SEATTLE (7-31-2017) -- Palomar alum Nick Vincent of the Seattle Mariners has run his streak of home relief appearances without allowing a run to 26 games in a row in 26 opportunities, keeping him perfect for 2017 at Safeco Field.

Vincent has lowered his earned run average to 1.83 for the season and his major league career ERA to 2.75.

Vincent is 3-1 on the season and, in six Major League seasons, has struck out 261 batters over 255 1/3 innings. Over that span he owns a 16-11 win-loss record with 4 saves

Vincent is one of three former Comets currently in the Major Leagues along with Chicago White Sox middle infielder Tyler Saladino and Houston Astros relief pitcher James Hoyt.

 Hoyt has a 2-1 record for 2017 with 57 strikeouts and only 9 walks in 37 1/3 innings.


WINOOSKI, Vermont (7-17-2017) -- Palomar baseball alum Jake Barnett, the Washington Nationals' 20th-round pick in the 2016 draft out of Lewis-Clark State College, is off to a red-hot 2017 start for the Auburn Doubledays of the Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound left-hander has appeared in 7 games in relief, pitching 14 no-hit, scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts and 0 walks.

In his last 3 appearances, Barnett has recorded 2 saves and notched his second win in relief as the Doubledays won 5-2 in 14 innings on the road over the Vermont Lake Monsters on Saturday.

He pitched 2 scoreless, no-hit innings in relief in registerting the victory.

Barnett, an all-state selection at Palomar who pitched the Comets to the CCCAA California state semifinals in 2015, helped Lewis-Clark State to the NAIA World Series title in 2016 before being drafted by the Natioinals.


CHICAGO (7-3-2017) -- Palomar's Tyler Saladino, who has been the Chicago White Sox' starting second baseman for most of the season, is ticketed to return to the club's Major League active roster, apparently after the All-Star break.

Saladino, who has missed more than a month with back spasms, has begun a Triple-A rehab assignment with the Sox' Charlotte Knights farm club of the International League.

Saladino, in his third Major League season, also was starting at shortstop and third baseman for the MLB White Sox before being sidelined.

He hit .282 for the White Sox during the 2016 season, has played every position for the Sox except pitcher and catcher and also was the team's emergency catcher.

Saladino is one of three ex-Comets currently on Major League rosters, along with relief pitchers Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners), in his sixth big league season, and James Hoyt (Houston Astros), in his second season in The Show.


ARLINGTON, Texas (6-18-2017) -- Six-year veteran Nick Vincent (Ramona High School, Palomar, Long Beach State) lowered his ERA to 1.95 for the season and 2.83 for his Major League career on Sunday.

Vincent and five other Seattle Mariners pitchers combined to throw a four-hitter in a 7-3 win over the Texas Rangers before 31,552 at Globe Life Park.

Vincent, appearing in a set-up role, pitched 1 1/3 innings of no-hit, shutout ball against the Rangers in notching his seventh hold of 2017.

He's pitched 27 2/3 innings on the season, striking out 21 and walking 5 in going 2-1 out of the bullpen. In his MLB career, Vincent is 15-11 with 4 saves, striking out 247 batters in 238 2/3 innings. The ex-Comet has appeared in 249 Major League games.

He's one of three former Palomar players currently in The Show, along with Houston Astros reliever James Hoyt and Chicago White Sox second baseman / shortstop / third baseman Tyler Saladino, who is on the disabled list.


SAN DIEGO (5-08-2017) -- Palomar sophomore  first baseman Grant Buck has been selected as Pacific Coast Conference Men's Athlete of the Week for all sports.

Buck, a Carlsbad High School product, went 6-for-14 over the weekend but the Comets (32-10) dropped two of three games in their first-round Southern California Regional playoff series on the road to Los Angeles Mission.

Buck slugged a 2-run home run in the first game of the series.

He's signed with NCAA Division I Houston Baptist.


GREENSBORO, North Carolina (4-04-2017) -- The American Baseball Coaches Association ranks Palomar No. 7 in its Pacific Divisions (Northern California, Southern California and Northwest Athletic Conference, consisting of Oregon and Washington) community college poll entering the post-season.

1. Orange Coast, 2. College of San Mateo, 3. Edmonds (WA), 4. El Camino, 5. Santa Rosa, 6. Palomar, 7. Lower Columbia (WA), 8. Riverside City College, 9. Ohlone, 10. Cypress

11. Everett (WA), 12. Sacramento City College, 13. Glendale, 14. San Joaquin Delta, 15. Pierce (WA), 16. Grossmont, 17. Merced, 18 Santa Ana, 19. Columbia Basin WA), 20. College of the Sequoias

21. Saddleback, 22. Cabrillo, 23. Linn-Benton (OR), 24. College of the Canyons, 25. Fresno City College


PASADENA (4-04-2017) -- Palomar remains No. 7 in the state baseball rankings conducted by the California Community College Sports Information Association going into post-season play.

1. Orange Coast (31-9), 2. Ohlone (36-3), 3. Santa Rosa (29-7), 4. College of San Mateo (33-6), 5. Grossnmont (29-7-1), 6. El Camino (33-7), 7. Palomar (31-8), 8. Sacramento City College (28-11), 9. San Joaquin Delta (31-9), 10. Riverside City College (26-13-1)

11. College of the Canyons (27-12), 12. Lnog beach City College (26-13-1), 13. Glendale (32-8), 14. Cypress (27-13), 15. Pasadena City College (24-13), 16. Santa Barbara City College (23-16), 17. Merced (26-14), 18. Marin (26-13), 19. Saddleback (25-15), 20. Santa Ana (26-14)

        Jim Clayton 


SAN MARCOS (2-07-2017) -- Jim Clayton, who sent three of his Palomar players into Major League baseball during a career as the Comets' head coach that lasted from 1967-1981, passed away on Jan. 29 at his home in Escondido.

He also was the running backs coach under head football coach Mack Wiebe and, after retiring from coaching and handing the head baseball reigns to California Community College Hall of Fame coach Bob Vetter, remained at Palomar as night dean on the main campus in San Marcos, followed by a stint as dean at the college's Escondido Center.

Clayton, who played football and baseball at the collegiate level, received a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education from Portland State College (now Portland State University), awarded in 1960. He earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Oregon, awarded in 1962.

He was a U.S. Army veteran who served at the demilitarized zone in Korea.

Clayton's Comet players who went on to Major League baseball were George Hinshaw, who went on from Palomar to play for Arizona State and was an infielder for the San Diego Padres; Randy Johnson, who later signed out of San Jose State and was the starting third baseman for the Atlanta Braves; and Jim Scranton, who played in the College World Series for the University of Arizona and was a shortstop for the Kansas City Royals.

Clayton is survived by his wife, Anne, sons David and Jimmie and daughter Joni. Their other daughter, Kirstie, preceded her father in death three months ago.

David Clayton was the starting first baseman for the Comets under Vetter and played at Cal State San Bernardino. Jimmie Clayton played baseball at MiraCosta College where he was a teammate of current Palomar coach Buck Taylor.

Son-in-law Scot Mitchell, a catcher for Clayton at Palomar, was drafted and signed by the Oakland A's and played minor league baseball before an injury ended his career. Jim and Anne Clayton's grandson, Joel Mitchell, played baseball for Taylor at Palomar in 2015 and 2016 and currently is a member of the baseball team at Cal Baptist University.

The Clayton family has set up an on-line memorial.

There were no services, as per Jim Clayton's wishes. Clayton was 84.


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 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.


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




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All-Time Palomar College Offensive Leaders Through 2017                  All-Time Palomar College Pitching Leaders Through 2017                    Comets to 4-Yr. Colleges (as of 2017)  | Comets to the Pros (as of 2017)

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003


2017 Season ...

Grant Buck, rounding third base here in victory over Imperial Valley, is one of seven Comets who have accepted scholarships to NCAA Division I schools. He'll play at Houston Baptist. -- Photo by Philip Farry

14 Comets land scholarships to 4-yr. schools, 7 to D-I

SAN MARCOS (7-31-2017 / REVISED 8-13-2017) -- Seven Palomar baseball players have landed scholarships to NCAA Division I colleges in a signing class that so far has reached 14 moving on to the four-year college level.

The D-I signings are relief pitcher/infielder Cameron Haskell (University of Arizona), catcher Mike Benson (University of Arizona), outfielder Joey Cooper (Cal State Northridge), first baseman Grant Buck (Houston Baptist), infielder Jared Montoya (Oral Roberts), third baseman/relief pitcher Jonathan Vizcaino (High Point) and most recently right-handed pitcher Zach Wallace (Eastern Michichigan).

Benson, the Comets' starting catcher in 2016, took an injury red-shirt year this past season.

The Division II schlarship recipients are outfielder Cody Norton (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs), relief pitcher/first baseman Marc Sauceda (Hawaii Paciific), infielder Edgar Morales (Cal State University San Marcos) and outfielder Carl Schwettmann (Southwest Baptist).

Headed to NAIA schools: outfielder Jordan Gardner (Lindsey Wilson), pitcher Tanner Roberts (Lindsey Wilson) and catcher Christian Colon (Asbury).

Headed to NAIA schools: outfielder Jordan Gardner (Lindsey Wilson), pitcher Tanner Roberts (Lindsey Wilson) and catcher Christian Colon (Asbury).

Hill: 0.95 ERA in Double A in last 15 appearances

SPRINGDALE, Arkansas / other venues (7-31-2017) -- Former Palomar reliever Tim Hill, who pitched for the Kansas City Royals as a non-roster player in spring training, is on fire for the Royals' Northwest Arkansas Naturals in the Class Double-A Texas League.

Hill, who eventually was drafted and signed out of the NAIA's Bacone College, has an ERA of 0.95 in his last 15 appearances for the Naturals over a period that has lasted from June 7 through Sunday. The left-hander, who recorded a save on Saturday, has struck out 38 batters and walked 8 during his recent run.

Ex-Comet catcher Danny Bethea, who eventually was drafted and signed by the Boston Red Sox out of Division I St. John's University, is playing for the Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs in the Double-A Eastern League. Bethea recently came off the disabled list and slugged a 2-run home run on Saturday against Harrisburg.

Jake Barnett, a left-hander who was drafted and signed by the Washington Nationals after helping lead Lewis-Clark State to the 2016 NAIA World Series chamionship, has been promoted from Auburn in the Class A short-season New York-Penn League to the Hagerstown Suns in the Class A South Atlantic League. Barnett has an ERA of 1.89 with 14 strikeouts and 1 walk over 19 innings pitched in short-season and regular A ball.

Right-handed pitcher Gary Cornish, who eventually was drafted and signed by the New York Mets out of the University of San Diego, has recently come off the DL and owns a 3.07 ERA with 20 strikeouts and 5 walks over 29 1/3 innings for the Columbia Fireflies, also in the Class A South Atlantic League.

Ex-Comet catcher Francis Christy, who was drafted and signed by the Arizona Diamonbacks out of Palomar, began the season with Visalia in the Class A Advanced California League and is now with the Diamondbacks' Kane County Cougars in the regular A Midwest League.

Left-handed reliever Jeff Ibarra, who eventually was drafted and signed by the San Diego Padres out of the NAIA's Lee University, has a 2.16 ERA in his last 10 games for Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz in the Triple-A Mexican League. He's struck out 30 and walked 12 over 33 innings.

And Brenden Webb, an outfielder who turned down a scholarship to USC to sign with the Baltimore Orioles out of Palomar, then made it to the Class AA level in the Washington Nationals organization, is now playing independent ball for Tris-Riveres of the Canadian-American Association.

Vincent beats White Sox, is 3-1 with 1.86 ERA

CHICAGO / HOUSTON (7-16-2017) -- Nick Vincent, one of three former Palomar players currently in Major League Baseball, pitched a hitless, scoreless ninth inning on Sunday, recording the win, as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Chicago White Sox 4-3 in 10 innings.

With the victory, Vincent (left) advanced to 3-1 on the season and lowered his 2017 ERA to 1.86. He appeared in all three games of the series, throwing 3 shutout, no-hit innings, striking out 4 and walking 0. It was the first time the Mariners swept the Sox in Chicago since 2003.

The former Comet, in his sixth major-league season, is 15-7 for his major-league career with 4 saves. He has a career 2.78 ERA, allowing 205 hits in 249 2/3 innings with 257 strikeouts and 61 walks.

Former Comet Tyler Saladino started at second base for the White Sox in the first two games of the series, doubling to drive in a run on Friday night, as he rejoined the club from the disabled list. Saladino, who is in his third big-league season, didn't play in Sunday's game.

The third ex-Comet in the Major Leagues, James Hoyt (right), pitched 1 1/3 scoreless relief innings on Saturday for the Houston Astros, the team with the best record in baseball, against the Minnesota Twins.

The Twins won 4-2 but Hoyt now has struck out 55 batters and walked only 7 in 34 1/3 innings out of the bullpen in 2017. He's averaging 14.4 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched. Hoyt, in his second big-league season, is 1-0 on the year with a 4.72 ERA.

ABOVE: Ryan Semon is pictured here beating eventual state champion Grossmont 4-2 on April 20 with four innings of shutout relief pitching. Semon, who 9-0 on the year to break a Palomar record, has been named to the CCCAA All-State first team. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Outfielder Joey Cooper, who joined Semon on the first team. Cooper's .434 batting average led the 2017 Comets and ranks No. 6 on the all-time Palomar list

Semon, Cooper are named first-team all-state

SAN MARCOS (6-19-2017) -- Left-handed relief pitcher Ryan Semon, who went 9-0 during his freshman season, has been named to the 2017 CCCAA All-State first team.

Semon is joined on the first team by sophomore outfielder Joey Cooper, whose .434 batting average led the 2017 Comets and ranks him No. 6 on the all-time Palomar list.

Semon, pitching all of his 52 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, broke the Comets' single-season record for most wins without a loss set by current University of Kansas left-hander Taylor Turski, who compiled an 8-0 mark in 2015.

Cooper, out of Highland High School in Bakersfield, and Semon, a 6-foot-0, 175-pound redshirt freshman out of Valley Center High School, also both were selected to the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings All-America second team representing the ABCA's Pacific Division (Southern California / Northern California / Oregon / Washington). The California and Pacific Northwest teams are not affiliated with the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Semon's nine wins all came during the regular season. He also appeared in Palomar's only post-season victory, recording one of his two 2017 saves, as the Comets dropped a first-round best-of-3 series to Los Angeles Mission 2 games to 1.

The Comets' Cameron Haskell, who signed early with the University of Arizona, was selected to the all-state second team as a utility player. Haskell hit .357 with 14 doubles, 2 triples and 7 home runs. Haskell's RBI total places him sixth on the all-time Palomar list.  

 All-Time Comet Pitching Leaders  All-Time Comet Offensive Leaders

Ex-PC pitchers lift Mariners, Astros  on same night

MINNEAPOLIS / HOUSTON / CHICAGO (6-15-2017-2017) -- Palomar alumni pitchers Nick Vincent and James "Jimmy" Hoyt continued strong seasons on Wednesday night in Major League baseball action.

Six-year MLB veteran Nick Vincent recorded his sixth hold of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.05, coming in to get the first two outs of the eighth inning before Edwin Diaz notched the save as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-4 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Vincent (Ramona High School, Palomar, Long Beach State), who was making his 27th appearance of 2017, trimmed his career ERA to 2.84. He's 2-1 on the season coming out of the bullpen and has 20 strikeouts and 4 walks in 26 1/3 innings.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Hoyt (Boise, Idaho High School, Palomar, Centenary College of Louisiana), in his second MLB season, struck out 4 batters and walked 0 in two relief innings in the Astros' 13-2 win over the Texas Rangers before a crowd of 37,221 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

It was Hoyt's seventh hold on the season for the Astros, who continued to have the best record in Major League Baseball. In 22 1/3 innings, he's struck out 40 batters (an average of 16.1 strikeouts per 9 innings), while walking 5. Hoyt is 1-0 with a 4.84 ERA.

The third Palomar alum currently in the Major Leagues, Tyler Saladino of the Chicago White Sox, continues to be sidelined with back spasms while spending most of the past month on the disabled list and will be sent to the team's spring training complex for rehabilitation.

Saladino (University City High School, Palomar, Oral Roberts University), in his third Major League season, had been the White Sox' regular second base starter, also appearing as a starter at shortstop and third base before missing 8 of 10 games due to his back injury and going on the DL for the first time since last August.

Saladino batted .282 while playing in 93 games for the White Sox in 2016.

Palomar alum Taylor Turski deals in Kansas' 7-3 victory over the nation's sixth-ranked team, TCU, to open the Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship Tournament on Wednesday in Oklahoma City. Turski struck out eight batters and walked none over 6 1/3 innings. -- University of Kansas Photo

Turski pitches Kansas past No. 6-ranked TCU

OKLAHOMA CITY (5-24-2017) -- Palomar alum Taylor Turski dominated nationally No. 6-ranked TCU to open the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday as the University of Kansas stunned the Horned Frogs 7-3.

Turski, a Temecula Valley High School product who went 12-1 for the Comets during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, left the game with a 3-2 lead with one out in the seventh inning. TCU tied the game after Turski departed but the Jayhawks scored four times in the eighth to win it.

Turski, throwing 108 pitches, struck out eight and walked none.

"I felt great," Turski said after the game. "I wanted to go in there and throw strikes and attack the hitters, which is what I did. I felt great."

ABOVE: Cameron Haskell one of five Palomar players to make the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first team, rounds the bases after game-winning home run vs. Fullerton. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Joey Cooper, the Comets' leading hitter with averages of .434 on the season and .438 in conference games. BELOW RIGHT: Ryan Semon, who was 9-0 coming out of the bullpen with two saves

Five Comets are named to All-PCAC 1st team

SAN DIEGO (4-10-2017) -- Five Palomar players, third baseman Conor McKenna, first baseman Grant Buck, relief pitcher Ryan Semon, left fielder Joey Cooper and designated hitter Cameron Haskell, have been voted to the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball first team by conference coaches.

Semon went 9-0 on the season, with all his wins coming out of the bullpen, and also had two saves. He finished with a 1.54 earned run average. In conference games, the freshman left-hander out of Valley Center High School was 6-0 with one save and a 1.76 ERA.

Cooper, a sophomore out of Highland High School in Bakersfield, led the Comes in hitting with averages of .434 (season) and .438 (conference).

Buck, a sophomore from Carlsbad High School, hit .371 for the season and .434 in PCC games.

McKenna, a freshman from Carlsbad, hit .365 on the year and .419 in conference games.

Haskell, a sophomore from Chaparral High School in Temecula and a transfer from UC Riverside, hit .357 on the year and .381 in PCAC games.

Palomar's honorable mention selections were freshman centerfielder Marco Young (Del Norte High); sophomore shortstop Jared Montoya (Castle Rock, Colorado / Central Arizona CC); sophomore rightfielder Jordan Gardner (Temecula Valley High); sophomore relief pitcher-third baseman Jonathan Vizcaino (Francis Parker High / Susquehanna University); freshman pitcher Josh Sidney (Torrey Pines High); freshman pitcher Nate Stilinovich (Murrieta Mesa High); freshman second baseman Gabe Willes (La Costa Canyon High); and freshman catcher Tristan King (Perth, Australia / Timberline High in Boise, Idaho).

PC gets 20 hits in win but drops deciding game

SYLMAR (5-07-2017) -- Palomar stayed alive in its best-of-3 Southern California Regional Round 1 series with Los Angeles Mission by pounding out 20 hits on the way to a 13-6 victory in the rain on Sauturday.

But, in a complete turn-about, the Eagles won the deciding third game of the series 6-0 as the Comets fell behind 5-0 early, had a run called back when a balk call was reversed after an argument from the Mission coach and Palomar never could get on the scoreboard. The Eagles had won Friday's opener 6-3 despite a 2-run home run by Grant Buck and a solo homer by Jared Montoya.

Palomar saw its successful season end on a sour note with a 32-10 record.

Conor McKenna (left, 4-for-5, 2 RBIs, steal), Cameron Haskell (3-for-5, home run, walk, 3 RBIs, steal), Jordan Gardner 3-for-6, RBI) and Gabe Willes (2-for-5, double, RBI) had memorable performances for the Comets in the second game of the series. Tristan King (2-for-5, single, 2 RBIs) and Buck (2-for-6, RBI) also had multiple-hit performances.

Josh Sidney (right) worked the first 5 1/3 innings to advance to 4-1 on the season and Ryan Semon pitched the final 3 2/3 innings, striking out 5 and walking none, to notch his second save of the season.

Buck (2-for-4) and Willes (2-for-4) had multiple hits in Friday's game 1 loss. George Chapman pitched 1 inning of scoreless relief.

Willes contributed 6 hits in the series.

ABOVE: Marc Sauceda beats out an infield single in the seventh inning that drove in the Comets' fourth run, giving the Comets a two-run cushion in Friday's regular-season finale at Southwestern. -- Photo by Phlip Farry. BELOW: Cameron Haskell who recorded his second save of the season and also went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, two singles and a sacrifice fly

PC ends regular season 31-8, awaits SoCal seed

CHULA VISTA (4-28-2017) -- Palomar fell just short of winning its eighth Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball title in the last nine years as the Comets ended the regular season at 31 wins and 8 losses with a 6-4 road victory over Southwestern.

Palomar (21-3 in the PCAC) finished one game behind champion Grossmont (22-2), a 7-1 winner over College of the Desert, and now awaits the results of Sunday's seeding meeting in Santa Clarita to find out where it fits in the Southern California Regional Playoffs which begin next Friday.

Palomar trailed Southwestern (25-15, 14-10) by 2-0 enterting the top of the sixth despite a strong performance from starting pitcher Josh Sidney. The Comets pulled even at 2-2 in the inning on Cameron Haskell's double, back-to-back singles by Conor McKenna and Marc Sauceda, the latter to drive in their first run, and a fielder's choice by Carl Schwettmann which chased home the tying run.

Palomar went in front for the first time 4-2 in the seventh inning on a single by Marco Young, Gabe Willes' sacrifice bunt, Cody Norton's single, Haskell's sacrifice fly that scored Young, McKenna's RBI double and Sauceda's infield single that drove in Norton.

And the Comets added made it 6-2 in the top of the eighth on Schwettmann's leadoff single, Jared Montoya's sacrifice bunt, a walk to Christian Colon, Joey Cooper's RBI single that scored Schwettmann and Willes' single to the right side that drove in Colon.

Kevin Palm, who relieved Sidney with two outs in the sixth, allowed one earned run in two innings to record the win. Haskell, the fourth Palomar pitcher of the afternoon, went from designated hitter to the mound to begin the ninth inning and notched his second save.

Haskell (3-for-4), Norton (2-for-5), Sauceda (2-for-3) and Schwettmann (2-for-4) contributed multiple hits to highlight a 12-hit attack for the Comets.


TOP PHOTO: Winner Nate Stilinovich, who started the game with 7 innings of 4-hit, shutout ball, delivers a pitch in the Comets' 5-0 victory over Southwestern on Thursday. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Shortstop Jared Montoya, who fielded a grounder and forced the Jaguars' Hunter Reed (20) at second, relays the ball to first on a third-inning double play. Palomar second baseman Gabe Willis, who homered in the bottom of the first, is at right. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Stilinovich and Vizcaino throw a 5-hit shutout

SAN MARCOS (4-27-2017) -- Left-hander Nate Stilinovich and right-hander Jonathan Vizcaino combined to pitch a 5-hit shutout on Thursday as Palomar closed out its home regular season with a 5-0 victory over visiting Southwestern.

The second-place Comets (30-8, 20-3 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference) and the third-place Jaguars (25-14,14-9) will close out the regular season on Friday at 2 p.m. at Southwestern. Palomar still has an outside chance to tie for the PCAC championship, which the Comets can accomplish if they  win and College of the Desert upsets first-place Grossmont, which still leads them by one game.

But the Griffins beat the COD 26-3 Thursday to clinch at least a title tie and it's likely the Comets will enter the Southern California Regionals as the conference's runner-up.

With Thursday's score tied 0-0, the Comets' Gabe Willes smashed his second home run of the season over the rightfield fence at Palomar College Ballpark, a solo shot with two outs in the bottom of the first inning.

That was all the cushion Stilinovich needed to record the pitching win, and after the HR, the Jaguars prevented Willes from doing any more damage with his bat by walking him in the fourth ining and hitting him with pitches in the fifth and eighth innings.

Stilinovich (4-3) threw 7 innings, allowing only 4 hits while striking out 6 and walking 1. At one point he retired 13 Southwestern batters in a row. Vizcaino came in to relieve Stilinovich in the top of the eighth and finished off the Jaguars with 2 innings of no-hit, scoreless ball.

Palomar concluded the scoring for the day with another run in the bottom of the third and 3 more in the fourth inning.

The Comets made the most of only 5 hits of their own. Besides Willes' home run, Tristan King and Jordan Gardner each had an RBI single. Joey Cooper contributed a sacrififice fly and the other run scored on a passed ball.

Gardner made the defensive play of the game by coming in to make a diving catch in rightfield to rob Kyle Pineda of a hit in the sixth inning.


The Comets' Joey Cooper slides safely into second base in Tuesday's 10-5 victory over Southwestern. -- Photo by Russell Scoffin, Southwestern College. BELOW LEFT: Grant Buck. BELOW RIGHT: Ryan Semon

Buck, McKenna, King, Semon lift PC to 29th win

CHULA VISTA (4-24-2017) -- Grant Buck, Conor McKenna and Tristan King went a combined 9-for-14 on Tuesday and Ryan Semon came in to pitch the final four innings to slam the door on Southwestern as Palomar pounded the Jaguars 10-5 for its 29th baseball victory.

Buck (3-for-4, home run, double, 3 RBIs, 3 runs scored), McKenna (3-for-5, double, 2 RBIs, 1 run scored) and King (3-for-5, run scored) led the way as the Comets roughed up three Southwestern pitchers for 17 hits.

Semon, who is 9-0 coming out of the bullpen, earned his first save when he entered the game in relief of starter Connor Zaleski to begin the sixth inning with a 6-4 lead and allowed only one hit as he finished the game. The Jaguars scored an unearned run without the benefit of a hit off Semon in the seventh on a passed ball on a strikeout, an error on a sacrifice bunt, another sac bunt and a sacrifice fly.

Semon struck out four batters in his four innings and lowered his season ERA to 1.29, which ranks him second in Southern California and fourth in the state.

