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Closer Games, But Baseball Mired In Defeats

Closer Games, But Baseball Mired In Defeats image

The Pasadena City College baseball team has shown improvement in its past three games, but the results remain the same--losses in the South Coast Conference standings. PCC led 3-0 early v. Cerritos College on Thursday before the Falcons rallied for a 9-5 win at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field. 

The Lancers (4-21 overall, 1-13 in SCC play) scored more than two runs for only the second time in 14 conference games with the other being their lone victory, a 9-5 triumph over Long Beach back on March 22. 

PCC jumped ahead with three runs in the first inning thanks in part to a RBI single by catcher Jason Clark, a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Macrin Gallardo, and two Cerritos errors. 

Lancers' starting pitcher Brian Cuiriz (1-6) maintained the 3-0 lead until things unraveled in the fourth. Two PCC errors led to five unearned runs. The Falcons (17-10, 10-4 in SCC play) also took advantage of three walks and two hit by pitches surrendered by Cuiriz and reliever Tim Shiba. 

Cerritos led 6-3 before the Lancers crept closer on a sacrifice fly by PJ DeZotell in the seventh and a pinch-hit RBI single by John Sevilla in the eighth. Trailing 6-5 and with two runners on base, Falcons' relief pitcher Elpidio Martin induced a double play grounder hit by Jimmy Cramer that ended that rally.

Cerritos added three insurance runs in the ninth to send PCC to its fifth straight loss and second of the 3-game series. 

For PCC, rightfielder Steven San Miguel batted 3-for-4. The team's defense came up with several outstanding plays including a diving catch by Cramer in left (first inning), a gun out of a Cerritos runner at home by DeZotell from medium center field (second inning), and a highlight-reel play on a sharp hit ball to second baseman Kai Nakamura, who fielded it near the second-base bag and wheeled to throw out the runner at first (third inning). 

The Lancers used seven pitchers, who collectively surrendered 14 free passes on nine walks and five hit batsmen. Shiba was the most effective, throwing two shutout innings. 

In a 4-2 loss at Cerritos on April 1, PCC starter Jason Marquez hurled an 8-inning, complete game, scattering nine hits, allowing three earned runs, walking three and striking out four. Despite his 1-5 record (and one save), Marquez has turned into the team's ace as he leads the Lancers in overall ERA at 3.83 in a team-high 42-1/3 innings. In SCC games, he's even better with a 2.51 ERA in six appearances.

In that defeat, the Lancers totaled 10 hits, two each by DeZotell, Nakamura and third baseman Eric Grajeda. 

On March 29, PCC received another strong pitching outing by Zach Britt, who trailed just 2-1 after seven innings before host Los Angeles Harbor College pulled away for a 6-1 win. Britt allowed just five hits, two walks and two earned runs, but fell to 1-4. 

The Lancers close their series at Cerritos on Saturday, April 5 in a 12 noon first pitch in Norwalk. PCC is hoping to snap a 25-game, road conference losing streak that dates back more than two years. The Lancers last SCC win away from Brookside was March 10, 2012, a 6-4 triumph at LA Harbor. 

[Photo--Jimmy Cramer slides into third base during PCC's 9-5 loss v. Cerritos Tuesday at Brookside Park, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]

Release Date: 04/04/14
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu