Coming off of a three-game winning streak against El Camino College-Compton Center, the Lancers weren’t able to keep that same momentum flowing as they lost to Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) on Tuesday, 9-4, to drop the first game of the conference series.
The Lancers started off strong when first baseman Joe Quire hit a double to right field and brought in two runs at the top of the first inning, making it his 19th and 20th RBI of the season.
With the Lancers’ energy up, pitcher Isaac Holguin was able to stress Mt. SAC at the plate, limiting the Mounties to one hit.
“When I’m on the mound, my mentality is nine on one. I’m just going to let them hit the ball and let my defense make all the plays for me,” Holguin said. “I definitely feel my defense was there for me.”
That’s exactly how the Lancers defense handled the field at the bottom of the second inning. Though Holguin walked Mt. SAC’s first hitter, catcher Justin Cage made the first out when he slid for a bunt that popped up behind him. Shortstop Alex Briggs followed with a double-play at second and first when Mounties infielder Esteban Ortega hit the ball down the middle.
Unfortunately, PCC slowly weakened when Mt. SAC’s pitcher made the Lancers struggle offensively and kept them from scoring any runs. Instead, the Mounties responded with one run at the bottom of the third and fourth innings, tying the game at 2.
Entering the bottom of the fifth inning, Holguin battled at the mound but gave up three runs, including a home run.
“Isaac has to pitch better. He didn’t pitch very good,” head coach Pat McGee said. “He struggled. He missed a few spots and they made him pay.”
From then on, the Lancers defense collapsed. They started to make small errors and let Mt. SAC take full advantage when they scored three more runs at the bottom of the seventh.
“We made mental errors,” Briggs said. “For the most part we did well just a few things here and there.”
At the top of the ninth inning, PCC still had hope when third baseman Sean Fassler hit a triple to center field. With two outs and one runner on-base, pressure was on second baseman Paul Christian to step up to the plate. Christian hit a single out to center field on the last pitch of the count and brought in Fassler, to tally his 23rd RBI of the season. Unfortunately, Cage wasn’t able to push through as he struck out to end the game.
“I think the game got away from us because we didn’t play defense,” McGee said.
PCC walked away with only six hits and committed five errors. Coach McGee said postgame that next game, “we’re going to win.”
The Lancers host Mt. SAC on Thursday April 21 at 2:30 p.m. at Brookside Park’s Jackie Robinson Memorial Field then travel to Mt. SAC on Saturday April 23 for the last game of the series at 2:30 p.m.