SEATTLE (8/22/2016) -- Former Comet Nick Vincent pitched his second scoreless, hitless relief inning in two days on Monday night to pick up the win in relief as the Seattle Mariners downed the New York Yankees 7-5.

Vincent struck out one and walked none in advancing to 3-3 on the season with a 3.92 ERA, compared to his career Major League ERA of 2.92 over five seasons.

On the season, Vincent has struck out 51 and walked 10 over 43 2/3 innings. For his career, he's struck out 212 and walked 49 in 194 1/3 innings.

He also pitched a scoreless, hitless inning in relief with a strkeout and zero walks vs. the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.


MIAMI, Florida / 2 OTHER CITIES (8/14/2016) -- Palomar's three current Major League players, Tyler Saladino, Nick Vincent and James Hoyt, continue to perform at high levels.

Saladino's bat helped the visiting Chicago White Sox to back-to-back  victories over the Florida Marlins on Friday and Saturday night.

On Friday, Saladino doubled in a run and singled off Andrew Cashner as the White Sox 5-2.

On Saturday, his two-out double in the top of the second inning drove in two runs, giving Chicago a 4-0 lead in a game the White Sox eventually won 8-7. He also contributed a sacrifice bunt in the game.

On Sunday, the Seattle Mariners'  Vincent and the Houston Astros' Hoyt each had scoreless relief appearances.

Vincent notched his fourth straight scoreless appearance since coming off the disabled list as the Mariners won on the road over Oakland.

Vincent lowered his season ERA to 3.15.

In Toronto, Hoyt lowered his season ERA to 2.70 since being called up from Triple-A with a scoreless appearance against the Blue Jays.

VIDEO: Saladino's 2-run double Saturday 

VIDEO: Saladino's over the shoulder basket catch Sunday


HOUSTON, Texas (8-03-2016) - Palomar product James Hoyt made his Major League debut on Wednesday night, pitching a scoreless, hitless seventh inning in the Houston Astros' 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park.

Hoyt, who was called up from Triple-A Fresno of the Pacific Coast League to give the Comets three ex-players currently active in the big leagues, struck out the first two batters he faced swinging. After an error and a walk, he got the third out on a ground out.

The ex-Comet led all Triple-A pitchers with 28 saves when he was called up.


FRESNO  (7-28-2016) -Palomar's James Hoyt ran his saves total to 28 on Thursday as the Fresno Grizzlies beat the Las Vegas 51s by 2-1 in Pacific Coast League action at Chukchansi Park.

The ex-Comet's saves total, best among all Triple-A pitchers, has come on 31 opportunites.

Hoyt, in his second season as the closer for the Houston Astros' top minor league club, the defending PCL champion, is 4-3 for the season with a 1.65 ERA and 83 strikeouts compared with just 17 walks over 49 innings. He has allowed only 26 hits.

In 10 apperances in July, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound right-hander earned 9 saves.

Hoyt had a 1-0 record and an ERA of 0.84 for the month, with 15 strikeouts (compared with 2 walks) over 10 2/3 innings.


SEATTLE (7-20-2016) -Palomar product Tyler Saladino celebrated his 27th birthday in style on Wednesday in the visiting Chicago White Sox' game with the Seattle Mariners.

Saladino went 3-for-5, and turned 2 double plays at shortstop but the White Sox lost to the Mariners 6-5 before 39,985 at Safeco Field.

Saladino, the 2009 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year, is batting .265 in his second Major League season as a shortstop, third baseman, left fielder, center field, right fielder, designated hitter, pinch-hitter and pinch-runner.


CHICAGO (6-5-2016) - Tyler Saladino, the 2009 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a Palomar sohomore, had a big game Tuesday night for the Chicago White Sox.

Saladino went 2-for-4 with a home run and 4 RBIs in an 11-8 loss to the eloss to the Detroit Tigers.


SAN MARCOS (6-14-2016) - Outfielder Nashea Diggs has committed to NCAA Division II Cal State San Marcos, bringing the list of Comets accepting baseball scholarships from the 2016 team to six.

Diggs, a sophomore from Esperanza High School in Anaheim and a transfer from Central Arizona Community College, hit .318 for the season with 4 doubles, a home run and 12 RBIs. He batted .375 in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference games.


NEW YORK (5-31-2016) - Former Palomar star Tyler Saladino slugged a 2-run home run in the eighth inning on Tuesday to propel the Chicago White Sox to a 6-4 victory over the New York Mets before 32,781 at Citi Field. The White Sox shortstop went 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.


CARY, North Carolina (5-29-2016) - Palomar alum Chris Stratton went 2-for-4 on Saturday as Cal Poly Pomona won its opening game in the NCAA Division II World Series.

The Broncos defeated Southern Indiana 2-1 in 10 innings. Stratton also contributed a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base.


SAN MARCOS (5-26-2016) -  Matt Guiliano, who hit .386 as the starting third baseman for Palomar in 2003 before moving on to play at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, has been named Cal State San Marcos’ second-ever head baseball coach.

Guiliano, who has been the Sioux Falls head coach since 2007, replaces Dennis Pugh, who retired as the first and only head coach in CSUSM history at the end of the 2016 season.

Guiliano, a Valley Center High School product, helped the 2003 Comets go 27-15, win a Pacific Coast Conference championship, go four games deep in the Southern California Regional Playoffs and earn a final No. 7 national community college ranking. At Palomar, he played for head coach Bob Vetter and associate head coach Buck Taylor.

A first-team All-Pacific Coast Conference selection at Palomar and a second-team NAIA All-American as a Sioux Falls player, Guiliano oversaw the transition to NCAA Division II in 2010. Guiliano coached the 2016 team to 21 wins, the best of the D-II era. His teams at Sioux Falls had a 176-234-1 record.


CHICAGO (4-22-2016) – Palomar’s Tyler Saladino and the Chicago White Sox pulled off a 9-3-2-6-2-5 double play on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field as the Sox defeated the visiting Texas Rangers 5-0.

The triple play, which came with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning, was the White Sox’ first in 10 years. Chicago last had pulled off a triple play the first inning on Sept. 18, 2006 against the Detroit Tigers.

Friday night’s triple play went from White Sox right fielder Adam Eaton, who ran down Mitch Moreland’s line drive and threw to first baseman Jose Abreau. Abreau spotted Ian Desmond dancing around attempting to get back to the bad. He chased Desmond down and tagged him for out No. 2.

Abreau then saw Adrian Beltre coming into third, which was occupied by Prince Fielder. He threw the ball to Saladino, the White Sox’ shortstop, who then started chasing Beltrie.

Saladino saw Fielder break for the plate and threw the ball to the catcher, Dionier Navarro.  At that juncture Fielder put on the brakes and started back to third. Navarro fired the ball to Todd Frazier, the third baseman, who tagged out Fielder for the third out.

It was the first triple play in the Major Leagues this season.


        Chase Grant


SAN JACINTO (3-31-2016) – Palomar continued to hit the baseball with authority but Mt. San Jacinto did the same thing as the Eagles knocked off the visiting Comets 9-7 on Thursday afternoon.

The Comets, however, didn’t lose any ground in their attempt to close in on Pacific Coast Athletic Conference leader Grossmont as San Diego Mesa rose up and stunned the Griffins 9-0.

Chase Grant paced a 12-hit attack for Palomar, going 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. Niko Holm went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run and a walk and Casey Henderson was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Eric Charles, Joel Mitchell, Dylan Breault, Grant Buck and Sam Casinelli also hit safely.



EL CAJON (3-15-2016) -- Palomar wasted outstanding pitching and team defense on Tuesday as the Comets dropped a 1-0 baseball decision to Grossmont’s Pacific Coast Athletic Conference leaders at Noel Mickelsen Field.

The Griffins’ Alan Strong, who is 5-0 on the year, pitched a three-hit shutout with late relief help from Andrew Schultz and Aaron Cross out of the bullpen.

Palomar’s Carter Johnson, who started, and Connor Stotz, who pitched one-hit, shutout ball over the final 3 1/3 innings, combined on a five-hitter as they nearly matched Strong, Schultz and Cross pitch-for-pitch.

Grossmont scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth, when Stotz came on with two outs to get the Comets out of a bases-loaded jam by getting Justin Mitchell to hit a soft liner to Casey Henderson at short for out No. 3.

Palomar got very good-to-sometimes spectacular defense up the middle from second baseman Mitch Gallagher, Henderson at short and Chase Grant in centerfield as the Comets played errorless ball for the first time since Feb. 13.

The Comets threatened to break a scoreless tie in the top of the third when Gallagher singled up the middle with two outs, Henderson walked and Niko Holm singled to center to load the bases. But Strong got Grant to hit a foul pop-up to Grossmont third baseman Justen Burkey, who caught the ball within feet of the fence on the run for the third out.

Holm had two of Palomar’s three hits, singling to right to lead off the ninth. The Comets tried to bunt pinch-runner Nashea Diggs to second but Cross fielded the ball and was able to throw him out. Pinch-hitter Joel Mitchell flied out to center and Cole Brooks lined out to left for the second and third outs.


       Casey Henderson


SAN JACINTO (3-03-2016) -- Palomar fell behind 4-0 after one inning and waited too long to launch its usual late-inning comeback on Thursday as the Comets dropped a 7-5 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference decision to host Mt. San Jacinto.

Freshman third baseman Casey Henderson had a big day at the plate for Palomar, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs.

Mike Benson went 2-for-3, Chase Grant was 2-for-5 with an RBI, Dylan Breault had a double and Niko Holm singled and drove in two runs. Cole Brooks and Cody Norton singled, rounding out a 12-hit attack.

Carter Johnson, the second of four Palomar pitchers, threw 5 1/3 two-hit, scoreless innings, striking out eight.



COSTA MESA (2-18-2016) -- Palomar came roaring back from a five-run deficit to take a 7-6 lead vs. two-time defending state champion Orange Coast in the top of the eighth inning on Thursday.

But the Pirates tied the game in the bottom of the inning on an error on an ill-timed two-outpickoff attempt and went on to beat the Comets 8-7 at Wendall Pickens Field on a walk-off home run by pinch-hitter Eric Wagman to lead off the bottom of the ninth.

Orange Coast evened the teams' season series at a game apiece with the win.

The Comets fell behind 6-1 after four innings but battled back to score two runs in the sixth inning, one in the sevneth and three in the top of the eighth.

Dylan Breault doubled with one out for his third hit of the game. After an OCC error, Eric Charles singled to drive in Breault. Mitch Gallagher's squeeze play RBI tied the game at 6-6 and Palomar went on top 7-6 on a throwing error.

Breault (3-for-4, triple, double), Charles (3-for-4, double) led a 12-hit attack for Palomar. Niko Holm, Miek Benson and Chase Grant each added two hits.

Troy Lamparello pitched 1 2/3 shutout relief innings for the Comets (5-5), followed by 2 1/3 strong relief innings by Brett Lockwood, who struck ut three and walked none while allowing an unearned run.

Closer Mitch Hayes (1-1) gave up an unearned run in the eighth inning and was the losing pitcher in the ninth.


     Casey Henderson


PALM DESERT (2-13-2016) --  Palomar's Casey Henderson went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and a walk while teammates Marc Sauceda and Connor Stotz turned in outstanding relief performances on Saturday.

But that wasn't enough to stop Cypress from snapping the Comets' four-game win streak 7-4 on the final day of the David Buttles Memorial Tournament at College of the Desert's Ted Hamilton Field.

Henderson's HR over the leftfield fence scored Nashea Diggs, who had walked and gave Palomar a 2-0 lead after the top of the first.

But the Chargers came back to go on top 3-2 in the bottom of the inning and led 5-2 after three innings and 7-3 after four.

Saucedo, a freshman left-hander from Chaparral High School in Temecula came on to begin the fifth inning for the Comets and slammed the door on the Chargers by retiring the nine batters he faced over the next three innings.

Meanwhile, Palomar scored single runs in the fourth and sixth to pull to within 7-4.

Henderson and Grant Buck singled in the top of the sixth, and Henderson came home on Mike Benson's RBI grounder to short. Henderson then scored his third run of the day in the top of the sixth. He reached second base on an infield error, went to third on Efrain Medina's grounder to the right side and scored on Buck's single to right.

The Comets appeared to close to 7-5 in the seventh when a balk scored Cody Norton, who was on base with a single.

But after Cypress coach Scott Pickler challenged the call, the umpires met, reversed the balk and sent North back to third and ordered the run taken off the scoreboard.

By the time Stotz, the Comets' second reliever, battled his way out of an eighth-inning jam by stranding runners at first and third on a tapper back to the mound and a strikeout, it was too little too late as Palomar fell to 5-4 on the year.



FULLERTON (2-04-2016) -- Fullerton College's 6-foot-4, 240-pound right-hander Randall Ortiz won a pitchers' duel on Thursday as the Hornets, runners-up in the 2014 state community college tournament, edged Palomar, third-place finisher n the state in 2015, 1-0 at Hornet Field.

Ortiz, who trimmed down 25 pounds from his 2015 playing weight during the off-season, struck out 11 Comets, 10 of them looking, and benefited from outstanding defense to win the pitchers' duel from the Comets' Troy lamparello, Carter Johnson and Marc Sauceda.

Fullerton scored the game's only run in the third inning on Austin O'Banion's two-out RBI single through the hole between the shortstop and second baseman.

Dyan Breault, Casey Henderson, Cole Brooks and Chase Grant singled for Palomar's hits off Ortiz.



Buck Taylor, Head Coach ctaylor2@palomar.edu        Ben Adams, Associate
Head Coach   badams@palomar.edu




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Off-Season ...

Ex-Comet Dr. John Parry passes away at 50

ST. PETERSBURG, VA (12-06-2016) -- Former Palomar and San Diego State third baseman Dr. John Parry, a professor and published research scientist at Virginia State University, died Monday evening at age 50 after a sudden illness.

Dr. Parry played alongside older brother Bob Parry both under coach Bob Vetter at Palomar and then at San Diego State. In his freshman season as a Comet, in 1985, John Parry hit .398, at the time the third-best single-season batting average in Palomar history behind Randy Burger's .445 in 1981 and Leon Hartley's .406 in 1955.

After his sophomore season of 1986, he accepted a scholarship to SDSU where he and his  brother Bob Parry, a second-team All-American outfielder for the Aztecs before playing three season in the Oakland A's organization, were teammates in 1987 for coach Jim Deitz.

"J.P. was a great person, and a great baseball player as well," Bob Parry, now head baseball coach at Poway High School, posted on Facebook later Monday night. "He was a great brother and friend. He ran a food science lab at Virginia State for many years. Through his research on cancer, and the journals he published, many people benefited."

Bob Parry posted that his brother was taken to the emergency room last Wednesday and was taken off life support on Friday.

John Parry was born in San Diego on Feb. 16, 1966. He came to Palomar from Mt. Carmel High School, where he played for another ex-Comet baseball player, Sam Blalock, now the head coach at Rancho Bernardo and the winningest high school coach in San Diego County history.

After his college baseball career, John Parry went on to receive his Bachelors degree from San Diego State, his Masters in Nutritional Science from Cal State University Chico and his PhD in Food Science from the University of Maryland in 2006. Later that same year, he joined the Virginia State University faculty as an assistant professor.

According to his biography on the Virginia State University web site, his published research interests included  "Relationships between food and obesity, diabetes and cancer."

