The Lancers’ baseball team opened conference with back-to-back losses to El Camino College (ECC). Although Thursday’s game came close with final score 4-3, Saturday’s game was more upsetting with a 3-9 loss.
The Lancers knew they had to step up to the plate, given that El Camino has two of the best pitchers and are ranked seventh in conference in strikeouts. With the momentum still flowing from their previous 7-5 victory over Victor Valley College, Lancers ran position to win the game on Thursday, but unfortunately came up short.
PCC had a one-run lead at the bottom of the second when freshman outfielder Nico Martinez sacrificed a fly ball to right field and brought in Andres Kim for an runs batted in (RBI). ECC responded with four runs and brought the game to 4-1.
At the bottom of the ninth the pressure was on returning shortstop Alex Briggs as PCC bounced back, 4-3, with two outs and one on base. Unfortunately it was a hit and miss for Briggs but also a bad call for the Lancers that ended the game 4-3.
“I credit our kids. Our hitters did a great job, we hit a double down the line and the umpire missed the call by two feet,” head coach Pat McGee said. “Saturday we came out and again another close game till the seventh inning but I give [El Camino] credit.”
After the Lancers got a taste on Thursday, they knew it came down to their “plate approaches” on Saturday according to returning first baseman Jeremy Conant. With only one run PCC’s defense was able to hold El Camino 2-1.
Sophomore pitcher Hugo Avendano made his first appearance in conference during Saturday’s game and kept control as he didn’t give up a single hit after the third inning. However, after the seventh inning the defense started to fall apart after they gave up four runs.
“We just need to make the basic plays and do whatever we can to keep the balls in the infield and keep balls from dropping in the outfield,” Briggs said.
From then on El Camino utilized the errors made by PCC to end the game 3-9.
Needless to say Lancers baseball have a fresh team with only two returning players from last season. According to coach McGee there is a lot of potential and they are on the right track for the season.
“I think we’re one of the better teams in the conference so we should be able to win for the most part this week,” Conant said.
PCC faces El Camino College – Compton Center this week who is 6-7 overall. They get home field advantage Tuesday, Mar. 7 and hit the road Thursday, Mar. 9.