Buck's 3-run home run over the rightfield fence in the third inning enabled the Comets to come back from an early 3-0 deficit to give Zaleski (5-2) the pitching win.

Cameron Haskell had a pair of singles and reached base when he was hit by a pitch in the head by Southwestern's Hudson Pearson in the seventh inning. Joey Cooper also contributed 2 singles and added an RBI. Edgar Morales and Jared Montoya each singled to drive in a run, and Marco Young also hit safely.

The Comets advanced to 29-8 on the season and 19-3 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference. They remain alone in second place in the conference, one game behind first-place Grossmont, which is 20-2 after an 8-0 victory over College of the Desert on Tuesday.

Coach Buck Taylor's club has two games remaining in the regular season, on Thursday against Southwestern at Palomar College Ballpark and on Friday against the Jaguars back at Southwestern. The Comets have clinched at least second place and an automatic playoff berth.

The Jaguars, who have clinced third place, are 25-13, 14-8 and are vying for an at-large Regional berth.


Palomar's Gabe Willes steals second base in the third inning of Saturday's game at Grossmont. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Comets fall a game out with 3 left to play

EL CAJON (4-22-2017) -- Palomar fell a game behind first-place Grossmont in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball race with three games remaining on Saturday when the Comets lost 7-4 on the road to the Griffins.

The G-House is 26-7-1, 19-2 in conference with three games remaining against College of the Desert this upcoming week. Palomar falls to 28-8, 18-3 with three games to play against
the PCAC's third-place team, Southwestern.

The Comets took a 3-0 lead over the Griffins inthe top of the third, putting togher back-to-back singles by Jared Montoya and Triswtan King with one out, a two-out RBI double by Joey Cooper, an RBI single by Jordan Gardner and a balk that allowed a run to score from third.

But Grossmont came right back to score four runs in the bottom of the inning and led the rest of the way.

Grant Buck and Cameron Haskell had multiple-hit performances for the Comets. Buck went 2-for-5 with a double and a stolen base. Haskell also was 2-for-5. Conor McKenna contributed an RBI single. Gardner was 1-for-3 and walked twice. Gabe Willes also drew two walks and stole a base.

Cabot Van Til, the ninth hitter in Grossmont's batting order, won the game for the Griffins by slugging two home runs and driving in four runs.


TOP PHOTO: Palomar third baseman Conor McKenna leaps in the air to begin one of his two spectacular plays in the top of the seventh on Saturday. He caught a line drive by Grossmont's Reece Hernandez for the second out of the inning. McKenna then recorded the third out when he appeared to bobble a shot off the bat of Robert Bosted but recovered and gunned him out at first. -- Photo by Philip Farry.  BELOW: Pitcher Ryan Semon, who pitched 4 scoreless relief innings to advance to 9-0 on the season. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets even series; Semon goes to 9-0

SAN MARCOS (4-20-2017) -- Palomar's freshman left-hander Ryan Semon came out of the bullpen to shut out Grossmont over the last 4 innings and run his win-loss record to 9-0 on Thursday.

Semon lowered his season ERA to 1.40 as the state No. 7-ranked Comets defeated the No. 10 Griffins 4-2 at Palomar College Ballpark to even the teams' Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first-place baseball series at a game apiece.

Palomar (28-7, 18-2) moved back into a first-place tie with the G-House (25-7-1, 18-2) going into the rubber game of the 3-game series at noon Saturday at Grossmont's Noel Mickelsen field. Coach Buck Taylor's club has a chance to win the series 2 games to 1 and take over the undisputed conference lead heading into the last week of the regular season.

The Comets, trailing 1-0 after 3 innings and 2-1 through 5 1/2 innings, pulled even in the bottom of the sixth on walk to Conor McKenna, Gabe Willes' sacrifice bunt and Jared Montoya's single to rightfield that scored McKenna.

After Semon took just 4 pitches to set Grossmont down in the top of the seventh, aided by a pair of spectacular defensive plays by McKenna at third base, Palomar went ahead for the first time in the bottom of the inning.

Cameron Haskell and Grant Buck hit back-to-back doubles to right with two outs. Buck drove in Haskell to put the Comets on top 3-2.

Palomar added an insurance run in the eighth inning on a walk to Willes, Montoya's sac bunt, a walk to Tristan King and Joey Cooper's 2-out double to left-center field that drove in Willes.

Semon set the Griffins down in the top of the ninth on 2 groundballs and a strikeout, and the Comets were back in a tie for first.

Semon relieved Palomar starter Nate Stilinovich, who also pitched effectively, after Stilinovich faced the leadoff batter in the top of the sixth.

Haskell went 2-for-3 and Cooper was 2-for-5 for the Comets. Montoya drove in 2 runs, and King and Marco Young each added a single.

Donavon McCrystal (8-2) was tagged with the loss.


TOP PHOTO: Palomar second baseman Gabe Willes turns to throw to first after forcing Grossmont's sliding Reece Hernandez in the third inning on Tuesday. IMMEDIATELY ABOVE: the Comets' Jordan Gardner slides into second with a double. -- Photso by Hugh Cox

PC gets chance to even series on Thursday

EL CAJON (4-18-2017) -- The bad news is that Grossmont picked Tuesday to play one of its best baseball games of the season, while Palomar played one of its worst, resulting in an unceremonious end to the Comets' 14-game win streak and an 11-3 victory for the Griffins.

The good news is that the Comets must wait only until Thursday for a chance at revenge and an opportunity to even the teams' first-place Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first-place series at a game apiece. That's when the two rivals will meet again, this time at Palomar College Ballpark.

The G-House will take records of 25-6-1 on the season and 18-1 to lead the PCAC by itself into the game, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. Palomar will enter the game with records of 27-7 and 17-2. A revenge victory by the Comets would send the teams into Saturday's final game of the series at Grossmont's Noel Mickelsen Field back in a tie for first place. Saturday's game will be played at noon.

Grossmont, getting early home runs from Robert Bostedt and Jale Sim, took a 6-1 lead after 3 innings on Tuesday. Palomar ralled to close the gap to 6-3, scoring twice in the top of the seventh on a single by Tristan King, Marco Young's sacrifice bunt and back-to-back singles by Joey Cooper and Jordan Gardner, the latter to drive in both runs.

But the Comets' come-from-behind hopes unraveled in the bottom of the inning. That's when the Griffins scored 4 times on an 2 errors on a play when their second of 5 pitchers on the day made a bad throw to second instead of going to first on Reece Hernandez's sacrifrice bunt -- coupled with 4 walks in the inning.

For Palomar, Davin Castro pitched 2 2/3 hitless, scoreless relief innings going into the fatal bottom of the seventh, and Steve Rausa came on with a run across and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth to get an inning-ending double play.

At the plate, Gardner went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI single and Conor McKenna was 2-for-4. Grant Buck contributed an RBI single. Young delivered a single after fouling off pitch after pitch on what was a 15-pitch at-bat in the top of the fifth inning. Jared Montoya singled and got a sacrifice bunt down. Gabe Willes drew 2 walks.

State No. 6-ranked Palomar's 14-game win streak that ended was the second-longest in California. The state's longest streak of 25 games also ended Tuesday when No. 1-ranked El Camino lost 3-2 to Rio Hondo.


TOP PHOTO: Winning pitcher Josh Sidney throws a strike against COD on Saturday at Palomar College Ballpark. He pitched scoreless, one-hit ball over the first five innings before being followed to the mound by six relievers in the Comets' 20-4 victory. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Centerfielder Cody Norton calls everyone off as he races in to catch a shallow fly ball off the bat of the Roadrunners' Jarred Soriano to lead off the eighth inning. -- Photos by Philip Farry

PC win streak at 14; G-House showdown next

SAN MARCOS (4-15-2017) -- Palomar warmed up for its Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first-place showdown with Grossmont in dominating fashion on Saturday, banging out 21 hits to pin a 20-4 beat-down on visiting College of the Desert.

Josh Sidney, a freshman right-hander from Torrey Pines High School, pitched one-hit, shutout ball over the first 5 innings, after which the Comets led 18-0, as he ran his win-loss record to 3-0. Sidney and relievers Cameron Haskell, Jonathan Vizcaino, Steve Rausa, Travis Marinshaw, Davin Castro and Zach Wallace combined on a 6-hitter.

Palomar was on top 20-0 after 6 innings in winning its 14th straight game as the Comets moved into a first-place tie in the PCAC with Grossmont.

The Comets (27-6, 17-1) and Griffins (24-6-1, 17-1), who own a 9-game winning streak, will play their 3-game conference series this week with games on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Griffins' Noel Mickelsen Field, Thursday at 2 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark and Saturday at noon back at Grossmont. After that, Palomar will have only a 3-game series with third-place Southwestern the week after next to close the regular season.

The Comets used 22 players in Saturday's rout. Palomar won the first two meetings with COD 19-4 on Tuesday at home and 6-3 on Thursday in Palm Desert.

