Lancers’ baseball battled until the final out to take down LA Harbor 10-8 to split the two game series on Thursday.
Pitcher Gordon Ingebritson was trying to rebound from a disastrous game against El Camino, where he gave up five runs over 3.1 innings. Ingebritson was able to get out of trouble early in the game. With the bases loaded in the first and only one out, he was able to induce a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
“I made sure I stuck with my coaches and my approach against that hitter,” Ingebritson said. “I was able to get inside on him, and I knew I could trust my defense, and they were able to get that double play.”
Head coach Pat McGee gave his thoughts on the big double play.
“That double play was really nice. We lead the state in hitting into double plays, so it’s nice for us to turn one,” Coach McGee said. “It was a big momentum swing, a double play like that changes the complexion of an inning.”
PCC’s offense was able to get it going in the second with a two-out rally. With the bases loaded, Matt Orozco was able to hit an infield single up the middle to score one, but aggressive baserunning by Ryan Lewis gave the Lancers the 2-0 lead.
Up next was Jose Jimenez, who extended his hitting streak to 20 games when he shot a ball through the right side. Kevin Miles came in to score from third, and Orozco came all the way around from first to score, extending the lead 4-0.
The Lancers were able to add on to their lead in the 4th when Miles hit an RBI double. For Miles, who does not get a lot of playing time, getting huge at bats like this helps him prove that he can contribute in a big way.
“I didn’t play a lot early on in the season because I had some bad at bats,” Miles shared. “But I think coach is going to keep giving me opportunities, and I’m going to prove that he should keep giving me opportunities. I’m going to keep on looking for a good pitch to hit and drive it.”
The Lancers were not done in the 4th, as Jimenez came through again for his team and drove a double in the gap, scoring Miles. Jimenez alertly took third when the ball was missed by infielders on the way in.
Jimenez commented on his team’s aggressiveness on the base path.
“We have no hesitation on the bases this year. We got to stay aggressive and make the most out of opportunities given to us.”
Ingebritson coasted through the the next three innings, only giving up one hit. Trouble came in the 5th though, as two leadoff singles were followed by a bases clearing triple. After a sacrifice bunt brought in the runner from third to cut the lead in half, Ingebritson served up a home run to the opposition
“I was leaving the ball over the heart of the plate, and they were hitting me around a little bit,” Ingebritson said about his fifth inning experience. I thought I hit my spot well [against the homerun hitter], but I gotta tip my cap to him. He hit it hard and was able to do his job.”
With the Lancers leading 10-5 going into the 9th, Coach McGee sent in Gary Acuna to close it out. Acuna ran into trouble though, as he gave up three runs, cutting the Lancers lead down to 10-8.
“We put in Gary because two of the first three hitters were lefty… we expected him to be successful in that moment, but he wasn’t,” Coach McGee said of his reliever. “Once the tying run got on first base, it was time to bring in Frank [Gonzalez]. We need our bullpen guys to throw strikes when they have the lead.”
When Gonzalez came with the tying run on base, every Lancer on the field and on the bench felt anxious. Everyone held their breath as the batter made solid contact, but right to the shortstop, who was able to throw him out, securing the Lancer’s victory.
Now with a 2-2 record in conference play, PCC’s focus turns towards a tough opponent in Cerritos. Cerritos is on a ten game winning streak, and undefeated in conference play so far. Lancers begin their two game series at Cerritos’ field on Monday, then play them at home on Tuesday.
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