The PCC baseball team came into Tuesday’s series opener against Mt. SAC on yet another losing streak. Losers of their last five in a row and nine of their last 10, the Lancers hadn’t scored a run in their last couple of games. Fortunately, that all changed on Tuesday, as PCC did just enough to win the ballgame 2-0.
Back in the friendly confines of Jackie Robinson Field, the Lancers looked determined to end their slump. With freshman pitcher Eddie Gutierrez on the mound, the ball-club came out strong from the gates. Infielder and clean-up hitter Anthony Gonzalez put the Lancers on the board in the first inning on an infield single, scoring Joe Quire from third base.
That was enough for the Lancers as they rode behind Gutierrez’s back, helping his team with an incredible performance. Gutierrez threw for seven innings, gave up no runs on five hits and a strikeout. He even escaped a 2-out, bases-loaded jam, getting the Mounties to groundout for the final out in the inning, leaving all runners on base.
“I just wanted to come out and throw as best as I could, try and get a win,” Gutierrez said. “We have been struggling the whole year and when we play together we tend to win.”
Not only was Gutierrez satisfied with his performance, but he credited his defense as well.
“Everyone was on point today,” he said. “We didn’t have any errors today. I guess my tempo was helping them out.”
As PCC still held a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning, they were able to put up another run in the bottom half of the frame. Gonzalez yet again came up in the clutch, driving in Quire, who tripled to lead off the inning. Gonzalez ripped one into left field, making it a 2-0 lead.
Then freshman pitcher Nick Esparza took over the game for the last two innings for the Lancers. He was able to shut the door in the eighth and ninth innings, ending the ball game.
“I don’t try and think at all. Just try to put a good swing on the ball and try to hit it,” said Anthony Gonzalez, who drove in both runs for the Lancers. “As the four spot, it’s my job to try and get RBIs and that’s what I try to do as much as I can.”
Head coach Pat McGee was pleased with his club’s performance as well.
“We did a good job,” McGee said. “Starting with the tempo of our starting pitcher, he competed. We did just enough offensively and we played good defense. Gonzalez did a good job and he was put in that opportunity by the guys getting on base.”
Interestingly, Mt. SAC head coach Kevin Smith, who was also coaching at third base during the game, was ejected from the game in the fourth inning along with a player from the Mounties.
After a close call at first base, the runner was ruled out as he and PCC first baseman Joe Quire collided on a bad throw. After the umpires met, they decided to let the call stand. That angered someone in the Mountie dugout, who was quickly ejected by the home plate umpire.
After Smith went up to argue the ejection with the umpire, he was also tossed.
The Lancers are now 6-13 in conference play and will continue their series with Mt. SAC on Thursday as they travel to Walnut before closing out the series and the season back at home on Friday.