diminishing visibility becoming more pressing, sophomore first baseman Jose Serna lined his third hit of the game to center. After a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Andrew Newman moved Serna to second, AVC intentionally walked designated hitter Adan Carbajal. Catcher Jason Clark followed with another walk that loaded the bases. With the infield playing in, Chavez, the team's starting rightfielder, hit a hard grounder down the line that was speared by first baseman Josh Cox. Cox dove on the bag, but Serna easily scored on the play, ending the contest.

Serna made 17 putouts at first base in a busy afternoon for the letterman.

PCC battled back from a 2-0 deficit with two runs in the seventh inning. Second baseman Alex Acevedo and centerfielder Kyle Wilkinson each recorded RBI grounders.

Smith scattered six hits, walked four, and struck out five in 4-1/3 innings before giving way to Wickham, who twirled 2-2/3 innings of shutout ball. After Smith allowed two first-inning runs, the pitchers gave up goose eggs for the next nine innings.

Besides Serna, Chavez added two hits for the Lancers' offense. For AVC, Cox knocked out three hits. Marauders' starter Steven Tremlin tossed six shutout innings, allowing only four hits before tiring.

"Great day for baseball. Great to have a Major Leaguer return here that the players can identify with and see that opportunities do and can exist coming through the community college level. Kintzler is only some six years older than most of our guys" PCC Head Coach Evan O'Meara said.

"You hope to have at least one pitcher settle in on opening day, but to have three guys pitch well lifted the team. Gute really shut the door on AVC. The infielders also made the plays, especially in some pressure-packed situations. We kind of scored our runs ugly, but it was enough."

PCC travels to play a doubleheader at Antelope Valley Saturday, Feb. 5, Game 1 begins at 11 a.m.

[Photo--Alumnus Brandon Kintzler returns to the PCC mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch Thursday at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 02/03/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu