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2011 Baseball Theme: Pitching Heavy, Hitting Thin

Pasadena City College baseball team head coach Evan O'Meara dreamed of having a pitching staff that would allow him to set quality starting pitchers, designate a strong closer, and have several hurlers ready as long relievers or set-up guys. After 18 games, the 2011 Lancers are fufilling that dream with many top-notch performances from a variety of pitchers.

Unfortunately for PCC, the pitchers are not getting proper support from a team offense that has slipped after a strong-hitting series against Mt. San Antonio College. Pasadena's sleeping bats have led to a three-game, South Coast Conference losing streak. The Lancers are 6-12 overall and now 3-5 in the SCC going into Monday's finale of a three-game series v. first-place Long Beach. Game time is 2:30 p.m. at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field.

A perfect example of the Lancers' pitching up, hitting down theme was Saturday's 2-1 loss at LBCC. PCC sophomore transfer starter Kaleb Carter-Allen was masterful in hurling an 8-inning, complete-game performance, allowing only two unearned runs on seven hits. But Carter-Allen's personal pitching record fell to a mystifying 1-5 after his team supported him with just five hits (three by sophomore catcher and top Lancers' hitter Jose Serna). In Carter-Allen's six starts, PCC has scored just 12 combined runs.

Long Beach starter Omar Jimenez also went the distance, striking out eight Pasadena batters. In the ninth, Serna singled, was bunted over to second base, and stole third base. With the letterman in scoring position, Jimenez got PCC pinch hitter Matt Izumida to pop up to shortstop and Mike Vasquez to hit a game-ending, groundout to third base.

The game-winning run by Long Beach occurred in the fifth thanks to a 2-base throwing error and one of Carter-Allen's few mistakes--a wild pitch that scored Derrick Garcia. PCC had briefly tied the game on Alex Acevedo's RBI groundout in the top of the frame.

Pasadena is hitting .235 as a team (overall games), including seven batters (at least 25 plate appearances) with an average below .221. In the last three defeats, the Lancers scored just five runs, and in the team's five SCC losses only 10 runs. In the three conference victories, PCC posted 30 runs.

The Lancers' pitching staff has compiled a strong 4.17 team ERA in conference play. Overall, Kevin Gute (2-1, two saves, 2.25 ERA), A.J. Smouse (1-1, 4.05), David Whitaker (2-3, 4.22), and Carter-Allen (4.63 ERA, but team-leading 2.82 in three SCC starts) are the group's top performers.

"It's frustrating because you don't often have this type of excellent pitching," O'Meara said. "If we want to be in the upper half of the conference, we're going to have to score runs and take advantage of whatever opportunities we can manufacture. With our rainouts, the staff will be asked to keep it going. The pressure is squarely on our hitters. We need to respond."

Release Date: 03/27/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: