PASADENA - Frank Yokas had been itching to get back on the field. After an injury kept the sophomore on the shelf for much of this season, the sophomore returned to the Lancers lineup on Tuesday. The letterman then put on a hitting clinic that may be the greatest one-game performance in Pasadena City College baseball history.
Yokas hit for the cycle--home run, triple, double, single--and added one more home run for good measure in taking apart the Mt. San Antonio College pitching staff as the state #14-ranked Lancers routed the host Mounties, 17-4. PCC picked up win No. 20, the third straight season that head coach Pat McGee's program achieved the feat. The Lancers remain in first place in the South Coast Conference North Division with a 12-6 mark (20-9 overall).
Yokas, from Burbank High School, finished with a line of 5-5-5-5. His 14 total bases is a PCC record and the cycle was at least the first by any Lancer since before 1990, although the feat is so rare at the community college level, it's possible it has never happened in the college's history. The rightfielder also did his damage from the No. 9 spot in the lineup.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-handed hitter singled to center in the second inning, launched a solo homer over the center field fence in the fourth, walked and scored in the fifth, tripled to the left center gap to drive in a run in the seventh. In the ninth, needing a double to complete the cycle, Yokas did just that in leading off the inning with a drive to right center. The Lancers would go on to score eight runs in the frame and Big Frank capped his amazing afternoon by ripping a 3-run homer over the left field fence to finish with five RBI.
"Really happy for Frank because he has spent the past two-plus years working his tail off to improve his game," McGee said. "He's an outstanding teammate, the very standard by which you want your players to model. To see his hard work and effort be rewarded with such a great hitting performance was a day the entire team could celebrate."
The Lancers' 17-hit attack helped pitcher Patrick Pena also enter the PCC record book as he earned his seventh mound victory, the most pitching wins in one season matched by four others including current ace Gordon Ingebritson last season. Pena (7-3 record) pitched six innings, allowing six hits, two runs, walked one, hit one batter and struck out four. Frank Gonzalez finished off his second save with three innings of 3-hit relief and three Ks.
The lopsided victory was the 11th time this season that the Lancers have won a game by 10 or more runs. Of those wins, PCC has scored 16 runs v. Rio Hondo, 17 v. Mt. SAC, 19 v. Compton, 20 v. LA Harbor, and a season-high 21 against West Los Angeles.
Other PCC highlights in the romp was a 4-for-6 day (including a double) for second baseman Andrew Scannell, a triple by first baseman Vic Zepeda, a 2-RBI double by third baseman Marco Martinez, and 2-hit games for shortstop Ryan Lewis and centerfielder Gabriel Arellano. Arellano is tied for second in the state in total hits with 54.
PCC has won an even 10 games on the road and at home. The Lancers were No. 6 in SoCal RPI.
The Lancers will pitch Ingebritson (5-1, 2.87 ERA) in game 2 of the Mt. SAC series on Thursday, April 11 in a 2:30 p.m. start at Brookside Park's Jackie Robinson Memorial Field.
(Robert Lewis, Pasadena City College Athletics)