News: Squandered Leads Cost PCC Baseball
The Pasadena City College baseball team let another lead slip away Saturday in their second straight loss to Los Angeles Harbor, 10-6, at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Field. After winning the opener v. Harbor, the Lancers lost two straight in their South Coast Conference opening series.
On Thursday, PCC took a 7-2 lead into the ninth inning only to see the Seahawks rally for six runs without the Lancers' pitchers recording an out. PCC scored all six of its runs Saturday in the fifth inning to take a commanding 6-2 lead. But in similar fashion, the Lancers blew that lead by the top of the sixth as the Seahawks scored five runs to take a 7-6 advantage. Harbor added three more runs in the seventh to put the game away.
PCC batted around in the fifth as centerfielder Charles Smith delivered an opposite field RBI single followed by a 2-RBI single, also going the other way to right field, by leftfielder Kori Grant. Catcher Cameron Silva launched a booming triple to left-center that scored two more runs that capped a rally where the Lancers totaled six hits and six runs.
In the top of the sixth, PCC starting pitcher Trevor Gleason (five innings, five hits, three earned runs, five walks, four strikeouts) suffered the effects of a long rest during the Lancers' offensive barrage and left after allowing two walks. PCC reliever Matt Monge struggled, giving up a 2-run single to Nolan Meadows and a 2-RBI double to Juan Espino that tied it at 6-6. The team's next reliever Robert Urias then walked the only hitter he faced.
With the Lancers' relief staff becoming momentarily unreliable, PCC head coach Evan O'Meara turned to his ace starter, knuckleballer Tim Shiba. The right-hander, who hurled seven outstanding innings on Tuesday, struck out a batter and gave up a bases-loaded infield single to Robert Hurtado that gave the Seahawks a 7-6 lead. Shiba would throw 2-2/3 innings, allowing one earned run.
Other than the fifth, the Lancers' offense was shut down by Harbor starter David McKeller (4-1/3 innings, two hits) and reliever Larry Brown, who picked up the win by hurling four shutout innings. The lanky right-hander struck out the first three PCC batters he faced and scattered four singles.
PCC's pitching staff gave up 10 walks overall and the defense made four errors. Second baseman Tyler Dominguez, Grant, and Silva each had two hits.
In Thursday's crushing loss at Harbor, the team received another solid start by Evan Stranksy, who allowed two runs in six innings, giving up eight hits, walking one, and striking out four. PCC built a 7-2 lead, highlighted by a 2-run homer to left by first baseman David Halstead in the fifth inning. In the seventh, a single by third baseman Bobby Fraijo and a Halstead double was followed by a 2-RBI double by catcher Corey Richards that gave PCC the 5-run lead.
After Monge and Gleason each threw a scoreless inning in relief, it was a ninth-inning nightmare for the Lancers. Eight consecutive Seahawks batters reached base, including four walks and two hit-by-pitches against three PCC relievers. Harbor got two hits in the rally, but both proved huge as Michael Encinas hit a 2-run homer off Daniel Gomez and Alex Layton became the hero as he delivered a 2-RBI single down the left-field line off Spencer Stute for the walk-off victory. It was the second walk-off of the series after PCC rallied for a 3-2 win in Tuesday's opener.
Halstead and shortstop Josh Clark each had two hits for the Lancers.
"We did virtually the same thing in the sixth that we did on Thursday in the ninth," O'Meara said. "It's one thing to lose leads, but to lose them so quickly. It's stunning for us to be 1-2 in conference when we had all the opportunities in the world to be 3-0. We need to learn that it's a nine-inning game. We have to play a complete game, not be content because we have a lead."
PCC (3-12 overall) begins its next 3-game series on Tuesday, March 12 when it hosts El Camino College (2:30 p.m. first pitch).
[Photo--PCC freshman sensation Tim Shiba hurls a pitch from his start on Tuesday. The knuckleball specialist has a 2.87 ERA in a team-high 31-1/3 innings with a 1-1 record and one save. He is third in the conference in overall ERA for pitchers with 30 or more innings of work.]
Release Date: 03/09/2013