Coach Buck Taylor (10) has one of the nation's best community college baseball programs. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt
Palomar No. 4 in SoCal, No. 9 on West Coast
SAN MARCOS (12-20-09) -- Palomar will open the 2010 season on Feb. 1 at Saddleback ranked No. 4 in Southern California by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association and No. 9 on the West Coast by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
The Comets play the three teams ranked ahead of them in the SoCal poll (No. 1 and defending state champion Orange Coast, co-No. 2 Cypress twice and co-No. 2 Santa Ana), plus No. 6 Southwestern five times, No. 13 Saddleback twice, No. 16 Grossmont five times and No. 17 Allan Hancock,
The Top 10 teams in the ABCA Pacific Divisions poll are No. 1 Orange Coast, No. 2 San Joaquin Delta, co-No. 3 Lower Columbia (Washington), co-No. 3 Mt. Hood (Oregon), No. 5 Cypress, No. 6 Fresno City College, No. 7 Santa Ana, No. 8 Columbia Basin, the No.9 Comets and No. 10 Feather River.
Ex-Comet McLeod new Padres Assistant GM
SAN DIEGO (12-3-09) -- Former Palomar pitcher Robert "Jason" McLeod is leaving the Boston Red Sox, where he has been Director of Amateur Scouting since 2004, to become the new Assistant General Manager of the San Diego Padres.
After his career at Rancho Buena Vista High School and Palomar, McLeod pitched professionally in the Houston Astros organization. He's a former Padres scout. Another ex-Comet and former minor league pitcher, Darren Balsley, is the Padres' pitching coach.
Smith 4th 2010 Comet to commit to D-I, to USD
SAN MARCOS (11-9-09) -- Right-handed pitcher Patrick Smith (left) has become the fourth 2010 Palomar College baseball player to commit early to a Division I program. Smith has selected the University of San Diego, where ex-Palomar pitching coach Tyler Kincaid is the pitching coach.
All four (the list also includes right-handed pitcher Scott Myers to Oklahoma, first baseman Alfonso Casillas to UOP and catcher B.K. Santy to Washington) are all expected to sign during the one-week early period that begins Wednesday.
Smith (above), a sophomore from Paloma Valley High School in Menifee, had a 2.00 ERA for the Comets as a freshman last spring. He had a big summer for the Wenatchee (Washington) Applesox in wood-bat ball and also was recruited, among others, by UC Irvine and Gonzaga.
Santy commits to University of Washington
SAN MARCOS (11-2-09) -- Returning starting catcher B.K. Santy has become the third baseball player from Palomar's 2010 team to make an early commitment to a Division I school.
Santy (left), heading home after a home run against Mt. SAC, selected the University of Washington.
Santy (Rancho Bernardo High) batted .291 with nine doubles, a home run and 22 RBIs last spring as a true freshman as the Comets won the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship and made it to the finals of one of two Southern California Super Regional tournaments.
That Palomar team was ranked No. 11 in the nation (No. 6 in the nation after the regular seaso) and No. 1 in Southern California and in California / Oregon / Washington.
Earlier, pitcher Scott Myers committed to the University of Oklahoma, first baseman Alfonso Casillas to the University of the Pacific.
ABOVE PHOTOS: First baseman Alfonso Casillas will move on to the University of the Pacific after the 2010 season. -- Photos by Hugh Gearhardt. BELOW LEFT: Scott Myers, a transfer who will pitch for the Comets this spring, will then transfer to the University of Oklahoma.
Myers commits to Oklahoma, Casillas to UOP
SAN MARCOS (10-19-09) -- Palomar baseball players Alfonso Casillas and Scott Myers have made early commitments to the University of the Pacific and the University of Oklahoma, respectively, for the 2011 season.
Casillas, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound sophomore first baseman from Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, led Palomar with a .442 average during the 2009 season, when the 36-13-1 Comets won the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship, advanced to the Super Regional finals and were ranked No. 11 in the nation.
Casillas finished with 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 35 RBIs as a freshman and was a first-team all-conference selection, a first-team CCCAA all-state pick, and a first-team community college All-American.
Myers, a 5-foot-8, 160-pound right-handed pitcher, is a transfer from Saddleback College where he was 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings as a freshman last season. He was an All-CIF Southern Section Division III selection two years ago at Beckman High School in Irvine, where he was 7-3 with six complete games, a 1.51 ERA and 82 strikeouts as a senior.
Myers transferred to Beckman High at the semester of his senior year from New Jersey when his father was transferred to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Also, right-handed pitcher Aaron Edwards (1-0 with two saves and a 3.04 ERA for the Comets last spring) has accepted a scholarship to NAIA power Culver-Stockton College and will transfer there in January.
All-time Comet great added to Palomar staff
SAN MARCOS (9-21-09) -- Troy Afenir, who came out of Palomar to play catcher in the Major Leagues with the Houston Astros, Oakland A's and Cincinnati Reds, has joined coach Buck Taylor's Palomar coaching staff as bullpen coach.
Afenir broke into MLB on Sept. 21, 1987 with the Astros and played his final Major League game for the Reds on July 10, 1992. An outstanding defensive catcher, he made only one error in 192 chances in limited action in the Major Leagues and had a .992 career fielding percentage.
He was one of four brothers who played baseball for the Comets and then went on to play either NCAA Division I baseball, professional baseball or both. Older brother Steve Afenir, an outfielder for the Comets and now head coach at Escondido High School, was Troy Afenir's teammate on Palomar's 1982 team and went on to play for the University of Wyoming. Younger brother Ricky Afenir, father of current Palomar freshman infielder Tye Afenir, played third base for the Comets and for BYU. Younger brother Tom Afenir caught for both Palomar and for the University of Mississippi and later played in the Cleveland Indians farm system.
Troy Afenir was the second player taken in the nation in the old Winter draft (by the Astros) in January, 1982, prior to his freshman season at Palomar. He later was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and then for a second time by the Astros, in the first round of the June 1983 supplemental draft following his sophomore season. He turned down a scholarship from Oklahoma State, his No. 1 four-year college choice, to sign a professional contract.
Afenir was a California Community College all-state selection and a community college All-American under Hall of Fame coach Bob Vetter for the Comets as a sophomore in 1983. He still ranks fourth in home runs on Palomar's all-time single-season list (13 in 1983), is tied for first on the Palomar list for home runs in conference games (10, also in 1983) and is fifth on Palomar's career home run list (16, in an injury-shortened freshman season in 1982, and his sophomore season of 1983).
Afenir is married to the former Kim Carter, who played softball at Palomar under coach Mark Eldridge. Their son, Austin, is a junior catcher at Escondido High. Afenir's nephew Buck Afenir, the son of older brother Steve, caught for the University of Kansas and is currently playing in the New York Yankees farm system.
Comets slate Fall games at USC, Angel Stadium
SAN MARCOS (9-22-09) -- Coach Buck Taylor's Palomar baseball squad will play exhibition games against the Milwaukee Brewers Scout team at USC's Deadeaux Field and vs. the Angels Elite team at Angel Stadium of Anaheim (right) to highlight its Fall exhibition schedule.
The Comets will play the Brewers Scout Team on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at USC at 6:30 p.m. and will face the Angels Elite on Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 6 p.m. at Angel Stadium. It will be the third straight Fall that Palomar will play at Angel Stadium.
Kincaid is leaving to coach pitchers at USD
SAN MARCOS (8-27-09) -- Palomar pitching coach Tyler Kincaid, whose Comets staff was among the best in the state for four straight seasons, has been hired by Division I Top-20 program University of San Diego as the Toreros' new pitching coach.
Kincaid joined head coach Buck Taylor's Palomar staff as pitching coach in 2006 after a stint as pitching coach at San Francisco State University. He's the pitching coach for the Chatham Anglers (formerly the Chatham A's) during the Cape Cod League season.
Taylor, who served as Palomar's pitching coach when the Comets placed second in the California state tournament in 2005 under now-retired head coach Bob Vetter, will coach the Comets' pitchers during the upcoming season.
Kincaid pitched on the community college level at Antelope Valley College, at San Francisco State and for one season in professional Independent baseball.
Vincent: 14 appearances, 47 days, 0 earned runs
VISALIA (8-29-09) -- Former Palomar and Long Beach State pitcher Nick Vincent's scoreless relief streak ended at 47 days on Saturday night.
But his streak of appearances without allowing an earned run reached 14 games.
The Lake Elsinore Storm right-hander threw 1 1/3 relief innings, allowing a lone, unearned run, as the San Diego Padres' Class A Advanced farm club in the California League won 9-5 on the road over the Visalia Rawhide. Vincent has now gone 16 straight innings without giving up an earned run.
Since last surrendering an earned run, back on July 11, Vincent (4-2, two saves) has lowered his ERA from 3.88 to 2.89. In 13 appearances since returning from the disabled list on July 29, he's struck out 23 batters in 15 1/3 innings, while walking one.
On the season, Vincent has struck out 70 and walked 17 in 62 1/3 innings.
Ex-Comet Hatley runs his shutout streak to nine
PEORIA, Illinois (8-19-09) -- Chicago Cubs farmhand and Palomar alumnus Marcus Hatley, pitching for the Peoria Chiefs in the Class A Midwest League, continues to be on fire since being moved from a starting role to the bullpen.
Hatley (6-6, 4.61 ERA) has struck out nine and walked one while throwing nine consecutive shutout innings in his last four appearances.
Esquibel: 3-hit shutout in 4-0 win for M's farm club
EVERETT, Washington (8-6-09) -- Right-handed pitcher Andres Esquibel (Palomar / University of Kansas) threw a three-hit shutout on Thursday as the Everett Aquasox downed the visiting Boise Hawks 4-0 in a Class A short-season Northwest League game.
Esquibel (2-1, 3.51 ERA) had a no-hitter going into the top of the fifth inning on the way to the complete-game victory.
He has 24 strikeouts and eight walks in 33 1/3 innings for the Seattle Mariners farm club.
Webb changes his mind, signs with Baltimore
SAN MARCOS (8-3-09) -- Palomar center fielder Brenden Webb, who initially accepted a scholarship offer to USC on July 19, switched gears and signed a bonus contract with the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday evening. He leaves for Sarasota, FL, to join the Orioles' Gulf Coast League team on Tuesday evening .
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Webb batted .342 (.442 the Pacific Coast Conference) with six doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 40 RBIs this past season as a freshman. He was drafted by the Orioles in June and also received scholarship offers from Oregon and Oklahoma State.
ABOVE: Reece Alnas (middle) is among the most recent 2009 Palomar baseball player to commit to the four-year college level. He leaves for NAIA national power Oklahoma Baptist later this month. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Leland Sisco
Alnas and Sisco the latest Comets to move on
SHAWNEE, Oklahoma / San Bernardino (8-5-09) -- Outfielder Reece Alnas and first baseman Leland Sisco have become the latest members of Palomar's 2009 baseball team to commit to four-year college. Alnas accepted a scholarship to NAIA power Oklahoma Baptist, will Sisco is headed to NCAA Division II Cal State San Bernardino.
The Oklahoma Baptist Bison, who have reached the NAIA World Series twice under coaching veteran Bobby Cox, went 37-17 this past season and are members of the Sooner Athletic Conference. Conference champion Lubbock Christian won the 2009 NAIA World Series. Conference runner-up Oklahoma City University, which has the winningest NAIA program in the nation over the last 10 years, finished fourth in the World Series.
Alnas, a sophomore center fielder and left fielder from Hilo, Hawaii, hit .301 for the 2009 Comets, including a .320 average during the regular season and a .436 average during an injury-curtailed Pacific Coast Conference season. He threw out four baserunners from the outfield.
One of the fastest players on the Palomar team, he was an all-league selection in four sports at Kamehameha High School in Kea'au -- baseball, football, basketball and track & field (as a long jumper and high jumper).
Cal State San Bernardino was 23-23 during the 2009 season. The Coyotes are members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. CCAA champion UC San Diego advanced to the NCAA D-II semifinals.
Sisco batted .311 with nine doubles, four home runs, 35 RBIs and a .470 slugging percentage for the 2009 Comets. He prepped at Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore and was a transfer from Riverside Community College.
Palomar center fielder Webb selects Trojans
LOS ANGELES (7-20-09) -- Palomar baseball center fielder Brenden Webb has accepted a scholarship to the University of Southern California.
Webb, who played high school baseball at Rancho Bernardo High School and Mt. Carmel High, batted .342 with six doubles, two triples, eight home runs and 40 RBIs this past season as a freshman. He helped lead the Comets to a Pacific Coast Conference championship, No. 1 Southern California ranking and No. 6 ranking nationally at the end of the regular season.
He burst on the scene under coach Buck Taylor during the 2009 season after being virtually unnoticed by Division I schools and pro scouts coming out of high school.
Webb had his choice to accept the USC scholarship offer, accept a scholarship to Oklahoma State, accept a scholarship to the University of Oregon, sign with the Baltimore Orioles (who drafted him in June), or return to Palomar for his sophomore season.
The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder, who possesses speed, power and an outstanding arm, hit .442 in Pacific Coast Conference games.
Palomar reliever Patrick Smith delivers a pitch for the Wenatchee Apple Sox in the West Coast League. He has a 6-1 win-loss record.-- Photo by Kelly Gillin / The Wenatchee World
Smith (6-1, 1.93 ERA) shutout streak at 11 1/3
WENATCHEE, Washington (7-16-09) -- Palomar right-handed pitcher Patrick Smith ran his consecutive scoreless-innings streak for the Wenatchee Apple Sox summer wood-bat team to 11 1/3 innings Wednesday evening.
Smith threw a no-hit, no-run eighth inning out of the bullpen, striking out two, to pick up his sixth win in a 3-2 victory over the Portland (Oregon) Dukes at Paul Thomas Field on the campus of Wenatchee Valley Community College..
Last week, Smith pitched three shutout relief innings, allowing two hits, to record the victory in a 2-1 win over the Bend (Oregon) Elks. He then threw 5 1/3 no-run, one-hit innings against the Corvallis (Oregon) Knights. Corvallis is ranked No. 3 nationally among college summer wood-bat teams by PG Crosschecker.com of Des Moines, Iowa.
He began the streak with two scoreless innings to cap a three-inning appearance against the Kelowna (British Columbia) Falcons on July 3.
For the summer, Smith is 6-1 for the West Coast League East Division-leading Apple Sox. He owns a 1.93 ERA, with 23 strikeouts and six walks over 32 2/3 innings.
The Apple Sox were ranked No. 21 in the nation by PG Crosschecker.com last week.
Smith will be a sophomore for the Comets during the 2010 season. He compiled a 2.00 ERA as a freshman for the 2009 season.
Saladino, Edelbrock, Shore garner ABCA honors
MT. PLEASANT, Michigan (7-2-09) -- Palomar shortstop Tyler Saladino and relief pitcher Casey Edelbrock both have been selected to the American Baseball Coaches Association 2009 Pacific Association Division All-American first team.
Right-handed pitcher Bobby Shore was named to the second team.
The ABCA Pacific Association is made up of community colleges in Southern California, Northern California, Oregon and Washington -- the regions that are not affiliated with the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Saladino, Edelbrock and Shore previously were named to the CCCBA All-American and All-California first teams.
Saladino, selected by the Houston Astros in the 2009 draft, will play for Oral Roberts University. Edelbrock will pitch for Chico State. Shore, drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, will pitch for the University of Oklahoma.
ABOVE, FROM LEFT: Nick Vincent of the Lake Elsinore Storm, Jeff Ibarra of the Eugene Emeralds, Andres Esquibel of the Clinton Lumberkings, Marcus Hatley of the Peoria Chiefs. BELOW LEFT: Lyndon Poole of the Tucson Toros.
Ex-Comets: Successful seasons in the minors
LAKE ELSINORE / Other Locations (7-10-09) -- Palomar's alums in minor league baseball are still enjoying standout seasons.
Right-handed pitcher Nick Vincent, in his second season in the San Diego Padres organization, continues to lead the Class A Advanced California League in appearances, with 42.
Vincent pitched two scoreless innings in relief on Wednesday evening vs. the Inland Empire 66ers. Vincent is 2-2 with two saves, a 3.86 ERA, and 45 strikeouts and 12 walks in 44 1/3 innings pitched.
Left-handed pitcher Jeff Ibarra, another Padres farm-hand, is 0-0 with a 2.70 ERA, five strikeouts and one walk in 10 innings for the Eugene (Oregon) Emeralds in the Class A Short-Season Northwest League. He also threw two shutout relief innings on Wednesday, against the Boise Hawks when he allowed one hit.
Seattle Mariners property and right-handed pitcher Andres Esquibel is back with the Clinton (Iowa) Lumberkings ln the Class A Midwest League, the team with which he began the season. On Thursday, Esquibel pitched four shutout innings against the Dayton Dragons. On the season, he's 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA for teams in Triple A, Class A and Rookie Classification.
Right-handed pitcher Marcus Hatley is 5-5 with a 4.46 ERA for the Chicago Cubs' Peoria Chiefs farm club, also in the Midwest League.
Shortstop / second baseman Jeff Tezak is hitting .375 in the first 14 games of the season for the Chicago White Sox' Great Falls Voyagers in the Rookie Classification Pioneer League. Tezak, a switch-hitter, is destroying left-handed pitching with a .429 average.
Vincent played four-year college baseball at Long Beach State, Ibarra t Lee University, Esquibel at the University of Kansas and Tezak at the University of Nebraska. Hatley was drafted and signed by the Cubs out of Palomar.
In Independent minor league baseball, Skip Adams of the Tucson Toros has been named to start at second base for the South Division in the Golden League All-Star Game on July 14 at St. George, Utah. Adams in hitting .352 for the Toros with nine doubles, two triples, six home runs and 29 RBIs.
Centerfielder Lyndon Poole is hitting .412 for the Toros, and Dylan Parzyk is a catcher for the Toros.
Third baseman Jeff Nettles is hitting .292 with 12 doubles, six home runs and 40 RBIs for the Somerset (Massachusetts) Patriots in the Atlantic League.
Second baseman Joe Ramos is batting .322 with six doubles, four home runs and 35 RBIs for the Kalamazoo (Michigan) Kings in the Frontier League.
Also in the Frontier League, Scott Robinson is hitting .264 with eight doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 36 RBIs for the River City Rascals.
Right-handed pitcher Keith Noe is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA and 13 strikeouts and seven walks in 13 innings for the Brocton (Massachesetts) Rox in the CanAm League.
Also in the CanAm League, Zane Chavez is hitting l286 as a back-up catcher for the American Avengers of New Hampshire.
Esquibel tosses perfect inning in his Triple-A debut
YUMA, Arizona (6-30-09) -- Palomar alumnus Andres Esquibel was perfect in his Triple-A debut on Tuesday.
Esquibel, called up from Class A on temporary assignment to replace the injured Gaby Hernandez, pitched a 1-2-3 inning for the Seattle Mariners' Tacoma Rainers farm club in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.
Esquibel, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound right-hander drafted by the Mariners in 2008 out of the University of Kansas, retired the Reno Aces 1-2-3 in the ninth inning. The Mariners promoted Esquibel when they placed Hernandez on the seven-day disabled list.
Webb in Northwoods League, mulls his future
MANKATO, Minnesota / Other Locations (6-30-09) -- Palomar's Brenden Webb, a 2009 first-team All-American center fielder as a freshman, is batting .333 in the Northwoods League this summer -- and mulling his future.
The 6-foot-4, 180-pounder, who both bats and throws from the left side, is playing for the Mankato MoonDogs.
Webb has scholarship offers on the table from USC and Oklahoma State, and a healthy bonus offer on the table from the Baltimore Orioles, who selected him in the 2009 draft. He has turned down a scholarship offer from the University of Oregon -- and also could return to Palomar for his sophomore season.
Webb drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to help the Moondogs clinch the first-half title in the college wood-bat summer league on Monday with a 6-3 win on the road over the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Express. He went 2-for-3 with a triple on Sunday in an 8-7 win over the Alexandria (Minnesota) Beetles.
Also among the contingent of Comets playing summer wood-bat ball, first-team All-American Tyler Saladino (who has signed with Oral Roberts University and was drafted by the Astros) is hitting .313 while helping lead the Palm Springs Power of the Southern California Baseball Association to 19 wins in its first 24 games. He has seven hits in his last four games -- 2-for 5 with an RBI vs. the MLB Academy Barons of Compton; a triple in a 6-5 win over the MLB Academy; 2-for-3 with a triple, three walks and four runs scored in a 19-0 victory over the Orange County Pioneers; and 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 5-0 win over the Pioneers.
Returning right-handed pitcher Patrick Smith is 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA for the Wenatchee (Washington) Applesox of the West Coast League.
Returning right-handed pitcher Travis Strong is 1-0 with three saves and a 3.00 ERA for the San Diego Mavericks.
Right-handed pitcher Brock Bracamontes has struck out 11 batters in 16 innings for the Folsom Pioneers of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League.
First baseman Alfonso Casillas, middle infielder Terrence Buchanan, first-team All-American right-handed pitcher Casey Edlebrock and right-handed pitcher Aaron Edwards all are playing for the San Diego Waves. Casillas, a first-team All-American, and Buchanan both will return next season. Edelbrock, who has signed with Chico State, and Edwards both were sophomores for the Comets.
CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: Palomar freshman center fielder Brenden Webb, selected by the Orioles. -- Photo by Rob Bacon; former Comet Jeff Ibarra (left-handed pitcher, Lee University, Padres); sophomore Tyler Saladino (shortstop, Astros); Bobby Shore (right-handed pitcher, Orioles); former Comet Jeff Tezak, (second baseman, University of Nebraska, White Sox).
Five current, former Comets selected in draft
SAN MARCOS (6-10-09) -- Five Palomar College baseball products were selected in the three-day 2009 Draft that was conducted Tuesday through Thursday.
2009 Comets Brenden Webb (center fielder, 30th round, Orioles), Tyler Saladino (shortstop, 36th round, Astros) and Bobby Shore (right-handed pitcher, 40th round, Orioles) were joined by a pair of former Comets -- Jeff Ibarra (left-handed pitcher, 23rd round, Padres) of Lee University and Jeff Tezak (infielder, 24th round, White Sox) of the University of Nebraska.
Saladino (Oral Roberts University) and Shore (University of Oklahoma), a pair of community college All-Americans, previously signed NCAA Division I letters of intent.
Edelbrock 10th Comet to commit, picks Chico St.
CHICO (6-13-09) -- Palomar right-handed pitcher Casey Edelbrock has become the 10th Comet baseball sophomore to commit to a four-year college, selecting Chico State University.
Edelbrock was 3-3 with a 2.29 ERA and 10 saves for the Pacific Coast Conference champion Comets.
His save total broke the Palomar single-season record.
Edelbrock, a 6-foot-3, 175-pounder, is a product of Poway High School.
After No. 6 regular-season rank, PC ends at 11
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (6-3-09) -- After a No. 6 finish in the regular season in the PG Crosschecker.com national community baseball rankings, Palomar wound up being ranked No. 11.
NJCAA (non-California, Oregon and Washington) Division I champion Howard County of Texas (63-1) and CCCAA California state champion Orange Coast (37-14), a team Palomar shut out 2-0 late in the regular season, wound up being ranked 1-2 in the nation.
Rounding out the Top 11: No. 3 San Jacinto (Texas), No. 4 Western Nevada, No. 5 Spartanburg Methodist (South Carolina), No. 6 Santa Fe (Florida), No. 7 Cowley County (Kansas), No. 8 Central Arizona, No. 9 Shelton State (Alabama), No. 10 Santa Ana and the No. 11 Comets, who finished 36-13.
Strom, Ferguson both commit; List reaches nine
LOS ANGELES / SAN MARCOS (6-6-09) -- Left-handed pitcher Matt Strom (left)and infielder Mitch Ferguson (right) both have committed to four-year colleges, bringing the list of Palomar baseball players moving on to the next level to nine.
Strom committed to NCAA Division II Cal State University Los Angeles. Ferguson committed to the NAIA's Cal State San Marcos.
Strom, a sophomore from Temecula Valley High School, was 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA as the Comets went 36-13, won the Pacific Coast Conference championship, were ranked No. 6 in the nation at the end of the regular season and No. 11 at the conclusion of the season and reached the championship game of one of two Southern California Super Regionals.
Strom struck out 54 batters in 65 innings. He also was recruited by Concordia University of Irvine.
Ferguson hit .324 with six doubles and 14 RBIs as a part-time starter for the Comets at second base. He also was recruited by Dakota Athletic Conference tournament champion and two-time recent NAIA World Series qualifier Jamestown College of North Dakota.
Cal State Los Angeles was 32-17 during the 2009 season and plays in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. Cal State San Marcos, which plays an independent schedule, went 27-16 and reached the finals of the NAIA West Grouping Tournament. The NAIA West Grouping is made up of nine West Coast teams that are not affiliated with official conferences.
LEFT: Chico State junior first baseman and former Comet Kevin Seaver made one error in 335 chances during the 2009 season and was a Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association Gold Glove winner. He also broke the Wildcats' all-time single-season hitting record with a .442 average. RIGHT: San Diego State second baseman Mitch Blackburn.
Blackburn stars for SDSU; Seaver breaks mark
IRVINE / CHICO (5-30-09) -- Palomar baseball alum Mitch Blackburn (right) went 2-for-4 with a double Saturday as San Diego State remained alive at the Irvine Regional, eliminating defending College World Series champion Fresno State 4-1.
On Friday, Blackburn also came up big but the Aztecs lost 5-1 to the University of Virginia to begin NCAA Division I regional play. Blackburn, SDSU's starting second baseman all season long as a junior, went 2-for-4 as he accounted for one-third of the Aztecs' six-hit offensive output against the Cavaliers.
The Aztecs saw their season end Sunday when they lost to No. 1-ranked UC Irvine 14-3 in an elimination game. Blackburn had a single.
Blackburn hit .312 during his junior season for the Aztecs with 12 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 24 RBIs. SDSU finished 41-23.
Meanwhile, former Comet Kevin Seaver broke Chico State's all-time hitting (.442) and slugging percentage (.600) records and was a Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association National Gold Glove winner as the Wildcats' first baseman. The junior made one error in 335 chances and, in two seasons, has made one error in 550 chances.
Among other Palomar baseball alumni:
Nick Vincent, Lake Elsinore Storm -- The right-handed reliever, who signed with the Padres after being selected in the 18th round of the 2008 draft out of Long Beach State, is 1-0 with two saves and a 2.05 ERA in a team-high 25 appearances for the Storm.
He threw a shutout eighth inning in relief on Sunday, striking out a batter, as the Storm defeated the Rancho cucamonga Quakes 7-2.
Vincent has struck out 24 batters and walked six in 26 1/3 innings. The Storm will play the Quakes, the Angels' High-A team, at Petco Park on Wednesday, Feb. 3, prior to the Padres' 7:05 p.m. game with the Phillies.
Marcus Hatley, Peoria Chiefs -- The 6-foot-5, 190-pound right-handed pitcher is 3-3 with a 5.27 ERA for the Chicago Cubs' Class A team.
Hatley has struck out 29 batters in 54 innings.
Hatley has made appeared in 10 games for the Chiefs with nine starts.
Andres Esquibel, Clinton Lumberkings -- The right-handed reliever, who went on to the University of Kansas, is pitching in the Midwest League, the same as Hatley. Esquibel has appeared in four games for the Lumberkings, a Seattle Mariners Class A farm club.
Kurt Wideman, UOP -- Wideman, the Tigers' starting catcher, made the All Big West Conference second team. He hit .358 with 24 doubles, two triples, five home runs and 41RBIs.
Ricky Imperiali, Centenary -- Imperiali, the Gents' starting shortstop, made the All-Summit League second team, hitting .325 with 19 doubles, a triple, two home runs and 35 RBIs. Centenary went 33-19 and advanced to the finals of the Summit League tournament at Tulsa, Okla., where the Gents lost to South Dakota State 7-3 in 10 innings.
Tim Deering, Centenary -- Deering, the Gents' starter at second base, hit .290 with 11 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 30 RBIs. He had three hits, including a double, vs. South Daklota State in the Summit League championship game.
Jeff Tezak, Nebraska -- Tezak, the Huskers' starting second baseman, was Nebraska's third-leading hitter. He batted .315 with nine doubles, a triple, two home runs and 25 RBIs. He made only four errors all season.
Jason Laws, Murray State -- Laws was Murray State's second-leading hitter (.373, 10 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 29 RBIs). He made the All-Ohio Valley Conference first team as the starting catcher for a team that went 34-21-1.
Kellen Lee, UC San Diego -- Lee started all season long at catcher for the Tritons, who went 41-15, were ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division II at the end of the regular season and advanced to the semifinals of the Division II World Series at Cary, NC, where they lost to eventual national champion Emporia State 5-3. Lee went 1-for-4 with a double in that game.
Jeff Ibarra, Lee University -- The senior left-handed reliever was 4-1 with a 3.34 ERA for the Flames, who placed third in the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, IDS, going 53-14. Ibarra struck out 30 and walked 15 in 34 innings.
Kegan Sharp, San Diego State -- The junior right-handed pitcher is 3-1 with a 5.16 ERA over 22 2/3 innings coming out of the bullpen for the Aztecs.
Guy Willeford, San Diego State -- The junior back-up first-baseman is batting .320 with a home run for 25 at-bats.
James McLaughlin, San Diego State -- The senior right-handed pitcher is 2-1 for the Aztecs with a 3.42 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 26 1/3 innings.
Cameron Aspaas, Abilene Christian -- The junior right-handed pitcher is 7-2 with a 4.71 ERA as the Wildcats went 44-19.
Joe Cates, Culver-Stockton -- The junior right-handed pitcher was 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA for Culver-Stockton, an NAIA school which was 33-22.
Brian Joyce, Sonoma State -- Was a back-up position player, starting two games for a 35-16 team.
Eric Rodriguez, Cal State Los Angeles -- Played in 12 games and started one for the Eagles, who finished the season 32-17
Zane Chavez, Lindenwood University -- The senior catcher, who originally received a scholarship to Indiana State out of Palomar, batted .431.with 12 doubles, a triple, nine home runs and 46 RBIs for a team that went 45-12 in the NAIA.
Scott Clemente and Jose Hernandez, Cal State San Marcos -- Played for the Cougars, an NAIA Indenpendent team.
Andrew Jenkins and James Borges, University of Sioux Falls -- Played for the Cougars, who finished 16-28.
4 Palomar players are All-American selections
FRESNO (5-23-09) -- Four Palomar College baseball players were named to the Community College All-American and all-state first teams on Saturday:
The All-State team is selected by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association and All-Americans are named by the CCCBCA and the National Junior College Athletic Association Baseball Coaches Association.
The announcements were made at the California Community College Athletic Association's State Final Four at Fresno City College.
ABOVE: Palomar shortstop Tyler Saladino (7) shattered Palomar's record for single-season batting average in conference games, hitting .616. -- Photo by Rick Rowell. VIEW ALL PHOTOS AND ORDER PRINTS (password: cometball).
Saladino, Edelbrock, Shore set records in 2009
SAN MARCOS (5-19-09) -- Palomar, which set a school record with 36 wins during the 2009 baseball season, also made a significant impact on the school's records list all-time bests list.
Tyler Saladino, the Comets' sophomore shortstop and Pacific Coast Conference Player of the Year who is headed to Oral Roberts University, destroyed the school record for single-season batting average.
Saladino hit .616, 133 points better than the old mark of .483 set by Erich Kemp in 2004. Kemp went on to start for two seasons for the University of Utah.
Saladino also set Palomar records for runs scored in a season (58) and career (95) and tied the mark for runs scored in conference games (37).
Casey Edelbrock, the Comets' sophomore right-handed closer, broke the Palomar single-season saves record with 10, a figure that also tied the school career mark.
And Bobby Shore, the club's sophomore right-hander who will pitch for the University of Oklahoma, tied the Palomar conference win-loss percentage record at 1.000 (5-0).
ABOVE: B.K. Santy scores for Palomar during a five-run eighth inning. BELOW LEFT: Second baseman Terrence Buchanan tags out the Piazzissi as catcher B.K. Santy throws him out trying to steal in the third inning. -- Photos by Rick Rowell. VIEW ALL PHOTOS AND ORDER PRINTS (password: cometball)
Palomar battles back but falls in championship
SAN MARCOS (5-17-09) -- An almost magical comeback by nationally No. 6-ranked Palomar fell just short on Sunday as No. 10-ranked Santa Ana held on for a 10-7 win and a trip to next weekend's CCCAA State Final Four in Fresno.
The Comets, trailing 8-2 in the championship game of the Palomar Super Regional at Myers Field, scored five runs in the eighth inning, closing the Dons' lead to 8-7, before Brian Peacock, Santa Ana's third pitcher of the afternoon, finally closed out the rally.
Palomar, which saw its season ended a week early at 36-13-1, left runners stranded at second and third, and Santa Ana, the home team on the Comets' field, added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the inning.
Alfonso Casillas doubled to lead off the inning and, with two out, Matt Hubbard walked, B.K. Santy drove in a run with a single and Terrence Buchanan walked, loading the bases for pinch-hitter Leland Sisco.
Sisco came through with a two-run double and, after Reece Alnas walked, Pacific Coast Conference Player of the Year Tyler Saladino closed to gap to one run with a two-run single to right.
But that was as close as Palomar would get as the Dons advanced to 37-11.
For the Comets, Saladino went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Santy was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Casillas was 2-for-4 with the double, and Hubbard also went 2-for-4.
Palomar's 36 wins set a school record for victories.
Strom, Comets remain alive in Super Regionals
SAN MARCOS (5-16-09) -- Matt Strom (left) kept Palomar alive in one of two Southern California Super Regionals at Myers Field on Saturday afternoon, throwing 6 2/3 strong innings to beat Long Beach City College 7-3.
The Comets need to beat Santa Ana, the lone undefeated team in the three-day, double-elimination tournament, twice today, beginning at noon, to win the Super Regional and advance to next week's CCCAA State Final Four in Fresno.
Brenden Webb (right) hit a monster two-run home run, estimated at 450 feet, over the tennis courts behind the rightfield fence in the seventh inning as the Comets (36-12-1) eliminated the Vikings.
Earlier in the day, Santa Ana knocked off Palomar 7-4 to remain unbeaten in the three-day, double-elimination tournament and, in a game at San Diego Mesa, Long Beach eliminated Mt. SAC 2-1.
In the Palomar-Long Beach game, Strom (4-1) scattered six hits, struck out four while walking only one and surrendered only two runs on a home run by the Vikings' Brian Loard in the fourth inning.
The sophomore left-hander was helped along by spectacular defensive plays by second baseman Terrence Buchanan, and Webb in center field.
Buchanan, who also went 2-for-3 at the plate, leaped high in the air to barely catch a screaming line drive off the bat of Long Beach's Cory Buckheim with with runners at first and second going and two outs in the sixth inning.
Webb went all the way up the bank in straight-away center field catch Jonathan Keener's long blast and rob him of at least a double in the seventh.
LBCC center fielder Michael Schultz duplicated the play in the eighth to rob Webb of an extra base-hit.
Buchanan also singled on a suicide squeeze bunt to drive in a run, in the fourth and stole three bases, giving him four steals in two games on the day.
Dons knock off Comets in Saturday first game
SAN MARCOS (5-16-09) -- Nationally No. 10-ranked Santa Ana knocked No. 6 Palomar into the losers' bracket of the Super Regionals in Saturday's first game at Myers Field, 7-4.
The Dons (36-11) hit three home runs as Christian Meza picked up the pitching win to advance to 11-1. Sam Jew (10-2) took his second loss of the season.
Tyler Saladino went 2-for-4 for Palomar with a double and an RBI.
ABOVE: Palomar center fielder Brenden Webb closes in on ball during 5-0 Super Regional victory over Mt. SAC. BELOW LEFT: Bobby Shore, who threw a five-hit shutout, delivers a pitch to catcher B.K. Santy. -- Photos by Hugh Gerhardt
Shore: complete-game shutout vs. Mt. SAC
SAN MARCOS (5-15-09) -- Bobby Shore, keeping Mt. SAC off-balance with a deadly four-pitch repertoire, threw a complete-game five-hit shutout on Friday as Palomar won 5-0 at Myers Field to begin the Palomar Super Regional.
Shore (11-1) stopped the Mounties on 106 pitches, striking out seven and walking none, as the Comets, seeded first in the Southern California playoffs, advanced to 35-11-1. The victory breaks the Palomar record for wins in a season, set by the 2005 state runner-up team (34-11)
Palomar will face Santa Ana, a 6-0 winner over Long Beach City College in the winners' bracket of the three-day, double-elimination tournament on Saturday at noon at Myers Field. Mt. SAC (30-17) plays Long Beach in an elimination game at 11 a.m. at San Diego Mesa. The Palomar-Santa Ana loser will play the Mt. SAC-Long Beach winner in another elimination game at Palomar at 4 p.m.
Shore's teammates supported him with a 13-hit attack, led by multiple-hit performances by Matt Carvutto (2-for-4, double, two RBIs), Tyler Saladino (2-for-4, double, RBI), B.K. Santy (2-for-4, RBI) and Brenden Webb (2-for-4).
The Comets jumped on top of the Mounties1-0 in the bottom of the first on Leland Sisco's one-out double and Saladino's run-scoring single up the middle.
Palomar then struck for four more runs on five hits in the second inning after Mt. SAC starter Shane Youngdale had retired the first two batters. Alfonso Casillas and Webb singled back-to-back, Carvutto followed with a two-run double to center, Matt Hubbard blooped a double just inside the rightfield line to drive in a run and Santy put an exclamation point at the end of the rally with an RBI single to center.
Meanwhile, the University of Oklahoma-bound Shore didn't allow a Mt. SAC runner to advanced past second base.
Palomar moves up to No. 6 in national rankings
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (5-15-09) -- Palomar has moved to No. 6 in the PG Crosschecker national community college baseball rankings as the Comets prepare to host a four-team Southern California Super Regional today (Friday) through Sunday.
Howard (Texas) Community College, which is 58-1, is ranked No. 1. Ohlone is the top-ranked California team at No. 3. Palomar is one spot back of Central Arizona and one spot ahead of No. 7 Orange Coast. Santa Ana, which plays in the Palomar Super Regional, is No. 10.
Buck Taylor (above left) has coached the Comets to a 34-1 record entering the Super Regionals.
Carvutto commits to University of the Pacific
SAN MARCOS (5-13-09) -- Sophomore right fielder Matt Carvutto has become the seventh 2009 Palomar baseball player to commit to and / or sign with a four-year college program.
Carvutto committed to the University of the Pacific of the Big West Conference on Tuesday.
Carvutto, a first-team All-Pacific Coast Conference selection, is batting .364 with nine doubles, three home runs and a team-leading 41 RBIs entering the Palomar Super Regional this Friday through Sunday at Myers Field.
Comets who previously signed or verbally committed are right-handed pitcher Bobby Shore (University of Oklahoma), right -handed pitcher Sam Jew (Arkansas State), shortstop Tyler Saladino (Oral Roberts), left-handed pitcher Shawn Sanford (San Diego State), third baseman Matt Hubbard (UC San Diego) and outfielder Anthony Renteria (UC San Diego).
ABOVE: Nebraska second baseman, Academic All-American candidate and Palomar alum Jeff Tezak heads home after grand-slam home run. -- University of Nebraska photo. BELOW LEFT: Padres' High Class A pitcher Nick Vincent of the Lake Elsinore Storm. BELOW RIGHT: Kurt Wideman of the University of the Pacific, who went 6-for-12 against No. 1-ranked UC Irvine over the weekend and leads the Big West Conference in doubles.
Ex-Comets come up big; Vincent 0 runs in May
SAN MARCOS (5-12-09) -- Palomar baseball alums continue to come up big on the four-year college and professional levels:
Nick Vincent, Lake Elsinore Storm -- The right-handed reliever, who signed with the Padres after being selected in the 18th round of the 2008 draft out of Long Beach State, has yet to give up a run in five appearances in May.
Vincent is 1-0 on the season with two saves and a 3.06 earned run average. He's struck out 14 batters in 17 2/3 innings and, in his most recent performance on Saturday, struck out the only two batters he faced vs. High Desert.
Kurt Wideman, UOP -- Wideman is batting .345 for the Tigers with 21 doubles to lead the Big West Conference, two triples, four home runs and 31 RBIs with seven games left.
Wideman, who is UOP's starting catcher, went 6-for-12 in a weekend series with nationally No. 1-ranked UC Irvine. He went 3-for-4 Friday with a double and two RBIs. On Saturday, he was 2-for-4. Then, on Sunday, he went 1-for-4 with a double. The Tigers (18-28) were swept by the Anteaters.
Mitch Blackburn, San Diego State -- Blackburn, a junior, has been the Aztecs' starter at second all season long and is batting .313 with seven doubles, three triples, two home runs and 28 RBIs. On Monday, he went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a sacrifice as SDSU closed the regular season with a 12-4 win over the University of San Francisco. On Sunday, he'd gone 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a steal in their Mountain West Conference finale, a 12-2 victory over Air Force. The Aztecs finished the regular season 35-18.
Jeff Tezak, Nebraska -- Tezak is the Huskers' third-leading hitter with a .313 average. He has seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and 26 RBIs, a slugging percentage of .404, and only 15 strikeouts in 171 at-bats. The senior has made only three errors all season at second base. He was just named to the ESPN The Magazine's All-District VII Academic Team. Tezak, who carries a 3.55 GPA in political science, is in his first semester of graduate school after graduating in December of 2008. He now advances to the national ballot in hopes of earning Academic All-America honors.
Kevin Seaver, Chico State -- Seaver, who has been named to the All-California Collegiate Athletic Association second team, leads the Wildcats with a .442 batting average and owns a .600 slugging percentage as their starting first baseman. He has 10 doubles, two triples and 29 RBIs. The Div. II Wildcats are 35-21.
James McLaughlin, San Diego State -- The senior right-handed pitcher is 3-1 with a 3.28 ERA for the Aztecs. He's struck out 23 and walked 11 in 23 2/3 innings.
