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Classic Pitching Duel: PCC's Whitaker Edged by IVC's Fitzgerald, 1-0

Classic Pitching Duel: PCC's Whitaker Edged by IVC's Fitzgerald, 1-0 image

With his deepest pitching staff in his seven seasons at Pasadena City College, head baseball coach Evan O'Meara knows its too early to anoint a pitching ace out of the bunch. On Tuesday, freshman right-hander David Whitaker jumped out to the front of the pack. Whitaker pitched brilliantly in a duel with Irvine Valley's Cody Fitzgerald, but came up on the short end in a tough, 1-0 loss to the host Lasers.

Both starters hurled 5-hitters and neither walked a batter as the game ended in a swift one hour, 51 minutes. Whitaker threw just 77 pitches in his eight innings of work. A Crescenta Valley High product, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Whitaker surrendered the game's only offense in the bottom of the seventh inning, hurt by a passed ball by PCC catcher Jason Clark.

With a runner on second base, Whitaker appeared to record the second out on a strikeout but the ball got away from Clark creating a first-and-third situation. The next batter, Brian Glynn, hit into a 1-5 fielder's choice, scoring the unearned run.

PCC lost its fourth straight game and its record fell to 2-5. Irvine Valley is 5-2.

"David threw a masterpiece," O'Meara said. "That was a well-played baseball game and I'm proud of our players. We faced a very good Orange Empire Conference team and battled. We've already had some pretty outstanding pitching performances. That's an encouraging sign after we didn't receive much from the mound last year."

Wilkinson Achieves Two Rare Plays

The Lancers were swept in their three games in San Diego County, losing to Grossmont, 12-4, San Diego City, 13-4, and Southwestern, 10-4. Despite the defeats, PCC sophomore centerfielder Kyle Wilkinson achieved two unlikely offensive plays---an inside-the-park home run and a stolen base of home.

Against Grossmont Feb. 11, Wilkinson reached base on a hit-by-pitch and was advanced to third. With two outs, Wilkinson timed his jump and bolted down the line and head-first a slide into home in beating a pitch by Zach Pettiford for the rare run-scoring stolen base.

In the third inning of the SD City game, Wilkinson again used his speed as he hit a ball into the right-center gap and stormed around the bases for the inside-the-park dinger. It is PCC's only home run after seven games.

Lefty Jimmy Britt struck out the side in his collegiate debut, relieving in the eighth inning of the Southwestern loss. Letterman first baseman Jose Serna leads the Lancers thus far with a .346 batting average. Whitaker has a 2.76 ERA in 16-1/3 innings to pace the pitchers.

Check this website for possible game postponements due to the rain this week.

[Photo--David Whitaker fires a pitch during PCC's 1-0 loss at Irvine Valley College Tuesday, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 02/16/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu