The men’s baseball team defeated West LA, 16-10, on Thursday before suffering their first loss of the season to Cerro Coso, 4-3 in 14 innings.

It has been 51 years since the baseball program started the season winning three straight games.

The last time PCC won two straight games to begin the season was in 2011. That team went on to finish with 10 wins and 24 losses.

West LA had a 3-2 record heading into the contest on Thursday and was looking to avenge the 14-2 loss to PCC in the season opener.

The Wildcats came out determined to accomplish this feat and looked like a different team than on opening day as they raced to 10-4 lead.

Freshman standout Paul Christian was not pleased with the way the team composed themselves during the large deficit.

“We got a little too cocky and let our foot off the gas pedal,” said Christian. “We were not as sharp as we needed to be to begin the game.”

It was not an ideal start for the Lancers in their home opener.

Pasadena had trouble establishing themselves from the first pitch as the first batter of the afternoon managed to get on base on a wild pitch thrown by sophomore Eddie Gutierrez.

With two men on base, the visitors were able to get on the board in the opening inning as left fielder Andrew Figueroa popped a fly ball to center field.

After PCC’s center fielder Brandon Benson caught the ball for the out, he made a throwing error that brought home infielder Harrison McElroy for the first run. Then designated hitter Kaleyl Anderson zipped a ball down the left field line to score Javier Garcia.

The Lancers brought the game back on leveled ground by producing two runs of their own in the bottom of the same inning.

Catcher Justin Cage was the facilitator on both runs as he picked up an RBI single and scored on a Benson hit.

PCC’s defense wore down as the game progressed, making four errors in three consecutive innings. Three of them were committed by the Lancers infield unit.  

After pitching five innings or more in each of the last two outings, right handed pitcher Eddie Gutierrez lasted three innings allowing four runs on five hits.

Despite a rare off night for the defense and pitching staff, the bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh inning after being quiet for the majority of the game.

“We just try to do the best we can to put the team in the best possible position to win games. Eddie [Gutierrez] and the rest of the bullpen has been huge,” said pitcher Sergio Valenzuela.  “All of us are ready to go when coach McGee calls our number.”

The Lancers exploded for 12 runs on nine hits to erase a 6-run deficit and sent 17 players up to the plate in that half inning alone, escaping near defeat.

The offensive party was kicked off with freshman Jeremy Conant smacking a 3-run home run over the right field fence. The towering shot was the first home run hit by a Lancer this season.

He accounted for just one of six different players that contributed to the rally.

Anthony Rabito, Paul Christian, Joe Quire, Justin Cage, and Brandon Benson all picked up RBIs on singles to left field.

Just 48 hours after their win over West LA, the Lancers traveled 154 miles north to face Cerro Coso College, who handed PCC their first loss of the season in a grueling 14-inning chess match, 5-4.

“The tables turned on us. We should have beat them,” said Christian. “Ninety-nine times out of 100, we would have beat them. But they got us this time.”

With the win, the Coyotes improve to one game over 500.

Pasadena look to get back into the win column when they host the Rio Hondo Roadrunners on Tuesday at the University of La Verne.

“These losses are hard to come back from but we have moved on from it and we are ready to compete again,” said freshman relief pitcher Evan Bricker.

The game is set for a 2 p.m. start.

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