Last season was far from picture perfect for the Lancers baseball team as they finished with a 10-26 record in Pat McGee’s first year as head coach.
The Lancers suffered a 10-game losing streak just five games into the season and were outscored 76 to 19 during that stretch.
However, the Lancers are making huge strides with McGee in the driver’s seat.
The 10 victories they’ve collected this past season is more than what the program was able to do in the two years prior (8 wins combined). The last time Pasadena cracked the double digit wins mark was in 2011.
Known to have success in guiding players to the next level, McGee helped secure athletic scholarships to 4-year universities for five Lancers in the off-season.
“We definitely want to take steps forward in terms of progress. However, we ultimately want to get them to the next level which is crucial because education comes first,” said McGee. “Losses are secondary to that but these games are recorded and we want to be on the opposite end of that result more often than not.”
Among the recipients was relief pitcher Jason Marquez, who accepted an offer from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) to compete in Division I baseball. During his two-year stint with Pasadena, he possessed the lowest ERA on the pitching staff in 2014 with 3.83 (42.1 IP) and a career best 2.73 in 2015.
Pasadena also bid farewell to their best hitters with both shortstop Thomas Castro and second baseman Robert Mier suiting up for the Flames of Bethesda University in Anaheim this year.
They have played together on the same team since high school, which explains why their chemistry has paid dividends for Pasadena on both ends of the ball.
The dynamic duo combined for 23 successfully executed double plays. Castro led the team in runs (21), and had the only home run of the season while sporting a team-high .296 batting average.
PCC will sorely miss Mier’s presence in the lineup as he showcased heart and hustle along with blazing base running. He collected 7 doubles and 3 triples in 149 at bats.
Sophomore Joe Quire believes that the team is focused and ready to perform at a higher level than in years past.
“All the time he has invested into this program motivates us to do well for him,” said Quire.
Eight of the 28 players on this year’s roster are returning players. Outfielder Jimmy Cramer is returning to play his second season of competitive baseball after redshirting last season to improve his game.
One of the biggest issues last season was the lack of runs and run support, which is what the coaching staff addressed by recruiting and landing transfer student athletes Jorge Manzo and Brandon Benson during the off-season.
Manzo appeared in 12 games for the East Los Angeles Huskies last season, collecting 5 RBI.
Meanwhile, Benson had 16 RBI and 2 home runs during his first year of athletic eligibility for the Citrus Owls.
Thirteen of the 36 games this season will be against opponents that were in the SoCal top 20 rankings last season.
Pasadena will travel to Culver City for their season opener on Jan. 30 versus West LA. The game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start.
The Lancers have not won a season opener in three years.
“We can not take anything for granted,” said catcher Justin Cage. ”We have to be able to execute the fundamentals of the game in order for that to translate into wins.”
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