The Pasadena City College baseball team had first-game jitters in their season opener, unable to overcome an early deficit as they were beaten 12-3 by the LA Mission College Eagles on Monday at El Cariso Park in Sylmar.
Although it was an extremely rough opener for the Lancers, there were a handful of positives to take away from the first game of the season. There were especially bright spots in the outfield as four of the team’s five hits on the day were smacked by outfielders.
“It’s an athletic, faster outfield,” said head coach Evan O’Meara, who was unavailable for the first game because of a one-game suspension. “That will only help our pitchers.”
Freshman outfielder Arnaldo Limon, who had two hits and a walk in three at-bats on the day, led off the game with a double in the top of the first inning. Then, with two outs, sophomore catcher Jason Clark singled to score Limon, giving the Lancers an early 1-0 lead over LA Mission.
The Lancers then ran into serious trouble in the bottom of the first inning, as freshman starting pitcher Calvin Bonilla struggled in his Lancer debut. After allowing six runs and six hits while only retiring two batters, assistant coach Dave Walters pulled Bonilla out of the game in favor of sophomore pitcher Tim Shiba.
“The biggest thing for us will be to try and keep our opponents off balance, hit spots, and play solid defense,” said Clark after the game. “This will allow our pitcher to settle down and be more relaxed on the mound. We will also have to score some runs to give the pitching staff a cushion to work with.”
Heading into the top of the second inning facing a 6-1 deficit, the Lancers fought to get back in the game. After a walk by freshman outfielder Steven San Miguel, who advanced to second base on a balk, Pasadena cut into the LA Mission lead.
Freshman outfielder PJ DeZotell singled, which allowed San Miguel to come around and score. Then Limon singled in another run to cut the deficit to 6-3 in the second inning. DeZotell finished the day with two hits in three at-bats.
However, that was as close as the Lancers got on offense as they were silent the rest of the day. Pasadena allowed three more runs in the fourth inning, one run in the sixth inning and two runs in the eighth inning.
Clark, a letterman from 2011 who led that team with 20 RBI, said the team needed to maintain momentum in upcoming games.
“As a team we will have to find different ways to keep the momentum going,” said Clark. “Baseball is a long game and it’s not easy to maintain the same energy throughout the game. There are going to be errors made, a hard hit ball will be caught to rob someone of extra bases, or a double play after a leadoff hit. All of which stop any momentum we have going for us.”
Head coach O’Meara remains very confident in his players going forward, as this is a very young team with many new faces from the 2013 Lancer baseball team.
“In the preseason practices, I noticed a more close-knit group of players here than in the past,” O’Meara said. “We really want to turn it around, and it’s going to take some hard work in the pre-conference schedule to be prepared for South Coast Conference play.”
The Lancers will remain on the road for the next couple series, traveling to play Antelope Valley College on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in Lancaster and then visiting Oxnard College on Feb. 4 and 6. Pasadena will play its home opener at Brookside Park’s Jackie Robinson Memorial Field on Feb. 8 at 11 a.m. in a double-header against Cerro Coso College. The second game of the double-header is schedule to start at 2 p.m.
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