Pasadena City College’s baseball team is finding themselves in a terrible position, at the worst possible time: their first place lead has slipped from the team and has left them in a three-way tie near the tail-end of the season.
Coming into the series against second place Mt. SAC, the Lancers held a slim one and a half game lead over the Mounties. PCC was looking to come out of the three games with a more cushioned division lead.
Things looked promising in the opener, with PCC crushing Mt. Sac 17-4. Not only did the pitching look sharp, but the offense just obliterated everything in its path, including Frank Yokas, who was out most of the season due to injury. In his first game back, Yokas put on one of the most memorable offensive performances in PCC history.
Yokas went 5-5 with 5 runs batted in with a single, a double, a triple, and a two homers. A cycle. He had a total of 14 bases, which is a new school record, and is the first cycle for PCC since at least 1990, when these stats were archived, and may be the first ever in the school’s history.
“He’s an outstanding teammate, the very standard by which you want your players to model,” head coach Pat McGee said. “To see his hard work and effort be rewarded with such a great hitting performance was a day the entire team could celebrate.”
“It finally felt good to be back on the field,” said Yokas, who did all his damage from the ninth spot in the lineup. “I wanted to show my teammates I’ve been working hard to come back for them, and I think I kind of proved it today.”
After the slugfest that the offense turned in in the opener, the second game can only be described as a snoozefest.
The Lancers sent out their ace Gordon Ingebritson in hopes of at least clinching the series. To Ingebritson’s credit, he gave the Lancers a winning shot. He went 8 strong innings giving up three runs, two of which were scored due to sloppy defense.
“Everytime I go out there, I pitch to win the game,” Ingebritson said. “ They made a lot of contact against me, and I couldn’t put some hitters away, which hurt us in the end.”
As Ingebritson grinded to put together a quality start, Mt. Sacs pitching staff seemed to shine without shedding a sweat.
The duo of Noah Woodall and Matt Garcia pounded PCC hitters all game. Woodall scattered 3 hits over six scoreless innings, and Garcia closed the game with 3 perfect innings including 5 strikeouts.
PCC could not salvage the rubber match either. From the start, the Mounties attacked, scoring 2 runs early in the first inning and would hold on to that lead, winning 3-2, leaving the Lancers in a worse place then they were a week ago.
“[Mt. SAC was] clearly the better coached team,” McGee said. “They ran themselves into runs while we ran ourselves out of innings. They had competitive at bats with the game on the line and we did not. Defensively, they made plays under duress while our infield helped give away runs at the worst possible moments. That falls directly on my shoulders.”
PCC only has two conference games left and their destiny in their hands. If they sweep their conference games, they will finish ahead of Chaffey and will clinch a playoff spot.
“I need to do better of getting these young men to rise to the occasion,” McGee said. “That’s what champions do.”