Jason McLeod, the Chicago Cubs' Senior Vice President / Player Development and Amateur Scouting, pitched for coach Bob Vetter at Palomar in 1990. He's credited for having a major role in building the Cubs' current team, which Wednesday night won the franchise's first World Series title since 1908. McLeod has been signed by the Cubs to a contract extension through 2021. -- Courtesy photo

World Series ring for ex-Comet McLeod

CLEVELAND, Ohio (11-02-2016) -- California Community College Hall of Fame inductee and retired Palomar baseball coach Bob Vetter isn't a Chicago Cubs fan. But he's a fan of one of his former Palomar pitchers, Jason McLeod. And he said Wednesday afternoon that he wanted the Cubs to win the World Series, because "I'd like to see Jason get a (World Championship) ring."

That's exactly what happened when the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings in the seventh game Wednesday night at Progressive Field, winning their first World Series title since 1908. Earlier in the day, the Cubs extended McLeod's contract as Senior Vice President / Player Development and Amateur Scouting, for five years, through 2021.

McLeod, then known by his birth name of "Robert McLeod", pitched for Vetter and the Comets as a freshman right-hander out of Rancho Buena Vista High School during the 1990 season. He was drafted by the Houston Astros out of Palomar as the 13th player taken in the 44th round of the 1991 Amateur Player Draft.

McLeod pitched one season in the Houston organization, going 4-3 with a 1.93 ERA for the Rookie classification Gulf Coast League Astros in 1991.

He made his pro baseball front office debut as an intern with the San Diego Padres in the Baseball Operations Department in 1994, held several positions before spending three seasons as a minor league coach, then returned to the front office as Assistant Director of Scouting and Player Development. He was a Southern California area scout from 2002-2003 before leaving to follow Padres executive Theo Epstein to the Boston Red Sox the following year. McLeod was Boston's Director of Amateur Scouting from 2005 through 2009, returning to the Padres as Vice President / Asstant General Manager.

McLeod, a teammate with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts at Rancho Buena Vista, great grand-nephew of Hall of Fame pitcher Carl Hubbell and former son-in-law of ex-Padres owner Moors, accepted his current position with the Cubs in 2011, following Epstein to a new challenge.

1. Nick Vincent, Seattle Mariners relief pitcher. Will be in his sixth season in MLB in 2017
2. Tyler Saladino, Chicago White Sox starting second baseman who has played every position for the Sox but pitcher and catcher. Will be in his third season in MLB in 2017
3. James Hoyt, Houston Astros relief pitcher. Will be in his second season in MLB in 2017
4. Darren Balsley, San Diego Padres pitching coach since May 17, 2003.
5. Jason McLeod, Chicago Cubs Senior Vice President/Player Development and Amateur Scouting since 2011

1. San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, father of former Palomar pitcher Greg Bochy
2. Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria, father of former Palomar outfielder Anthony Renteria

Longtime coach Crouch passes away at 76

VISTA (8-26-2016) -- Stan Crouch, longtime Palomar assistant head baseball coach for Jim Clayton from 1973-1981 and Bob Vetter from 1982-1997, died on Wednesday after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

 Crouch, who also was a football assistant coach for the Comets from 1972-74, came to Palomar from Imperial Valley College, where he had been head football coach from 1968-72. He began his coaching career in Sacramento as a high school head baseball and football coach from 1964-68.

He played baseball and football sports at Coalinga High School and also played both sports at San Francisco State University, where he earned both his B.A. and M.A. degrees.

Crouch was a fulltime instructor in what is now the kinesiology department from 1972 until his retirement from Palomar in 2002. He's survived by his wife Jeanne, the couple's son Andy, a former University of Arizona quarterback who teaches and formerly coached at Vista High School, and by daughter Amanda who teaches in the San Diego Unified School District.

Effrin Medina's squeeze bunt drove in a run in Palomar's game with Grossmont on Feb. 27. -- Photo by Philip Farry

PC's 2016 list of 4-year transfers reaches 16

SAN MARCOS (8-18-2016): Palomar's list of four-year university baseball scholarship players from its 2016 team reached 16 on Monday when outfielder Shane Olson signed with St. Katherine.

This came one week after Carlsbad High's Effrin Medina, who played multiple positions at Palomar, signed with NCAA Division II University of Texas Permian Basin and Poway High's Thomas Brunansky, a right-handed pitcher, signed with St. Katherine.

Carlsbad High product Olson appeared in 20 games for the 2016 Comets, starting 10 of them.

Medina (Carlsbad High) hit .315 for the 2016 Comets played in 25 games, He batted .394 in 16 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference games. Brunansky (Poway High) , son of former major leaguer player and current Minnesota Twins hitting coach Tom Brunansky, had a 1.50 ERA in what was limited action due to an injury.

Player Pos. 4-Year Program
Taylor Turski LHP University of Kansas (D-I)
Niko Holm 1B/3B Santa Clara University (D-I)
Chase Grant OF University of Nevada (D-I)
Mitch Hayes RHP University of Nevada (D-I)
Mitch Gallagher 2B Xavier University (D-I)
John Mackay C Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo (D-I)
Carter Johnson RHP U. of Texas Rio Grande Valley (D-I)
Casey Henderson SS Chico State University (D-II)
Sam Casinelli OF Rogers State  (D-II)
Joel Mitchell 1B/DH Cal Baptist University (D-II)
Effrin Medina UT U. of Texas Permian Basin (D-II)
Nashea Diggs OF Cal State University San Marcos (D-II)
Troy Lamparello RHP Cal State University San Marcos (D-II)
Michael Lopez RHP Tennessee Wesleyan University (NAIA)
Thomas Brunansky RHP St. Katherine (National Christian College Ath. Assn.)
Shane Olson OF St. Katherine (National Christian College Ath. Assn.)

Palomar's James Hoyt (also shown below) pitches for the Houston Astros against the Detroit Tigers in a March spring training game in Oscela, Florida. Hoyt, who leads Triple-A baseball with 28 saves, has been called up to the Astros' Major League roster. He'll join the Astros on Wednesday. -- Photo by Reinhold Matay - USA Today Sports

Astros call up Hoyt; 3 ex-Comets now in MLB

HOUSTON, Texas (8-02-2016) -- The Houston Astros called up former Palomar pitcher James Hoyt to their Major League roster early Tuesday morning. Hoyt, who leads all Triple-A pitchers with 28 saves, will join the MLB club Wednesday when the Astros play the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Hoyt, the last pitcher sent down to the minor leagues by the Astros at the end of 2016 spring training, will be making his Major League debut.

He gives Palomar three players currently in the big leagues, joining Seattle Mariners reliever Nick Vincent, who is coming off the disabled list, and Chicago White Sox shortstop / third baseman / second baseman / outfielder / DH Tyler Saladino.

Undrafted out of Centenary College of Louisiana after an injury-plagued senior season, the Boise (Idaho) High School product was working as a deckhand washing sailboats in San Diego when he decided to try out for independent pro baseball. Following limited stints in Indy ball, Hoyt was picked up by Olmecas de Tabasco of the Triple-A Mexican League.

He was spotted there by the Atlanta Braves and signed as a free agent with the Braves for $500 prior to the 2013 season. He quickly rose to the Triple-A level in the Braves organization, and paid further dues in winter ball in the off-season in both the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Traded to the Astros in 2015, he helped pitch the Fresno Grizzlies to the Pacific Coast League pennant and the Triple-A national championship. This season, Hoyt has dominated for the Grizzlies with 28 saves, a 1.62 earned run average, and 84 strikeouts and only 17 walks in 50 innings. He's allowed only 26 hits with his final Triple-A appearance Monday night in Reno.

His fastball has been in the 94-97 miles per hour and he's also developed a dominant high 87-88 MPH slider, and a dominating 87-90 MPH splitter.

Morgan Ensberg, who spent eight years as an infielder with the Astros, Padres and Yankees and was a big part of Houston's 2005 World Championship run, has been a special assignment coach for the Astros and currently hosts MLB Roundup on SiruisXM radio. He's a huge Hoyt supporter.

On June 23, Ensberg tweeted: "Woke up this morning to see if anything changed. Nope, james Hoyt is still the best pitcher in our entire organization, including (the) MLB team". The same day, Ensberg also tweeted: "Hoyt has done everything asked of him and he's a better person than he is a pitcher. ... You have to see Hoyt. I'm telling you, he's unhittable."

Beginning Wednesday, Hoyt gets his chance to prove that Ensberg has been right.

Player Pos. MLB Team(s)
George Hinshaw 2B San Diego Padres
Randy Johnson 3B Atlanta Braves
Jim Scranton SS Kansas City Royals
Troy Afenir C Houston Astros, Oakland A's, Cincinnati Reds
Carl Grovom LHP Cincinnati Reds
Nick Vincent RHP San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners (current)
Marcus Hatley RHP St. Louis Cardinals
Tyler Saladino SS/3B/OF Chicago White Sox (current)
James Hoyt RHP Houston Astros (current)

Saladino's walk-off hit lifts White Sox over Cubs

CHICAGO (7-26-2016): Palomar's Tyler Saladino, who went 2-for-4 on the night with a double, a run scored and an RBI, singled up the middle with one out in the bottom of the ninth Monday, driving in the winning run and giving  the Chicago White Sox a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Saladino's hit came off Mike Montgomery with one out and drove in J.B., Shuck from second base before a crowd of 39,510 at U.S. Cellular Field. Shuck led off the inning with a single and moved up a base on Dioner Navarro's sacrifice bunt. Saladino, who has played every position except catcher and pitcher for the White Sox this season, was at second base Monday and also made a key defensive play to begin a double play.

Joel Mitchell (right), one of five California community college baseball players to earn a perfect 4.0 grade-point average during the spring semester, will continue his academic and athletic career at NCAA Division II Cal Baptist. Here, he poses with teammates Chase Grant (left) and Niko Holm after practice during the 2016 season. Mitchell, Grant (3.82 grade-point average) and Holm (3.6) all were California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Academic All-State honorees. Grant received a scholarship to the University of Nevada, Holm to Santa Clara University. --  Photo courtesy of The Telescope

Clayton's grandson Mitchell, 3 more move on

SAN MARCOS (7-25-2016 / 7-29-2016): Palomar sophomore first baseman Joel Mitchell, the grandson of former Palomar head coach Jim Clayton, has accepted an offer to play baseball at NCAA Division II California Baptist University. Mitchell will begin classes there on Sept. 6.

Other Comets who have signed this week are shortstop Casey Henderson with Division II Chico State University, outfielder Sam Casinelli with Division II Rogers State (Oklahoma)and pitcher Michael Lopez with NAIA World Series qualifier Tennessee Wesleyan University. That brings the list of 2016 Comets who are moving on to play at the four-year level to 13.

Cal Baptist, Chico State and Rogers State are NCAA Division II schools. Tennesse Wesleyan, located in Athens, TN, went 2-2 in the NAIA World Series last month.

Mitchell, who played for Ramona High School, is the son of ex-PC and Cal State Northridge catcher Scot Mitchell, who played in the Oakland A's organization. He's the 10th 2016 Comet to sign with a four-year school. Joel Mitchell hit .333 (.350 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference) for the 2016 Comets as a back-up first baseman and designated hitter.

Mitchell was one of five California Community College Athletic Association baseball players to earn a perfect 4.0 grade-point average during the spring 2016 semester. He received California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Academic All-State recognition.

Henderson (Rancho Bernardo High School), a first-team All-PCAC selection, hit .343 during his sohomore season for the Comets with 11 doubles, two triples and 29 RBIs. Casinelli (La Costa Canyon) hit .339 with 18 RBIs as a sophomore playing in 27 games and starting 17, most of them in centerfield. He hit .380 in conference games. Lopez (Carlsbad High) saw his season cut short due to injury. He was 1-0 with a 2.02 ERA over 35 2/3 innings, strikng out 36 and walking seven.

Palomar second baseman Mitch Gallagher, who is moving on to NCAA Division I Xavier University of Cincinnati, looks the ball into his glove in a game against Southwestern on April 23. Photo by Russell Scoffin, Southwestern College

Palomar's Gallagher signs with Xavier

SAN MARCOS (7-20-2016): Palomar sophomore second baseman Mitchell Gallagher has signed to play NCAA Division I baseball at Xavier University of Cincinnati.

He's the ninth 2016 Comet to sign with a four-year school and the seventh with a Division I school.

Gallagher hit .339 during his sophomore season while playing in 38 games and starting in 32 of them. He led the Comets with 10 sacrifice bunts.

Gallagher hit .407 in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference games, making the All-PCAC first team.

He played high school baseball at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida and played his fireshman season for Pepperdine University.

Palomar alum and Fresno Grizzlies right-hander James Hoyt (also shown in both pictures below) has been selected to pitch for the Pacific Coast League against the International League in the Triple-A All-Star Game on July 13 in Charlotte, NC. Hoyt, the final player to be sent down at the end of spring training by the Astros, leads the Triple-A level with 21 saves. -- Courtesy photo

PC's Hoyt (21 saves) named to Triple-A All-Star game

FRESNO (7-06-2016): Palomar product James Hoyt, the 6-foot-6, 229-pound Fresno Grizzlies closer who is on the fast track for a call-up to the Houston Astros' major league roster, has been selected to pitch for the Pacific Coast League in the 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game.

The game will be played on Wednesday night, July 13 at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, North Carolina and will match the PCL All-Stars vs. the International League All-Stars.

Hoyt, who came out of Boise (Idaho) High School to pitch on the college level for the Comets and for Centenary College of Louisiana, is expected to be called up sometime after the All-Star break.

The late-developing Hoyt red-shirted for Palomar in 2006, then was a Comet teammate of future major leaguers Nick Vincent (Padres/Seattle Mariners) during the 2007 season and Tyler Saladino (Chicago White Sox) in 2008. Hoyt pitched 55 1/3 innings in two seasons for the Comets with ERAs of 2.25 and 3.55.

At the halfway point of the 2016 season, he leads all Triple-A closers with 21 saves. Hoyt is 3-3 for the Grizzlies with a 1.79 earned-run average, only 19 hits allowed over 40 1/3 innings, 72 strikeouts and only 16 walks. Opponents are hitting just .139 against him, also the best on the Triple-A level.

The above follows a 2015 season that saw him notch nine saves for the Grizzlies, whom he joined after being traded from the Braves to the Astros. With Hoyt playing a key role out of the bullpen, Fresno won the PCL pennant and defeated the Columbus Clippers, the International League champions, 7-0 in the Triple-A National Championship Game in El Paso, Texas.

Following an injury-plauged senior season at Centenary, Hoyt found himself out of baseball working as a deckhand washing sailboats in San Diego. That's when he took a shot at Independent baseball and, following that, pitching in the Triple-A level Mexican League. There, Hoyt impressed enough pitching for Olmecas de Tabasco to earn him a free-agent contract with Atlanta prior to the 2013 season. He climbed the ladder in the Braves' organization, eventually reaching Triple-A, and paid further dues in winter ball in the off-season in both the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

This season, his second with the Grizzlies, his fastball has been in the 94-97 mph range and he has come up with a dominant splitter. His other pitch is a slider.

BASEBALL: 4-Year Signings, Transfers

Carter Johnson (above) delivers a pitch in Palomar's win over San Diego Mesa on March 27. Johnson has accepted a scholarship to NCAA Division I University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, a second-year program in the WAC. -- Photo by Philip Farry. BELOW: Pitcher Troy Lamparello, who has signed with D-II Cal State San Marcos

Johnson (D-I) and Lamparello (D-II) both sign

SAN MARCOS (7-06-2016): Two more Palomar players have landed baseball scholarships to four-year colleges.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Carter Johnson, a La Costa Canyon High School product who began his college baseball career at San Jose State, has signed with NCAA-Division I University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, which will begin its second season in the Western Athletic Conference.

Troy Lamparello, a right-handed pitcher out of El Camino High School, signed with Division II Cal State San Marcos.

Texas Rio Grande Valley opened its doors in Edenburg, Texas on Aug. 31, 2015, as a merger of the University of Texas Pan-American and University of Texas Brownville, which both had D-I athletic programs.

The Vaqueros recorded their first-ever baseball win on Feb. 25, 2016, defeating Washington State 3-1. They finished their inaugural season with a 21-28 record but were 17-11 at home. UTRGV had a 10-14 record in the WAC.

Johnson overcame injuries to go 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference in his only season for the Comets. On the year Johnson was 4-4 with a 3.66 ERA. He struck out 52 batters and walked 25 in 51 2/3 innings.

Lamparello went 7-4 with a 3.07 ERA over two seasons at Palomar. He was 5-0 with a 2.25 ERA as a freshman in 2015 and helped pitch the Comets to a fifth straight PCAC championship, a No. 2 national ranking at the conclusion of the regular season and a trip to the CCCAA State Championship Final Four in Fresno where they finished third in California.

Barnett (Nationals) and Cornish (Mets) both sign

SAN MARCOS (6-22-2016): Former Palomar pitchers Jake Barnett and Gary Cornish, both selected in the baseball draft earlier in the month, have signed contracts and will be reporting to minor league camp.

Barnett (left), a left-hander who helped pitch Lewis-Clark State to the 2016 NAIA national championship as a junior, signed with the Washington Nationals, who selected him in the 20th round.

Cornish (right), a senior right-hander out of the University of San Diego, signed with the New York Mets. The Mets drafted him in the 19th round.

Barnett and Cornish were teammates for the Comets' 2014 team, when Barnett was a freshman out of Orange Glen High School and Cornish was a sophomore transfer from St. Mary's College of California.

Outfielder Chase Grant (top photo) and catcher John Mackey (directly above) have become the fourth and fifth members of Palomar's 2016 baseball team to accept scholarships to NCAA Division I schools, University for Nevada for Grant, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for Mackey. Grant is shown banging out the Comets's 20th hit of the game in a 7-0 victory at San Diego Mesa on March 24. Mackey is pictured celebrating after scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning in a 7-6 win over Southwestern on March 20. -- Photos by Hugh Cox (Grant) and Philip Farry (Mackey)

Grant signs with Nevada, Mackey with Cal Poly

SAN MARCOS (6-14-2016): Outfielder Chase Grant (University of Nevada) and catcher John Mackey (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) have become the fourth and fifth players from Palomar's 2016 team to accept scholarships to Division I schools.

Earlier, left-handed pitcher Tyler Turski signed with the University of Kansas, corner infielder Niko Holm with Santa Clara University and right-handed pitcher Mitch Hayes with Nevada. Grant, Turski and Holm were sophomores during the recently completed season. Mackey and Hayes accepted scholarships after their freshman seasons.

Grant, a Carlsbad High School product, was a first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection. He hit .356 for the season with 4 doubles, 5 triples, 1 home run, 25 RBIs, 7 steals on 8 attempts and a 1.000 fielding average for 70 chances. Grant hit .380 in conference games.

Mackey, who came to Palomar from Ramona High School, hit .409 for 44 at-bats while splitting time with another freshman, Mike Benson, at catcher. He batted .459 in conference games.

Ex-Comets Gary Cornish (left) from the University of San Diego and Jake Barnett (right) from 2016 NAIA national champion Lewis-Clark State were drafted by the New York Mets and Washington Nationals, respectively, on Saturday. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

PC's Cornish to Mets and Barnett to Nationals

SAN MARCOS (6-11-2016): Ex-Palomar pitchers Gary Cornish and Jake Barnett both were taken in the 2016 draft on Saturday.

Cornish, a senior right-hander from the University of San Diego, went to the New York Mets in the 19th round. Barnett, a junior-left hander from 2016 NAIA World Series champion Lewis-Clark State College, was taken by the Washington Nationals in the 20th round.

Barnett. a 6-foot-2, 190-pound lefthander out of Orange Glen High School, was Palomar's No. 1 starter during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He went 8-2 as a freshman (7-0 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference) with ERAs of 2.50 overall (1.52 in conference). As a sophomore, he was 9-3 (6-1 in conference) with ERAs of 2.65 overall (2.29 in conference).

Barnett was a two-time All-PCAC first-team selection and a first-team California all-state pick as a sophomore.

Cornish, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound righthander from Arcadia High School in Phoenix, pitched for the Comets during the 2014 season after transferring from St. Mary's College of California. Cornish was a first-team All-PCAC selection. He appeared in 18 games for the Comets, compiling a 2.78 ERA and recording five saves.

 ABOVE: Lewis-Clark State's NAIA Baseball World Series champions, featuring former Comet pitchers Jake Barnett (below left) and Anthony Balderas (below right). The national title was a record 18th for Lewis-Clark State.

World Series titles for PC's Barnett, Balderas

LEWISTON, Idaho (6-03-2016): On Thursday night, Lewis-Clark State won the NAIA Baseball World Seires for a record 18th time, beating top-seeded and 2013 champion Faulkner University 12-11 in Lewiston.

As a result, two former Palomar standouts will be wearing national championship rings: pitchers Jake Barnett and Anthony Balderas of Lewis-Clark State.

Barnett (Orange Glen High) went 6-1 with 1 save and was the winner coming out of the bullpen as the Warriors downed Faulkner 3-0 earlier in the tournament. He threw 2 2/3 relief innings in the championship game. Balderas (La Costa Canyon High) was 4-0 on the year with saves and a 2.33 ERA.

In the World Series championship game, former Comet Dennis Morton went 3-for-4 for Faulkner with 3 home runs (1 off Barnett), 4 runs scored, 4 RBIs and a walk. He hit 4 homers in the World Series. On the season, Morton hit .344 for the Eagles with 16 doubles, 19 home runs and 65 RBIs.

Among other Palomar baseball alumni: San Jose State left fielder Dillan Smith (Temescal Canyon High), the 2014 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year, made the All-Mountain West second team after batting .284 and having a big season defensively. Senior pitcher Gary Cornish went 5-3 in 18 appearances, all as a starter, for the University of San Diego. Cornish led the Toreros in both inings pitched (80 2/3) and stikeouts (80). Senior third baseman Eric Sapp (Cathedral Catholic High School) started 44 of 46 games for the University of Portland, which like USD plays in the West Coast Conference. Pitcher Vaughn Berberet has made 12 appearances out of the bullpen for Long Beach State last season and this season without allowing an earned run. Shortstop Chris Stratton (Chaparral High in Temecula) helped lead Cal Poly Pomona through four rounds of the NCAA Division II World Series in Cary, North Carolina after leading the Broncos to the West Regional championship. Stratton batted .364 during his junior season.

Alec Salcedo (Murrieta Mesa High), the starting centerfielder on Palomar's 2015 nationally No. 9-ranked team, drove in 6 runs by going 3-for-3 and slugging a grand-slam home run as Lindsey Wilson defeated Auburn Montgomery of Alabama in the NAIA World Series.

Other ex-Comets spent the 2016 season at San Jose State (Graham Gomez), Gonzaga (Zach Boneau, who red-shirted after transferring from the University of Washington), Regis University (Dylan Navarro), Rogers State (Rusty Huber), Hawaii Pacific (Cody Ellis and Bubba Craig, sidelined with an injury), Cal State San Marcos (Emilio Esquibel and Zack Widkham), UCSD (Vince Mori), Westmont (Matt Matlock), Vanguard (Michael Jordan) and Tyler Russell (Lindsey Wilson).

Mike Benson (left photo) gets down a sacrifice bunt in game vs. Cerritos on Feb. 20. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. Niko Holm (right photo) gets throw at first base as pitcher Taylor Turski picks off Dillon Persinger in Comets' 6-5 victory over Golden West on Jan. 30. -- Photo by Philip Farry. The Rustlers have reached the finals of the CCCAA State Championship Final Four and will play Santa Rosa for the state title on Monday. Below: Dylan Breault

Holm, Benson make All-American, All-State

FRESNO (5-29-2016): Palomar sophomore first baseman Niko Holm and freshman catcher Mike Benson both were named to the Community College All-American team and California Community College Baseball Coaches Association All-American first team announced at the CCCAA State Championship Final Four.

Sophomore third baseman Dylan Breault was selected to the All-State second team and All-Southern California team for the second straight year.

Holm, a Rancho Bernardo High School product, has signed a Division I National Letter of Intent with Santa Clara University.

Saladino (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs) stars for Sox

KANSAS CITY, Missouri: (5-29-2016): Tyler Saladino, the 2008 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year at Palomar and 2009 Summit League Player of the Year at Oral Roberts University, continued his hot May run for the Chicago White Sox against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, Saladino went 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and a run scored against the Royals at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City, then came back Sunday against the Royals by going 1-for-3 and scoring a run. He played the entire game for the Sox at shortstop on both days.

Saladino, a seventh-round draft pick of the White Sox after his junior season at Oral Roberts, has appeared in 92 games as a part-time starter at short and third base and also playing first base since being called up from Triple-A on July 10, 2015.

VIDEO: Relay by Saladino for Sunday double play 

Tyler Saladino, Chicago White Sox  Nick Vincent, Seattle Mariners 
James Hoyt
Astros, AAA
Danny Bethea
Red Sox, AAA
Jeff Ibarra
Mexico, AAA 
Brenden Webb
Nationals, AA 
Tim Hill
Royals, AA


Nine former Comets getting it done in pros

SAN MARCOS (5-24-2016): Nine former Palomar players are getting the job done in professional baseball, including two ex-Comets currently in the Major Leagues.

Nick Vincent, in his fifth season in The Show, has a 2-1 record out of the bullpen with a save, a 1.40 earned run average and 24 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings through Monday pitching for the Seattle Mariners after being traded by the Padres just before the start of the season.

For his Major League career, Vincent has a 2.49 ERA with 185 strikeouts in 170 innings pitched (through games on Monday). He pitched a hitless, scoreless inning with a strikeout and no walks in a 5-4 victory against the Reds on Sunday in Cincinnati.

Tyler Saladino, playing both shortstop and third base in his second MLB season for the Chicago White Sox, was hitting .407 during May, with a .283 season batting average, and hits in all seven of his starts in the month, including four multiple-hit games, before he went hitless on Sunday vs. the Kansas City Royals.

Three former Comets are on Triple A rosters, pitcher James Hoyt (Houston Astros), catcher Danny Bethea (Boston Red Sox) and pitcher Jeff Ibarra, who is property of the Padres on loan to Guerreros de Oaxeda of the Class AAA Mexican League after starting the season with Diablo Rojos del Mexico (the Mexico City Red Devils).

The 6-foot-6 Hoyt was with the Major League Astros during spring training and was the last pitcher they sent down to the minors before the start of the regular season. Hoyt has a 2.11 ERA with nine saves as the closer for the Astros’ Fresno Grizzlies farm club in the Pacific Coast League, allowing only 12 hits in 21 1/3 innings while striking out 35 batters.

Bethea, who led St. Johns University to within one game of the Division I College World Series before being drafted and signed by the Red Sox, is with the Pawtucket, their Triple A club in the International league but is on the disabled list.

Ibarra has a 2.79 ERA for his first 9 1/3 innings pitched for Oaxeda.

Ex-Comets in Double A rosters are pitcher Tim Hill (Kansas City Royals) and outfielder Brenden Webb (Washington Nationals). Catcher Audie Afenir (New York Yankees) and utility player River Stevens (Padres) are in Class A ball Christian Johnson is an infielder in Independent pro baseball with the Roswell Invaders in the Pecos League.

Hill, who missed the entire 2015 season with cancer and has now been diagnosed free of the disease, is rising quickly through the Royals' farm system, beginning with stints in Rookie ball, long-season Class A and Advanced A in 2014 after his Bacone College team played in the NAIA National Tournament and narrowly missed a berth in the organization's World Series. He was moved from Advanced A Wilmington to to Northwest Arkansas in the Double-A Texas League two weeks ago.

Webb has played in 17 games since being moved up from Advanced Class A to Double A for the Nationals' Harrisburg Senators farm club in the Eastern League. Afenir is hitting .267 for the Yankees' Class A Charleston RiverDogs in the South Atlantic League. Stevens is hitting .285 for the Fort Wayne Tin Caps in the Class A Midwest League after stints with Advanced A Lake Elsinore and Class AA San Antonio earlier in the season.. Johnson is 3-for-8 in his first two games for Roswell.

Francis Christy, a seventh-round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks after Palomar's 2015 season, remains in Extened Spring Training.

Chris Stratton
Division II World Series
A. Balderas
NAIA World Series
Alec Salcedo
NAIA World Series 
Dennis Morton
NAIA World Series 
Rusty Huber
4th in D-II, 12 saves

BELOW: San Jose State's Dillan Smith (left), a second-team All-Mountain West Conference selection; NAIA World Series-bound pitcher Jake Barnett of Lewis-Clark State

... and ex-Comets make big impact in the next level

SAN MARCOS (5-24-2016): The Palomar baseball program is considered prime recruiting territory for four-year college and university coaches year after year.

Looking at former Comets' success in four-year college baseball again during the 2016 season, one can see why.

From San Jose State outfielder Dillan Smith on the Division I level to second baseman Chris Stratton, a huge cog in Cal Poly Pomona's successful Regional run into the Division II World Series, to five ex-Comets helping lead their teams into the NAIA World Series, Palomar products have come up big on the next level. Again.

Smith's No. 1 strengths are considered to be his speed and defense, but he's given the Spartans a big offensive boost as well as they enter the Mountain West Conference Tournament, hitting .370 in conference games and .280 on the season. He led San Jose State in conference hits (34), runs (20) and on-base percentage (.420) and was selected to the All-MWC second team.

Smith's ex-Palomar teammate Graham Gomez has made 23 pitching appearances for San Jose State, primarily as a starter. At the University of San Diego, ex-Comet Gary Cornish is 5-3 with a 4.57 ERA and leads the Toreros in strikeouts (80 compared with only 25 walks) and innings pitched (80 2/3).

Other Palomar products at the D-I level include pitcher Josh Bravin at Eastern Michigan, pitcher Zach Wilkins with a 3-3 record in 13 appearances at Nevada, pitcher Taylor Miller at Nevada and catcher Zach Bonneau who is red-shirting at Gonzaga after transferring from the University of Washington.

Stratton, a two-year starter at Cal Poly Pomona, is batting .387 and went 7-for-13 in the first three games of the recently completed West Regional tournament the Broncos won to move on the the upcoming NCAA Division II World Series at the USA Baseball National Training Complex at Cary, North Carolina. Stratton finished third in hitting in the CCAA conference.

Meanwhile, pitchers Jake Barnett (5-1, 1 saves, 2.72 ERA, 47 strikeouts in 43 innings) and Anthony Balderas (4-0, 4 saves, 1.80 ERA) play key roles for Lewis-Clark State, the host team for the NAIA World Series, as the defending champion Warriors seek their 18th national title.

Also helping lead their teams to the NAIA World Series with championships in Opening Round tournaments in the national tourney are third baseman Dennis Morton of 2013 champion Faulkner University (.349, 14 doubles, 15 home runs, 58 RBIs), left fielder Alex Salcedo of Lindsey Wilson (.299 average in 57 games leading off) and pitcher Tyler Russell, also of Lindsey Wilson (7-2 record for 84 innings pitched).

Pitcher Rusty Huber had a huge junior season at Rogers State University, making all-conference and All-South Central Region while going 2-1 with 12 saves (fourth-best in NCAA Division II) and an ERA of 1.50 (seventh best in D-II). Huber has struck out 43 batters while allowing only 18 hits in 36 innings and was honored as Rookie of the Year for the Rogers State athletic programs.

Also in D-II, Dylan Navarro hit .346 wth 9 doubles, 3 triples, 4 home runs and 28 RBIs playing first base for Regis University. Nolan Berraza hit .317 with 9 doubles, 6 triples, a home run and 28 RBIs for Hawaii Pacific University, while pitched Cody Ells compiled a 3.52 ERA for 30 2/3 innings for the Sharks, allowing only 23 hits. Ex-Palomar catcher Bubba Craig was sidelined for the season with an injury.

Emilio Esquibel had a 4.10 ERA for 74 2/3 innings pitched at Cal State San Marcos. Zack Wickham also pitched for the Cougars. And Vince Mori appeared in 44 regular-season games as an infielder for UC San Diego.

Infielder Matt Matlock hit .340 for Westmont University, which narrowly missed a trip to the NAIA World Series with a third-place finish in the Santa Barbara Bracket. Pitcher Michael Jordan was 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA and 15 saves at Vanguard University and made a big run in the Montgomery, Alabama Bracketl before being eliminated by Morton and Faulkner. 

Niko Holm (top photo) lines a double in Palomar's 16-11 victory over San Diego Mesa on March 22. He's accepted a scholarship to Santa Clara University. Mitch Hayes (directly above) deals in the Comets' 15-1 win over Imperial Valley on March 8. Hayes has signed with the University of Nevada. -- Photos by Philip Farry

Holm to Santa Clara and Hayes to Nevada

SAN MARCOS (5-17-2016) – Two more Palomar players are headed to NCAA Division I baseball on scholarships, sophomore first baseman/third baseman Niko Holm to Santa Clara University and freshman right-handed pitcher Mitch Hayes to the University of Nevada.

Holm, who came to Palomar from Rancho Bernardo High School, hit .363 during the recent season with 1 double, a triple, a home run, 23 RBIs and a .987 fielding average. In the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, he hit .433 with 13 doubles, a triple, a home run, 20 RBIs and a .995 fielding average. Holm was a two-time all-conference selection. He batted .322 as a freshman in 2015 in helping the Comets to their fifth straight PCAC title and third in the CCCAA State Tournament.

Hayes, out of Great Oak High School in Temecula, started the season as Palomar’s closer and ended it as the Comets’ Thursday starter. He compiled a 6-2 win-loss record with four saves over 59 innings pitched. In conference games, he was 4-1 with a 3.66 ERA for 39 1/3 innings.

Previously, left-handed starting pitcher Taylor Turski signed with the University of Kansas.

Freshman catcher Mike Benson, shown sliding home to score a run in Palomar's 4-1 victory at Southwestern on April 19, was one of seven Comets selected to the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first team. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

2016 Season ...

7 Palomar players are first-team All-PCAC

SAN DIEGO (5-09-2016) – Palomar landed seven players on the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first team selected Monday by PCAC baseball coaches.

Sophomore third baseman Dylan Breault was runner-up for Player of the Year honors, missing selection by one vote, and was a unanimous first-team selection.

The other first-team picks for the Comets were sophomore pitcher Taylor Turski, freshman catcher Mike Benson, sophomore first baseman Niko Holm, sophomore second baseman Mitch Gallagher, sophomore shortstop Casey Henderson and sophomore outfielder Chase Grant.

Leading vote-getters at their respective positions were Breault (infielders), Turski (pitchers), Benson (catchers), Holm (first basemen) and Grant (outfielders).

There were 22 first-team selections, meaning Palomar had just under one-third of the first-team picks. Grossmont outfielder Tyler Perry was selected as Player of the Year. The Griffins’ Randy Abshier was named Coach of the Year.

Palomar’s honorable mention selections were pitchers Carter Johnson, Mitch Hayes and Troy lamparello, and outfielders Sam Casinelli and Nashea Diggs.

Dylan Breault, shown in a road win over San Diego Mesa in March, is Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Men's Athlete of the Week.

Breault is picked PCAC Men's Athlete of Week

SAN DIEGO (5-09-2016) – Dylan Breault, Palomar’s sophomore third baseman, has been named Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Men’s Athlete of the Week.

Breault, the Southern California Community College Athlete of the Week two weeks ago, batted .473 for the Comets in conference games with nine doubles, two triples, two home runs and 19 RBIs. He hit .403 on the season with 10 doubles, 5 triples, two homers and 23 RBIs.

And he ignited a late run by Palomar as the Comets finished one game behind champion Grossmont in second place. The Comets got hot, winning 15 of their last 17 regular-season games, when Breault moved over from shortstop to third base where he was also a major force defensively.

Over the weekend, Breault had a sacrifice and an RBI in a 7-4 loss to Cuesta in San Luis Obispo which opened the teams’ best 2-of-3 first-round Southern California Regional series. He came back with a hit and a sacrifice fly as Palomar won the second game with a comeback 9-6 victory. And he went 2-for-4 with a triple in game 3 as the Comets dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker, stranding Breault at third base in the ninth inning.

PC stays alive with comeback, falls 1 run short

SAN LUIS OBISPO (5-06-2016 / 5-07-2016) – After dropping the first game of its best 2-of-3 round 1 Southern California playoff series at Cuesta College on Friday, Palomar forced a third game with a stirring comeback Saturday that netted the Comets a 9-5 victory that evened the series at a game apiece.

But the Comets fell barely short in the series’ rubber game later in the day, stranding the tying run at third base in the ninth inning as the Cougars won 3-2.

The loss eliminated Palomar from the postseason. Coach Buck Taylor’s club finishes the year 25-14.

In Friday’s series opener, the Comets broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the fifth when Mitch Gallagher singled and eventually scored on Nashea Diggs’ double and Casey Henderson drove in Diggs with a single. But Cuesta came back to regain the lead 6-4 on Tanner Bos’ wind-blown grand-slam home run over the left-centerfield fence. For the game, Diggs went 3-for-4 and Niko Holm went 2-for-4 with a double.

Palomar trailed 3-0 through 5 innings in the series’ second game but batted around in the bottom of the sixth, scoring six runs to take the lead, then added two more runs in the seventh.  John Mackay’s two-run single and Matt Wezniak’s two-run double were the big blows in the inning. Dylan Breault  and Diggs also singled to drive in runs in the inning, and Niko Holm and Mike Benson contributed singles in the rally.

For the game, Chase Grant (left, 3-for-4, three doubles, RBI), Holm (right, 3-for-5) and Benson (2-for-5) led the way as Palomar pounded out 13 hits. Breault contributed a single and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Mitch Hayes pitched into the seventh inning, allowing two earned runs, was hurt by errors that allowed three unearned runs to score. But he battled his way through 6 2/3 innings to record the win and advance to 6-2 on the season. Troy Lamparello came on in relief to throw 2 1/3 scoreless innings as he notched his second save.

Breault went 2-for-4 with a triple  to lead the Comets in the third game. Henderson had a double, Grant contributed a single and an RBI and Diggs, Benson and Eric Charles also hit safely.

Lamparello came back to start the game and struck out five batters over six innings, allowing two earned runs, as he kept the Comets in the game.

But Palomar barely missed an opportunity to tie it in the top of the ninth. Benson and Breault singled back-to-back to begin the inning and moved up on a wild pitch. With one out, pinch runner Cody Norton raced home on another wild pitch and Breault went to third. What would have been the tying run was 90 feet from the plate.

But the Comets went down on a pop up and a called third strike for the second and third outs to end the season.

Reliever Carter Johnson pitched spectacularly for Palomar in the first and third games. In game 1, he threw 2 1/3 innings of one-hit, shutout ball, striking out four and walking none. In game 3, he struck out three and walked none over two perfect innings.

BOX 1 | BOX 2 | BOX 3 | SEASON

Taylor Turski, the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Men's Athlete of the Week and Southern California Community College Player of the Week the previous week, has accepted a D-I scholarship  to the University of Kansas. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Jayhawks land Athlete of the Week Turski

SAN MARCOS (5-04-2016) -- Taylor Turski, who has a 12-0 pitching record in two seasons at Palomar, has committed to the University of Kansas where he’ll become the 14th Comet to play for the Jayhawks’ head coach, Ritch Price.

Turski – who chose the Jayhawks over Oklahoma, Kansas State, San Jose State, the University of San Diego and Utah -- has been named Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Men’s Athlete of the Week after pitching eight innings of three-hit ball, striking out seven and walking none, to beat San Diego City College 12-1 last week. The previous week, he was selected as Southern California Community College Player of the Week for defeating Southwestern 4-1 with an eight-inning, four-hit performance.

After going 8-0 last season as the Comets won their fifth straight PCAC championship and finished third in the California State Community College Tournament, the former Temecula Valley High School standout, was held out of much of the 2016 season with a minor tricep strain. Coach Buck Taylor and pitching coach Bobby Shore brought him back slowly, holding him out and then limiting his innings, until he was completely recovered.

Turski has a 4-0 win-loss record for the Comets, who placed second in the PCAC, one game out of first place, and will open play in the Southern California Regionals this Friday and Saturday when they play at best 2-of-3 series at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. Turski has a 1.84 ERA for the season with 49 strikeouts and 19 walks on the season.

Previous Comets who played for Price at Kansas have been catcher Sean Richardson, pitcher Travis Goset, catcher Dylan Parzyk, pitcher Brendan McNamara, pitcher Andres Esquibel and pitcher Alex Cox. Catcher Marty Comacho, third baseman Steve Rohlmeier, outfielder Kyle Albright, pitcher Greg Bochy, catcher Keith Anderson, outfielder Phil Thompson and pitcher Mark Engel played for Price when he was the head coach at Cal Poly SLO.

Dylan Breault leads Palomar regulars in hitting through the regular season with a .414 average. The Comets open the postseason this weekend vs. Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Palomar opens Regionals on Friday at Cuesta

SAN MARCOS (5-01-2016) – Coach Buck Taylor’s Palomar baseball team, runner-up in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and 24-12 on the season, has been seeded 11th in the Southern California Community College Regional Playoffs.

The Comets will open with a best of-3 series on the road against No. 6 seed Cuesta (25-11), the Western State Conference Northern Division champion, beginning Friday at 2 p.m. in San Luis Obispo.

Other teams in Palomar’s half of the bracket are No. 2 seed Glendale (28-8), No. 3 seed Golden West (23-13), No. 7 seed Chaffey (27-9), No. 10 College of the Canyons (28-8) and No. 14 seed Rio Hondo (24-12)/

The teams in the other half of the bracket are No. 1 seed Saddleback (29-7), No. 4 Cypress (24-12), No. 5 Grossmont (27-9), No. 8 Long Beach City College (24-12) and No. 9 Bakersfield (26-10). The winner of each bracket will move on to the CCCAA State Final Four at Fresno City College on Memorial Day weekend.

The four play-in teams are No. 15 seed Santa Barbara City College (19-17), No. 16 Mt. San Jacinto (20-16), No. 17 Fullerton (15-21 including 12 forfeit losses) and No. 18 Riverside City College (21-15). The top two seeds in Northern California are No. 1 Santa Rosa (29-6) and No. 2 Consumnes River (28-8).

Description: http://www.palomar.edu/athletics/16.lamparello.city.jpg

Starter Troy Lamparello deals in the first inning in Friday's 10-4 victory over San Diego City College at Palomar College Ballpark. Lamparello pitched the first six innings to record the win, striking out nine and walking one. He retired 11 straight batters in a row at one point. -- Photo by Phil Farry

Comets finish with 15 wins in last 17 games

SAN MARCOS (4-29-2016) -- Palomar concluded the regular baseball season with a 10-4 victory over visiting San Diego City College on Friday, sweeping its series with the Knights 4 games to 0 as Troy Lamparello, Matt Wezniak, Connor Stotz and Marc Sauceda combined on a seven-hitter, striking out 13 and walking three.

The Comets saw their string of Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champonships end at five by finishing in second place, one game behind champion Grossmont, a 10-1 winner over Mt. San Jacinto on Friday. But there is no denying that coach Buck Taylor's club will enter the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the California.

The Comets go into the the Southern California Regional Playoffs with records of 10-1 for their last 11 games and 15-2 in their most recent 17 games.

Palomar (24-11, 18-6 in conference) banged out 18 hits against three City College pitchers, led by Nashea Diggs (3-for-4, double, 2 runs scored) and Sam Casinelli (3-for-3, 2 RBIs).

Niko Holm (2-for-2, double, 2 runs scored), Mike Benson (2-for-2, double, sacrifice fly, RBI), Casey Henderson (2-for-4, run scored, RBI) and Dylan Breault (2-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs) also had multiple hits. Mitch Gallagher tripled to drive in two runs. Sauceda singled to drive in a run. John Mackay and Efrain Medina each singled and Chase Grant drove in a run on a fielder's choice.

Taylor utilized 19 players, substituting liberally when it became obvious Mt. San Jac was out of the game vs. Grossmont. A win by the Eagles over the Griffins would have given Palomar a tie for its sixth straight conference title.

City College took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Comets took over the game with a run in the bottom of the inning, four runs in the third and five more in the fourth to go in front 10-1.

Lamparello (2-2) struck out nine and walked one over the first six innings. He retired 11 batters in a row at one juncture.

Palomar will find out its opponent and the game site to begin the Southern California Regionals after a seeding meeting on Sunday. The Comets finished third in the state tournament last season.


Mitch Gallagher (No. 20 in the top photo) is greeted by Niko Holm (23) as he leaps in the air after crossing the plate following what turned out to be the game-winning home run to lead off the top of the 10th in the continuation of a game from March 11. Nashea Diggs (directly above) scores for the Comets in the regularly-scheduled game that followed. The Comets swept the Knights 6-5 and 11-4 at San Diego's Morley Field. -- Photos by Philip Farry

3 wins for PC: forfeit plus a two-game sweep

SAN DIEGO (4-28-2016) – Palomar’s day in baseball went better than anyone could ever have expected on Thursday.

In the morning, the Comets received word that Fullerton, who had beaten them 1-0 back on Feb. 4, has forfeited the game for use of an ineligible player. One win on the day.

In the afternoon, Palomar faced nearly insurmountable odds as coach Taylor’s squad squared off at Morley Field against San Diego City College to complete a game that had been halted by rain on March 11. The Knights led 5-2 with the Comets batting in the top of the ninth with none out and a runner at first base. Nearly insurmountable odds aside, Palomar scored three runs to tie the game, then won it in the on Mitch Gallagher’s home run over the leftfield fence to lead the off the 10th inning. Two wins on the day.

Shortly after the completion of that game, the two teams played again in a regularly-scheduled game, and the Comets beat the Knights again, this time 11-3. Three wins on the day.

Palomar (23-12, 18-5) clinched no worse than undisputed second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and a Southern California playoff berth with the two Thursday wins -- can tie for its sixth straight conference championship if the Comets beat City College in the final game of the regular season on Friday at 2 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark, and Mt. San Jacinto wins on the road over Grossmont. The Griffins clinched at least a tie for the title with an 11-3 win over the Eagles on Thursday.

In the suspended game, the Comets tied the Knights at 5-5 with three runs in the top of the ninth on a two-run triple to centerfield by Mike Benson and an RBI double down the leftfield line by Nashea Diggs. That set the stage for Gallagher’s game-winning homer on the first pitch in the 10th.

Carter Johnson, who had relieved starter Mike Lopez in the eighth inning back on March 11, finished the game and was the winning pitcher.

In the regularly-scheduled game, the Comets banged out 16 hits, led by Nico Holm (4-for-4, 3 runs scored, 3 doubles) and Dylan Breault (4-for-6, 2 runs scored, 1 RBI). Chase Grant was 2-for-4 and drove in a run, and John Mackey and Gallagher each had two singles. Casey Henderson and Benson also hit safely.

Palomar led 2-1 after three innings and broke the game open with three runs each in the fifth, sixth and seventh.

Mitch Hayes pitched the first seven innings to record the victory. Tyler Baca and Tom Brunansky each threw a scoreless relief inning.

BOX 1 | BOX 2

Travis Turski (top photo) delivers a pitch in Palomar’s 12-1 victory over visiting San Diego City College on Thursday. Turski struck out seven and walked none over the first eight innings as he combined with Tyler Baca to throw a three-hitter. Casey Henderson (left in photo, directly above) and Grant Buck score the first two runs of the game on Mike Benson’s two-run single in the bottom of the fourth. – Photo by Philip Farry

PC clobbers SD City 12-1 behind Turski (4-0)

SAN MARCOS (4-26-2016) – Taylor Turski turned in another dominant pitching performance, striking out seven batters and walking none over eight innings, as Palomar regained undisputed second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference standings on Thursday with a 12-1 beat-down of visiting San Diego City College.

The sophomore left-hander from Temecula Valley High School, who advanced to 4-0 on the season and 12-0 over two seasons, teamed with Tyler Baca, who pitched a scoreless, hitless top of the ninth, to throw a three-hitter as the Comets notched their 20th victory of the season. Turski lowered his ERA to 1.84 on the season and 1.54 in PCAC games.

With first-place Grossmont’s 6-0 victory over Mt. San Jacinto, the Griffins (24-10, 17-5), Palomar (20-13, 15-6) and Mt. San Jac (19-15, 15-7), in that order, are bunched atop the conference.

The Comets have three regular-season games remaining, beginning Thursday when they finish will a suspended game from March 11 on the road vs. City College at 2 p.m., immediately followed by a regularly-scheduled game between the two teams. The Comets and Knights finish the season on Friday at Palomar College Ballpark, also at 2 p.m. Grossmont and Mt. San Jac have two games left, against each other, on Thursday in San Jacinto and on Friday in El Cajon.

Palomar overcame a slow start at the plate to score 10 runs on 10 hits in the final three innings. Mike Benson led the Comets’ 12-hit attack off four City College pitchers, going 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Benson singled in the fourth inning to drive in the game’s first two runs, singled in the sixth and doubled in the bottom of the eighth to drive in two more runs as he finished the game with four RBIs.

Dylan Breault, Palomar’s leading hitter with averages of .407 on the season and .474 in the conference (the latter just ahead of Benson’s .471 average), went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI. Mitch Gallagher went 2-for-4, Grant Chase contributed a two-run single, Efrain Medina doubled, and Nashea Doggs, Casey Henderson and Grant Buck singled.

The Comets were helped five walks and five hit batters by City College pitchers. Sam Casinelli walked twice, the second time to force in a run, and was hit by pitches twice in Palomar’s seven-run eighth inning when the Knights hit five batters. Gallagher, Niko Holm and Shane Olson all were hit by pitches to force in runs in the inning. Also in the inning, Henderson walked with the bases loaded.


Palomar second baseman Mitch Gallagher looks the ball into his glove in Saturday's 6-3 loss to Southwestern. -- Photo by Russell Scoffin, Southwestern College

PC wastes Lamparello's five no-hit innings

CHULA VISTA (4-23-2016) – Palomar wasted five scoreless, hitless innings by starting pitcher Lamparello to start the game and wound up dropping a 6-3 decision to host Southwestern on Saturday that dropped the Comets back into third place in the tight Pacific Coast Athletic Conference race.

Palomar (19-13, 14-6) trails first-place Grossmont by one and one-half games and second-place Mt. San Jacinto, an 11-0 winner over San Diego City College, by one-half game with one week remaining in the conference season. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak by the Comets, who were 10-1 for their last 11 games before Saturday.

Lamparello struck out nine batters in the first five innings. He retired the first 14 Southwestern batters before walking Angel Estrada walked with two outs in the bottom of the fifth.

The Jaguars broke up the no-hitter and took a 1-0 lead when they scored an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth. Nick Alcoser singled up the middle for the first hit off Lamparello with two outs in the inning.

The Comets tied the game in the top of the seventh when Chase Grant singled and eventually came home on Sam Casinelli’s sacrifice fly. But Southwestern got out of the inning on a double play.

Lamparello tired in the seventh, when two Palomar errors allowed the Jaguars to score two more runs as they took a 3-1 lead. Carter Johnson came in to get the Comets out of the inning but Southwestern scored three times in the eighth to stretch its lead to 6-1. The Comets put two runs on the board in the top of the ninth on Dylan Breault’s single, a walk to Grant, John Mackay’s single, Grant Buck’s RBI grounder to the first baseman and Nashea Diggs’ singled to left.

But it turned out to be a matter of too little, too late as the Jaguars held on for their first win over the Comets’ in four games during the season.

Palomar wasted four hits early in the game before Southwestern got its first hit – Casey Henderson’s first-inning double, Mike Benson’s second-inning triple, Niko Holm’s third-inning single and Mitch Gallagher’s fifth-inning double. On a field that is unforgiving when opponents hit fly balls, the Comets hit the ball in the air 14 times for outs.


PC makes it 6 in row; 10 wins in last 11 games

SAN MARCOS (4-21-2016) – Palomar made it 10 wins in its last 11 games, including the last six in a row, by outslugging visiting Southwestern 12-7 on Thursday. The second-place Comets can move to within one-half game of Pacific Coast Athletic Conference leader Grossmont by winning again on Saturday at noon against the Jaguars on the road.

Nashea Diggs (Ieft) paced a 15-hit attack for the Comets (19-12, 14-5 in conference) in the game at Palomar College Ballpark, going 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Mike Benson (right, 2-for-4, 2 RBIs), Sam Casinelli (2-for-4, RBI), Dylan Breault (2-for-4), Casey Henderson (2-for-4) and Niko Holm also doubled for the winners.

Chase Grant, Mitch Gallagher and Matt Wezniak also hit safely for Palomar.

The Comets fell behind 4-0, then scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, one run in the fifth and six more in the sixth to take the lead, then break the game open.

Mitch Hayes (4-2) recorded the pitching win with relief help from Marc Sauceda and Carter Johnson, who finished the game with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.


Saladino’s 1st-inning homer jump-starts Sox

CHICAGO / OTHER CITIES (4-20-2016) – Palomar product and Chicago White Sox shortstop Tyler Saladino, now in his second season in the Major Leagues, lined a home run over the leftfield fence in the bottom of the first inning on Wednesday to get the Sox rolling in a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at U.S. Cellular Field.

The other former Comet currently in the Major Leagues, Nick Vincent of the Seattle Mariners, came on in the ninth inning on Sunday at Yankee Stadium and retired the Yanks in order 1-2-3, striking out Alex Rodriguez along the way. Vincent, who was traded to the Mariners by the Padres just before the season, was the winning pitcher for Seattle coming out of the pen on opening day. He’s 1-1 so far on the season with a 3.00 ERA and eight strikeouts compared with zero walks in six innings. Vincent has a 2.64 career ERA with 169 strikeouts in 156 2/3 innings.

Another ex-Comet expected to make his Major League debut, probably early in the season, pitcher James Hoyt. Hoyt was the final pitcher sent down by the Houston Astros to Triple-A.


Palomar's Nashea Diggs gets down the Comets' second straight squeeze bunt to score Mitch Gallagher with the second run of the game in the fifth inning in Tuesday's 4-1 win over Southwestern. On the previous pla, Sam Casinelli's squeeze drove in Mike Benson to give the Comets a 1-0 lead. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

PC wins 5th in row behind Turski's pitching

CHULA VISTA (4-19-2016) Taylor Turski pitched three-hit ball through the leadoff batter in the ninth inning on Tuesday, giving Palomar a crucial 4-1 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference victory over host Southwestern at The Junction.

It was the Comets’ fifth win in a row and, coupled with San Diego City College’s 5-1 victory over Mt. San Jacinto, moves them back into undisputed second place. Palomar (13-5 in conference) has won nine of its last 10 games to close to within 1 1/2 games of first-place Grossmont (16-5), which is idle this week. The two teams are even in the loss column. Mt. San Jacinto slips into third place at 13-6.

Turski struck out nine and walked three and had a shutout going through eight innings. When he walked Tiger Guerrero, the leadoff batter in the bottom of the ninth, on four straight pitches coach Buck Taylor pulled him and sent Troy Lamparello to the mound.

Guerrero eventually scored Southwestern’s only run of the game, which was charged to Turski.

Palomar took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth when Mike Benson singled through the right side, stole second Mitch Gallagher singled and Sam Casinelli and Nashea Diggs drove in Benson and Gallagher, respectively, on back-to-back squeeze bunts.

The Comets then added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to lead 4-0. In the sixth, Dylan Breault, Chase Grant and Benson singled back-to-back-to-back, the latter to drive in Breault win run No. 3. In the seventh, Niko Holm walked with one out, stole second, went to third on Casey Henderson’s grounder to the first baseman and scored on Grant Buck’s RBI single to center.

Diggs, Breault and Gallagher all went 2-for-4 and Benson was 2-for-3 to pace an 11-hit attack for the Comets. Holm, Buck and Chase Grant had the other Palomar hits.

The Comets, who are 18-12 overall, will host Southwestern on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark and will be back at The Junction on Saturday at noon to close out the teams’ three-game series.


Mitch Hayes (top photo) and Taylor Turski (directly above), the Comets' two starters and winners in Friday's doubleheader sweep of Imperial Valley, deliver pitches at Palomar College Ballpark. They combined to allow a lone unearned run on three hits, striking out 21 batters in 14 combined innings. The Comets won 15-1 and 10-1. -- Photos by Philip Farry

Pitchers dominate IVC as Comets win big twice

SAN MARCOS (4-08-2016) -- Palomar and Imperial Valley were the only Pacific Coast Athletic Conference teams to play on Friday as the other two scheduled conference games were postponed due to wet playing conditions.

The Comets, getting lights-out starting pitching from Mitch Hayes in game 1 and Taylor Turski in game 2, took full advantage of the situation as they swept the Arabs 15-1 and 10-1. Along the way, coach Buck Taylor's squad (12-5 in the PCAC) moved to within a half-game of conference leader Grossmont (12-4).

Palomar also passed Mt. San Jacinto (9-4) to take over lone possession of second place in the PCAC race by 44 percentage points, .750 to .706.

After Hayes dominated in game 1, pitching eight innings of three-hit ball while surrendering a lone unearned run, striking out 10 batters and walking one, Turski took over and blew down the Arabs in game 2. Turski threw no-hit ball for six shutout innings, striking out 11 and walking three.

Hayes and Turski got plenty of help from their hitters, from relievers Tyler Baca in the first game and and Troy Lamparello in the nightcap, and from their teammates defensively as third baseman Dylan Breault and centerfielder Sam Casinelli made spectacular catches. Baca pitched a shutout inning to close out game 1, while Lamparello pitched the final three innings in game 2, striking out three and walking none, to earn a save.

Meanwhile, only a series of great catches by IVC centerfielder Luis Perezchica kept the two games from being even more one-sided as the Comets banged out 28 hits on the day -- 14 in each game.

In the opener, Breault remained red hot at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and four RBIs. Mike Benson smacked a two-run homer while going 2-for-4. Casinelli contributed a bases-loaded triple. Efrain Medina came off the bench to contribute a pair of hits. Niko Holm had a double. Buck Grant, Mitch Gallagher, Shane Olson and Cole Brooks also hit safely.

In the second game, Nashea Digs went 4-for-5 and drove in a run. John Mackay was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs and Holm was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Casinelli's perfect squeeze bunt drove in a both runs as Mackay scored from third and Gallagher raced home from second in the third inning. It was the second time Gallagher has scored all the way from second on a squeeze play this season.

Matt Wezniak and Joel Mitchell delivered pinch-hit doubles and Breault, Hayes and Gallagher also hit safely. Palomar's bye week is up next and the Comets, who have won eight of their last nine games, will play a three-game series with Southwestern the following week.


Comets rock Arabs as PCAC race tightens up

IMPERIAL (4-05-2016) -- On a day that first-place Grossmont lost for the third time in its last six games, Palomar pulled to within one game of the Griffins in the loss column in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference race on Tuesday.

The Comets pounded out 18 hits and won 15-1 on the road over Imperial Valley.

Sophomore right-hander Carter Johnson, a La Costa High School product who pitched for San Jose State last season, handcuffed IVC over the first eight innings to earn the win. He scattered seven hits, struck out eight and walked one.

Tom Brunansky, the son of 14-year Major League outfielder Tom Brunansky Sr., the Minnesota Twins' hitting coach, came in to start the ninth inning and finished off the Arabs.

Coupled with San Diego City College's 5-4 upset of Grossmont and Mt. San Jacinto's 10-7, come from behind victory over Southwestern, it's race on for the PCAC championship with five teams within two games of each other in the loss column.

Grossmont is 12-4 in conference, followed by Mt. San Jacinto (9-4) which leads the Comets (10-5 and winners of six of their last seven games) by percentage points in second place. City College is 7-5 and Southwestern is 7-6.

Palomar's hitters jumped on IVC starter Christian Navarette for five runs on six hits in the top of a first inning that was highlighted by an RBI double by Grant Buck, an RBI single by Dylan Breault (above left) and a three-run home run by Mike Benson (above right) over the leftfield fence.

The Comets added two runs in the second inning and two more runs in the third to lead 9-0. After scoreless innings in the third, fourth and fifth, they heated up the offense again to tack on three more runs in the seventh, two in the eighth and one more in the top of the ninth.

On the day, Breault (3-for-4, triple, 2 runs scored, 2 RBIs), Chase Grant (3-for-4, 3 runs scored, 1 RBI), Casey Henderson (2-for-6, 2 runs scored) and Benson (2-for-3 with the home run, 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs) had multiple-hit games for Palomar, which is 15-12 overall.

Joel Mitchell doubled, Mitch Gallagher had a 2-run single, Efrain Medina singled and walked with the bases loaded to contribute 2 RBIs, Niko Holm had a single and a sacfice fly and Shane Olson also hit safely.



Description: http://www.palomar.edu/athletics/16.scoreboard.msj.jpg

Pre-season All-American Taylor Turski (above photo), in his best outing of the season coming off a sore tricep, delivers to the plate for the Comets against Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday. He allowed only three hits in the first six innings, striking out seven, as Palomar won 18-0. Matt Wezniak (No. 19) crosses the plate after his grand-slam home run in the bottom of the sixth broke the game open. -- Photos by Philip Farry

PC avenges upset with pair of eight-run innings

SAN MARCOS (4-02-2016) -- Believe this. Taylor Turski is back.

Palomar's pre-season community college All-American pitcher, a sophomore left-hander out of Temecula Valley High School, was limited by a sore tricep earlier in the season. But head coach Buck Taylor and pitching coach Bobby Shore have brought Turski back slowly out of the bullpen and, on Saturday, he made a definitive statement in his return to the starting rotation.

Turski threw three-hit, shutout ball over the first six innings, striking out seven, to breeze to the pitching win in an 18-0 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference boat-race victory over Mt. San Jacinto at Palomar College Ballpark that avenged an upset loss to the Eagles on the road Thursday. He and relievers Troy Lamparello, Marc Sauceda and Tom Brunansky combinted on a four-hitter.

The Comets led only 2-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, then exploded for eight runs in the inning and for eight more in the bottom of the seventh to win for the fifth time in their last six games. For the day, Palomar banged out a season-high 25 hits, one more than the Comets had in a 16-11 slugfest win over San Diego Mesa on the same field on March 27.

Pinch-hitter Matt Wezniak slugged a grand-slam home run over the rightfield fence to break the game open at 6-0 and Cody Norton smashed his second HR of the year, a two-run shot, later in the inning for the biggest blows in the blowout victory. 

Casey Henderson went 4-for-5 for the Comets with three runs scored and an RBI. Dylan Breault went 3-or-5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Sam Casinelli went 3-for-5, doubled, scored a run and drove in two runs. Grant Buck went 3-for-5, scored a run and had three RBIs. And Mitch Gallagher was 3-for-4 and scored a run.

Cole Brooks entered the game in the bottom of the seventh and went 2-for-2 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs.

Also coming off the bench, Mike Benson added a single and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, while Efrain Medina also singled and had an RBI. Niko Holm Grant Chase and John Mackey also contributed singles.


Palomar product Nick Vincent has been traded to the Seattle Mariners. -- Courtesy photo (above); Photo by Tom Saxe (below)

Padres trade ex-Comet Nick Vincent to Seattle

PEORIA, Arizona (3-30-2016) -- The San Diego Padres have traded Palomar College product Nick Vincent to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later. The trade was announced Wednesday morning.

The right-handed reliever, who is beginning his fifth Major league season, has made 161 big-league appearances, all with the Padres, with a 2.63 career ERA and 161 strikeouts compared with 39 walks over 150 2/3 innings.

“Very consistent,” Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto told the Seattle Times newspaper. “He’s neutralized right-handed hitters and there’s no reason to expect that to change. He’s very cutter-centric. He’s got a very usable fastball.

" He’s got some history in the big leagues and I think he gives us a nice upgrade and additional depth in the bullpen we were looking for. We needed it based on the course of this spring and this is a nice solution. Fortunately, he only has to walk across the parking lot to take part.’’

The Padres and Mariners share a spring-training complex in Peoria.

“It’s been fun,” Vincent told the Times.” Just growing up in San Diego (County) and playing for San Diego has been a lifelong dream. It’s tough to leave, but it’s part of the game.”

He labeled the trip from the Padres’ side of the Peoria Sports Complex to the Seattle side, “a long walk.”

“I knew in time it’s going to happen sooner or later in your career,” Vincent said. “It’s hard to find guys that played for one team their whole life. It’s going to be fun. It’s a change. They want me, so that’s good."

Vincent, who moves over to the American League where he'll face another former Comet in third baseman/shortstop Tyler Saladino of the Chicago White Sox, was inducted into the Palomar College Athletic Hall of Fame in January.

Right-handed hitters are hitting just .195 (64 for 329) with a .493 OPS against Vincent for his career. He’s posted a 9.42 strikeout to walk ratio against right-handers.

Dylan Breault begins his swing on his home run swing in the bottom of the fourth inning that started Palomar on the way to a four-run inning and a 5-2 lead over Mt. San Jacinto. -- Photo by Philip Farry

PC clubs Mt. San Jac; Gallagher goes 5-for-5

SAN MARCOS (3-29-2016) -- Palomar continued to pound the ball and its opponents on Tuesday, getting a 5-for-5, three-runs batted in performance from Mitch Gallagher (left) and home runs from Mike Benson (right) and Dylan Breault on the way to a 12-3 rout of visiting Mt. San Jacinto.

The Comets, in running their win streak to four games, knocked out 16 hits in support of Troy Lamparello, who came on in relief to begin the fifth.

Lamparello, back from the injury list, picked up the pitching win by throwing five innings of one-run, three-hit ball.

Benson went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, a double and four RBIs for Palomar (13-11, 8-4 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference). Breault went 2-for-4, socked a solo HR and reached base as a hit-batter. Niko Holm was 2-for-5, drove in a run, walked and stole a base.

Grant Buck singled to drive in two runs, Nashea Diggs singled with an RBI and Chase Grant, Casey Henderson and Sam Casinelli also hit safely.

The Eagles took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. The Comets came back with one run in the third, four in the fourth when Breault and Benson hit their homers, scored five more runs in the sixth and their last two runs in the eighth.

Palomar moved to within percentage points of second-place Mt. San Jac with the win and can take over undisputed second by beating the Eagles on Thursday in San Jacinto. The teams conclude the series on Saturday at noon back at Palomar College Ballpark.


Holm is selected as PCAC Athlete of the Week

SAN DIEGO (3-28-2016) -- Palomar baseball player Niko Holm has been selected as Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Men's Athletes of the Week for the week of March 21-27.

Holm, Palomar’s sophomore baseball first baseman from Rancho Bernardo High School, helped lead the Comets to a three-game sweep of San Diego Mesa by going 9-for-16 with eight RBIs, a home run, a triple and two doubles for the week. Along the way, he raised his batting average to .382 with a .559 slugging percentage and a .410 on-base percentage.

Holm went 4-for-6, scored two runs, drove in six runs and narrowly missed the cycle as he doubled, tripled and homered as Palomar won game 1 of the series 16-11. Holm was 4-for-5 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in game 2 as the Comets shut out the Olympians 7-0. And he singled, scored a run and drove in a run in game 3 as Palomar won 9-3.

In the top photo, winning pitcher Connor Stotz, who threw four innings of two-hit, shutout ball in Friday’s 9-3 victory over San Diego Mesa at Palomar College Ballpark, delivers to the plate. Directly above: the Comets' Sam Casinelli slides into third base in the seventh inning. – Photos by Phil Farry

Palomar sweeps series against San Diego Mesa

SAN MARCOS (3-25-2016) -- Cameron Stotz pitched four two-hit, shutout innings in relief to pick up the win and Palomar scored three runs in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth to pound San Diego Mesa 9-3 on Friday at Palomar College Ballpark.

With the victory, the Comets swept the week's three-game series from the Olympians 3 games to 0 and won the teams' season series 4-0, advancing to 7-4 in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference play.

Palomar, helped by back-to-back solo home runs by Nashea Diggs and Dylan Breault to lead off the bottom of the second, got solid starting pitching from starter Taylor Turski but were tied with the visitors at 3-3 entering the seventh.

In the bottom of the inning, Casey Henderson singled through the right side to drive in one run and pinch-hitter Joel Mitchell doubled down the leftfield line to drive in two more, putting Palomar on top 6-3.

Chase Grant and John Mackay singled back-to-back to lead off the Palomar eighth and the Comets made it 7-3 on a Mesa error going to third on Mitch Gallagher's sacrifice fielder's choice that allowed Grant to score. Sam Casinelli then banged a single to left to drive in the second run of the inning and Mike Benson's sacrifice fly drove in the third run, giving the Comets a six-run cushion entering the top of the ninth.

With Stotz in complete command, they got through the inning in short order and the Olympians were sent packing back to San Diego.

Casinelli, the Comets' centerfielder went 2-for-3 to finish an 8-for-11 week in his first three starts of the season. Grant (2-for-4 to complete a 9-for-14 week) and Henderson (2-for-4 on the day with an RBI to finish off a 7-for-13 week) all contributed multiple hits.

Niko Holm wrapped up a 9-for-16 week with nine RBIs when he singled to drive in a run in the third inning. Breault's second-inning homer gave him an 8-for-12 week.

Cody Norton beat out a bunt single in the eighth for Palomar's other hit in the game. The Comets got to the Olympians' pitching staff for 12 hits on the day and 56 hits in three games.


Chase Grant eyes the pitch on his single in the top of the ninth for Palomar's 20th hit of the afternoon in Thursday's 7-0 win over San Diego Mesa.. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Hayes' 3-hit shutout, 20-hit attack top Olympians

SAN DIEGO (3-24-2016) -- Palomar turned back San Diego Mesa for the second time in three days on Thursday afternoon, winning 7-0 as Mitch Hayes threw a three-hit shutout with relief help from Tyler Baca in the ninth inning.

For the second straight game, the Comets' offense got to Mesa pitching for at least 20 hits, this time hitting that number on the nose as Niko Holm and Casey Henderson each went 4-for-5, while Dylan Breault and Chase Grant  knocked out three hits apiece. Palomar was coming off a 16-11 win on Wednesday at home when the Comets banged out 24 hits.

The two teams will conclude their season series on Friday at 2 p.m. back at Palomar College Ballpark.

Hayes, a freshman right-hander from Temecula's Great Oak High School, who had been utilized all season long out of the bullpen, got his first start of the year and made the most of the opportunity. He allowed two hits to begin the first inning but only one more, with two outs in the seventh, the rest of the way.

After Mesa opened the bottom of the first with back-to-back hits by Caleb Harmond and Conner Tripett, Hayes got out of the inning by stabbing Nate Mann's liner back at the box, throwing the ball  to Holm in first base for a double play, then coaxing Alex Emerick to ground out to short for out No. 3.

From that point on, Hayes was nearly unhittable. He retired 19 of the next 20 batters, with Mesa managing to hit one ball out of the infield, before Alex Elipulos singled to center with two outs in the seventh. Hayes then retired the next four batters before Baca came on to pitch a hitless, scoreless ninth inning.

Holm, a sophomore from Rancho Bernardo High School, doubled and drove in a run as part of his 4-foor-5 day. He's 8-for-11 with seven RBIs this week. Henderson, a freshman who is also from Rancho Bernardo High, drove in a run on the way to his 4-for-5 day.

Breault went 3-for-4, doubled, had two RBIs and stole a base. He's 7-for-8 so far this week. Grant was 3-for-5 and is 7-for-10 on the week. Sam Casinelli, who tripled to drive in a run in his first at-bat, also walked with the bases loaded for another RBI and had a sacrifice bunt. Casinelli is 6-for-8 on the week.

Mike Benson added two singles for the Comets. Eric Charles, Mitch Gallagher and Efrain Medina all singled.

Palomar (11-11, 6-4) gained ground on first-place Grossmont in the PCAC race. Southwestern upset the Griffins on Thursday 10-5.


Niko Holm lines a double to leftfield for Palomar in the Comets' five-run fifth inning that broke Tuesday's game open at 11-4 at Palomar College Ballpark. Holm drove in six runs with a home run, triple and two doubles. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Casinelli is 5-for-5; PC has 24 hits in slugfest

SAN MARCOS (3-22-2016) -- Between them, Palomar and visiting San Diego Mesa combined for 26 runs, 42 hits, 14 extra base hits and 60 baserunners in the two teams' 3-hours and 36 minutes baseball marathon on Tuesday at Palomar College Ballpark.

The Comets finally won the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game 16-11 as Sam Casinelli knocked out five hits and Niko Holm, Chase Grant and Dylan Breault each had four hits.

Leading Palomar's 24-hit attack:

Casinelli, making his first start of the season and playing centerfield, went 5-for-5, scored three runs, drove in a run and stole a base.

Holm went 4-for-6 with 6 RBIs. He smashed a home run over the leftfield fence to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning, tripled, doubled twice and scored twice.

Grant was 4-for-5 with his fifth triple of the year, a double and four RBIs. He also scored two runs.

And Breault went 4-for-4, had a sacrifice bunt and scored three runs.

The Comets trailed 4-1 when they struck for five runs in the bottom of the fourth, followed by five runs in the bottom of the fifth, putting them on top 12-4. The Olympians battled back with seven runs in the final two innings, but it was simply a matter of much too little, much too late.

Mike Benson also muscled himself into the multiple-hit column as he doubled and singled in going 2-for-3, driving in two runs. John Mackay and Casey Henderson each added doubls and Eric Charles, Nashea Diggs and Mitch Gallagher also hit safely. Gallagher also had a sacrifice fly.

The two teams will play the second game of the series on Thursday in San Diego and will conclude the series Friday back at Palomar College Ballpark, both at 2 p.m.


Barnett starts 3-0 with a save for NAIA champs

LEWISTON, Idaho (3-20-2016) -- Palomar product Jake Barnett, the No. 1 starter this season for defending NAIA national champion Lewis-Clark State, is off to a 3-0 start with one save in five appearances.

The junior left-hander has struck out 29 batters and walked eight in 23 1/3 innings for the Warriors. He has a 3.86 earned run average. Barnett was 17-5 with a 2.59 ERA for the Comets during the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Barnett was recruited out of Palomar by 2014 College World Series champion and 2015 runner-up Vanderbilt and by Cal State Fullerton but would have had to remain an extra year to earn his AA degree.

Junior right-hander Anthony Balderas, who transferred from Palomar to Lewis-Clark State along with Barnett prior to the current season, is 2-0 for the Warriors with one save and a 2.35 ERA coming out of the bullpen. Barnett came to Palomar out of Orange Glen High School, while Balderas prepped at La Costa Canyon High.

Lewis-Clark State, which has won 17 NAIA World Series titles, is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation with a 20-2 record. After Sunday, there are no unbeaten teams remaining in the NAIA. Nationally No. 10-ranked University of Jamestown of Jamestown, North Dakota was the last team to fall, finally losing 1-0 on the road to Nebraska Wesleyan on an unearned run in the final inning Sunday. Jamestown is 26-1 on the season.

Palomar stunned Grossmont's PCAC leaders with 16 hits and a 10-6 victory on Thursday at Palomar College Ballpark, handing the Griffins their first conference loss. Starting pitcher Troy Lamparello (left) was outstanding until he had to leave the game in the fifth inning when a linedrive glanced off the first two fingers of his throwing hand. Taylor Turski (right) retired all six batters he faced, striking out four of them, to record the save. -- Photos by Philip Farry.

(Scroll down for Saturday's game)

PC stuns conference leaders with 16-hit attack

SAN MARCOS (3-17-2016) -- Palomar moved to within two games of Grossmont's Pacific Coast Athletic Conference leaders in the loss column on Thursday, pounding the visiting Griffins with a 16-hit attack 10-6.

Casey Henderson (3-for-5, 2 doubles, 1 run scored, 3 RBIs) and Mitch Gallagher (3-for-5, double, 1 run scored, 2 RBIs) led the offensive barrage for the Comets at Palomar College Ballpark as they handed the Griffins their first conference loss after seven straight wins and snapped their win streak at 13 games.

In all, six Comets had multiple hits. Matt Benson went 2-for-3 with a double, Chase Grant went 2-for-4 and drove in a run, Dylan Breault went 2-for-5 and Niko Holm was 2-for-3 with an RBI on a squeeze-bunt hit. Palomar, leading 7-5, broke the game open with three runs in the seventh inning.

With one out, Gallagher surprised the G-House with a bunt single. Breault singled to left and, after a wild pitch put runners and second and third, Holm drove in Gallagher on a squeeze play with a single right in front of the plate. Grossmont's pitcher's throw was late trying to get Gallagher at home and the ball sailed past the catcher for an error that also allowed Breault to score on the play. Henderson then singled to left, driving in Holm and making the score 10-5.

The Comets had staked starting pitcher Troy Lamparello to a 3-0 first-inning lead and were on top 5-0 to begin the fifth, when Andres Rios' linedrive back through the box glanced off the first two fingers on Lamparello's throwing hand. Breault, the third baseman, alertly fielded the ball and rifled the ball to first to get Rios, but Lamparello had to come out of the game. Grossmont wound up scoring three runs in the inning on Michael Diffley's solo home run over the leftfield fence and two additional unearned runs as the Griffins got back into the game at 5-3.

But Palomar tacked on two runs in the fifth on Benson's double, a walk to Grant and Gallagher's two-run double to center. That made it 7-3, and the G-House closed the gap to 7-5 before the Comets' seventh-inning outburst.

The Griffins added an unearned run in the eighth before Taylor Turski came on to get the Comets out of the inning and retired all six batters he faced, striking out four, to record the save with a lights-out performance. Marc Sauceda, the third of five Palomar pitchers, picked up the win. Mitch Hayes followed with two solid innings, allowing only the eighth-inning unearned run. Matt Wezniak and Kyle McKean also hit safely for Palomar.




EL CAJON (3-19-2016) -- Palomar lost starting pitcher Mike Lopez early, then dropped Saturday’s Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game to first-place Grossmont 6-1 at Noel Mickelsen Field on Saturday.

On the bright side for the Comets, which wasted an opportunity to climb to with one game in the loss column in the conference race: Matt Wezniak pitched three-hit, shutout ball over the final 4 1/3 innings against the Griffins’ long ball-hitting batting order.

But by the time Wezniak, Palomar’s fourth pitcher of the day, went from designated hitter to the mound Grossmont had taken a 6-1 lead after home runs by Noah Strohl, Andres Rios and Cabot Van til.

Lopez pitched a scoreless first inning, but felt discomfort in his throwing arm and, taking no chances, Palomar coach Buck Taylor removed him at that point.

Offensively, Mitch Gallagher went 3-for-4 for the Comets to finish a week that saw him go 7-for-12. Chase Grant was 2-for-3, and Niko Holm and Wezniak also hit safely. Rios, playing second base for Grossmont, and shortstop Michael Diffley leaped high in the air to catch line drives off the bat off Dylan Breault, robbing Breault of two base hits.

Defensively, Palomar left fielder Cole Brooks made a diving catch in the to rob Strohl of a hit in the sixth inning.


Three Comets make academic all-state team

SACRAMENTO (3-16-2016) Three Palomar players have been named to the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association’s academic all-state team.

Freshman utility player Joel Mitchell (left), who played on the high school level for Ramona before red-shirting at Palomar in 2015 before being activated this  season, is one of only five players in California and three in Southern California to carry a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.

Joining Mitchell on the academic all-state team are sophomore outfielder Chase Grant and sophomore corner infielder Niko Holm. Chase, a Carlsbad High School product, carries a 3.82 grade-point average. Helm, a Rancho Bernardo High School product, has a 3.60 grade-point average.

John Mackay reacts after crossing the plate with the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning of Palomar's 7-6 victory over visiting Southwestern on Thursday. Eric Charles, the on deck hitter, is next to Mackey at the far left. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Comets find a way to beat Jaguars in the 10th

SAN MARCOS (3-10-2016) -- John Mackay, who is 6-for-9 in back-to-back starting appearances playing in place of the injured Mike Benson, Palomar's regular catcher, found a way with zero outs in the bottom of the 10th to lift the Comets to a 7-6 victory over visiting Southwestern on Thursday.

Mackay, whose at-bat was extended moments earlier when the Jaguars' first baseman dropped his foul pop-up, doubled to left field to lead off the inning, advanced to third on a passed ball and came home when Liam Beyerle, Southwestern's eighth pitcher of the day who had just come into the game and was facing the Comets' Cody Norton, bounced an 0-2 breaking ball past the catcher for a wild pitch.

With Mackay on third and none out, Southwestern coach Jay Martel had just pulled his leftfielder into the infield, giving the Jaguars four infielders in an attempt to keep a ball from getting through into the outfield and allowing the winning run to score.

The run capped a wild 3-hours, 31-minutes Pacific Coast Athletic Conference match-up at Palomar College Ballpark that saw the Comets go out in front 5-0 and the Jaguars come back to tie the game with two runs in the top of the ninth.

Freshman left-hander Marc Sauceda, Palomar's fourth pitcher, came on to get the Comets out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the ninth with a strikeout and a tapper back to the mound. He up his first community college win.

Troy Lamparello started and pitched 5 2/3 innings for Palomar before leaving the mound with a two-run lead. Taylor Turski, the Comets' opening-day starter who is pitching out of the bullpen working his way back from a sore tricep, came on in relief to get Palomar out of the sixth and retired seven straight batters before tiring in the ninth walking two batters back-to-back.

He was relieved by Mitch Hayes.

On the day, Mackay went 3-for-4 with a run scored, a double and two RBIs. Dylan Breault was 2-for-5, doubled twice, scored a run and drove in two runs. Niko Holm went 2-for 4 with a double.

Norton slugged a solo home run over the leftfield fence in the fifth inning, putting Palomar back in front by four runs after Southwestern cut the Comets' lead to 5-2.

Palomar (3-2 in conference) will play San Diego City College on Friday at 2 p.m. in San Diego in a game that was originally scheduled for Saturday but has been moved up by a day because of anticipated rain. 




SAN DIEGO (3-11-2015) -- Friday's Palomar at San Diego City College baseball game was suspended due to rain on Friday with the Knights leading 5-2 but the Comets threatening in the top of the ninth inning.

The teams will finish the game on April 28 at Morley Field prior to their regularly-scheduled game, the next-to-last of the regular season.

Palomar will have designated hitter Joel Mitchell on first base and pinch-hitter Cole Brooks batting with a 1-0 count and none out.

Palomar unloads on IVC with a 20-hit attack

IMPERIAL (3-05-2016) -- Trailing on the road against Imperial Valley through the fourth inning, Palomar unloaded on the Arabs to score 18 runs over the final five innings as the Comets rolled to a 19-2 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball victory on Saturday.

Joel Mitchell (left), son of former Palomar and Oakland A's minor league catcher Scot Mitchell and grandson of former PC head coach Jim Clayton, provided the highlight of the afternoon as Palomar banged out 20 hits.

Mitchell buried the first pitch delivered to him from IVC right-hander Jacob Felix far beyond the leftfield fence for his first college home run, a three-run shot in the eighth inning.

Mitchell's former Ramona High School teammate John Mackay (right) went 3-for-6, driving in a pair of runs, and Eric Charles, Efrain Medina, Casey Henderson, Mitch Gallagher and Cole Brooks each banged out two hits.

In the process, the Comets gave starting pitcher Mike Lopez, who overcame two unearned runs by the Arabs in the first inning, the win. He pitched two-hit ball over the first five innings, striking out foiur, and combined with Marc Sauceda, Taylor Turski and Tom Brunansky on a four-hitter.


Comets, trailing 3-0 early, eventually win in 10th

SAN DIEGO (3-01-2016) -- Down 3-0 after three innings, visiting Palomar came back to win Tuesday's Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball game at San Diego Mesa 5-3 in 10 innings.

The Comets broke a 3-3 tie with two of runs in the top of the 10th -- putting together an infield single by Dylan Breault, Eric Charles' sacrifice bunt, Casey Henderson's walk and stolen base, Effrain Medina's single, a passed ball that allowed Breault to score and an RBI single by Niko Holm (left).

Palomar had cut Mesa's lead to 3-2 in the fifth after Holm led off the inning with a double to rightfield. Cody Norton also walked in the inning, Mitch Gallagher singled and the runs eventually scored on Mike Belson's sacrifice fly and Breault's RBI fielder's choice.

The Comets then tied it up in the top of the seventh when Norton doubled to center, advanced to third on Benson's sacrifice bunt and eventually scored on Breault's sacrifice fly.

Troy Lamparello, Taylor Turski, Brett Lockwood and Mitch Hayes all pitched for Palomar. Lockwood (above right) threw a scoreless ninth inning and picked up the win. Hayes came on to record the save.

The Comets turned four double plays behind their four pitchers, two from Breault at shortstop to Gallagher at second to their first baseman, Holm. The third double play went from Holm to Breault and the final double play came in the bottom of the ninth from Breault to second baseman Nashea Diggs to Holm.

Benson gunned down a runner trying to steal.

Holm went 2-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a walk. Norton, Breault, Charles, Medina, Chase Grant and Gallagher had one hit each.


Effrain Medina lays down a squeeze bunt in the eighth inning that went for a base hit and drove in Casey Henderson with the tying run in a game that Grossmont eventually won Saturday at Palomar College Ballpark. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Comets come back, then drop PCAC opener

SAN MARCOS (2-27-2016) -- Palomar rallied from a two-run deficit to take a 5-2 lead with a five run-fourth inning, fell behind by a run, tied the game again but eventually lost its Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opener to Grossmont 8-6 on Saturday at Palomar College Ballpark.

Everything happened in the fourth inning after two were out. Grant Buck doubled, Dhlan Breaux walked, pinch-hitter Effrain Medina singled to drive in a run, Mike Benson singled in a run, Cody Norton followed with an RBI double and Eric Charles drove in two runs with a single to center.

After the Griffins went back in front 6-5 with a run in the top of the seventh and three more in the eighth, the Comets tied it up in the eighth when Casey Henderson doubled, went to third on Buck's grounder to the right side and, after Breault was hit by a pitch, Medina layed down a perfect squeeze bunt that went for a hit, scoring Henderson.

But Grossmont scored twice in the top of the ninth to win the game.

For the Comets, Medina went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs. He also doubled. Charles and Grant Buck both were 2-for-3. Along with Henderson's and Norton's doubles, Chase Grant, Breaux and Benson had singles.


Glendale third baseman Frank Garriola tags out Palomar's Nashea Diggs at third base on a pickoff throw from catcher Dylan Bahr for the third out in the bottom of the fourth on Saturday. The Vaqueros advanced to 9-2 on the season by beating the Comets. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Comets have worst day in loss to Glendale

SAN MARCOS (2-23-2016) -- Host Palomar ran into a 9-win, 2-loss Glendale College team on Tuesday, jumped in front in the bottom of the first inning 5-0, then had their worst day of the season as the Vaqueros came back to win the teams' non-conference game 14-6.

The five-time Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champions will have the rest of the week to solve some issues before facing Grossmont College on Saturday at noon at Palomar College Ballpark in the teams' conference opener.

After four tough losses to some of traditionally best teams in California following a victory over two-time defending state champion Orange Coast and two wins to open the David Buttles Memorial Tournament in Palm Desert, the wheels came off for the Comets on Tuesday.

Glendale took advantage of mistakes and pitching problems by the Comets (now 5-7) to break open an 8-6 game in the final three innings.

For Palomar, Mitch Gallagher went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt, a walk, two runs scored and an RBI, Casey Henderson was 2-for-5 with a run scored.

Gallagher doubled to drive in a run, Marc Sauceda doubled to drive in two runs, Casey Henderson contributed a single and Chase Grant drew a bases-loaded walk, all after Eric Charles drew a walk to begin the bottom of the first inning, to highlight the Comets' five-run outburst.

Grant had the other Palomar hit, a single in the fifth when the Comets tacked on an unearned run.

For the Vaqueros, third baseman Frank Garriola had a career day, going 5-for-6 with a home run, two doubles, two singles and two RBIs. Troy Mulcahey also homered for Glendale.


Palomar shortstop Dylan Breault (top photo) catches a throw as Cerritos' Derrick Edwards (37) is safe at second in the Falcons' four-run eighth inning on Saturday. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. Mitch Gallagher (directly above) drives in a run for the Comets on a fielder's choice in the third inning, when Palomar took a 3-1 lead. - Photo by Philip Farry

Comets can't hold late lead in loss to Falcons

SAN MARCOS (2-20-2016) -- Palomar's topsy-turvy early baseball season of late-inning wins and late-inning loses continued on Saturday when visiting Cerritos scored four eighth-inning runs to come from behind and win a non-conference game from the Comets 6-5.

The Comets trailed 1-0, came back to go in front 3-1 in the bottom of the third and led 5-2 when the Falcons rallied in the top of the eighth.

For Palomar, Eric Charles went 3-for-4, raising his batting average to .526 for 19 at-bats. Casey Henderson went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs. Niko Helms was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Chase Grant singled to drive in a run, Dylan Breault went 1-for-4 and Mitch Gallagher drove in a run on a fielder's choice.

Mike Lopez, the Comets' starting pitcher threw four-hit ball over six innings, striking out five, and left the game with 5-2 lead. Mitch Hayes, Palomar's closer and its fourth pitcher of the afternoon, entered the game on a non-save situation and got the Comets out of the eighth inning, then pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

Palomar falls to 5-6 and will attempt to enter Pacific Coast Athletic Conference play at 6-6 by beating Glendale on Tuesday at 2 p.m., also at Palomar College Ballpark. The Comets, who will be seeking their sixth straight PCAC championship, will be off Thursday and will host Grossmont to begin the conference season next Saturday at noon at home.

In their last the Comets have gone 1-3 against opponents that have won a combined 20 state community college championships, one game against Cypress (5 state titles), two vs. Orange Coast (6) and Saturday's game with Cerritos (9).


Myers Field, Palomar's baseball home for six decades, is being demolished this week to make way for a parking lot. This was the view as of mid-day Thursday from what was left field, with the softball field in the background. The remains of the scoreboard, on which the late coach Rusty Myers' last name was incorrectly spelled "Meyers", are in the foreground. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Myers is coming down; only visitors' dugout left

SAN MARCOS (2-19-2016) -- Workers began demolishing Myers Field, the Palomar baseball team's home for six decades, this week and as of Friday afternoon the only recognizable part of the field remaining was the visitors' dugout.

The Comets played at the facility through the 2015 season, then moved into the new Palomar College Ballpark to begin the 2016 season. By early next week, only the memories of the facility, which the late Palomar baseball coach and Athletic Director Ward "Rusty" Myers and his 1950s-era players helped build, will remain.

The demolition is making way for a parking lot.

Palomar sophomore right-hander Mike Lopez pitches against two-time defending state champion Orange Coast in last Tuesday's non-conference game at Palomar College Ballpark. Lopez pitched six innings of four-hit, shutout ball, striking out 10 and walking none, in the Comets' 6-3 win. He was selected as Southern California Player of the Week by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Lopez named SoCal Player of Week by coaches

SAN MARCOS (2-17-2016) -- The California Community College Baseball Coaches Association has honored Palomar's Mike Lopez, a sophomore right-handed pitcher from El Camino High School, as Co-Player of the Week in Southern California.

Lopez set the tone in the Comets' 6-3 victory over two-time defending state champion and Southern California top-ranked Orange Coast last Tuesday at Palomar College Ballpark as he started for the Comets and pitched six innings of four-hit, shutout ball, striking out 10 and walking none.

He came out of the game following a 1-2-3 sixth inning when he struck out the side against the Pirates' 3-4-5 hitters.

So far in the 2016 season, Lopez has an earned run average of 0.87, striking out 12 and walking one in 10 1/3 innings. He's a transfer from Central Arizona Community College.

Ex-Comet Stratton first Player of Week in CCAA

POMONA (2-10-2016) -- Palomar transfer Chris Stratton. a two-time All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection as a Comet, made a major impression to begin the season for 2015 NCAA World Series third-place finisher Cal Poly Pomona. It earned him the first Player of the Week honor for the California Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Stratton, a junior who played high school baseball at Chaparral High School in Temecula, led the defending CCAA champion and 2016 title favorite Broncos to three victories in four games in their season-opening series with Concordia of Irvine.

He homered, tripled, scored six runs, drove in seven and stole four bases in the series. In the series' final game, a 12-3 win for Cal Poly, he drove in four runs.

Benson goes 3-for-4; PC rallies to win in 10th

PALM DESERT (2-12-2016) -- Led by catcher Mike Benson (left), who went 3-for-4, Palomar came from behind again on Friday night as the Comets downed San Bernardino Valley 4-3 in 10 innings at College of the Desert's Ted Hamilton Field for the Comets' fourth straight baseball win.

Palomar (5-3) has come from behind in the late innings in all five of its 2016 wins.

Tyler Baca (right, 2-0) pitched two shutout relief innings to record the victory and Mitch Hayes came on to throw the 10th inning, notching his third save.

 Coach Buck Taylor's squad trailed 2-1 entering the ninth inning, when Effrain Medina, who had driven in Palomar's first run with a sixth-inning sacrifice fly, led off by drawing a walk. Shane Olson moved pinch runner Cody Norton to second with a sacrifice bunt and, with two outs, Benson singled through the left side to advance Norton to third.

Niko Holm followed with a single to right to drive in Norton and send the game to extra innings tied at 2-2.

Dylan Breault singled to left field to lead off the top of the 10th and stole second. Nashea Diggs beat out a bunt single to the third baseman, who threw wild to first, allowing Breault to score and Diggs to go to second. Diggs took third on a wild pitch and scored the second run of the inning on a throwing error by the catcher.

That gave Palomar a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the inning, when Hayes came in to notch the save. San Bernardino Valley closed the Comets' lead to 4-3 on a sacrifice fly.

Troy Lamparello started on the mound for Palomar and scattered five hits over the first seven innings.

The Comets will go for their fifth straight win when they play Cypress to close out the tournament on Saturday at 11 a.m.


Palomar scores 5 in 8th for another late victory

PALM DESERT (2-11-2016) -- For the fourth time this season and the third time in six days, Palomar came from behind late in the game to win on the baseball diamond, this time scoring five runs in the eighth inning Thursday to defeat College of the Desert 6-4 at Ted Hamilton Field.

Trailing 4-1 entering the bottom of the eighth as the home team vs. the tourney host in the David Buttles Memorial Tournament, the Comets (4-3) pushed across the five runs on Nashea Diggs' single, a walk to Casey Henderson, an RBI double by Efrain Medina (left), Grant Buck's groundball to the right side, an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Cole Brooks, John Mackay's sacrifice fly, an error and Chase Grant's triple down the rightfield line.

It was the fourth triple by Grant, all to rightfield, in the Comets' first seven games.

The latest rally gave the pitching win to Matt Wezneak, the second of three Palomar pitchers, who threw two-hit ball over four innings while striking out four. Mitch Hayes came on the begin the top of the ninth and retired the Roadrunners on a groundout, fly out and strikeout to record his second save.

The Comets scored their first run of the game in the fourth inning when Diggs singled, stole second and came home on Medina's fielder's choice.

Grant (2-for-4 with the triple and two RBIs), Medina (2-for-3 with the RBI and a walk) and Diggs 2-for-5) had multiple hits to highlight Palomar's eight-hit attack. Buck and Mike Benson also hit safely.

The Comets will play San Bernardino Valley in Friday's 4:30 p.m. game and will close out the tournament on Saturday in an 11 a.m. game vs. Cypress.


TOP PHOTO: Mitch Hayes, Palomar's final pitcher of the afternoon, delivers to the plate in the ninth inning of the Comets' 6-3 victory over two-time defending state champion Orange Coast. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Hayes tags out the Pirates' Chris Prescott for the final out of the game. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Comets rally, knock off '15 state champion OCC

SAN MARCOS (2-09-2016) For the third time in its last three home games at the new Palomar College Ballpark, Palomar came from behind late in the game to defeat a formidable opponent Tuesday afternoon.

After the same scenario in earlier home wins over Golden West and Fullerton, the Comets rallied from a two-run deficit to score six times in the bottom of the eighth inning, this time knocking off two-time defending state community college champion Orange Coast 6-3.

Trailing 2-0 going into the last of the eighth, the Comets got things going to lead off the inning when Eric Charles was hit by a pitching. Following in quick succession, Dylan Breault singled, Mitch Gallagher sacrificed him to second, the Pirates walked Casey Henderson intentionallh, pinch-hitter Matt Wezniak singled to drive in two runs, pinch-hitter Efrain Medina singled ina run, Mike Benson singled and Chase Grant singled for his third hit of the day, driving in another run.

After the second out, Charles came to bat for the second time in the inning and singled through the left side of the infield to drive across the Comets’ fifth and sixth runs.

For the game, Grant went 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI, while making a spectacular diving catch in left field for the third out in the top of the fourth. Charles went 2-for-3 with his two RBIs and also walked and reached base as a hit batter.

Mike Lopez, the Comets’ starter, threw six strong shutout innings, leaving a scoreless game after srikeing out Orange Coast’s 3-4-5 batters to get out of a two-on, zero-outs situation.

After the Pirates took a 2-0 lead off Palomar’s second pitcher, Carter Johnson came on to throw 1 1/3 innings and picked up the win when the Comets exploded for their six runs in the eighth.

Mitch Hayes finished the game in the ninth, giving up an unearned run.

The win was especially sweet for the Comets as the Pirates el9minated them 2-0 in the winners’ bracket game at the CCCAA State Final Four in Fresno last May before moving on to win their second straight state title.


Chase Grant slides in safely back to first base. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Comets rally from 5-2 deficit to down Fullerton

SAN MARCOS (2-06-2016) -- Trailing by three runs through six innings, Palomar tied the game in the seventh, then scored twice in the bottom of the eighth on Saturday to down Fullerton 7-5 in a non-conference baseball game at the new Palomar College Ballpark.

The victory avenged a 1-0 loss at Fullerton on Thursday and gave freshman Tyler Baca , Palomar's fourth pitcher of the day, his first community college win. Baca pitched 1 2/3 shutout innings before Mitch Hayes, a freshman from Temecula's Great Oak High, came on to notch the save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Mike Benson doubled to right-center to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Hayes, Palomar's designated hitter before moving to the mound, advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Eric Charles beat out an infield single, and a throwing error on the play allowed Benson to score what turned out to be the winning run. Palomar added its second run of the inning when Charles went to third on a wild pitch and came hom on Chase Grant's triple to right.

In the Comets' three-run seventh, Charles walked, Grant advanced him with a tapper back to the mound, Dylan Breault singled, pinch-hitter Effrin Medna singled to drive n a run, Casey Henderson singled in a run and Shane Olson doubled to right-center to drive in the third run of the inning.

Olson (2-for-4, double, 2 RBIs), Casey Henderson (2-for-4, RBI) and Breault (2-for-5) had multiple hits.


Reliever Mike Lopez delivers a pitch in the ninth inning in the Comets' 4-3 victory over defending Orange Empire Conference champion Golden West. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Norton's single gives PC 1st win in its new park

SAN MARCOS (1-30-2016) -- Chase Grant tripled into the rightfield corner with one out in the bottom of the ninth and Cody North drove him home with a bloop single into short right on Saturday as Palomar beat Golden West 4-3.

Leading up to Norton's game-winning RBI, Casey Henderson slugged a two-run home run to leftfield in the third inning, the first HR ever at the new Palomar College Ballpark, to give the Comets a 3-1 lead. The Rustlers scored sngle runs in the seventh and the top of the ninth to tie it, the latter on a bad-hop single that knocked down shortstop Dylan Breault with two outs.

Mitch Hayes picked up Palomar's first win of the season in relief. Taylor Turski, who started and was the victim of an unearned run in the top of the first, had limited Golden West to two runs throgh 7 2/3 innings.

The Comets tied the game 1-1 i the second inning when Mitch Gallagher sngled to center to drive in Breault, who was hit by a pitch and went to second on a passed ball.

Shane Olson doubled and Matt Benson, Breault and Matt Wezniak singled for Palomar's other hits. Benson, the Comets' catcher, had his third big game defensively. He picked off two basrunners and blocked eight pitches in the dirt on eight attempts.



2016 Baseball Schedule and Results

(Home Games in Bold)

Wed Jan 27 COD Palomar  Ballpark Lost 3-7 BOX 0-1 ----
Thu Jan 28 at Golden West Huntington Beach (Hoover Field, Golden West College) Lost 6-8 BOX 0-2  ----
Sat Jan 30 Golden West Palomar Ballpark WON 4-3 BOX 1-2 ----
Thu Feb 4 at Fullerton Fullerton College (Hornet Field) WON 9-0 (FORFEIT) BOX 2-2 ----
Sat Feb 6 Fullerton Palomar Ballpark WON 7-5 BOX 3-2 ----
Tue Feb 9 Orange Coast Palomar Ballpark WON 6-3 BOX 4-2  
Thu Feb 11 vs. COD (Buttles Memorial Tournament) Palm Desert (Hamilton Field) WON 6-4 BOX 5-2  
Fri Feb 12 vs. San Bernardino Valley (Buttles Memorial Tournament) Palm Desert (Hamilton Field) WON 4-3 (10 INN) BOX 6-2  
Sat Feb 13 vs. Cypress (Buttles Memorial Tournament) Palm Desert (Hamilton Field) Lost 4-7 BOX 6-3  
Thu Feb 18 at Orange Coast Costa Mesa  (Pickens Field, Orange Coast College Lost 7-8 BOX 6-4  
Sat Feb 20 Cerritos Palomar Ballpark Lost 5-6 BOX 6-5  
Tue Feb 23 Glendale Palomar Ballpark Lost 6-14 BOX 6-6  
Sat Feb 27 Grossmont (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark Lost 6-8 BOX 6-7 0-1
Tue Mar 1 at San Diego Mesa (PCAC) San Diego (SD Mesa Field) WON 5-3 BOX 7-7 1-1
Thu Mar 3 at Mt. San Jacinto San Jacinto (MSJ field) Lost 5-7 BOX 7-8 1-2
Sat Mar 5 at Imperial Valley (PCAC) Imperial (Imperial Valley College Field) WON 19-2 BOX 8-8 2-2
Thu Mar 10 Southwestern (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark WON 7-6 BOX 9-8 3-2
Tue Mar 15 at Grossmont (PCAC) El Cajon (Mickelsen Field, Grossmont College) Lost 0-1 BOX 9-9 3-3
Thu Mar 17 Grossmont (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark WON 10-6 BOX 10-9 4-3
Sat Mar 19 at Grossmont (PCAC) El Cajon (Mickelsen Field, Grossmont College) Lost 1-6 BOX 10-10 4-4
Tue Mar 22 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark WON 16-11 BOX 11-10 5-4
Thu Mar 24 at San Diego Mesa (PCAC) San Diego (SD Mesa Field) WON 7-0 BOX 12-10 6-4
Fri Mar 25 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark WON 9-3 BOX 13-10 7-4
Tue Mar 29 Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark WON 12-3 BOX 14-10 8-4
Thu Mar 31 at Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) San Jacinto (MSJ Field) Lost 7-9 BOX 14-11 8-5
Sat Apr 2 Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark WON 18-0 BOX 15-11 9-5
Tue Apr 5 at Imperial Valley (PCAC) Imperial (Imperial Valley College Field) WON 15-1 BOX 16-11 10-5
Fri Apr 8 Imperial Valley (PCAC) - game one of doubleheader Palomar Ballpark WON 15-1 BOX 17-11 11-5
Fri Apr 8 Imperial Valley (PCAC) - game two of doubleheader Palomar Ballpark WON 10-1 BOX 18-11 12-5
Tue Apr 19 at Southwestern (PCAC) Chula Vista (The Junction, Southwestern College) WON 4-1 BOX 19-11 13-5
Thu Apr 21 Southwestern (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark WON 12-7 BOX 20-11 14-5
Sat  Apr 23 at Southwestern (PCAC) Chula Vista (The Junction, Southwestern College) Lost 3-6 BOX 20-12 14-6
Tue Apr 26 San Diego City College (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark WON 12-1 BOX 21-12 15-6
Thu Apr 28 at San Diego City College (PCAC) - Continuation of March 11 game San Diego (Morley Field) WON 6-5 (10 INN) BOX 22-12 16-6
Thu Apr 28 at San Diego City College (PCAC) San Diego (Morley Field) WON 11-4 BOX 23-12 17-6
Fri Apr 29 San Diego City College (PCAC) Palomar Ballpark WON 10-4  BOX 24-12 18-6
Southern California Regional Playoffs
Fri May 6 at Cuesta San Luis Obispo (Cuesta College Field) Lost 4-7 BOX 24-13 -----
Sat May 7 at Cuesta San Luis Obispo (Cuesta College Field) WON 9-5 BOX 25-13 -----
Sat May 7 at Cuesta San Luis Obispo (Cuesta College Field) Lost 2-3 BOX 25-14 -----

2016 Roster


NAME                POS.






1 Nashea Diggs INF R/R 5-9 170 So Esperanza (Anaheim, CA) / Central Arizona CC
2 Chase Grant OF L/R 5-11 175 So Carlsbad (Carlsbad, CA)
3 Eric Charles OF L/L 6-0 170 Fr Redwood (Visalia, CA)
4 Dylan Breault INF R/R 6-2 190 So Northville (Northville, MI) / New Mexico Community College
7 Effrin Medina INF R/R 5-8 180 So Carlsbad (Carlsbad, CA) / St. Katherine College
8 Taylor Turski P L/L 5-9 175 So Temecula Valley (Temecula, CA)
9 Casey Henderson INF R/R 6-0 180 So Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, CA) / UC Riverside
11 Sam Casinelli UT R/R 5-10 175 So La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, CA) / Riverside City College
13 Trae Erikson INF R/R 6-0 160 Fr Murrieta Mesa (Murrieta, CA)
14 Troy Lamparello P R/R 6-0 170 So El Camino (Oceanside, CA)
15 Mitchell Hayes INF L/R 6-0 180 Fr Great Oak (Temecula, CA)
17 Tyler Baca P R/R 6-2 170 Fr Cimarron Memorial (Las Vegas, NV)
18 Mike Lopez P R/R 6-0 175 So El Camino (Oceanside, CA) / Central Arizona CC
19 Matt Wezniak 1B L/L 6-1 200 Fr Carlsbad (Carlsbad, CA)
20 Mitch Gallagher INF R/R 6-0 170 So IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL) / Pepperdine University
21 Carter Johnson P R/R 6-2 200 So La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, CA) / San Jose State
22 Nick Juhl C R/R 6-0 180 So Temecula Valley (Temecula, CA) / Metro State
23 Niko Holm INF R/R 6-2 185 So Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, CA)
24 Mike Benson C R/R 6-2 200 Fr Rancho Buena Vista (Vista,
25 Marc Sauceda P/1B L/L 5-10 200 Fr Chaparral (Temecula, CA)
26 Juwan Maxwell OF L/L 5-10 175 Fr Chaparral (Temecula, CA)
27 John Makay R/R C 6-1 210 Fr Ramona (Ramona, CA)
28 Cole Brooks OF L/R 6-3 215 Fr San Marcos (San Marcos, CA)
29 Connor Stotz HP R/R 6-2 180 Fr Fallbrook (Fallbrook, CA) / UC Davis
31 Shane Olson OF R/R 6-4 210 So Loyola Sacred Heart (Missoula, MT) / University of Washington
32 Brett Lockwood P R/R 6-4 210 Fr Murrieta Vally (Murrieta, CA)
33 Cody Norton OF R/R 6-4 210 Fr Carlsbad (Carlsbad, CA)
34 Grant Buck 1B L/R 6-5 210 Fr Carlsbad (Carlsbad, CA)
35 Joel Michell 1B R/R 6-1 215 Fr Ramona (Ramona, CA)
36 Kyle McKean 1B R/R 6-3 225 Fr San Ramon (San Ramon, CA) / Chabot CC
37 William Law P L/R 6-0 210 So Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) / St. Joseph's U. (IN)
40 Thomas Brunansky P R/R 6-4 215 Fr Poway (Poway, CA)
Buck Taylor, Head Coach
Ben Adams, Associate Head Coach; Recruiting Coordinator, Infield Coach
Bob Vetter, Bench Coach
Bobby Shore, Pitching Coach
Josh Larrinaga, Outfield Coach
Hayden Carter, Bullpen Coach
Jason Schmeiser, Assistant Coach


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