Jason Laws, Murray State -- Laws is hitting .371 for the Division I Racers, who are 30-17-1, starting 35 games at catcher. He has eight doubles, three triples, two home runs and a .545 slugging percentage.
Ricky Imperiali, Centenary -- Imperiali is hitting .348 starting all 42 games in his second Division I season for the 31-11 Gents. He has 16 doubles, a triple, two home runs and 30 RBIs.
Tim Deering, Centenary -- Batting .310 with 10 doubles, two triples, a home run and 24 RBIs as the Gents' starting second baseman.
Marcus Hatley, Peoria -- The 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher is 2-1 with a 5.04 ERA for the Chicago Cubs' Class A team.
Cameron Aspaas, Abilene Christian -- The junior right-handed pitcher is 7-2 with a 4.81 ERA appearing in 14 games and starting 13 for Wildcats, who are ranked No. 9 in Division II.
Kegan Sharp, San Diego State -- The junior right-handed pitcher is 2-1 with a 4.58 ERA coming out of the bullpen.
Guy Willeford, San Diego State -- The junior back-up first-baseman is batting .300 with a home run playing in 12 games for the Aztecs.
Kellen Lee, UC San Diego -- Batting .246 with 11 home runs and 20 RBIs playing in 44 games and starting 38 as a catcher for the nation's No. 2-ranked Division II team. Also has a .542 slugging percentage for the Tritons, who are 36-12.
Jeff Ibarra, Lee University -- The senior left-handed reliever is 4-1 with a 3.34 ERA for the Flames, who are ranked No. 10 in the nation in the NAIA. Has struck out 25 batters in 29 2/3 innings. Lee is 47-12.
Joe Cates, Culver-Stockton -- The junior right-handed pitcher is 2-0 with a 4.09 ERA for Culver-Stockton, an NAIA school which is 33-22.
Brian Joyce, Sonoma State -- Is a back-up position player, starting two games for a 32-14 team.
Eric Rodriguez, Cal State Los Angeles -- Played in 12 games and started one for the Eagles, who finished the season 32-17.
Zane Chavez, Lindenwood University -- The senior catcher, who originally received a scholarship to Indiana State out of Palomar, is hitting.434 with 11 doubles, a triple, nine home runs and 45 RBIs for a team that is 44-11 and ranked No .20 in the nation in NAIA.
Andrew Jenkins and James Borges, University of Sioux Falls -- Played for the Cougars, who finished 16-28.
First baseman Alfonso Casillas will help lead the Comets into this weekend's Super Regional at Myers Field. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt
Comets will host Mt. SAC in Super Regional
SAN MARCOS (5-9-09) -- Palomar (34-11-1) will play Mt. SAC (30-16) this upcoming Friday, May 15, an noon to begin the Palomar Super Regional at Myers Field.
The 4 p.m. game will match Santa Ana (34-11) vs. Long Beach City College (29-15)
The tournament runs through Sunday.
Orange Coast, Cypress, Mt. San Jacinto and Saddleback will play in the Orange Coast Super Regional.
The Northern California Super Regionals will be played at Ohlone College in Freemont and Feather River College in Quincy.
Conference tabs Shore as Athlete of the Week
SAN DIEGO (5-11-09) -- Palomar pitcher Shore has been selected as Men's Athlete of the Week for all sports by the Pacific Coast Conference.
Shore, a sophomore right-hander from Oceanside High School who has signed with the University of Oklahoma, threw six innings of four-hit, two-run ball as the Comets opened a first-round Southern California playoff series sweep[ of visiting Citrus with a 10-2 victory over the Owls.
He retired the first 12 Citrus batters and wound up striking out seven batters as he improved to 10-1 on the season.
Jew gets 10th victory as Comets sweep series
SAN MARCOS (5-9-09) -- Sam Jew pitched seven innings of five-hit ball on Saturday, giving up one run, to advance to 10-1 as Palomar eliminated Citrus from the Southern California Community College Baseball Regionals 5-2.
The Comets swept their best-of-three series from the Owls two games to zero and will host a four-team Super Regional nesxt Friday through Sunday. If Palomar wins the Super Regional, it will move on to the CCCAA State Final Four on Memorial Day weekend at Fresno City College.
Jew struck out four Citrus batters and walked none as the Comets moved to 34-11-1 on the season and the Owls finished the year 25-18. Shawn Sanford pitched the eighth inning and faced one batter in the ninth in relief of Jew, and closer Casey Edelbrock came on in a non-save situation with one on and none out in the ninth to close out the game.
The Comets jumped out 3-0 in the top of the first (Citrus was the home team for Game 2 of the series).
Martinez led off the game with a single through the left side, and Leland Sisco bunted him to second. Tyler Saladino was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Casillas doubled to left, driving in Martinez, and Brenden Webb followed with a two-run single up the middle, scoring Saladino and Casillas.
ABOVE: Palomar's B.K. Santy drives a two-run single to left field in the seventh inning.-- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Pitcher Bobby Shore, who advanced to 10-1.
Santy's double breaks it open; Shore wins 10th
SAN MARCOS (5-8-09) -- Bobby Shore retired Citrus' first 12 batters and his Palomar teammates banged out 13 hits as the Comets' opened the baseball post-season by pounding the Owls 10-2 on Thursday on Myers Field.
The University of Oklahoma-bound Shore allowed two runs on four hits over six innings, striking out seven, to record his 10th victory compared with two losses.
B.K. Santy's two run double to left field in the bottom of the seventh broke open what had been a 4-2 game.
Matt Carvutto (2-foir-4, double, three RBIs, two runs) and Santy (2-for-5, double, two RBIs) paced the Comets' offensively. Terrence Buchanan, Leland Leland Sisco and Matt Hubbard also had two hits each.for Palomar (33-11-1).
The second game will be played on Saturday at 11 a.m. with a third game, if necessary, to follow.
ABOVE: Pacific Coast Conference Player of the Year Tyler Saladino, shown sliding safely into second base. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: PCC Coach of the Year Buck Taylor
Saladino Player of Year; Taylor Coach of Year
SAN DIEGO (5-6-09) -- Palomar sophomore shortstop Tyler Saladino was selected as Pacific Coast Conference Player of the Year by conferences coaches on Monday.
Saladino also was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.
Buck Taylor, who guided the Comets' to the PCC championship and the No. 1 seed in the Southern California Regionals, was voted Coach of the Year honors by his peers.
Saladino led the PCC in hitting with a .616 average for conference games. He also was selected as the conference's Defensive Player of the Year.
The Comets landed 10 of the 22 first-team spots on the team.
Along with Saladino, Palomar's first-team picks were starting pitchers Bobby Shore and Sam Jew, reliever Casey Edelbrock, first baseman Alfonso Casillas, second baseman Terrence Buchanan, third baseman Matt Hubbard and outfielders Matt Carvutto and Brenden Webb.
The Comets had eight honorable mention picks -- designated hitter / first baseman Leland Sisco, second baseman Mitch Ferguson, outfielder Victor Martinez, catcher B.K. Santy and pitchers Aaron Edwards, Travis Strong, Sean Sanford and Matt Strom.
Jew signs with NCAA Division I Arkansas State
SAN MARCOS (5-9-09) -- Palomar sophomore right-handed pitcher Sam Jew has signed an NCAA Division I national letter of intent with Arkansas State University.
The Red Wolves play in the Sunbelt Conference.
Comets who previously signed or verbally committed are right-handed pitcher Bobby Shore (University of Oklahoma), shortstop Tyler Saladino (Oral Roberts), left-handed pitcher Shawn Sanford (San Diego State), third baseman Matt Hubbard (UC San Diego) and outfielder Anthony Renteria (UC San Diego).
Taylor is PCC Men's Coach of Year for all sports
PALM DESERT (5-4-09) -- Palomar baseball coach Buck Taylor (left) and women's golf / softball coach Mark Eldridge were voted as Pacific Coast Conference Men's Sports Coach of the Year and Women's Coach of the Year, respectively, for all sports for 2008-09 on Monday.
Balloting was conducted among PCC Athletic Directors on the first day of the joint Southern California community college conferences' spring meetings at Shadow Mountain Resort and Club.
Taylor's baseball team won the Pacific Coast Conference championship, finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the Southern Cal and West Coast polls and enters the Southern California Regionals on Friday as the No. 1 seed. Eldridge coached the Comets' women's golf team to the Foothill Conference championship and No. 3 in the state finals -- and the softball team to the PCC title.
Comets seeded 1st, will host Citrus in series
SAN MARCOS (5-5-09) -- Palomar (32-11-1) is seeded first in the 18-team Southern California Baseball Regionals and will host a best-of-three series Friday and Saturday at Myers Field against Citrus, a 21-8 play-in winner over Rio Hondo on Tuesday.
Friday's game will be played at 3 p.m. The teams will play again at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a third game (if necessary) to follow 30 minutes after the completion of the the 11 a.m. game.
If Palomar wins, it will host a four-team Super Regional on May 15-17 with the winner advancing to the CCCAA State Championship Final Four on Memorial Day weekend in Fresno.
Terrence Buchanan, who moved from second base to shortstop in the absence of the injured Tyler Saladino, fields grounder against Grossmont.. -- Photo by Mike Jones / VIEW MORE PHOTOS / ORDER PRINTS
Casillas slugs 9th, 10th HR's but PC falls in 9th
EL CAJON (4-30-09) -- The only good thing about Palomar's regular-season finale on Thursday is that the Comets will enter the baseball post-season very, very hungry.
The Griffins scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to down the Pacific Coast Conference champion Comets 8-7 at Noel Mickelsen Field.
PCC runner-up Grossmont (27-13, 18-7) enters the post-season ranked No. 9 in the Southern California poll. Conference champion Palomar (32-11-1, 19-6) go into the post-season ranked No. 1 in both Southern California and on the Pacific Coast.
Casillas hit a pair of two-run homers, in the first and third innings, while Carvutto hit a two-run shot in the eighth. But the Comets couldn't hold leads of 2-1, 4-1, 5-1 and 7-6.
The Comets finished the regular season with two losses after clinching the PCC championship on Saturday.
Comets still ranked No. 1 SoCal, West Coast polls
In the Southern California rankings, conducted by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association, Palomar received 11 first place votes and No. 2 Orange Coast the other three.
Other teams in the Top Ten are No. 3 Santa Ana, No. 4 Cuesta, No. 5 Cypress, No. 6 Long Beach City College, No. 7 Mt. San Jacinto, No. 8 College of lthe Canyons, No. 9 Grossmont and No. 10 Chaffey. Southwestern is 13th.
In the American Baseball Coaches Association California / Oregon / Washington poll, the Comets are followed by No. 2 Merced, No.3 Skagit Valley (WA), No. 4 Orange Coast, No. 5 Ohlone, No. 6 Columbia Basin (WA), No. 7 Santa Ana, No. 8 Cuesta, No. 9 Mt. Hood (OR) and No. 10 Diablo Valley.
Coach Buck Taylor talks to three base-runners (from left, Alfonso Casillas, Brenden Webb and Matt Carvutto) during a fourth-inning pitching change after the Comets had loaded the bases. Grossmont got out of the inning. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt
Comets fall three days after clinching PCC title
SAN MARCOS (4-28-09) -- Three days after clinching the outright Pacific Coast Conference baseball championship, Southern California No. 1-ranked Palomar was knocked off by second-place and No. 8-ranked Grossmont 6-3 on Tuesday at Myers Field.
No. 2-ranked Orange Coast also was upset, 7-4 by Golden West.
Palomar has one regular-season game remaining, a Thursday afternoon contest at Grossmont.
ABOVE: Left fielder Reece Alnas has an extra spring to his step after catching fly ball for the last out. BELOW LEFT: Casey Edelbrock, who broke Palomar's single-season saves record, checks runner moments before delivering final pitch. -- Photos by Hugh Gearhardt
Strom and Comets beat Jags, wrap up crown
CHULA VISTA (4-25-09) -- Southern California No. 1-ranked Palomar clinched its seventh Pacific Coast Conference championship in the last 12 years on Saturday.
The Comets wrapped up the undisputed title by beating Southwestern 4-2 behind the pitching of Matt Strom and two relievers at Myers Field.
Strom threw six innings of two-hit ball, striking out four, before leaving the game with a 4-1 lead. Travis Strong came on to pitch two one-hit, no-run innings. Then Casey Edelbrock, despite giving up a run, closed out the game in the ninth to record his 10th save of the year.
Edelbrock broke Jerry Stafford's single-season school record of nine saves, set back in 1990.
Webb (2-for-3, double, RBI, walk), Casillas (2-for-3, double, walk, two runs scored) and Martinez 2-for-3, double, run scored) had multiple hits to pace Palomar's 10-hit attack.
The Jaguars, last year's state runners-up who were ranked No. 1 in SoCal earlier in the season, are 22-12-1, 13-10. The Comets have two regular-season games remaining, both against second-place Grossmont. They play the Griffins on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Myers Field and on Thursday at the same time at Grossmont's Noel Mickelsen Field.
Comets will now try to clinch title on Saturday
CHULA VISTA (4-23-09) -- Just a matter of hours after taking over the No.1 spot in both the Southern California and West Coast baseball polls, Palomar dropped an 8-7 decision at Southwestern on Thursday.
The Comets (31-9-1, 18-4), with a chance to clinch the Pacific Coast Conference championship outright, rallied from a 7-4 deficit to tie the game in the top of the ninth on singles by Alfonso Casillas and Brenden Webb, a walk to Matt Hubbard, Mitch Ferguson's (left) pinch-hit RBI single, an error on Terrence Buchanan's RBI grounder and Anthony Renteria's (right) sacrifice fly.
But the Jaguars (27-11-1, 13-9) won the game in the bottom of the ninth on a two-out single by Edgar Molina.
Buchanan (2-for-3, double, sacrifice bunt, walk), Webb (2-for-5, double, single) and Casillas (2-for-5) had multiple hits in the loss.
Catcher B.K. Santy gunned down two runners trying to steal.
Palomar again will try to clinch the undisputed title outright when the Comets host the Jaguars at noon on Saturday. The Comets, who have already clinched at least a title tie, lead second-place Grossmont by three games with three to play.
