PCC’s baseball team battled late with a three-run 7th inning, and were able to beat Santa Barbara 6-3 on Wednesday afternoon, improving their overall record to 9-6.
Starting pitcher Nathan Garkow got off to a rocky start in the 1st inning. After getting two quick outs, Garkow gave up solid contact to the opposing team and yielded three runs.
“I knew coming into today that [Santa Barbara] is a good hitting team,” Garkow said. “I was leaving the ball up in the zone in the first, and they were making good contact. I’m the hardest person on myself, and I knew I couldn’t let that happen again. I was able to settle in, and get my composure, got the ball down, and was able to get guys out.”
Garkow was almost untouchable after the first inning. He went seven innings, striking out 10 batters, and only allowing the three runs in the 1st.
Lancers were able able to tack on one run in the first by an RBI groundout from Nico Martinez, and another run in the second when Daniel Netz hit a run scoring triple. After that it was a pitcher’s duel with the score staying 3-2 into the seventh.
The Lancers were able to load the bases with a single and a walk, which meant it was Martinez’s turn to bat again. Martinez lined a base hit through the middle, scoring the go ahead run and another, giving the Lancers the lead, 5-3.
Martinez recalled what was going through his head during the at bat. “The pitcher was throwing hard, so I was just trying to get the barrel on the ball, and let him do all the work. Our coaches always teach us to do that, and it worked. I was able to come through with the two runs, and I’m happy I was able to help the team.”
The team was able to get an insurance run provided off the bat of Jose Jimenez in the eighth inning. Pitcher Race Gardner took over in the 8th and was able to shut the door on Santa Barbara, pitching two scoreless innings.
Head coach Pat McGee commented on his team’s ability to rally and pick up the pitcher.
“What I’m proud of the most is that each game, we are hitting the ball where it is pitched. That’s reflected with the balls that are hit up the middle, and hit to the right side. Our at bats are getting better as a team, we are able to execute by moving a guy over from second to third, and bring him in.”
Garkow also talked about what it meant for his teammates to pick him up after the first inning.
“It’s huge what the offense did today. When you struggle in the first inning get down early, it’s usually hard for the offense to come back from that. But they kept chipping away and were able to get through and help us win.”
The Lancers will now enter conference play with a home and away game split against El Camino on Thursday and Saturday. Coach McGee talked about what he expects from the series.
“[El Camino] is a good team, and they’ll compete as hard as Santa Barbara did, but we are gonna play the game how we do it.We have a certain way we go about our business, and if we do that effectively then I expect us to be successful. If we get outside of our game, then the result will not be what we want.”
PCC will take on El Camino at home at Brookside Park on Thursday, before traveling to El Camino’s home field on Saturday.