After a hard-fought series against El Camino-Compton Center the past week, Pasadena lost its tenth straight game on Tuesday by a score of 5-3 versus Irvine Valley College. The Lancers have lost their last three games by a combined four runs, adding even more frustration to the season.
Following a 2-1 loss to visiting ECCC last Thursday, the Lancers managed to jump out to an 8-1 lead over ECCC on Saturday heading in to the top of the seventh inning. However, the wheels completely fell off for PCC as they gave up six runs in the seventh inning and two more runs in the eighth inning. PCC was unable to score any more runs, resulting in a stunning 9-8 loss.
“We took advantage of a lot of their mistakes and we managed to put the ball in play,” said head coach Evan O’Meara. “Our continuous problem this season is we can’t hit with runners on base. We started off pretty well, but as the game got closer we stopped executing.”
The Lancers had 12 hits on Saturday hosting ECCC, ten of which came from five different players who had two hits each: sophomore shortstop Bobby Fraijo, freshman right fielder Arnaldo Limon, freshman center fielder P.J. DeZotell, freshman catcher Macrin Gallardo and sophomore second baseman Kai Nakamura.
PCC Freshman starting pitcher Zach Britt pitched a brilliant first six innings of the game before ECCC stormed back. Despite the ECCC rally, the Lancers did not have a response on offense.
“The difference in our games is we need just one or two more hits with runners on base,” said sophomore catcher Jason Clark. “We have to take advantage of opportunities.”
Looking for redemption on Tuesday, the Lancers hosted non-conference opponent Irvine Valley. In the bottom of the fourth inning, PCC knotted the game up at 1-1 with an RBI single by DeZotell. Irvine Valley had an instant response, scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning and another run in the top of the seventh inning.
Freshman starting pitcher John Flores turned in a very strong pitching effort, making his first start on the season by pitching 7.1 innings against Irvine Valley, but the offense was unable to produce runs for him.
“I’m just extremely happy with John after he pitched a gem,” said O’Meara. “It’s disheartening when a guy does his job so well but we didn’t do enough to back him up offensively.”
Fraijo added two more RBI for the Lancers, but it wasn’t enough in a 5-3 loss to Irvine Valley. The tenth consecutive loss dropped PCC to 4-26 on the season.
An interesting note to take away from the series against ECCC was the return of former Lancer third baseman Aaron Correa, who played for PCC last season before transferring to ECCC this season. Correa had a lot to prove against his former team, as he erupted for six total RBI in the three games played against the Lancers the past week.
“I’m happy that Aaron is doing well,” said O’Meara. “He seems to be buying in to the Compton baseball program, and I’m always very happy when I see one of our former players succeed.”
The Lancers, who lost 14-6 to Ventura College on Wednesday, visit Irvine Valley college on Thursday for a 2 p.m. game. PCC will then wrap up its season in a series against rival Mt. San Antonio College beginning next Tuesday on the road.