Orange Coast, No. 2 in the SoCal poll and the previous No. 1, also was upset on Thursday, 8-6 by Golden West. Cypress, No. 3 in SoCal, was upset by Riverside Community College 7-2. Ohlone, No. 2 behind the Comets in the California / Oregon / Washington poll, was upset by Monterey Peninsula 3-2.
Palomar moves to No. 1 in SoCal, West Coast polls
SACRAMENTO (4-23-09) -- Palomar moved from No. 2 to No. 1 in the Southern California Community College baseball rankings released on Thursday morning by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association. The Comets also moved to No. 1 in the American Baseball Coaches Association Pacific Associations poll (California, Oregon, Washington).
The Comets (31-8-1) received nine first-place votes to two for No. 2-ranked Orange Coast in the SoCal poll. Rounding out the Top Ten: No. 3 Cypress, No. 4 Santa Ana, No. 5 Cuesta, No. 6 Long Beach City College, No. 7 College of the Canyons, No. 8 Grossmont, No. 9 Chaffey and Mt. SAC and Mt. San Jacinto tied for 10th.
In the ABCA poll, the Comets are followed by No. 2 Ohlone, No. 3 Skagit Valley (Washington), No. 4 Orange Coast, No. 5 Merced, No. 6 Columbia Basin (Washington), N. 7 Cypress, No. 8 Santa Ana), No. 9 Diablo Valley and No. 10 Mt. Hood (Oregon).
LEFT: Sam Jew delivers pitch on the way to his ninth victory on Tuesday. RIGHT: Tyler Saladino, who went 5-for-6, drives in a run in the second inning. -- Photos by Rob Bacon)
Jew, Saladino (5-for-6) & Comets clinch title tie
SAN MARCOS (4-21-09) -- Palomar clinched no worse than a tie for the Pacific Coast Conference championship with four games to play on Tuesday, belting visiting San Diego Mesa 16-1.
The Comets, ranked No. 9 nationally, are 31-8-1, 18-3.
Alfonso Casillas (2-for-3, double, RBI), David Ring (2-for-3, double, RBI), B.K. Santy (2-for-3, double) and Matt Hubbard (2-for-3) also had multiple hits to pace a 19-hit attack. Hayden Schrimpf had a home run, sacrifice fly and three RBIs.
Hubbard, Renteria both commit to UC San Diego
SAN MARCOS (4-22-09) -- Palomar third baseman Matt Hubbard and outfielder Anthony Renteria (left) both have committed to UC San Diego.
Previously, three Comets signed early -- pitcher Bobby Shore (University of Oklahoma), shortstop Tyler Saladino (Oral Roberts) and pitcher Shawn Sanford (San Diego State).
Palomar moves up to No. 9 in national rankings
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (4-20-09) -- The Palomar baseball team (30-8-1) has moved up to No. 9 in the nation among community colleges in the PG Crosschecker rankings which includes games played through Sunday.
Howard (Texas), which is 46-0, is ranked first, ahead of No. 2 Yavapai (Arizona), No. 3 Miami-Dale (Florida) and No.4 Ohlone, the top-ranked California team. Orange Coast is seventh.
Coach Buck Taylor's (left) Comets, who have won 12 of their last 13 games, are the third-ranked California team.
Comets rally to win in 9th; Edelbrock ties mark
And the first-place Comets took another step toward a Pacific Coast Conference championship, rallying in the top of the ninth inning to beat San Diego Mesa 7-6.
Saladino (left), who is now hitting .441 for the season and .623 in the conference, doubled, singled three times and scored three runs, including the game-winner with two out in the final inning.
Edlebrock (right) came on to pitch the bottom of the ninth and recorded his ninth save, tying the Comets' single-season mark set in 1990 by Jerry Stafford, who was the Florida Marlins' 13th-round draft pick out of San Diego State two years later and pitched in the Marlins organization.
Southern California No. 2-ranked Palomar (30-8-1, 17-3), which won for the 12th time in 13 games and leads second-place Grossmont by four games with five to play, trailed 6-4 entering the final inning.
The Comets scored three times in the inning after Reece Alnas singled, David Ring was hit by a pitch and Saladino singled to load the bases with none out. With one down, Matt Carvutto drove in Alnas with a sacrifice fly to center and Brenden Webb scored pinch runner Tyler Smith and Saladino with a single just in front of the left fielder.
Alfonso Casillas went 2-for-3 and slugged his eighth home run, a blast over the scoreboard in left field in the first inning. Webb went 2-for-5. Carvutto contributed three RBIs.
ABOVE: Palomar catcher B.K. Santy fields Kory Smith's bunt and throws him out at first base in the second inning.. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Winning pitcher Bobby Shore. BELOW RIGHT: Alfonso Casillas, who went 4-for-5.
Shore gets his ninth victory; stretch lead to 4
SAN MARCOS (4-16-09) -- Palomar won for the 11th time in 12 games on Thursday, methodically disposing of San Diego City College 7-2 at Myers Field.
Along with San Diego Mesa's 13-11 victory over second-place Grossmont, the win gives the Comets a four-game lead in the Pacific Coast Conference race with six games to play.
Freshman first baseman Alfonso Casillas went 4-for-5 and Oklahoma-bound right-hander Bobby Shore (9-1) pitched seven innings of two-hit ball as he combined with Patrick Smith and Aaron Edwards on a three-hitter.
Casillas doubled, singled three times, drove in a run and scored twice as he raised his batting average to .427. Terrence Buchanan went 2-for-4 with a double, Tyler Saladino went 2-for-5 with two RBIs, B.K. Santy went 2-for-4 and Tyler Smith was 2-for-5 as the Comets banged out 15 hits.
Smith threw a scoreless eighth inning and Edwards retired the Knights 1-2-3 in the ninth on a strikeout, fly ball and another strikeout.
Palomar closed on No. 1-ranked Orange Coast, a team the Comets beat last week, but remained No. 2 in the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association's Southern Cal poll earlier in the day.
Comets rout City 17-5, own 3-game lead in PCC
SAN DIEGO (4-14-09) -- Palomar opened a three-game lead in the Pacific Coast Conference with seven games to play on Tuesday as the Comets punished San Diego City College 17-5 on a cold, windy, rainy day at Morley Field.
Palomar pounded out 19 hits as it moved to 20 games over .500 (28-8-1) on the season and to 15-3 in conference. The Comets stretched their conference lead to three games when San Diego Mesa upset second-place Grossmont 7-6.
It took the Comets 4 hours, 2 minutes to complete the dismantling of the third-place Knights as Tyler Saladino (above left, 3-for-5, home run, three RBIs, three runs scored), B.K. Santy (above right, 3-for-5, double, two RBIs, two runs scored) and Reece Alnas (3-for-5, RBI) led the way offensively.
Three Palomar relievers -- Travis Strong (four strikeouts in two innings), Brock Bracamontes and Casey Woods combined to throw four innings of one-hit, shut out ball. Starter Sam Jew ran his win-loss record to 8-0.
Strong effort by Vincent can't win for the Storm
ELSINORE (4-13-09) -- Nick Vincent (Palomar, Long Beach State) continued to pitch superbly for the San Diego Padres' Lake Elsinore farm club on Monday night, but it wasn't enough to get the Storm (0-5) its first victory of the young California League (High A) season.
Vincent came on to cut off a Mavericks rally at four runs in the top of the seventh inning, getting the two batters he faced on back-to-back ground outs for the second and third outs. He pitched a shutout eighth, finishing with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball. But High Desert scored a run off Elsinore's closer in the ninth to win 9-8.
Vincent has a an ERA of 0.00 for three appearances.for the Storm.
The right-hander had one appearance for the Major League Padres as a non-roster player in spring training, pitching 2/3 of an inning against the Seattle Mariners at Peoria, AZ,
ABOVE: Tyler Saladino steals second base in the third inning. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Alfonso Casillas, who slugged his seventh home run and is now batting .402. BELOW RIGHT: Mitch Ferguson, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Comets, Shore (8-1) win 7-3; Casillas homers
SAN MARCOS (4-8-09) -- Alfonso Casillas hammered his fifth home run in his last seven games and Palomar presented Bobby Shore with his eighth win in nine decisions on Thursday, beating Mt. San Jacinto 7-3 at Myers Field.
The Comets, ranked No. 2 in Southern California, advanced to 27-8-1. The Eagles are 27-6 and saw a 12-game winning streak snapped. Palomar has won nine of its last 10 games and 14 of 16.
Casillas, who has seven HRs on the season, went 2-for-2 and also had a sacrifice fly, a walk, three RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base. The freshman first baseman from Vista Murrieta High School raised his batting average to .403 on the season.
Shore, Strong and Edwards pitched a combined six-hitter and struck out 10. Shore struck out seven batters and walked none in five innings as the Comets made it back-to-back wins the last two days of the Comet-Olympian Easter Series over teams that came in with a combined record of 59-13
Strong came on to begin the sixth and threw three innings of scoreless, one-hit ball. Edwards replaced Strong to start the top of the ninth and finished the game with a strikeout, a walk, a fly out and a sinking liner that was caught by shortstop Tyler Saladino. Saladino dove into the infield dirt on his right and made a spectacular stab for the final out of the game.
Palomar, which leads second-place Grossmont by two games in the Pacific Coast Conference, returns to PCC action to visit San Diego City College on Tuesday. The Comets have eight games left in the regular season, all in the conference.
ABOVE: Sam Jew fires to the plate as he shuts out SoCal No. 1-ranked Orange Coast on two hits over 8 1/3 innings. -- Photo by Hugh Geerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Catcher B.K. Santy, who threw out a runner trying to steal in the second inning, when the Pirates got both their hits.
Jew (7-0), Edelbrock (8th save) blank No. 1 OCC
SAN MARCOS (4-8-09) -- Palomar, ranked second in Southern California, put together dominant pitching, relentless defense and two crucial runs to knock off No. 1 Orange Coast 2-0 on Wednesday at Myers Field.
Australian right-hander Sam Jew advanced to 7-0 by shutting out the Pirates on two hits over 8 1/3 innings and. Casey Edelbrock then came on and closed the game to notch his eighth save, getting Coast's Drew Hillman, the only batter he faced to hit into a game-ending double play.
Along the way, Palomar (26-8-1) became the first team to shut out Orange Coast all season and the second team to beat the Pirates in a 40-day period dating back to Feb. 28.
Jew gave up back-to-back scratch hits through the ride side of the infield in the top of the second -- all the offense Coast could muster during the 1-hour, 53-minute game.
Jew got out of the inning when catcher B.K. Santy gunned down Ricky Stokes trying to steal and Corey Detwiler grounded out to third baseman Matt Hubbard.
Casillas went 2-for-4 and Sisco was 2-for-3 as Orange Coast fell to 22-9.
ABOVE: Alfonso Casillas hits a hard line-drive out to left field in the sixth inning. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Patrick Smith, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning. BELOW RIGHT: Aaron Edwards, who pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two.
Casillas hits 4th HR in 5 games but Comets fall
SAN MARCOS (4-7-09) -- Alfonso Casillas slugged his sixth home run -- and fourth in his last five games -- on Tuesday, a two-run shot off Mt. San Jacinto's B.J. Salisbury (11-0), arguably as good a pitcher as there is in community college baseball.
But Brenden Webb's long, high fly ball over the right field fence to lead off the bottom of the ninth, which if it had stayed fair would have tied the game, hooked foul. And Salisbury and the Foothill Conference-leading Eagles (26-5) held off the Pacific Coast Conference leaders (25-8-1) in a 4-3 nail-biter to begin the Comet-Olympian Easter Series.
Salisbury was hooked up in a pitching dual most of the afternoon with Palomar left-hander Matt Strom, who eventually gave up an unearned run which gave Mt. San Jacinto a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth. Strom then tired in the seventh and left the game in the inning trailing 2-0 and with two runners on base who then scored.
The Comets came back to score one run in the seventh on a single by Tyler Saladino (2-for-4), a walk to Casillas, Matt Carvutto's single and Webb's RBI fielder's choice. But Salisbury worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam.
Saladino then singled with two out in the eighth and Casillas homered over the left-centerfield fence. That set the stage for Webb's near-miss in the ninth as Palomar saw its win streak end at seven games. Mt. San Jacinto has won 11 in a row.
Palomar, ranked No. 2 in Southern California, hosts No. 1 Orange Coast on Wednesday at 1 p.m., then will host Mt. San Jacinto again Thursday at 2 p.m.
ABOVE: Leland Sisco gets a hand bump from first-base coach Rich Graves after a sixth-inning single. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Pitcher Bobby Shore, who struck out eight in seven innings.
Shore (7-1) pitches Comets to 7th straight win
SAN MARCOS (4-2-09) -- Bobby Shore allowed only three hits in seven innings on Thursday at Myers Field, striking out out eight, as Palomar, ranked No. 2 in Southern California and No. 4 on the West Coast, held off Imperial Valley 4-1 in a Pacific Coast Conference game.
Alfonso Casillas (right) went 2-for-3 and hit a solo home run, his fifth of the year, in the second inning as Palomar (25-7-1, 14-3 in conference) made it seven wins in a row and 12th in their last 13 games. Leland Sisco went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI. Matt Carvutto was 2-for-2.
Catcher B.K. Santy had a two-run single. and gunned down a runner trying to steal.
SAN MARCOS (4-2-09) -- Palomar has moved up to No. 2 in the Southern California and No. 4 on the West Coast in community college baseball rankings released on Thursday morning.
Palomar moved up to second in the Southern Cal poll conducted by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association. Orange Coast is still ranked No. 1.
In the American Baseball Coaches Association Pacific Divisions poll (California, Oregon and Washington), the Comets advanced to No. 4. Orange Coast is also ranked No. 1 in the ABCA poll.
Coach Buck Taylor's Comets, who are 25-7-1, will play Orange Coast (21-8) next week as part of the Palomar Easter Classic at Myers Field. The Comets and Pirates will square off on Wednesday, April 8, at 1 p.m. Palomar also will face Mt. San Jacinto (20-7, ranked no. 17 in Southern California) on Tuesday and Thursday of next week, both at 2 p.m.
