News: Baseball Pitching, A Brightspot In Dismal Streak
One of the primary concerns going into the 2013 season for the Pasadena City College baseball team was the lack of reliable pitching arms for the Lancers. Twenty games into the campaign, it turns out starting pitching has become the team's biggest strength behind the arms of sophomore righthander Evan Stransky and freshman Tim Shiba.
Despite a string of outstanding starts by both pitchers, the Lancers have done little to support them and in the process have dropped to the bottom of the South Coast Conference standings. PCC fell to 3-17 overall and lost its seventh straight conference game, blanked by East Los Angeles College, 3-0, on Thursday. ELAC is 12-8 and 5-3 in conference.
The game was played at Pasadena's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field at Brookside Park with the Huskies playing as the home team. ELAC has played on the road for each of its 20 games, including eight in SCC play, because its renovated on-campus home diamond is still not ready for action.
Stransky hurled a complete-game, eight-inning solid outing, allowing just six hits and giving up one earned run. Twice, dropped fly balls by the PCC outfield accounted for Huskies' runs. That's all the combined ELAC duo of Frankie Wright (5-1 record, 5-1/3 innings) and Robert Engles (3-2/3 innings, second save) would need. The two gave up just six singles for the combined shutout. Stranksy is 1-4 this season despite a 3.58 ERA in 37-2/3 innings of work.
Shiba, a knuckleball specialist, has thrown even better with a 3.45 ERA in 44-1/3 innings, but only a 1-3 record and one save to show for it. The Lancers' pair have pitched 11 starts overall. On Tuesday in the series opener at Brookside Park, Shiba held a 1-0 lead going into the sixth, but was touched for a 2-run triple by ELAC centerfielder Andrew Gutierrez during a 4-run Huskies inning. East LA hurler Sergio Luna twirled a 5-hitter in a 6-1 Lancers' loss.
Shiba scattered 11 hits over seven innings, walked no one, and allowed four earned runs in taking the loss. PCC's offense has been limited to four runs or less in 13 games thus far, losing 12 of them.
After opening SCC play by stringing together six straight games of 10 hits or more, the Lancers totaled just 11 hits and scored one run in this week's two defeats. PCC's lack of power is also alarming. The squad has just 21 extra-base hits all year, 17 of them doubles. PCC's team slugging percentage is a woeful .291. The opponents are driving the ball far better with a .438 slugging percentage and 59 extra-base hits, including 13 triples.
PCC's leading hitter is sophomore first baseman David Halstead with a .327 batting average. Catcher Cameron Silva is hitting .273, including modest team highs in doubles (four) and RBI (nine). They each have one home run for the lone Lancers' long balls this year.
Pasadena, 1-7 in conference, hopes to stop the losing streak when it hosts ELAC Saturday, March 23 in the series finale. First pitch at JR Field is 12 noon.
[Photo--Sophomore Evan Stransky fires a pitch during PCC's 3-0 loss Thursday at Brookside Park, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 03/21/2013