By William Hernandez
The No. 9-ranked East Los Angeles College baseball team opened South Coast Conference play on Tuesday as they hammered reeling Pasadena City College, who has a five-game losing streak.
ELAC’s Shawn Kennedy will take the mound tomorrow in the second game of the three-game series at 2 p.m. on the Jackie Robinson Memorial Field at Brookside Park in Pasadena.
ELAC SCC Pitcher-of-the-Week Jose Amezquita, will start in Saturday’s series finale at home.
PCC’s pitchers entered Tuesday’s match up with 64 runs allowed in their last four games.
The Huskies broke the score wide open in the bottom of the seventh inning when they batted around three PCC pitchers and cashed in on a whopping 11 runs.
ELAC starting first baseman Jonathan Larson had two runs batted in.
The outburst of runs in the seventh inning is always fun, but kind of “dragged. Each game is different….We play it one game at a time and don’t look forward,” Larson said
While the Huskies slammed PCC’s pitching staff, Husky pitcher Roman Davalos pitched seven strong innings. He struck out seven hitters and walked none as he collected his fourth win of the season and is 4-1 overall.
Davalos pitched a gem through seven innings and had a comfortable lead, but ELAC Head Coach James Hines was reluctant to let Davalos take the mound in the top of the eighth inning.
“It’s still early in the season and I don’t like to use our starters too much. Against Santa Barbara (City College) Jose Amezquita had a no-hitter after seven innings,” Hines said.
“Usually we leave a guy in the game who’s got a no-hitter bid, but it’s still early in the season and his pitch count got up so I decided to yank him.”
The Huskies will run on a three-man pitching rotation of Amezquita, Davalos and Kennedy for the season.
“It’s always good to get the first win of the series, because there’s a lot of things that can happen in a three-game series,” Hines said.
ELAC unloaded on PCC starting pitcher Jason Marquez, who allowed four runs to come across, in six innings, while throwing six walks. He also had one hit-by-pitch.
Until PCC’s Head Coach Evan O’Meara yanked Marquez who looked like he was out of gas, the Huskies also jumped all over the sloppy defense behind him, which coughed up three errors.
Thirteen of the 15 total runs scored by ELAC were unearned.
The Huskies first scored off an error in the bottom of the fifth inning. Shortstop Kevin Rodriguez dribbled a hit along third base.
PCC third-baseman Eric Grajeda’s throw to home plate, hit ELAC’s lead-runner Yamel Zamudio who scored.Tthe ball then rolled to the right side of the infield and Amezquita came around to score.
ELAC relief pitcher Justin Rincon closed the game by striking out the last two batters.
Hines said the inaugural conference victory is a positive sign.
“For us it’s all about doing the things we need to do early. That’ll get us going as opposed to waiting until later and missing on some things that we should take care of,” Hines said.
ELAC’s is 9-5 overall.