News: No Relief For PCC Baseball
Two games into the South Coast Conference schedule, the Pasadena City College baseball team can't find relief--especially from its bullpen. The Lancers wasted a strong pitching start by sophomore Brian Cuiriz on Thursday as their relief staff coughed up eight runs in an 11-1 loss to East Los Angeles. The game was played at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field.
Cuiriz retired the first six batters in order, and traded zeros with ELAC starter Shawn Kennedy for the first four innings. Cuiriz (1-2) gave up single runs in the fifth and sixth and then was forced to leave the game in the seventh due to skin abrasions on his pitching fingers that caused him to lose his grip on his right pitching hand.
Up to that point, the letterman had allowed only four hits, but a loss of control resulted in three walks and four hit batsmen. Cuiriz's exit meant the Lancers had to go a maligned bullpen. The Huskies proceeded to score six runs, highlighted by a prodigious grand slam over the left-field fence by outfielder Zachary Ashford, as PCC relievers walked six batters in the inning. ELAC tacked on three more runs in the eighth. The only effective reliever turned out to be reserve third baseman James Cathey, who pitched a scoreless ninth and struck out two batters.
For ELAC (10-5, 2-0 in the SCC), Kennedy threw seven shutout innings, allowed three hits, and struck out seven to record the pitching win while Ashford knocked in seven RBI overall and was 3-for-5.
PCC designated hitter Nick Perez batted 2-for-4 with a double and third baseman Jerry Ponce knocked in the team's only run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth. On defense, centerfielder PJ DeZotell turned an 8-2 double play in the sixth inning as he gunned a laser throw on the fly to waiting catcher Jason Clark.
On Tuesday night in the SCC opener, ELAC scored 11 runs in the seventh inning and posted a 15-1 win over the visiting Lancers. PCC starter Jason Marquez was locked in an early pitching duel with Roman Davalos as the game was scoreless through four innings. Marquez ended up striking out eight in 5-2/3 innings, allowing just three hits, two earned runs, while walking six.
In the seventh, everything unraveled for the Lancers as three relievers allowed eight hits, three walks and 11 Huskies crossed the plate.
Just as it did on Thursday, PCC waited until the ninth to score its run as Nick Perez tripled and was brought in on an RBI single by Steven San Miguel. DeZotell batted 2-for-4 for the Lancers.
Pasadena is in the midst of a 6-game losing streak that has dropped the team's overall record to 3-10. The team batting average fell below .200 (.199) after Thursday's defeat. DeZotell, a freshman who was the SoCal Player of the Week in the opening week of the season, leads the team with a .327 average and 10 RBI along with stellar defense. Cuiriz has been the team's top pitcher with a 4.37 ERA in a team-high 22-2/3 innings of work.
On Feb. 22 in an 8-1 loss to Rio Hondo at JR Field, starter Zach Britt was the victim of a two-out error in the first inning that led to seven unearned runs. DeZotell was 2-for-4 with a double and catcher Jason Clark hit an RBI double for PCC's lone run in the fourth. RHC shortstop Jesus Caporal had a banner 5-for-6 hitting performance.
On Feb. 20 at Grossmont, the Lancers lost a slugfest, 15-8. Third baseman Eric Grajeda batted 4-for-5 with a double to lead a 13-hit attack. Leftfielder Jimmy Cramer was 2-for-4, including a double, second baseman Kai Nakamura was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI, and DH John Sevilla hit 2-for-4 with two RBI.
On Feb. 19 at Rio Hondo, the Lancers rallied for four runs in the ninth to send it into extra innings, took a 1-run lead in the top of the 10th and ended up on the short end of a 9-8 loss. Clark hit a two-out, 2-run double to tie it 8-8. A PCC error resulted in the Roadrunners winning in the bottom of the 10th. Grajeda was 2-for-5 with a double.
PCC will try to get back on the win board Saturday, Mar. 8 when it closes its 3-game series at East LA in a 12 noon first pitch.
[Photo--Jerry Ponce lines a sacrifice fly to left for PCC's only run in an 11-1 loss against East Los Angeles at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field Thursday, image by Richard Quinton, sports information photographer.]
Release Date: 03/06/2014