The Lancers triumphed over Citrus College in its SoCal Regional Play-In Round game, 3-1, advancing to play in the first round the Super Regionals.
The Lancers scored all of their runs in the first inning. Two singles and a sacrifice bunt from shortstop Ryan Lewis put runners on second and third. Left fielder Edward Manzo hit a grounder up the middle and the Owls shortstop fumbled it, resulting in a costly error and permitting the first run of the game.
When bases were loaded a second time, designated hitter Wyatt Coates lined a single just out of reach of the diving Citrus right fielder, bringing in another two runs and giving the Lancers an early 3-0 lead.
The Owls defense held up for the remainder of the game, but struggled offensively against the Lancers’ pitching. Lancer pitcher Patrick Pena kept the Owls scoreless until the seventh when Citrus hit an RBI single into left field. Reliever Frank Gonzalez capped the game off with two hitless innings.
“The pitching was astounding. Patrick did a great job. That wasn’t the team we played earlier in the year,” said Coach Pat McGee, noting the Owls’ five game winning streak prior to squaring off against his team. “I knew he’d give us a great start as a third year sophomore. He’s really put us on his back and carried us and I was hoping for that.”
“The difference of the game was a ground ball that they didn’t get in the first inning,” McGee added. “That could have been us. It was a very evenly fought game.”
“We had a lot of good luck there in the first inning with the offense. We scored some runs,” said Pena. “We did just enough to get by.”
The Lancers went on to play El Camino College in a best-of-3-game on May 3-4, but were soundly defeated, ending their record-setting season.