The struggle continued for the Lancers Tuesday when they played host to the Vikings of Long Beach City College and lost their dismal 11th game in a row by a result of 9-1.
During the month of March, which began on March 4 with a 15-1 loss to East Los Angeles College and an 11-run seventh inning, the Lancers have gone 0-7 in South Coast Conference play. They’ve failed to score more than two runs in any of the games they’ve played so far in conference.
After a three-game sweep last week to El Camino College, this was not a great start to a series against Long Beach.
“We need to not let our pitchers give up that many hits,” said head coach Evan O’Meara. “If you have pitchers that aren’t hitting their zones, balls are going to be hit over fielders’ heads.”
The game in a nutshell for the Lancers occurred in the bottom of the fourth inning, where PCC managed to get something going on offense with three consecutive singles to start off the inning. After singles by sophomore catcher Jason Clark, freshman first baseman John Sevilla and freshman center fielder P.J. DeZotell, the Lancers bad luck came back to them to halt any chance of good fortune.
Against LBCC, the Lancers were hit hard for 15 hits, six of which were doubles past PCC outfielders. Bad angles with routes to fly balls kept the Lancers from getting several key outs.
Clark provided the only RBI for PCC in the bottom of the fifth inning to drive in freshman third baseman. Eric Grajeda. Clark and Grajeda combined for four of the Lancers’ eight total hits, with Grajeda having the team’s only double in the bottom of the seventh.
“As I’ve said before, we need to find momentum and keep it going,” said Clark. “We also must play consistently solid defense.”
The Vikings offense did most of their damage in only three innings, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning, two runs in the top of the third inning and three runs in the top of the fifth inning.
A bright spot for the Lancers was the relief effort of freshman pitcher John Flores, who pitched two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth innings without giving up any hits or walks. He also managed to strike out the side in the top of the ninth inning.
“He did a great job out there today,” said O’Meara on Flores’ efforts. “However, we’re struggling in all facets of the game and we’re in a losing state of mind right now.”
The Lancers will look to bounce back and end their losing streak on Thursday, March 20 as they travel to play Long Beach at 2:30 p.m. The closing game of the series will be held at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field on Saturday, March 22 with the first pitch slated for noon.