After a four-inning tie score, PCC’s Lancers came out victorious over East Los Angeles College Huskies for first place in the South Coast Conference when catcher Matt Rice cracked a walk-off home run over the center-field wall, bringing the score 2-1. Rice met his exuberant teammates at home plate while being doused with 8 oz water bottles.
“I was confident on deck, and it was my first-time at-bat of the game, and when I connected, I just knew it. I watched it go right over the fence,” Rice said.
Although the Lancers and the Huskies hold the same record at 8-4, PCC ultimately holds the tiebreaker with Saturday’s victory after PCC closed out the three-game series at Brookside Park.
ELAC scored the first run of the game after a ground ball to left field allowed ELAC’s center-fielder Jason Vela to dash to home plate from third base. Shortly after, in the 6th inning, the Lancers were up at-bat, and ELAC’s pitcher, Francisco Dominguez, beaned PCC’s right fielder Kenny Kim, allowing him to get on base.
The ball hit Kim’s back near his shoulder area, and the attendees could feel the sound of the impact from the stands.
During the bottom of the sixth inning, Kim displayed no visual pain, worked his way towards third base, and was brought home by 2nd baseman Andrew Scannell’s sacrifice fly towards shallow center field. This play allowed the Lancers to tie the game 1-1.
Lancer pitcher Coleman Mitchell displayed incredible defense and pitched seven innings. Catcher Matthew Delgado supplemented Mitchell’s defense by throwing a missile over Mitchell’s head to second base to stop ELAC’s Eduardo Sanchez trying to steal 2nd bas
After pitching seven innings, pitcher Matthew Coleman was relieved by Nicolas Day in the eighth inning, who closed the game. Day was keen on delivering the heat to prevent the Huskies from scoring.
In the eighth inning, ELAC was able to get a runner on first base. Day saw that the runner at first base was leading off too far from the base. He sensed it, and gunned out the runner.
“I saw him step out at the corner of my eye when he was leading off,” Day said.
The bottom of the ninth inning was when the Lancers broke the tie to win the game after catcher Matt Rice stepped up to bat and blasted the ball over the fence at center field. Rice was at-bat as a defensive replacement hitter.
The Lancers ran out of the dugout, straight to home plate, and celebrated their well-deserved win.
“It was a game between two evenly matched teams, playing some great baseball, waiting for each other to make the first error,” PCC head coach Pat McGee said. “ELAC gave us their all. They’re not letting us easily take first place away from them.”
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