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Baseball Rewarded For Doing Right Thing

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Imposing a one-game suspension on more than half of his roster, Pasadena City College head baseball coach Evan O'Meara wanted to teach his club a lesson Saturday. He suited just 12 players, including two pitchers at the corner infield positions, and a seldom-used reserve outfielder. But a funny thing happened at Los Angeles Harbor College--the Lancers won with the decidedly mismatched lineup, stunning the Seahawks, 6-4, for the team's first South Coast Conference victory.

Pasadena avoided a sweep by Harbor, and responded with the short-handed squad after losing with the entire crew on Thursday, 16-4. The Lancers improved to 3-11 overall.

"I've had some great wins here, but nothing will ever compare to how satisfying this victory was for me and the assistant coaching staff," O'Meara said following the triumph. "The players who didn't suit up broke team decorum rules, and I had no choice but to suspend them for this game. I'm so proud of the guys who gutted it out against great odds Saturday. They didn't care about the talent difference. They wanted to win and they outplayed Harbor. The coaches and I are still in awe of the outcome."

O'Meara played sophomore lefty pitcher Cory Burgard at first base and freshman pitcher Daniel Gomez at third base. Freshman Charles Smith received his first start of the season in right field and regular right-side infielder Matt Chavez moved to shortstop. Gomez (pictured) had an inspiring afternoon, batting 2-for-3 with a key RBI, while Smith was 1-for-4 with a run scored. Burgard made seven putouts without an error at first base.

The key to the game for the Lancers was the pitching of starter Adam Wickham, a sophomore southpaw, and reliever Evan Stransky. Wickham scattered nine hits over 7-1/3 innings to pick up the mound win. Stransky hurled the final 1-2/3 innings, completing a hard-earned save by striking out Martin Lemus with runners on first and second for the game's final out. Lemus was 3-for-3 with a walk and a double prior to the at-bat.

The Lancers snapped a 2-2 tie with four runs in the top of the eighth inning. Second baseman Tyler Dominguez ripped a RBI double for the big hit in the frame.

"I'm hoping this also serves as a wake-up call to the suspended guys," O'Meara said. "It's up to them if they want to follow team rules. If we have to play short-handed again, I won't hesitate to do it."

O'Meara used 10 players overall, but did have his other two available reserves, pitchers Camilo Girgado and Brian Cuiriz warming up if needed in the ninth inning. Centerfielder Manny Pantoja, leftfielder Anthony Martinez, and catcher Marco Ordaz were the other starters who participated as PCC's version of the "Dirty Dozen." O'Meara's assistant coaches are Nick Gomez (Daniel's older brother) and Dave Walters.

PCC next plays a 3-game series against East Los Angeles College. PCC will play games at the Huskies' temporary home at Cal State Los Angeles on Tuesday, Mar. 13 (7 p.m.) and Saturday, Mar. 17 (12 noon). Those games sandwich a Brookside Park Jackie Robinson Field home game for the Lancers v. ELAC on Thursday, Mar. 15 (2:30 p.m.).

Release Date: 03/11/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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