Tristan King (3-for-4, double, 1 walk, 3 RBIs), Cameron Haskell (3-for-5, triple, RBI), Ryan Hartin(2-for-4, double, 1 walk, 3 RBIs), Austen Saucedo (2-for-3, double, 3 RBIs), Joey Cooper (2-for-3, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs), Jordan Gardner (2-for-3, double, 2 RBIs) and Conor McKenna (2-for-6, triple, RBI) and Marco Young (2-for-3, RBI) all had multiple hits as they  hammered the Roadrunners for a combined 18 hits between them.

Cody Norton (single, RBI), Anthony Inatsugu (single, RBI) and Carl Schwettmann (single) also hit safely.


McKenna, Semon help PC win 13th in row

PALM DESERT (4-13-2017) -- Conor McKenna (left) and Ryan Semon (right) played integral roles on Thursday as Palomar College held off College of the Desert 6-3 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball game at Ted Hamilton Field.

The state No. 6-ranked Comets ran their overall record to 26-6 and their conference mark to 16-1 by winning their 13th game in a row.

McKenna went 2-for-4, contributing a 2-run single in the first inning and a 2-run triple in the seventh to total 4 RBIs on the day. Semon came out of the bullpen to throw 3 1/3 innings, allowing a lone earned run, as he upped his win-loss record to 8-0.

Semon relieved Stilinovich with 2 runners on and none out and got the next 3 batters on a pop-up to first, a called third strike and a swinging third strike to get the Comets out of the inning without any damage.

Jonathan Vizcaino followed Semon to the mound with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief and Kevin Palm pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save.

Cameron Haskell went 2-for-4 for Palomar, driving in the Comets' other 2 runs, and Marco Young also was 2-for-4. Jordan Gardner and Tristan King each contributed a double. Cody Norton beat out a bunt single in going 1-for-2 off the bench, and Carl Schwettman came off the bench to add a single.

Gardner made the play of the game as he made a spectacular diving catch in left field in the bottom of the eighth and doubled COD's Travis Tanaka off second base by throwing a strike to the Comets' second baseman, Gabe Willes.

The Comets and Roadrunners will close out the week on Saturday at noon at Palomar College Ballpark. A Palomar win would send the Comets into next week's 3-game series with Grossmont tied for first place in the PCAC at 17-1.

McKenna, Young each go 4-for-4 as PC rolls

SAN MARCOS (4-11-2017) -- Conor McKenna (left) returned from an illness by going 4-for-4 and Marco Young (right) matched him by also going 4-for-4 on Tuesday as Palomar pounded visiting College of the Desert 19-4 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game.

The Comets knocked out 21 hits in running their win streak to 12 games and upping their record to 25-6 on the season (15-1 in the PCAC).

The above came in support of starting pitcher Connor Zalewski, who threw 7 innings of 4-hit ball and struck out 5 as he ran his win-loss record to 4-1. Kevin Palm, who retired the side in order in the eighth inning, and Tanner Roberts, who struck out 3 batters in the ninth, followed Zalewski to the mound.

Joey Cooper was 3-for-4 with a double and 3 RBIs. Tristan King smacked a grand-slam home run and a single. Carl Schwettmann came off the bench to triple, double and drive in 4 runs, matching King's RBI total. Cody Norton contributed a 2-run homer. Cameron Haskell went 2-for-4 and drove in a run. Austen Salcedo, Anthony Inatsugu, Jared Montoya and Edgar Morales each had a single.

Marc Sauceda contributed a sacrifice fly for the third time in 4 games, while Gabe Willes added a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice bunt and Ryan Hartin had a sacrifice fly.

McKenna reached base 6 times, also walking twice, and stole a base. Young added 2 steals and a sac bunt.

The Comets led through 8 innings 19-1 before the Roadrunners took advantage of an error to lead off the top of the ninth to score 3 unearned runs.

The 2 teams will play on Thursday in Palm Desert in the second game of their 3-game conference series, then will return to Palomar College Ballpark to close out the series on Saturday at noon.


TOP PHOTO: After coming back from an 8-3 deficit in the last two innings to beat San Diego Mesa 11-10 on Saturday, the Comets celebrated with this dog pile. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Jordan Gardner, whose walk-off double gave Palomar the win.

Comets come back, win on Gardner's walk-off

SAN DIEGO (4-08-2017) / FULLERTON (4-09-2017) -- Trailing San Diego Mesa 8-3 with 2 innings to play on Saturday at Palomar College Ballpark, the Comets had the Olympians right where they wanted them.

The Comets scored 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth, then tacked on 4 runs in the ninth and left Mesa standing, taking an implausable 11-10 come-from-behind victory on Jordan Gardner's 3-run walk-off double. Garner went 4-for-6 in the game.

Coach Buck Taylor's state No. 9-ranked club then turned around on Sunday and knocked off Fullerton 8-3 on the road for its 11th straight win in a twice-postponed non-conference rain make-up at Hornet Field. The Comets will take records of 24-6 on the season and 14-1 (conference) into Tuesday's 2 p.m. home game against College of the Desert.

Palomar's 3-run eighth against Mesa was achieved courtesy of singles by Jared Montoya and Marco Young, Joey Cooper's RBI single to rightfield, a single by Gardner and Cameron Haskell's 2-run single to right.

Then, in the last of the ninth, Gabe Willes walked and Montoya reached base as a hit batter, resulting in a pitching change by the Olympians and one of the most exciting finishes by the Comets in years.

Pinch-hitter Cody Norton's bunt single and pinch-hitter Marc Sauceda's sacrifice fly to right brought up Cooper, who had gone 3-for-3 with a walk, and Mesa coach Steve Sanchez decided to walk Cooper intentionally.

That brought up Gardner and rest is history.

Palomar had scored 1 run each in the first inning (on a walk to Cooper and Grant Buck's RBI triple); the third inning (on singles by Cooper and Gardener, two passed balls and a Mesa error); the third ining (on a double by Montoya, a single by Tristan King and an RBI single by Young); and the sixth inning (on a walk to Montoya, back-to-back singles by Cooper and Gardner and another Mesa error). Montoya went 2-for-3 in the game and Young was 2-for-4.

Davin Castro came on to get the final out of the game to record the pitching win after George Chapman surrendered a hit but got the first two outs in the ninth. Haskell moved from designated hitter to the mound in the sixth and pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings.

Palomar 8, Fullerton 3 -- Taylor gave all but one regular starter a rest and the players who got rare starts in their place came through to give the Comets and RPI boost by beating an Orange Empire Conference team on the road.

Carl Schwettmann contributed a 2-run triple and a successful squeeze bunt to drive in 3 runs. Sauceda, Austen Salcedo and Norton each clontributed 2 hits, and Ryan Hartin had a double.

Andrew White, the third of 6 Palomar pitchers, got the win. Castro retired all 5 batters he faced and Zach Wallace pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the Comets.


Cooper (4-for-5), King (3-for-5) ignite 22nd win

SAN DIEGO (4-06-2017) -- Palomar broke a sloppy baseball game open late on the road Thursday, scoring 6 runs on 8 hits in the seventh inning and going on to rout San Diego Mesa 13-4.

Leadoff hitter Joey Cooper (left) went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a hit-by-pitch and Tristan King was 3-for-5 with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs as the Comets remained tied with Grossmont atop the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference race in the loss column.

Coach Buck Taylor's club, which is ranked No. 9 in the state by the California Community College Sports Information Association, pounded out 18 hits as it advanced to 22-6 on the season and 13-1 in conference with its 10th straight victory.

The Comets, who jumped out to a 7-2 lead after 3 innings before letting the Olympians back into the game, gave Zach Wallace (right, 1-0), their second pitcher of the afernoon, the win and Kevin Palm the save. Palm threw shutout ball over the final 3 1/3 innings.

With Palomar leading 7-4, Mesa reliever Jacob Casson retired the first 2 batters in the top of the seventh before the Comets banged out 8 straight hits and scored all 6 of their runs in the inning before the Olympians could get the third out.

King got the rally going with a double, followed by a single by Marco Young, a single by Cooper, a single by Jordan Gardner, a double by Cameron Haskell, a single by Grant Buck, a single by Jonathan Vizcaino and a single by Gabe Willes.

Along with Cooper's and King's combined 7 hits, the Comets received multiple-hit performances from Haskell (2-for-4, double, 3 RBIs), Gardner (2-for-5, double, 2 RBIs) and Young (2-for-5, RBI). Buck, Vizcaino, Marc Saucedo, Jared Montoya and Willes each contributed a single.

Grossmont, which defeated San Diego City College 2-0 on Thursday, is technically 1 1/2 games ahead of the Comets in the PCAC with 3 more conference wins and the same loss total (1), a situation that developed as the Griffins have yet to reach their PCAC bye week and have played 3 more confereence games.

The Comets and Mesa will close out their 3-game series with a noon game on Saturday at Palomar College Ballpark. Palomar then will play a twice-delayed non-conference rain makeup at Fullerton College on Sunday at 2 p.m.

TOP PHOTO: Palomar shortstop Jared Montoya tags out Mesa's William Law trying to stretch a long single off the fence into a double to lead off the the top of the sixth Tuesday. Jordan Gardner (below left) fielded the ball off the fence and gunned down Law with a laser throw from deep right to Montoya. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Ryan Semon delivers a pitch on the way to 3 2/3 one-hit, scoreless innings. Semon advanced to 7-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 0.72, which leads the state -- Photos by Hugh Cox.

Semon (7-0) tops Mesa, leads state with 0.72 ERA

SAN MARCOS (4-04-2017) -- Freshman left-hander Ryan Semon came out of the bullpen to throw 3 2/3 lock-down innings to close out the game Tuesday and  Palomar left visiting San Diego Mesa standing in the bottom of the ninth, beating the Olympians 5-4.

The Comets ran their record to 21-6 on the season and 12-1 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference with their ninth straight win, achieved when Jared Montoya raced home from third base on a one-out wild pitch.

Montoya singled to center to lead off the ninth and moved to second on pinch-hitter Carl Schwettmann's sacrifice bunt. Montoya advanced to third when Marco Young (2-for-4) used his blinding speed to beat out an infield single to the first baseman as he slid into the bag.

That gave Semon the victory to advance to 7-0 on the season. Semon, who red-shirted a year ago coming out of Valley Center High School, lowered his ERA to 0.72, best among all California community college pitchers, as he struck out five and walked none.

Semon had entered the game with the game tied 3-3 in the top of the sixth with one out and runners at first and second. The Olympians scored an unearned run to take a 4-3 lead before the Comets got out of the inning when catcher Tristan King gunned down Lewis Butler trying to go to third on a ball in the dirt. Semon ended the inning by getting Sloan Blanscet to ground out to short.

From then in it was lights out for the visitors. Semon struck out five of the 10 batters he faced the rest of the way, including the Olympians' last four batters of the game. He allowed only one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

Jordan Gardner made the defensive play of the game to lead off the top of the sixth when he fielded Mesa's Will Law's long single off the rightfield fence and gunned Law down trying to stretch the single into a double. Gardner's laser throw to Montoya, the shortstop, beat Law to the bag as Montoya applied the tag.

Previously, leftfielder Joey Cooper made a slick defensive play of his own, catching a long fly hit over his head by the Olympians' Grant Ruthenburg with a batter at second and two outs for the final out in the top of the third. Cooper hauled in the ball as he ran toward the fence at Palomar College Ballpark, preventing Mesa from causing even more damage in what wound up as a two-run inning.

Starter Connor Zalewski and Semon combined to throw a six-hitter.

Grant Buck drove in two of the Comerts' four runs with a first-inning single and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third. He went 2-for-3 for the day.

Cameron Haskell drove in the first run of the game with a grounder to the right side earlier in the first inning. Montoya (2-for-4) drove in Haskell, aboard on a single for the Comets' other run in the sixth.

The two teams will play the second-game of their conference series on Thursday at Mesa, beginning at 2 p.m., and will finish the series with a noon game on Saturday back at Palomar. The Comets will close out a four-game week when they visit Fullerton for a non-conference game that has been postponed twice due to rain.


Palomar rolls with 13-hit attack, 5-hitter

LOS ANGELES (3-31-2017) -- Palomar ran its baseball record to 20-6 on Friday with a 10-2 non-conference road victory over Los Angeles Valley as the Comets banged out 13 hits and 5 pitchers combined on a 5-hitter.

Nate Stilinovich (left), the second Palomar pitcher of the afternoon, came on to start the third inning and retired all 6 batters he faced to record the win and go to 3-3 on the season. Starter Josh Sidney, Connor Zalewski, Kevin Palm, Marc Sauceda and Jonathan Vizcaino also contributed to another dominant performance by the Comets' staff.

Joey Cooper (right, 2-for-4, triple, single, walk, 3 RBIs), Marco Young (2-for-3, triple, walk, RBI), Cameron Haskell (2-for-3, double, RBI), Gabe Willes (2-for-4, double, sacrifice fly) and Carl Schwettman (2-for-2, walk) had multiple-hit performances to lead the Comets offensively. Cooper also made a running catch heading straight back toward the leftfield fence to rob the Monarchs' Ray Ferias of an extra-base hit in the second inning.

Sauceda contributed a double and a sacrifice fly for the Comets. Ryan Hartin tripled and walked.

Palomar took a 1-0 lead in the second inning and blew the game open with 4 runs in the fourth inning, single runs in the sixth and seventh and 3 more runs in the top of the 8th. The Comets, however missed multiple other scoring opportunities as they left 11 men on base, 10 in scoring position.

The Comets, who have won 7 straight games, will return to Pacific Coast Athletic Conference action on Tuesday when they host San Diego Mesa at 2 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark. The two teams will play again at the same time Thursday at Mesa, then will conclude the week's 3-game series on Saturday at noon back at Palomar.


Grant Buck (above, photo by Philip Farry) has received Academic All-State Team recognition by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association. He's shown rounding third base on his third-inning home run in last Friday's victory over Imperial Valley at Palomar College Ballpark. PC teammate Carl Schwettmann (below) joins him on the CCCBCA Academic All-State team.

Buck, Schwettmann make Academic All-State

SACRAMENTO (3-29-2017) -- Palomar first baseman Grant Buck and rightfielder Carl Schwettmann have been named to the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Academic All-State team.

Buck, a sophomore from Carlsbad High School who has signed with NCAA Division I Houston Baptist, carries a 3.93 grade-point average. Buck is a Business major.

Schwettman, a sophomore out of Ramona High School, has a 3.64 grade-point average. Schwettman is a Fire Science Major.

Buck was named CCCBCA Southern California Community College Player of the Week for the week that ended March 19 after going 8-for-12 with a home run, two triples and five singles as the Comets went 3-0.

Palomar pitcher Semon honored by PCAC

SAN DIEGO (3-28-2017) -- The Pacific Coast Athletic Conference has selected Palomar baseball pitcher Ryan Semon as Men's Athlete of the Week for March 20-26.

Semon, a freshman left-hander out of Valley Center High School, retired all 11 batters he faced in relief, sTriking out eight, in a 19-1 win over Imperial Valley in the middle game of a series the Comets swept three games to none.

He struck out the side in the fiourth inning and also retired the Arabs in order in the fifth and sixth, in both of those innings with two strikeouts and a fly ball.

Semon combined with four other pitchers to throw a three-hitter and picked up the pitching win, advancing to 6-0 on the season. That ties him for third among California community college pitchers. He also lowered his ERA to 0.80, fourth-best in the state.

Palomar, which is seeking its sixth conference championship in the last seven seasons, and defending champion Grossmont are tied for first place in the PCAC halfway through the conference season.

TOP PHOTO: Palomar's Conor McKenna beats the throw to the plate after an errant pickoff attempt in the third inning in Friday's 14-2 victory over visiting Imperial Valley. McKenna went 2-for-3, tripled, doubled, drove in 4 runs and scored 3 runs. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Palomar College Ballpark scoreboard showing combined 1-hitter thrown by Kevin Palm, Jonathan Vizcaino, Steve Rausa, George Chapman and Marc Sauceda. -- Photos by Philip Farry

5 PC pitchers combine on 1-hitter in 14-2 win

SAN MARCOS (3-24-2017) -- Kevin Palm, Jonathan Vizcaino, Steve Rausa, George Chapman and Marc Sauceda combined to pitch a 1-hitter on Friday as Palomar swept its 3-game series with Imperial Valley with a 14-2 victory.

With their sixth straight win, the Comets go to 19-6 and 11-1 to lead the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference going into their conference bye week. Palomar will play a non-conference game at Los Angeles Valley next Friday before returning to PCAC action a week from Tuesday vs. San Diego Mesa at home.

Palm threw the first 4 innings, retiring the last 10 batters he faced, with Vizcaino recording the pitching win by pitching the fifth and sixth. Rausa, Chapman and Sauceda finished up with an inning apiece,

Joey Cooper went 4-for-4 as the state No. 9-ranked Comets banged out 17 hits. Grant Buck (3-for-3 with a solo home run) and Conor McKenna (2-for-2 with a triple, double and 4 RBIs) both remained red hot for coach Buck Taylor's club.

Jared Montoya was 2-for-5 with a double and 2 RBIs. Jordan Gardner had a double and an RBI. Juwan Maxwell and Marco Young each added a double. Gabe Willes and Austen Salcedo had the Comets' other hits.

At the midway point in Palomar's conference schedule, Cooper leads the club with a .408 average, with McKenna at an even .400.


Comets roll up Arabs, move into PCC lead

IMPERIAL (3-23-2017) -- Palomar rolled up Imperial Valley for the second time in three days on Tuesday, winning 19-1 on the road, and moved into first place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference along the way.

Conor McKenna (left) went 3-for-4 with a triple and a double and Ryan Semon (right) retired all 11 batters he faced in relief, striking out 8, to up his win-loss record to 6-0. The Comets advanced to 18-6 overall and 10-1 in conference.

Palomar, which hosts IVC on Friday at 2:30 p.m. moved into a tie for first place with Grossmont, which lost 18-7 Thursday at Mt. San Jacinto. San Diego Mesa, which like the G-House was undefeated in conference but had played three less games, lost at San Diego City College 6-2 and dropped into third.

Cameron Haskell slugged his sixth home run, a 2-run shot over the rightfield fence in the first inning, also doubled and wound up going 2-for-4.

Jordan Gardner, who contributed a bases-loaded triple, and Ryan Hartin each drove in 3 runs for Palomar, which has won 5 straight games and 12 of its last 13. Gardner went 1-for-2 and also was hit by a pitch and walked, while Hartin was 2-for-2.

Juwan Maxwell tripled, Grant Buck doubled and Joey Cooper, Carl Schwettmann, Gabe Willes, Jared Montoya and Marco Young all singled as the Comets knocked out 17 hits.

Starter Connor Zelwski, Semon, Andrew White, Davin Castro and Travis Marinshaw combined to pitch a 3-hitter and the Arabs' only run was unearned.

Semon struck out the side in the fourth inning and also retired IVC in order in the fifth and the sixth, both times with 2 strikeouts and a fly ball. Semon lowered his ERA to 0.80, third lowest in Southern California and fourth in the state. His 6 wins tie him for third in the state.




TOP PHOTO: Former Comet Tim Hill walks off the mound after finishing off the Milwaukee Brewers for his first spring training save Friday on St. Patrick's Day. -- Photo Courtesy of Major League Baseball. ROW 2, LEFT TO RIGHT: Nick Vincent (Seattle Mariners) -- Internet Photo; Tyler Saladino (Chicago White Sox) -- Photo by Hugh Cox; James Hoyt (Houston Astros) -- Internet Photo

Hill looks to join Vincent, Saladino, Hoyt in show

SAN MARCOS (3-20-2017) -- Left-handed pitcher Tim Hill is bidding to join Palomar baseball alums Nick Vincent of the Seattle Mariners, Tyler Saladino of the Chicago White Sox and Jimmy Hoyt of the Houston Astros on a Major League regular-season roster as early as some point in the 2017 season.

Hill, a 6-foot-4 left-hander who pitched for the Comets in 2010 and was 10-2 with a 1.09 ERA on the Bacone College team out of Muskogee, Oklahoma that advanced to the NAIA World Series, pitched in Double-A in the Kansas City Royals farm system last season. He currently is with the Royals' Major League club as a non-roster invitee in spring training. 

Last Friday, he recorded his first Major League spring training save in the Royals' victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Hill won a battle with cancer in the Royals' minor league system two years ago.


ABOVE: Marc Sauceda rounds the bases after his grand-slam home run for the Comets in the seventh inning in Tuesday's 24-4 rout of Imperial Valley. -- Photo by Philip Farry. BELOW: Cameron Haskell, who hit for the cycle with a home run, triple, double, single and three RBIs

Haskell hits for the cycle; PC wins 24-4

SAN MARCOS (3-21-2017) -- Cameron Haskell hit for the cycle on Tuesday as Palomar pounded visiting Imperial Valley 24-4 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference game.

Haskell, who has signed with the University of Arizona, smashed a 2-run homer run over the rightfield fence at Palomar College Ballpark in the first inning to give the Comets (17-6, 9-1 in the PCAC) a 2-0 lead and never let up the rest of the afternoon.

He rollowed the HR with a triple in the second inning, a single in the fourth, a double in the fifth, a walk in the sixth and a bases loaded walk in the seventh. He finished with a 4-for-4 afternoon, 4 runs scored and 3 RBIs, before moving from designated hitter to third base in the top of the ninth.

Second baseman Gabe Willes also had a big day at the plate as he went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the bottom of the third, a double, 2 walks and an RBI groundball to the right side. For the game, he drove in 3 runs.

And the Comets also got home runs from Marc Sauceda, a grand-slam in the seventh inning, and Joey Cooper, who slugged a solo HR in his second at-bat for his second hit in the Comets' 8-run first inning and was 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs for the game.

Austen Salcedo (2-for-3, double, 4 RBIs), Grant Buck (2-for-2 with a walk, a hit-by-pitch and a walk) and Marco Young (2-for-3), also had multiple hits as Palomar got to 4 IVC pitchers for 22 hits.

Juwan Maxwell tripled and drove in a run. Christian Colon doubled. Jared Montoya singled and added RBIs on a groundball and a sacrifice fly. Tristan King singled to drive in a run. Carl Schwettmann had a single and an RBI. And Conor McKenna singled and was hit by a pitch.

On the mound, starter Josh Sidney set the tone in the first inning by getting IVC's first 3 batters of the day on a groundout and 2 strikeouts. He finished with 5 strikeouts in 4 innings.

Palomar relievers Tanner Roberts (2-0), who picked up the win, Zach Wallace, Gerorge Chapman, Stephen Rausa and Jonathan Vizcaino were dominating as they each threw a scoreless inning, combining to allow 1 hit over the final 5 innings while striking out 7 to give the Comets' staff 12 K's for the day.

Wallace struck out all 3 batters he faced in the sixth inning, and Vizcaino also struck out 3 Arabs in the ninth.

Comets sweep series, go to 16-6, 8-1 in PCAC

SAN DIEGO (3-18-2017) -- Palomar got a strong performance from starting pitcher Nate Stilinovich (left) and played one of its best complete games of the season on Saturday as the Comets pounded San Diego City College 9-3 to sweep the teams' three-game series.

The Comets knocked out 14 hits off five City College pitchers and scored in seven of nine innings to go to 16-6 on the season and 8-1 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Five Palomar players turned in multiple-hit performances -- Gabe Willes (2-for-5 with a double), Conor McKenna (right, 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs), Grant Buck (2-for-3 with an RBI and 2 walks), Joey Cooper (2-for-4 with 2 walks) and Cameron Haskell 2-for-5 with an RBI).

Jared Montoya contributed 2 RBIs and finished with a run-scoring single, a sacrifice fly, a sacrifrice fly and a walk. Marco Young and Tristan King also hit safely.

Cooper got the game started on the right foot with a single to leftfield to lead off the game. He moved up on Jordan Gardner's single through the left side and scored the afternoon's first run on Buck's RBI single to left.

And the Comets never let up, scoring 2 more run sin the third inning, 1 each in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh and the final 2 runs in the top of the eighth.

Stilinovich, a freshman left-hander from 2016 CIF Southern Section open division champion Murrieta Mesa High School, retired the Knights in order in the first and fifth innings and scattered 4 hits through 6 before Jonathan Vizcaino relieved him to begin the top of the seventh. Haskell moved from designated hitter to the mound to begin the bottom of the ninth and set down the Knights in order.

Stilinovich, Vizcaino and Haskell struck out 11 and walked 0.

The Comets will begin a 3-game series with Imperial Valley on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark.

Comets hardly at best, but a win is a win

SAN MARCOS (3-16-2017) -- First, the bad news. Palomar shut it down Thursday after jumping out to a 10-1 lead over visiting San Diego City College in the first two innings of the teams' Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball game.

The good news: The Comets still won, holding on for a 10-5 victory over the Knights at Palomar College Ballpark to advance to 15-6 on the season, 7-1 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

After scoring 10 runs on 10 hits in the first and second innings, Palomar's offense abruptly shut off. The Comets managed two hits, good for zero runs, over the last seven innings as the Knights' Anthony Pizzo came on in relief to take control of the game.

That, however, was too little, too late for City College (8-8, 3-2) as, after the Knights struck for three runs in the sixth inning to close the Comets' lead to 10-5, Palomar relievers Ryan Semon (left) and Cameron Haskell slammed the door on the visitors the rest of the way.

Semon pitched scoreless ball over the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one hit, striking out two and walking none. Haskell finished with a quick 1-2-3 ninth inning that consisted of a strikeout and two groundballs.

Grant Buck (right) contributed three of the Comets' hits, going 3-for-4 with a triple, two singles and a walk. He had both Palomar's hits over the final seven innings, a single in the sixth and a triple in the eighth. 

The first two innings reatured a double, single and two RBIs by Haskell at designated hitter; two doubles and three RBIs, all in the second inning, by Tristan King, whose second double cleared the bases for three runs; and two singles and an RBI by Marco Young.

Connor Zalewski (3-1) notched the pitching win, striking out five over the the first five-plus innings before the Knights struck for three unearned runs in the top of the sixth.

Palomar and San Diego City will close out their three-game conference series on Saturday at noon at Morley Field in San Diego's Balboa Park.


Sidney (no-hitter thru 6), Buck, Cooper lead PC

SAN DIEGO (3-14-2017) -- Josh Sidney (left) pitched 6 innings of no-hit ball to advance to 2-0 and his teammates supported him with a 12-hit attack led by Grant Buck (right) and Joey Cooper on Tuesday.

Along gthe way, Palomar returned to the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference victory column by beating San Diego City College 8-3 at Morley Field.

