The Lancers baseball team suffered a setback on Tuesday by coming out completely flat from the get-go as they were decimated 17-0 by LA Mission College at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field when the offense could only manage two hits and committed five errors on defense. The loss was by far the worst of the season for the Lancers, and head coach O’Meara made that very clear.
“There were a lot of really bad mental mistakes. Everybody that could have made a mistake today made at least one mistake just from the start,” said O’Meara. “You will play the way you practice, and there was no compete at all from the start of the game.”
This game came as a shock since the Lancers played so well in their doubleheader against Cerro Coso College on Saturday, Feb. 8.
As the sky became dark over Jackie Robinson Memorial Field on Saturday night, Lancer freshman right fielder Steven San Miguel knew it was do or die for him and his teammates. Down 4-3 to Cerro Coso with two outs and runners on second and third base, it took one swing in the bottom of the ninth inning to make San Miguel a hero.
Cerro Coso right fielder Kevin Maxey, a prospect drafted in round 17 of the 2012 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers despite going unsigned, was already playing somewhat shallow in right field. San Miguel promptly smacked a long double over Maxey’s head in the darkness for a walk-off two-run double, making Pasadena victorious by a score of 5-4 as San Miguel’s teammates ran out to congratulate him at second base.
“What was going through my mind was not letting my team down,” said San Miguel after the game. “I don’t look into the individual stats and stuff because the team always comes first.”
The victory was part of a doubleheader in which the Lancers defeated Cerro Coso 9-5 in the first game, followed by the 5-4 comeback win to wrap up the day on Saturday.
During the first game of the doubleheader, Lancer freshman center fielder PJ DeZotell continued his masterful play from the start of the season by adding five RBI in both games. Three came on one swing in the first game when he had a base-clearing double in the bottom of the second inning.
DeZotell, who won the “Southern California Player of the Week” award in California Community College Baseball for the first week of the season, is batting .385 on the season and leads the entire South Coast Conference with nine RBI.
“PJ (DeZotell) has some extraordinary capabilities,” said Lancer head coach Evan O’Meara. “He’s simply been a super addition for us as a solid center fielder and hitter.”
In the first game, Lancer sophomore starting pitcher Brian Cuiriz was mostly masterful on the mound as he pitched seven innings while giving up three runs while freshman pitcher Joseph Magdaleno came into the game to pitch the last two innings. On offense, sophomore shortstop Bobby Fraijo scored two runs and freshman left fielder Jimmy Cramer smashed an RBI triple to left-center field past center fielder Kesean Neighbors.
Starting the second game on the mound for the Lancers was freshman pitcher Zach Britt, who is from Orlando, Florida. Britt struck out three batters in 5.1 innings while allowing only two runs. Freshman pitcher Calvin Bonilla helped Britt out in the sixth inning by getting out of a bases-loaded jam, striking out Cerro Coso pinch hitter Miguel Gonzalez and causing second baseman Ezekiel Johnson to ground into a force play.
“To have your pitchers come in and keep the opposing team down is exactly what we want,” said Lancer assistant coach Dave Walters. “They threw a lot of good pitches and I’m very happy.”
On offense in the second game, DeZotell struck again with a blooping single to left field to tie the game at two apiece in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore catcher Jason Clark had two hits and two walks on the day and freshman designated hitter Nick Perez had three hits and an RBI in two full games.
The Lancers will look to bounce back strong on Tuesday, Feb. 18 when they host Grossmont College at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field at 2 p.m.
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