In their best offensive display this season, the Pasadena City College Lancers men’s baseball team broke a four-game losing streak when they overpowered the visiting LA Harbor Seahawks 11-3 in the first of a three game series at Jackie Robinson Memorial field on Tuesday.
Sophomore pitcher Nick Esparza, who kept the Seahawks batters quiet in the first three innings with consistent and suffocating fast balls, created an opening for the Lancers offense to thrive with six runs scored in the bottom of the third.
Sophomore Robert Mier, who produced Pasadena’s first hit with a line drive in the bottom of the first, began the scoring feast with a triple to left center field and a RBI that saw shortstop Thomas Castro register the opening run. Infielder, Anthony Gonzalez grabbed another RBI with a single to right field, which rewarded Mier with a run of his own and pushed the Lancers lead out to 2-0.
Mier was relieved for his team to get back into the winner’s circle and attributed the convincing victory to contributions across the board and helpful tips from head coach Patrick McGee. The second baseman praised the batting and pitching performance and felt that the run spree in the third gave the team more confidence.
“I thought it was a whole team effort, from the pitching staff to the batting order, I thought everyone contributed,” Mier said. “We are the type of team that has to claw and scratch for runs and I’m so happy today that we were able to come out early and put a lot of runs on the board and make our pitchers job a lot easier.”
Gonzalez got in on the scoring blitz when the Lancers continued to reap the benefits of their regular hitting. Freshman outfielder Manuel Tapia was walked and earned a RBI that brought Gonzalez home after catcher, Justin Cage advanced to second and Joe Quire walked to third.
Eddy Santana’s single to center field enabled Tapia and Cage to score and extend the Lancers lead to a commanding 6-0.
McGee lauded Esparza for his reliable pitching and believed that an improved mindset was the catalyst behind such an imposing offensive effort that took some pressure off the pitching.
“Esparza did a great job like he does every Tuesday for us and one of the things we spoke to the guys about this week was coming out and taking the first swing, taking the first punch against your opponent instead of always reacting to what they do,” McGee said. “I thought we came out and swung the bats early, aggressively and put ourselves in a good situation offensively.”
Tapia led the scoring with three runs and doubled his season run tally to six runs, while Castro’s two-run performance has placed him as PCC’s equal leading scorer with 12 runs. He also leads the team in hitting with an average of .287.
The Lancers improved their regular season record to 6-16, while their South Coast conference record is enhanced to 3-8. PCC faces hosts LA Harbor at Wilmington on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.