NOTES: The Top Ten teams in the SoCal poll are No. 1 Orange Coast, No. 2 Palomar, No. 3 Santa Ana, ,No. 4 Cypress, No. 5 Cuesta, No. 6 Long Beach City College, No. 7 Grossmont, N. 8 El Camino, No. 9 Southwestern and No. 10 College of the Canyons ... Top Ten teams in the ABCA Pacific Associations rankings are No. 1 Orange Coast, No. 2 Ohlone, No. 3 Columbia Basin (Washington), No. 4 Palomar, No. 5 Diablo Valley, No. 6 Skagit Valley (Washington), no. 7 Santa Ana, No. 8 Cypress, No. 9 Merced and No. 10 Cuesta.
Strom's arm, Sisco's bat (5-for-6) ignite Comets
IMPERIAL (3-31-09) -- Left-hander Matt Strom (left) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Leland Sisco (right) went 5-for-6 with a three-run home run, three doubles, a walk, five runs scored and six RBIs as Palomar routed host Imperial Valley 25-2 on Tuesday.
The Comets banged out 22 hits as they advanced to 24-7-1 on the season, 13-3 to continue to lead the conference by two games over second-place Grossmont (which defeated Southwestern 3-2).
Tyler Saladino (3-for-6, double, walk, 4 RBIs, 4 runs scored, stolen base), Matt Carvutto (3-for-3, home run, walk, two RBIs), Matt Frankfurth (3-for-3), Brenden Webb (2-for-4, home run, RBI), Chip Baumann (2-for-4, walk, two hit by pitches, two RBIs) and Mitch Ferguson (2-for-2) also had multiple hits for Palomar.Right fielder Reece Alnas, returning from a hamstring injury, threw out his fourth runner of the year.
ABOVE: Terrence Buchanan dives back to first base on a throw by Grossmont's pitcher. -- Photo by Mike Jones (View game photos and order pictures by clicking here). BELOW LEFT: Leland Cisco, who homered. BELOW RIGHT: Brenden Webb, who also homered.
Comets top Grossmont again, lead race by
EL CAJON (3-27-09) -- First-place and Southern California third-ranked Palomar opened up a two-game lead in the Pacific Coast Conference baseball race Saturday by beating the host Griffins for the second time in three days 10-7.
Terrence Buchanan went 3-for-5 for the Comets (23-7-1, 12-3), who won for the fifth game in a row and 10th time in their last 11 games. Alfonso Casillas, Leland Sisco (left) and Brenden Webb (right) homered for Palomar. Casillas, Webb and Marr Carvutto all went 2-for-4.
Travis Strong, Palomar's second pitcher of the afternoon, struck out five batters in three innings and Casey Edelbrock (above right) came on in the ninth inning to strike out three as he recorded his sixth save. Starter Sam Jew advanced to 6-0.
Palomar is ranked No. 17 in the nation in baseball
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (3-30-09) -- The Palomar baseball team is ranked No. 17 in the nation among community colleges in the PG Crosschecker Mid-Season Report which includes games played through Sunday.
Howard College of Big Spring, Texas (28-0) is ranked No. 1. Coach Buck Taylor's Comets (23-7-1). are ranked No. 3 in California by PG Crosschecker, a division of Perfect Game USA. Palomar trails No. 1 Orange Coast and No. 2 Santa Ana.
ABOVE PHOTOS: Palomar second baseman Terrence Buchanan gets the throw from catcher B.K. Santy in plenty of time to tag out Grossmont's Sequoiah Stonecipher on steal attempt in the seventh inning. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Alfonso Casillas, who hit a walk-off home run in the 10th. BELOW RIGHT: Tyler Saladino, who went 4-for-4 for the third game in a row.
Comets alone in 1st on Casillas' walk-off homer
SAN MARCOS (3-26-09) -- Alfonso Casillas' towering walk-off home run to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning gave Palomar a 5-4 win over Grossmont on Thursday at Myers Field.
With Casillas' blast, the Southern California No. 3-ranked Comets took over the Pacific Coast Conference baseball lead by themselves over the Griffins.
The HR gave Casey Edelbrock, who came in to begin the ninth inning and allowed one hit in pitching two shutout innings, his third win in four decisions. Bobby Shore, Patrick Smith, Aaron Edwards and Edelbrock combined to throw a seven-hitter.
Tyler Saladino went 4-for-4 for the third straight game for the Comets (22-7-1, 11-3). He had a double and drove in two runs, and has hit safely 13 times in his last 13 at-bats. Casillas went 2-for-5, Victor Martinez was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Terrence Buchanan had two bunt singles in four at-bats.
The two teams play again at Grossmont at noon Saturday.
Saladino goes 4-4, Martinez 4-5; Comets repeat
CHULA VISTA (3-24-09) -- Tyler Saladino (left) went 4-for-4 for the second game in a row, Victor Martinez (right) was 4-for-5 and Palomar beat Southern California No. 1-ranked Southwestern for the second time in two days on Tuesday, 10-6 on the road.
The fourth-ranked Comets (21-7-1, 10-3 in the Pacific Coast Conference) remained tied for the conference lead with Grossmont, a 10-2 winner over San Diego City College, The Comets and Griffins will play on Thursday at Myers Field at 2 p.m. and on Saturday at Grossmont's Noel Mickelsen Field at noon.
Saladino, who raised his batting average to .407 (.700 in nine conference games), tripled to drive in Palomar's first run in the top of the first, singled in the second inning, was hit by a pitch in the fourth, singled in the sixth, was hit by a pitch again in the eighth and singled again in the ninth.
Martinez, breaking out of a slump in his return to the line-up, singled to drive in two runs and break a 6-6 tie in the seventh. With the Comets trailing 6-5, B.K. Santy's RBI single tied the game earlier in the inning.
Martinez also singled in the first inning, singled in the second, walked in the third, had a fielder's choice in the fifth and singled in the ninth.
Travis Strong, the second of four Palomar pitchers, allowed one run and struck out three in three innings to earn the win and raise his record to 2-0. Aaron Edwards pitched a shutout inning in relief. Casey Edelbrock, who came on to retire the last four Southwestern batters and struck out two batters in 1 1/3 innings, picked up his fifth save.
ABOVE: Sam Jew delivers a pitch as he runs his shutout innings streak to 13. BELOW LEFT: Alfonso Casillas (shown in on-deck circle), whose three-run home run highlighted Palomar's six-run third inning. -- Photos by Hugh Gerhardt
Jew (7 shutout innings), Comets halt No. 1 Jags
SAN MARCOS (3-21-09) -- Sophomore right-hander Sam Jew pitched Palomar to a 9-2 win over Southern California No. 1-ranked Southwestern on Saturday at Myers Field.
Jew threw five-hit, shutout ball over the first seven innings, striking out six batters, as he ran his win-loss record to 5-0 and lowered his earned run average to 0.70.
Jew left the game Palomar leading 9-0. His performance led the way as the Comets (20-7-1 overall, 9-3 in conference) knocked the Jaguars (19-5-1, 8-4) out of a tie for first place. Palomar and Grossmont are tied for the conference lead, with Southwestern now a game out.
Tyler Saladino went 4-for-4, walked, drove in a run and scored a run as Palomar banged out 15 hits against four Southwestern pitchers.
The Comets broke a scoreless tie by coring six runs in six hits in the bottom of the third on consecutive bunt singles by Terrence Buchanan, Tyler Smith, Matt Hubbard and Saladino to begin the inning, Matt Carvutto's run-scoring single, a three-run home run by Alfonso Casillas and a solo homer by Brenden Webb, his fifth of the season. He also made a diving catch in short left center to rob Southwestern clean-up hitter Edgar Molina of a hit in the fifth.
Hubbard (2-for-2), Buchanan (2-for-4) and Smith (2-for 5) joined Saladino with multiple hits. Casey Edelbrock, the Comets' fourth pitcher of the day, retired the Jaguars in order in the top of the ninth.
Palomar came in ranked No. 4 in Southern California.
PCC tabs Jew as Athlete of Week for all sports
SAN MARCOS (3-23-09) -- Palomar baseball player Sam Jew has been selected as the Pacific Coast Conference's Men's and Women's Athletes of the Week, ror all sports for the week that ended Sunday.
Jew, a sophomore right-handed pitcher from Lesmurdie High School in Perth, Australia, threw seven innings of five-hit, shutout ball to record the win as the Comets knocked off Southern California No. 1-ranked Southwestern 9-2.
Jew is 5-0 with an ERA of 0.70, best in the PCC, second best in Southern California and fifth in the state.
Webb goes 5-for-5 as Comets regain tie for 1st
SAN MARCOS (3-19-09) -- Center fielder Brenden Webb (left) went 5-for-5 with a double, four RBIs and two stolen bases and Bobby Shore (right) recorded his sixth victory Thursday as Palomar rocked San Diego Mesa 13-0 at Myers Field.
The Comets, ranked No. 4 in Southern California, moved to 19-7-1, 8-3 in the Pacific Coast Conference and moved back into a tie for first place with SoCal No. 1-ranked Southwestern, which was upset 10-4 by San Diego City College. The Comets and Jaguars play on Saturday at noon at Myers Field.
Matt Carvutto remained red-hot for the Comets, going 3-for-5 with three doubles and three more RBIs. Carvutto has driven in 20 runs in Palomar's last seven games.
The University of Oklahoma-bound Shore (6-1) threw seven innings of four-hit ball, striking out five, as he and relievers Aaron Edwards, Matt Strom, Tony Valliant and Casey Edelbrock combined on a six-hit shutout.
Palomar was helped along by outstanding catches by Webb for the second game in a row and shortstop Tyler Saladino.
Former Comets help lead SDSU sweep Kansas
SAN DIEGO (3-19-09) -- Mitch Blackburn, one of four Palomar alums on the San Diego State baseball team and Guy Willeford (left) contributed game-winning RBIs as the Aztecs swept two games from visiting Kansas on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Starting second baseman Blackburn's ground ball to the right side scored the only run of the game in a 1-0 SDSU victory over the Jayhawks in the first game of the series.
Willeford's bases-loaded, pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth drove in the winning run in a 9-8 Aztecs win in the second game.
That gave another ex-Comet, Kegan Sharp (right, 1 2/3 innings, one hit, no runs) the pitching win as Sharp advanced to 2-1 on the season.
Blackburn had a single and a sacrifice bunt in the second game, while James McLaughlin also threw 1 2/3 innings inb relief.
Comets move to No. 4 in Southern Cal poll
ORANGE COUNTY (3-19-09) -- Palomar has moved to No. 4 in the Southern California community college poll released by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association.
Southwestern, the 2008 state tournament runner-up which plays the Comets on Saturday at noon at Myers Field, is ranked No. 1.
The Top Ten teams are the Jaguars No. 1, Cypress No. 2, Santa Ana No. 3, Palomar Nod. 4, Orange Coast No. 5, Saddleback No. 6, Grossmont No. 7, El Camino, No. 8, Chaffey No. 9 and Cuesta No. 10.
Palomar has beaten Southwestern and Cypress this season. Other ranked teams the Comets have defeated are No. 11 Mt. SAC, No. 16 Mt. San Jacinto and No. 19 Cerritos.
ABOVE: Shortstop Terrence Buchanan relays throw from second baseman Matt Hubbard to turn double play to end the eighth inning in Comets' 5-3 win at Mt. SAC on Saturday. BELOW LEFT: Sam Jew, who threw six innings of three-hit, one-run ball, deals to the plate. -- Photos by Hugh Gerhardt
Casillas' pinch-hit double gives Taylor 100th win
WALNUT (3-14-09) -- Alfonso Casillas delivered a one-out, three-run pinch-hit double in the eighth inning on Saturday, lifting Palomar to a 5-3 non-conference victory over host Mt. SAC.
The win, coach Buck Taylor's 100th midway through his fourth season as Palomar coach, was the fifth straight victory for the Comets, their seventh win in their last eight games and their 12th win in their last 14. Palomar moved to 18-6-1 on the season, while Mt. SAC fell to 15-9.
With the game deadlocked 1-1, Matt Hubbard and Matt Carvutto started the inning off with back-to-back singles. David Ring sacrificed them to third and second and, after an intentional walk to Leland Sisco, Casillas followed with his double. Brenden Webb's RBI single scored pinch-runner Victor Martinez and made it 5-1.
Starter Sam Jew pitched six innings of three-hit, one-run ball for the Comets, but wasn't around for the decision. Tony Valliant, the second of three Palomar pitchers, threw 2 1/3 innings of one-hit,k shutout ball to pick up the win.
Carvutto went 2-for-5 for the Comets. Terrence Buchanan had a double, and Tyler Saladino contributed a sacrifice fly.
San Diego Mesa 13, Palomar 3 -- The visiting Comets made six errors and fell out of a tie for first place in the Pacific Coast Conference with Southwestern on Tuesday, March 17..
Carvutto (grand-slam, 6 RBIs), Shore pace rout
SAN DIEGO (3-12-09) -- Matt Carvutto (left, 3-for-5, grand-slam home run, double, six RBIs) came up big again for Palomar's Pacific Coast Conference baseball co-leaders on Thursday.
Carvutto, who has driven in 16 runs in his last four games, paced a 16-hit attack in back of starting pitcher and winner Bobby Shore (right) as the Comets clubbed San Diego City College 14-1 at Morley Field to advance to 17-6-1 on the season, 7-2 to remained tied for the Pacific Coast Conference lead.
Shore (5-1) pitched five-hit ball over seven innings, striking out eight and walking none. Matt Garner, Patrick Smith, Casey Woods and Billy Bright combined to throw two innings of no-hit, shutout relief. Palomar's pitchers teamed up to strike out 11. Stone struck out four batters in the bottom of the second, with one City College batter reaching base when he swung at a wild pitch for the third strike.
Carvutto's grand-slam over the left field fence came in the third inning and broke the game open early at 6-0. Leland Sisco added a three-run HR, also over the left field fence in the eighth inning, when the Comets scored six times.
