Going into the final week of play, the Lancers held their own destiny needing to win both games against Cerritos to guarantee a spot in the Southern California Regional Playoffs for the third straight year and they did so by setting new school records and outscoring the Falcons 22-9 in the series.
After Thursday’s victory the Lancers will be fighting for a chance at a state championship for the third straight year after winning their second SCC North title under head coach Pat McGee. The 2019 season is just McGee’s fifth as head coach and he has already become one of PCC’s most illustrious baseball coaches. Back in 2017 he lead PCC to their first conference title in 45 years.
The Lancers ended the regular season with a 24-13 record and going 14-8 in conference play.
“I feel like we’re right where we should be, if not in the playoffs close to it. I expect nothing less from this group I would be disappointed if we don’t,” McGee said. “If they wanna keep playing then they have to be passionate about it or we’ll turn in our uniforms in Thursday night it’s that simple.”
Red shirt sophomore Shane Ogata who missed the entire 2018 campaign with injures and struggled with the bat all season long, emerged as a clutch hitter by reaching base in 10 at bats during the series. On Tuesday Ogata nearly hit for the cycle just needing a home run, as a veteran with playoff experience, Ogata showed the effort needed to help the Lancers with their hope in winning a championship.
After Tuesday’s game Ogata was asked about the importance of the win and how the momentum built can carry into Thursday’s game.
“I believe in our guys. It doesn’t really change anything this game was important but the next one is just as important,” Ogata said.
According to the school’s year-by-year leaders record that goes back to 1993, three single season records were broken this season first by freshman Gabriel Arellano who set a new school record in both hits (71) and runs scored (44). Sophomore Gordon Ingebritson also set a new school record in wins, notching his 13th on Thursday afternoon, and in that game he had 8 strikeouts in 7 innings while only giving up 2 earned runs.
Sophomore Patrick Pena also set a new school record in wins in a single season, earning his eighth win on Tuesday.
“We have to come out and do us no one is gonna beat us… we believe we are the best team in the state and no one can beat us,” Pena said. “We’re getting ready for playoffs and that’s the main goal win a conference keep wining and go deep in the playoffs and win a state title.”
During the first round of the playoffs in a single game elimination match the conference champion Lancers defeated the Citrus Owls 3-1 to advance to the next round.