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Lack Of Offense New Challenge For PCC Baseball

Lack Of Offense New Challenge For PCC Baseball image

While the Pasadena City College baseball team's pitching staff has shown signs of efficiency in the past week, the Lancers' hitters have done little to support the better pitching efforts. On Tuesday, starter Brett Smith hurled seven strong innings, allowing just two runs, but PCC's offense was shut down by Long Beach ace Steve Gallardo in a 4-2, South Coast Conference loss at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field.

Smith left with the team tied 2-2 after seven innings. In the top of the eighth, LBCC's Jimmy Gosano set down a sacrifice squeeze bunt that scored the go-ahead run off reliever Brian Cuiriz.

Pasadena's batters were limited to five hits by Gallardo, the SCC leader in Ks. Using a 90 mile-per-hour plus fastball and a hard slider, Gallardo struck out 12 Lancers in eight innings and allowed no earned runs. Reliever Edwin Santiago struck out the side in the ninth to close out the Lancers' defeat.

In the last two games, PCC's offense combined to strike out 29 times. Fourteen Ks were recorded by Santa Ana's pitchers against the Lancers in a 7-4, non-conference loss Friday.

During the Long Beach loss, third baseman Daniel Gomez batted 2-for-3 while shortstop Tyler Dominguez and catcher Justin Dingman each lined RBI basehits in the fourth inning.

PCC's defense had some big plays, including two caught stealings on throws by Dingman in the seventh inning. Dominguez turned a spectacular double play (see photo) in the fifth inning. The freshman made a diving stop on a ball hit up the middle by Chris Miranda. On his stomach, Dominguez tagged the second base bag for one out and then got up on one knee to gun out Miranda at first for the 6-3 DP.

Last week, Pasadena suffered four consecutive non-conference road losses. Despite Brandon Spicer's best pitching outing of the season (six innings, seven hits, two runs), PCC lost to Oxnard, 5-3, April 2. First baseman David Halstead was 3-for-4 in the game.

PCC then was blanked, 11-0, at Fullerton (April 3) and shut out again at Moorpark, 9-0, on April 5. In those two defeats, the Lancers mustered just eight hits. Against Fullerton, lefty reliever Cory Burgard allowed one earned run in four innings of work while Smith gave up seven unearned runs in six innings v. Moorpark thanks to six PCC errors.

In the Santa Ana loss, a freak passed ball credited to Dingman on what appeared to be the third out was followed by five unearned runs off PCC ace Will Emerson in the third inning. The Santa Ana hitter accidentally struck the ball with his bat after swinging at strike three, but the umpires ruled the ball still in play and allowed the batter to reach first base safely. Another stalwart pitching effort was turned in by Pasadena frosh reliever Evan Stransky, who hurled 3.1 innings of 3-hit shutout ball and struck out three. Gomez went 3-for-4 and designated hitter Matt Chavez drove in three RBI.

Overall in the five losses, PCC's offense generated just nine runs.

After 28 games, Smith leads the starting staff with a 4.88 ERA in 51.2 innings and Stransky has a 4.70 ERA in 10 relief appearances with one save to top the PCC bullpen. Halstead, a rookie, tops the team in batting with a .383 average and the letterman Chavez (.366) has 24 RBI, 37 hits, 15 walks, and 11 doubles to pace the Lancers in those categories.

The Lancers (5-23 overall, 3-10 in SCC play) continue their 3-game series v. LBCC on Thursday, April 12 in a 2:30 p.m. game at Long Beach.

[Photo--Shortstop Tyler Dominguez finishes off a double play he turns against Long Beach Tuesday at Brookside Park. Second baseman Damian Santamaria looks on, image by Richard Quinton.]

Release Date: 04/10/12
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
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