Three other Comets joined Carvutto with multiple hits -- Tyler Saladino (3-dfor-3, walk, steal), Matt Hubbard (2-for-2, walk, hit by pitch, RBI), Anthony Renteria (2-for-5, RBI) and Terrence Buchanan (2-for-3, walk). David Ring and Reece Alnas both had triples.
ABOVE: Reece Alnas successfully steals third base in Comets' 7-1 win over San Diego City College. -- Photos by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Winning pitcher Shawn Sanford, who threw six shutout innings.
Sanford, Buchanan, Alnas come up big in win
The Comets and Southwestern remain deadlocked for first place in the Pacific Coast Conference. City and Grossmont, which was upset 7-5 by San Diego Mesa, dropped out of what going into Tuesday's games was a four-way tie for the conference lead.
Buahanan tripled and singled twice as the Comets moved to 16-6-1 on the season, 6-2 in conference. Alnas singled three times, drove in a run, walked and stole a base. Alnas, playing center field, also gunned out a runner attempting to score from second on a single for the second game in a row. This time the victim was the Knights' Louis Cazares, in the top of the fourth.
Saladino is PCC Athlete of Week for all sports
SAN DIEGO (3-11-09) -- Palomar sophomore third baseman Tyler Saladino has been selected as Pacific Coast Conference Men's Athlete of the Week for the week that ended Sunday.
Saladino went 8-for-10 for the week, returning to the lineup after an injury. He went 2-for-4 against Grossmont, and 3-for-3 twice vs. Imperial Valley. In his last nine plate appearances, he hit safely eight times in a row and then got down a sacrifice bunt.
Board honors Taylor for Coach of Year award
SAN MARCOS (3-10-09) -- Palomar's Buck Taylor, selected in January as the California Community College Baseball Coach of the Year for 2008, was recognized for the fete at the Palomar Governing Board meeting on March 10.
California Community College Baseball Coaches Association President Paul Moore and Hall of Fame retired Palomar coach Bob Vetter originally presented the award, the first-ever state-wide community college baseball Coach of the Year award ever in California, to Taylor at a banquet on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Midway during the American Baseball Coaches Association National Convention in San Diego in early January.
ABOVE: Winning pitcher Travis Strong (second from left) listens to coach Buck Taylor (10) after the game. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Mitch Ferguson, who went 3-for-5 and drove in two runs. BELOW RIGHT: Casey Woods, who retired the side in order in the ninth inning.
5 pitchers K 12; Comets move into tie for first
SAN MARCOS (3-7-09) -- Mitch Ferguson went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, Tyler Saladino went 3-for-3 to run his hit streak to seven consecutive plate appearances, Terrence Buchanan was 3-for-3 and Matt Carvutto drove in four runs on Saturday.
Along the way, Palomar banged out 19 hits to down Imperial Valley 12-3 at Myers Field as the Comets, ranked No. 5 in Southern California, moved into a tie for first place in the Pacific Coast Conference
The Comets (15-6-1, 5-2) got a 12-strikeout performance from starting pitcher Matt Strom (seven strikeouts in five innings), winner Travis Strong (1-0), Tyler Grihalva, Paul DeFrancesco and Casey Woods, who teamed to pitch five innings of shutout ball relief. Strom gave up an unearned run in four innings. Carvutto, Matt Hubbard, Tyler Smith and Leland Sisco also had multiple hits. Centerfielder Reece Alnas gunned down IVC's Edgar Borquez trying to score from second on a fourth-inning single.
Palomar is tied for first place with Southwestern, Grossmont and San Diego City College, the team the Comets play Tuesday at home and Thursday on the road.
Jew, two relievers, combine to shut out Arabs
IMPERIAL (3-3-09) -- Sophomore right-hander Sam Jew (left, 4-0) pitched seven innings of four-hit ball on Thursday as he combined on a shutout with relievers Brock Bracamontes and Aaron Edwards, giving Southern Cal No. 5-ranked Palomar a 13-0 Pacific Coast Conference road win over Imperial Valley.
The Comets (14-6-1, 4-2 conference) pounded out 19 hits, led by Tyler Saladino (right, 3-for-3, walk, three runs scored).
Terrence Buchanan (2-for-5, triple), Matt Hubbard (2-for4-4, double, sacrifice fly, hit by pitch, three RBIs), Matt Carvutto (2-for-5, walk, three RBIs) and Tyler Smith (2-for-4, two runs scored) also had multiple hits.
Jew, a second-year Comet from Perth, Australia, owns an ERA of 0.71 over 25 1/3 innings. In conference games, he has an ERA of 0.00 for 9 1/3 innings.
ABOVE: Matt Hubbard singles to center for Palomar in the eighth inning against Grossmont. -- (Photo by Hugh Cox). BELOW LEFT: Tyler Saladino, who returned from the injury list to go 2-for-3 with a double.
Palomar misses an opportunity to tie for first
SAN MARCOS (3-3-09) -- Palomar missed an opportunity to move into a tie for first place in the Pacific Coast Conference after the first of five rounds, dropping a 5-2 baseball decision to Grossmont on Tuesday at Myers Field.
Tyler Saladino (left), returning to the line-up at third after an injury, went 2-for-3 with a double for the Comets (13-6-1, 3-2). Alfonso Casillas went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk before leaving the game with an injury. Brenden Webb was 2-for-4.
Palomar scored both its runs in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead on Terrence Buchanan's infield single, an error, Tyler Smith's sacrifice bunt, Casillas' RBI single and Matt Hubbard's sacrifice squeeze. Palomar wasted 10 hits.
Comets win on Casillas' 2-run HR in the 8th
CHULA VISTA (2-28-09) -- Alfonso Casillas (left) slugged a two-run home run over the left field fence off Southwestern reliever Eric Krause in the top of the eighth inning on Saturday, giving Palomar a huge 5-3 Pacific Coast Conference baseball win over the Jaguars.
Brenden Webb (right) had slugged a three-run homer for the Comets (13-5-1, 3-1) in the second inning. Casillas went 3-for-4 and Vince Martinez was 2-for-5.
Starting pitcher Matt Strom gave up one earned run in five innings. Winner Sam Jew (3-0), Tony Valliant and Casey Edlebrock, who got the final out for his fourth save, combined for four innings of shutout relief.
The Jaguars (12-3-1, 2-2) came into the game ranked No. 2 in Southern California in the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association poll, No. 3 in California in the American Baseball Coaches Association poll and No. 4 in the ABCA Pacific Associations Division poll (California, Oregon and Washington).
The Comets came in ranked No. 4 in Southern California, No. 6 in the state and No. 8 in the California / Oregon / Washington poll.
Shore (4-1), Comets win for 6th time in 7 games
SAN MARCOS (2-26-09) -- Palomar, No. 4-ranked in Southern California in the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association poll, downed host San Diego Mesa 8-6 Thursday in a Pacific Coast Conference game.
Bobby Shore (left) pitched three-hit ball over six innings. Casey Edelbrock (right) came on in the eighth and recorded his third save of the season.
Anthony Renteria went 2-for-5 for the Comets (12-5-1, 2-1), who have won six of their last seven games, 10 of their last 13. Gabe Willis had three RBIs.
Palomar jumped out to 5-0 in the first with Mitch Ferguson's double, B.K. Santy's two-run double Willis' two-run single and Leland Sisco's RBI single the key blows. Tyler Smith had a sacrifice bunt
Palomar ranked 4th in SoCal by coaches association
SAN MARCOS (2-26-09) -- Palomar is ranked fourth in Southern California by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association in its latest poll released on Thursday.
Santa Ana is ranked first, followed by No. 2 Southwestern, No. 3 Cypress, the Comets, No. 5 El Camino, No. 6 Riverside Community College, No. 7 Grossmont, No. 8 Orange Coast, No. 9 Mt. SAC and No. 10 Santa Barbara City College.
Deering, Imperiali lead upset of No. 1 Tex. A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (2-25-09) -- Palomar baseball alums Tim Deering and Ricky Imperiali went a combined 4-for-9 on Wednesday as they led Centenary College of Louisiana to an 8-4 road victory over nationally No. 1-ranked Texas A&M.
Deering went 2-for-4, doubled, and drove in two runs. Imperiali was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. He also was hit by a pitch. Imperiali homered on Tuesday in a season-opening loss to the Aggies.
At Tony Gwynn Stadium in San Diego, ex-Comet Mitch Blackburn (right) was 2-for-3 in San Diego State's 8-6 loss to No. 7-ranked Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday.
Blackburn is the Aztecs' second-leading hitter after five games with a .462 batting average.
At Lincoln, NE, Jeff Tezak was 1-for-2 with a walk as Nebraska defeated North Dakota 10-6. Tezak is second in hitting for the Cornhuskers with a .389 batting average.
Palomar's Matt Hubbard and San Diego City College second baseman Kory Smith look to first base to see completion play after Hubbard was forced at second in seventh inning on Tuesday. Gabe Willis beat Smith's throw to first to prevent a double play. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt
Comets play give-away; 5-game win streak ends
SAN MARCOS (2-24-09) -- Palomar made four costly errors, left three runners stranded at third base and dropped a sloppy 6-5 Pacific Coast Conference decision to the San Diego City College in 10 innings on Tuesday at Myers Field.
The winning run scored on two errors in the top of the 10th after the Knights had scored three runs, two of them unearned, to tie the game in the ninth inning.
Matt Hubbard went 3-for-3 for Palomar (11-5-1, 1-1) with a double, an RBI, a walk and a stolen base. Reece Alnas was 2-for-4 with a successful squeeze bunt, two RBIs and a stolen base. Tyler Smith went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt.
The Comets saw a five-game win streak go by the boards.
Edelbrock gets win, Willis GWRBI to start PCC
IMPERIAL (2-21-09) -- Casey Edelbrock (left) threw 2 1/3 innings of one-hit shutout ball to end the game and record the pitching win, and Gabe Willis (right) drove in the winning run on Saturday as Palomar beat host Imperial Valley 7-5 in 11 innings.
Willis' sacrifice fly to center broke a 5-5 tie in the Pacific Coast Conference opener for both teams. Tyler Smith (2-for-4, double, RBI, two sacrifice bunts) doubled with two outs to give the Comets an insurance run.
Travis Strong, the second of four Palomar pitchers, struck out seven batters in giving up zero earned runs in three innings.
Palomar, which owns a five-game win streak, is 11-4-1 on the season, 1-0 in conference.The Comets have won nine of their last 11 games.
4 pitchers halt Eagles; Hubbard has 4 more RBIs
SAN JACINTO (2-19-09) -- Palomar warned up for Saturday's Pacific Coast Conference opener at Imperial Valley with its third road victory in three days on Thursday, downing host Mt. San Jacinto 12-5.
Matt Hubbard (left, 3-for-4, four RBIs, walk) and Tyler Saladino (right, 2-for-3, triple, two RBIs) had multiple hits. Hubbard has driven in four runs in the Comets' last two games. The Comets jumped on Eagles pitching ace Drew Madrigal for four runs in the top of the first on Tyler Smith's single, a walk, Mitch Ferguson's double to drive in the game's first run, Saladino's RBI single and Hubbard's two-run single.
Starting pitcher Sam Jew (2-0) stopped the Eagles on one earned run on five hits in six innings, striking out four and walking none. Jew, Tony Valliant, Tyler Grihalva and Patrick Smith pitched a seven-hitter, allowing two earned runs.
Smith, Madrigal's former Paloma Valley High School teammate, retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth, getting pinch-hitter Travis Hansen on a called third strike to end the game.
The Comets advanced to 10-4-1. Madrigal is 2-0, and the Eagles are 9-2.
Shore K's 11 in 6 innings; Palomar rolls 11-1
NORWALK (2-18-09) -- Bobby Shore (left, 3-0) pitched six innings of four-hit, shutout baseball, striking out 11, as Palomar rocked host Cerritos 11-1 in a non-conference game on Wednesday.
Matt Hubbard (right) paced a 19-hit attack for the Comets, going 3-for-3 with a double, a walk and four RBIs.
Mitch Ferguson (3-for-3, double, sacrifice, RBI), Braeden Webb (3-for-3, sacrifice, RBI, Tyler Smith (2-for-4, two doubles, sacrifice, two RBIs), Anthony Renteria (2-for-4, two doubles, walk, RBI) and Reece Alnas (2-for-4, RBI) also had multiple hits.
Brock Bracamontes, Paul DeFrancesco and Shane Philipps followed Shore to the mound as they four allowed an unearned run and struck out 13 as the Comets advanced to 9-4-1.
Comets top COD 3-1 behind Sanford, Edelbrock
PALM DESERT (2-17-09) -- Palomar's non-conference baseball game with College of the Desert was moved from Myers Field to Palm Desert on Tuesday due to wet conditions and the Comets, whose 2 p.m. game today will now be played at Cerritos, made themselves at home by winning 3-1.
Shawn Sanford (left) and Casey Edelbrock combined to pitch a six-hitter, with Sanford striking out seven batters in six innings and Edelbrock striking out three batters as he threw three innings of one-hit, shutout ball.
B.K. Santy went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Victor Martinez was 2-for-4. Anthony Renteria (right) hit a monster pinch hit, solo home run in the top of the ninth.
Palomar rebounds to win big with 21-hit attack
WHITTIER (2-14-09) -- If Palomar was frustrated with its play in Friday's loss to Mt. SAC, the Comets took it out on host Rio Hondo on Saturday, winning 22-2 in a Rio Mar tournament game.
Leland Sisco (3-for-4, two doubles, two RBIs), Chip Baumann (3-for-5, double, two RBIs) and Tyler Saladino (left, 2-for-3, home run, five runs scored, four RBIs) paced a 21-hit attack.
Anthony Renteria and Brenden Webb also homered, and Mitch Ferguson, Victor Martinez and Reece Alnas also had multiple hits.
Sam Jew (right) pitched five four-hit, shutout innings for the Comets (7-4-1). He and relievers Patrick Smith, Billy Bright Casey Woods and Matt Carvotto combined on a seven-hitter.
ABOVE: B.K. Santy doubles for the Comets in the fifth inning. BELOW LEFT: Santy circles the bases after his home run in the seventh.-- Photo by Hugh Cox
Palomar wastes Santy homer against Mt. SAC
SAN MARCOS (2-13-09) -- Palomar wasted a strong performance at the plate by freshman catcher B.K. Santy on Friday, dropping a 5-3 decision to Mt. SAC in the Rio Mar Tournament at Myers Field.
