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Baseball Rallies From 4 Down In 9th, Edges ELAC, 10-9

Baseball Rallies From 4 Down In 9th, Edges ELAC, 10-9 image

The improbable seems to be working for the Pasadena City College baseball team. The Lancers' chances looked bleak after letting a 5-1 lead slip away against visiting East Los Angeles Thursday. The Huskies took a 9-5 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning, but PCC rallied for five runs capped by Sean Stone's walk-off, 2-out, 2-run line single to right to pull out a 10-9, South Coast Conference win.

It was the first home win of the season in seven attempts by the Lancers, who play off-campus at legendary Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field. PCC improved to 4-12 and 2-3 in SCC play while ELAC dropped to 8-9 and also 3-2. The teams will play the rubber match of their 3-game series on Saturday, Mar. 17 (12 noon) at Cal State Los Angeles. Rain is in the forecast and could postpone the contest. Editor Note: Game has been rescheduled for 2:30 p.m., Monday, Mar. 19

The game had its momentum changes as PCC rode the starting pitching of ace Will Emerson, who took a 5-1 lead into the top of the eighth inning after PCC scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh. ELAC scored four runs and knocked out a tired Emerson in the eighth to tie it, and tacked on four more off PCC's bullpen in the top of the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Lancers started their rally on Matt Chavez's fourth hit of the game--a RBI double. Brandon Spicer drew a bases-loaded walk and pinch hitter Anthony Martinez knocked in another run on a sacrifice fly that cut the Huskies' lead to 9-8.

With PCC down to its final out, Manny Pantoja worked a walk that loaded the bases. That brought up Stone, a utility sophomore infielder playing at designated hitter. Stone promptly hit an opposite field liner over the first baseman's head, driving in Tyler Dominguez and Spicer for the tying and winning runs. Stone was then mobbed by his teammates in celebration of the comeback.

"You start citing Yogi Berra after games like this," said PCC Head Coach Evan O'Meara. "East LA didn't think it was over when we jumped up by four. I think our guys felt like one comeback deserved another. Every at bat in that ninth inning was a battle. We seem to have a flair for the dramatic in our wins, but we'll take this one gladly."

The pitching win went to freshman Brian Cuiriz, who recorded the final two outs in the top of the ninth. Offensively, Chavez, playing shortstop, went 4-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI. Stone also drove in three, batting 3-for-6 in the leadoff spot, and the sophomore stole two bases. Second baseman Dominguez was 3-for-5, third baseman Damian Santamaria hit 2-for-5, and Pantoja was 2-for-3. The team totaled 16 hits.

Emerson, the team's ace, went 7.2 innings, allowing seven hits, five walks, five runs, and struck out eight. He had thrown six straight scoreless innings from the second through the seventh innings.

For the Huskies, first baseman Manuel Estevez continues to be terror on the PCC pitchers, going 3-for-4 with three RBI as he now has seven hits in the first two games of the series.

[Photo--Brandon Spicer leaps into the arms of teammate Damian Santamaria after Spicer crossed the plate for the winning run in PCC's 10-9 comeback home win over East Los Angeles Thursday, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 03/15/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu