After a 2013 season with very little to smile about, the Pasadena City College Lancers baseball team returns key members from last year’s team who should make immediate contributions toward a fresh start in 2014.
With only four wins and 32 losses during their 2013 season, the Lancers can only focus on improvements right away with their new roster. Only nine letterman from previous seasons are returning in 2014 for the Lancers.
“Many errors we made were a matter of focus,” said head coach Evan O’Meara. “This season we need to continue working on making adjustments.”
The Lancers lost two of their best players on offense from last season in sophomore first baseman David Halstead and sophomore shortstop Josh Clark. Halstead led the team in hits with 31 on the season, adding two home runs and a .282 batting average after playing in all 36 of the team’s games. Clark had 11 runs batted in on the season and led the team with eight stolen bases in nine attempts.
Pasadena will return vital contributors on offense and defense this upcoming season. Bobby Fraijo, who had 22 hits on the season returns to play shortstop and second base for the Lancers.
The offense is optimistic that they can capitalize by getting more runners on base and having players step up at the plate with runners in scoring position.
Catcher Cameron Silva, who led the team last year with 13 runs batted in and tallying 25 hits in 33 games, transferred during the offseason to play for Glendale Community College.
Not returning this season is catcher Corey Richards, who unfortunately will sit this season out due to his recent heart surgery. Having to wait to play baseball again has been quite tough on him.
“It’s been difficult because you spend every day with your teammates and now I’m not with them at all,” said Richards. “This year the team has depth. If one player goes down with an injury, they will have someone else able to step up in a tough situation.”
Starting pitching and a lack of consistent run support from the offense was a constant problem for Pasadena last season. The Lancers lost a few of their top pitchers including sophomores Trevor Gleason, Spencer Stute and Evan Stransky.
Stransky, dealing with a knee injury most of the 2013 season, led the team with 34 strikeouts in 63.1 innings pitched. However, Pasadena returns knuckleball pitcher Tim Shiba, who had a 5.14 ERA in 11 starts for the Lancers in 2013.
The Lancers open up their 2014 season on the road against LA Mission College on Monday, Jan. 27 at El Cariso Park in Sylmar. The game’s first pitch will be at 2 p.m.