Santy went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the seventh inning and a double. The difference in the game was a homer by the Mounties' Doug Wogee -- whose round-tripper was a three-run shot.
Santy also gunned out a runner trying to steal.
Matt Hubbard contributed a double, a single and a stolen base for the Comets. Tyler Saladino had a double and a sacrifice bunt.
Palomar threatened in the bottom of the ninth on back-to-back singles by Tyler Smith and Reece Alnas to open the inning, but could not capitalize
The Comets close out the tournament with a single game at Rio Hondo on Saturday (Feb. 14) at 1 p.m.
Comets break open 6-6 game, top Pierce 12-7
SAN MARCOS (2-12-09) -- Palomar pounded out 15 hits, including three each from Matt Carvutto (left) and Leland Sisco (right) as the Comets downed Los Angeles Pierce 12-7 to begin the Rio Mar Tournament at Myers Field.
Carvutto went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI and also was hit by a pitch. The double led off a three-run seventh inning for the Comets (6-3-1) as they broke a 6-6 tie. Sisco was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a walk.
After the Brahmas closed Palomar's lead to 9-7, Tyler Smith's double led off the eighth inning with a double to ignite another three-run outburst that broke the game open.
Tyler Saladino (2-for-3, walk, sacrifice bunt) and Zack Tonks (2-for-3, RBI, sacrifice bunt) also had multiple-hit performances. Matt Hubbard drove in two runs with a seventh-inning squeeze bunt which scored both Saladino and from third and Alfonso Casillas from second.
Tyler Grihalva, the fourth of five Palomar pitchers, picked up the win, striking out two in 1 1/3 innings. He's 1-0. Closer Aaron Edwards came on to retire Pierce in the top of the ninth, getting the final batter on a strikeout.
The Comets staked starter Matt Strom (six innings, two runs, five hits, five strikeouts, one walk) to a 6-1 lead. But Pierce rallied to tie the game with four runs in the top of the seventh.
Sanford, Edelbrock, Valiant: 4-hit shutout, 11 K's
PALM DESERT (2-10-09) -- Shawn Sanford (left), Casey Edelbrock and Tony Valiant (left) teamed to throw a four-hit shutout, striking out 11, as Palomar blanked College of the Desert on Tuesday in a non-conference game.
Sanford (1-0) pitched five innings of three-hit ball, striking out six and walking one, to notch the victory. Edelbrock threw two perfect innings, striking out one and walking none. Valiant finished the game with two one-hit innings, striking out four and walking one.
At the plate, Victor Martinez (right) went 2-for-4 for Palomar with a three-run home run. Gabe Willis (right) went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. David Ring was 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Ring and Reece Alnas made two spectacular catches in the outfield, Ring's to save a run in the third inning and Alnas' to end the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Willis went back deep into the outfield from his second base position to catch two fly balls.
Palomar (5-2-1) will visit Orange Coast on Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m.
One bad inning dooms Comets in loss to Coast
COSTA MESA (2-11-09) -- One bad inning did in Palomar in a 4-1 non-conference loss to Orange Coast on the road on Wednesday as the host Pirates scored all four of their runs with two outs in the bottom of the third inning.
Palomar's pitching staff had surrendered only two runs in the Comets' previous 31 innings going into the game.
The Comets (5-3-1) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a single by Victor Martinez, Matt Hubbard's sacrifice bunt and Alfonso Casillas' double over the third-base bag that drove in Martinez from second. Casillas (left) went 2-for-3 and also was hit by a pitch.
Palomar wasted three outstanding defensive plays. The first one was by second baseman Gabe Willis and shortstop Tyler Saladino to turn a double play in the second inning. The second one was by Martinez, who made a diving catch in the sixth inning to save a run. The third one came courtesy of relief pitcher Shane Philipps backing up a wild throw behind the first-place bag in the eighth. Phillips snagged the ball and rifled it to Josh Porter at second to complete an inning-ending double play.
Orange Coast is 3-4.
Renteria's 2-run single gives Strom victory
WALNUT (2-5-09) -- Palomar opened play in the Mt. SAC Tournament on Thursday with a 3-2 victory over Fullerton as Matt Strom (left) pitched seven innings of five-hit ball, leaving with a two-run lead.
The game was halted by rain in the middle of the eighth inning, and the Comets' other games, vs. Mt. SAC on Thursday night and Ventura on Friday, were rained out. A make-up of the4 Ventura game also was rained out on Sunday.
The Comets (4-2-1) broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning on Anthony Renteria's two-run single through the right side.
Palomar scored its first run in the third inning on Tyler Saladino's double, Alfonso Casillas' single and a sacrifice fly by Brenden Webb.
Victor Martinez went 2-for-4 for the Comets with a double.
Rain-outs cause revision in Palomar schedule
SAN MARCOS (2-9-09) -- Rain has forced changes in Palomar's baseball schedule.
Monday's game vs. Orange Coast was rained out. The Comets will visit the Pirates in a makeup game on Wednesday (Feb. 11) at 2 p.m. The two teams now will play two games at Myers Field during the Palomar Easter Series, with actual dates and times to be determined.
Also, due to wet field conditions the Palomar-College of the Desert game slated for Tuesday (Feb. 10) at Myers Field, now will be played at COD at 3 p.m., weather permitting, with next Tuesday's (Feb. 17) being moved from Palm Desert to Palomar.
The Comets will visit Mt. SAC on Saturday, March 14, at 1 p.m. in a make-up of last Thursday evening's game in the Mt. SAC Tournament.
Shore (2-0), 4 relievers combine on 3-hit shutout
SAN MARCOS (2-3-09) -- Sophomore right-hander Bobby Shore (2-0) combined with four relievers to throw a three-hit shutout on Tuesday as Palomar downed Saddleback 2-0 in a non-conference game at Myers Field.
Shore (left, photo by Melinda Finn) allowed two hits in five innings, striking out four.
Tyler Grihalva, the Comets' fourth pitcher of the afternoon, threw 2 1/3 perfect innings. Closer Aaron Edwards came on to retire the Gauchos in order in the ninth, striking out the final batter and earning his second save.
Brenden Webb hit a solo homer for Palomar (3-2-1) in the second inning. Matt Carvutto had a two-out RBI single in the sixth and made and made a full-speed running catch in right-center field in the eighth. Saddleback falls to 3-2.
Edelbrock, Comets win 1 a.m. game, go 1-1-1
BAKERSFIELD (1-31-09) -- Casey Edelbrock (left) turned in a dominating pitcher performance to pick up the win in relief as Palomar defeated Bakersfield College 11-2 in the Bakersfield Tournament -- in a game that ended at a few ticks before 1 a.m. on Saturday.
The game started at 9:50 p.m. Friday in the backed-up tournament at Sam Lynn Ballpark, home of the Bakersfield Blaze of the Class A California League.
The Comets, playing with almost no sleep, then dropped a 6-5 heartbreaker to Irvine Valley later Saturday morning, leaving the tying and winning runs stranded in scoring position. On Saturday afternoon, Palomar concluded tournament play by battling Golden West to an 8-8 standoff in a game ended by time limit after eight innings.
Edelbrock came on in relief in the fourth inning against Bakersfield and threw four innings of one-hit, shutout ball, striking out seven batters. Shawn Sanford, Edelbrock and Tyler Grihalva combined on a five-hitter, striking out 14 Renegades.
Anthony Renteria (above right) slugged a monster three-run home run over the leftfield wall in the seventh inning. The Comets also got extra-base blows from Brandon Webb (RBI triple) and B.K. Santy (run-scoring double), both in the top of the ninth.
Irvine Valley scored three unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning to come from behind and beat the Comets (2-2-1) in Saturday's 10 a.m. game. Renteria doubled and Matt Frankfurth had a sacrifice fly in a three-run ninth inning that left Palomar one run short against the Lasers.
Palomar scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning vs. Golden West before the tournament's time limit ended the game. Frankfurth's two-run double was nullified when the plate umpire ruled he did not touch first base, after an appeal by Golden West. Palomar coach Buck Taylor argued unsuccessfully that Frankfurth indeed touched the first-base bag -- because he tripped over it.
Alfonso Casillas went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a walk for the Comets against the Rustlers.
The tournament was backed up after a broken water pipe on the right side of the infield caused postponement's of the Comets-Golden West game, which originally was scheduled for Friday afternoon, to Saturday. Repairing the pipe and getting the field ready to play caused a delay in the start of the Moorpark-Irvine Valley game, which resulted in the Palomar-Bakersfield contest being moved to 9:50 p.m. on Friday.
Starting pitcher Matt Strom deals vs. Santa Ana -- (Photo by Rick Rowell) ORDER PHOTOS (password: cometball)
No. 1 Santa Ana rallies and ruins home opener
SAN MARCOS (1-29-09) -- Palomar let a two-run lead slip away in the eighth inning on Thursday at Myers Field as Santa Ana, ranked No. 1 in Southern California in two different polls, rallied to ruin the Comets' home baseball opener 9-6.
Palomar, which led 6-4 entering the inning, banged out 12 hits in defeat but left niners on base.
Leland Sisco (2-for-5, double, three RBIs, one run, walk) and B.K. Santy (2-for-4) led the Comets (1-1) in defeat. Santa Ana is 2-0.
Shore, Comets beat No. 2 Chargers in opener
CYPRESS (1-27-09) -- University of Oklahoma-bound sophomore right-hander Bobby Shore (left) pitched three-hit ball over the first six innings on Tuesday and Southern California No. 5-ranked (by Collegiate Baseball) Palomar knocked off No. 2 Cypress 5-2 in the season baseball opener for both teams on the road.
Tyler Smith went 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base and Leland Cisco was 2-for-4 with a two-run home run as the Comets banged out 14 hits against four Cypress pitchers. B.K. Santy was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Matt Carvutto was 2-for-5.
David Ring had a pinch-hit double and an RBI. Mitch Ferguson contributed a double and a stolen base. Tyler Saladino, Alfonso Casillas, and Brenden Webb also hit safely.
Shore (1-0), Brock Bruacamontes and Aaron Edwards, who picked up the save, combined on a four-hitter.
Palomar hosts No. 1 Santa Ana in the Comets' home opener at Myers Field on Thursday at 2 p.m.
No. 1-ranked Santa Ana rallies, ruins home opener
SAN MARCOS (1-29-09) -- Palomar let a two-run lead slip away in the eighth inning on Thursday at Myers Field as Santa Ana, ranked No. 1 in Southern California in two different polls, rallied to ruin the Comets' home baseball opener 9-6.
Palomar, which led 6-4 entering the inning, banged out 12 hits in defeat but left niners on base.
Leland Sisco (2-for-5, double, three RBIs, one run, walk) and B.K. Santy (2-for-4) led the Comets (1-1) in defeat. Santa Ana is 2-0.
Photo: Palomar pitching starter Matt Strom -- (Photo by Rick Rowell)
Palomar's Taylor named California Coach of Year
SAN DIEGO (1-16-09) -- Palomar's Buck Taylor has been named Victory Custom Athletics / California Community College Baseball Coaches Association 2008 state Coach of the Year.
CCCBCA President Paul Moore and Hall of Fame retired Palomar coach Bob Vetter presented the award, the first-ever state-wide community college baseball Coach of the Year award ever presented in California, to Taylor at a banquet on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Midway during the American Baseball Coaches Association National Convention in San Diego in early January.
"(The award is designed to be presented to a coach) "who has been successful on the field (and) has also demonstrated character through how he leads his program," Moore said. "Buck's success in placing players through scholarships and into professional baseball was a major consideration. His choices for discipline during last year's playoffs probably put him over the top in being selected for this award."
It was Vetter, who was Palomar's head coach for 25 years, who brought Taylor into the Comets' program as an assistant coach nine years ago and elevated him to associate head coach, the position Taylor held when Palomar finished second in the state tournament in Vetter's final season, 2005. Taylor coached the Comets to a Pacific Coast Conference title 2006, his first as head coach, when he was the first person ever to be honored as PCC Coach of the Year in baseball in his first season.
"Coach Taylor was very instrumental in what we accomplished in 2005, and when he not only coached a conference championship team the next year in his first season as head coach but also placed all 17 sophomores into four-year college programs and pro baseball, it was pretty obvious to everyone he was going to be a special type of head coach. Buck is a winner, both on and off the field."
Vetter said he feels what happened at the end of the 2008 season, when Taylor took disciplinary action on a road trip to San Luis Obispo that resulted in 13 players being suspended and the short-handed Comets' being eliminated by Cuesta in the state Super Regionals, was particularly telling.
"The way Buck handled the situation won him the respect of his peers, staff, the college and the community," Vetter said.
Vetter said he also has been highly impressed with the way Taylor places all the Comets' sophomores, each year.
"Buck started by placing all 17 of his team's sophomores after the 2006 season, and he and and his coaching staff have kept it up every year, placing everyone," Vetter said.
ABOVE: Returning starting shortstop Tyler Saladino, shown sliding. -- (Photo by Hugh Gerhardt). BELOW LEFT: Returning pitcher / second baseman Mitch Ferguson. -- Photos by Rick Rowell ORDER PHOTOS (password: cometball)
Comets ranked 5th in pre-season, open Jan. 27
SAN MARCOS (1-9-09) -- Palomar is ranked No. 5 in Southern California by Collegiate Baseball in the pre-season and will open its 2009 schedule against No. 2-ranked Cypress on Tuesday, Jan. 27 on the road, followed by a game against No. 1-ranked Santa Ana at Myers Field on Thursday, Jan.29.
Both games are slated for 2 p.m. starts.
The Comets, 82-55 in three seasons under coach Buck Taylor (26-21 and second place in the Pacific Coast Conference in 2008), also will play No. 4 Orange Coast, No. 9 Southwestern, No. 10 Cerritos, No. 12 Saddleback, No. 13 Golden West and No. 15 Bakersfield during the 2009 season. The Comets and Jaguars will play five times in PCC games.
The Jaguars, last season's PCC champion, placed second in the state community college tournament last season, matching the same finish by the 2005 Comets.
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