Buck (right) and Cooper pounded out 6 hits between them and the Comets ran their record to 14-6, 6-1 in the PCAC, handing the Knights their first conference loss.

Buck went 3-for-5 with a 2-run home run, 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Cooper also was 3-for-5, contributing 2 doubles, 3 runs scored and a stolen base.

Palomar staked Sidney to an 8-0 lead before Travis Marinshaw relieved him to begin the seventh inning after Sidney hit the 100-pitch count. Coach Buck Taylor made a series of substitutions at the same time, but the Comets' defense could not support Marinshaw, making 2 errors and non-plays in the inning to go along with a passed ball.

City College scored all 3 of its runs on 3 hits in the inning. Kevin Palm then came on to get the Comets out of the inning and finished the game by retiring the Knights' last 7 batters.

Sidney, Marinshaw and Palm combined to throw a 3-hitter.

Also for Palomar, Jordan Gardner, Cameron Haskell and Conor McKenna also doubled. Gabe Willes added a single, an RBI and a stolen base. Tristan King and Juwan Maxwell contributed singles.

The Comets and Knights will resume their 3-game conference series on Thursday at Palomar College Ballpark, beginning at 2 p.m. They'll close out the series back at Morley Field on Saturday at noon.

Palomar's Jared Montoya is tagged out by San Bernardino Valley's Toby Rainwater in a rundown after the batter was unable to make contact on a sixth-inning squeeze attempton Saturday. -- Photo by Philip Farry

Comets blow game with one forgettable inning

SAN MARCOS (3-11-2016) -- Palomar saw what would have been its seventh straight baseball win go down the drain on Saturday when the Comets imploded for one inning and lost to San Bernardino Valley 8-6 in a stunning upset at Palomar College Ballpark.

The Wolverines, who came into the game 1-18 but looked far better than a one-win team when they lost to the Comets on Tuesday and Thursday to fall behind in the teams' three-game Pacific Coast Athletic Conference series, struck for six runs in the top of the sixth to take an 8-4 lead.

The Comets, who had taken a 4-2 lead into the sixth inning, battled back to answer with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, but that was as close as they would get as they saw their record dip to 13-6.

For Palomar, Carl Schwettman went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, Tristan King went 2-for-2 with an RBI and Grant Buck was 2-for-5 with an RBI. Cameron Haskell doubled to drive in a run, Jordan Gardner cointributed a double and a sacrifice bunt, Marco Young had an RBI single and a sacrifice bunt, Jonathan Vizcaino doubled and Gabe Willes singled.

Young made a spectacular diving catch in centerfield to rob the Wolverines' Adrian Rossell of a hit in the fifth inning.

PC beats SBVC again, is 5-0 in PCAC

SAN BERNARDINO (3-09-2017) -- Palomar is off to a 5-win, 0-loss start in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball after defeating San Bernardino Valley for the second time in three days 8-4 on Thursday.

The Comets (13-5 with a 6-game win streak) led 8-1 going into the bottom of the ninth when the Wolverines scored 3 runs to make the game appear closer than it really was.

Starting pitcher Conner Zalewski, a freshman right-hander from Kelani High School in Honolulu, threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing only 3 hits, before leaving the game with a 2-1 lead. He picked up the victory to run his win-loss record to 2-1.

Andrew White, Tanner Roberts and Kevin Palm had scoreless outings in relief.

Marco Young (2-for-4, double, 3 RBIs) and Jared Montoya (2-for-3, hit by pitch) had multiple-hit games for Palomar. Carl Schwettman was 1-for-2 with an RBI double, a sacrifice bunt and a walk. Tristan King went 1-for 3 with a double and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Gabe Willes went 1-for-2 with an RBI single, a sacrifice bunt and a walk.

Joey Cooper had an RBI single and a walk, Conor McKenna contributed an RBI single and Edgar Morales also singled, rounding out a 11-hit attack against 3 San Bernardino Valley pitchers.

The Comets will return home to Palomar College Ballpark at noon Saturday when the try to sweep their 3-game PCAC series from the Wolverines.

TOP PHOTO: Palomar catcher Tristan King tags out San Bernardino Valley's Toby Rainwater at the plate in the first inning. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Jonathan Vizcaino, who pitched scoreless ball over the final 3 1/3 innings to record his third save, tags out the Wolverines' Anthony Fernandez, who tried to bunt for a base hit to lead off the eighth. The Comets won 11-5. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

PC breaks game open late, is 4-0 in PCAC

SAN MARCOS (3-07-2017) -- Palomar struggled with visiting San Bernardino Valley on Tuesday over six sloppy innings, then broke the game open late to win 11-5 and advance to 4-0 in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball.

Leading 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh at Palomar College Ballpark, the Comets finally gained some separation over the Wolverines on a perfect two-strike squeeze bunt with one out in the inning by Gabe Willes.

Grant Buck, who had walked, advanced on a wild pitch and gone to third on Conor McKenna's sacrifice bunt, scored on the squeeze play. And when San Bernardino pitcher Isaiah Bernal fielded the ball but couldn't make a play, Willes had a base hit to go with the RBI that put Palojmar up 7-5.

Palomar tacked on 4 runs in the bottom of the eighth to turn the game into a blowout.

All this came on a day Buck went 2-for-4 with a 2-run home run, a double, 2 runs scored and 4 RBIs; Jordan Gardner added a double and a single and gunned down a runner at the plate on a perfect throw from left field; Ryan Semon worked 3 2/3 effective relief innings to run his pitching record to 5-0; and Jonathan Vizcaino threw 1-hit ball over the final 3 1/3 innings to record his third save.

The floodgates opened in the bottom of the eighth after the first 2 Palomar batters struck out. After Marco Young singled and Cameron Haskell drew a walk, Buck drove in 2 runs with a double to right, followed by doubles to right by McKenna and pinch-hitter Marc Sauceda to drive in 1 run each.

McKenna had a most productive day at the plate for the Comets, going 2-for-2 with the double and a single, reaching base as a hit batter and on a walk and adding the sacrifice bunt that preceded Willes' squeeze bunt. Young also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning, and Juwan Maxwell contributed a 2-run single in the second inning.

Palomar, which will visit San Bernardino in the second game of the 3-game PCAC series on Thursday at 2 p.m. and will close the series against the Wolverines back at Palomar College Ballpark at noon Saturday, ran its season record to 12-5. The Comets have a 5-game winning streak.

Palomar third baseman Connor McKenna appears to tag Mt. San Jacinto's Brock Partain with plenty of daylight between Partain and the bag in the fourth inning on Saturday. But the base umpire called Partain safe on the play. -- Photo by Philip Farry

PC wins 11-1 as Haskell and Norton drive in 9

SAN MARCOS (3-04-2017) -- Palomar swept its conference-opening three-game series from Mt. San Jacinto 3 games to 0, winning 11-1 on Saturday as University of Arizona-bound Cameron Haskell and Cody Norton combined to drive in 9 runs.

Haskell went 3-for-4 with a 3-run home run, 2 singles and 5 RBIs and also reached base as a hit batter. Norton was 2-for-3 with a 3-run double, a single, a sacrifice fly and 4 RBIs.

The Comets won the first two games of the series 14-6 and 12-0, both in San Jacinto, and are 11-5 on the season and 3-0 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

The teams were tied 1-1 with left-handers Nate Stilinovich from Palomar and Kaycee Garcia of Mt. San Jac locked up in a pitchers' duel when the Comets edged in front 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth. Joey Cooper reached base as a hit batter, advanced on a Jordan Gardner sacrifice bunt and scored when Haskell singled sharply to right.

Palomar knocked Garcia out of the game in the bottom of the seventh, scoring 7 times to take a 9-1 lead in an inning that was highlighted by Norton's 3-run double to leftfield and Haskell's 3-run home run over the rightfield fence at Palomar College Ballpark.

An error, a walk to pinch-hitter Marco Young, Norton's sacrifice fly and another Haskell single to right allowed the Comets to score the game's final 2 runs in the last half of the eighth.

Kevin Palm (1-1) relieved former Murrieta Mesa High teammate Stillinovich to begin the sixth and threw 2 scoreless innings to record the win. Stilinovich, Palm, Jonathan Vizcaino and George Chapman combined to pitch a 6-hitter. Vizcaino and Chapman pitched 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth, respectively.

Anthony Garcia hit a solo homer to left to lead off the fourth inning to account for the Eagles' only run. Mt. San Jac fell to 3-14, 0-3 in conference.

Semon goes to 4-0; Comets rock MSJ 12-0

SAN JACINTO (3-02-2017) -- Ryan Semon (left) came on to begin the second inning and threw four scoreless innings in relief on Thursday as Palomar pinned a 12-0 beatdown on host Mt. San Jacinto.

Semon ran his pitching record to 4-0 with an ERA of 0.40 for 23 1/3 innings

Starter Connor Zalewski, Semon, Travis Marinshaw, Andrew White, Kevin Palm and Cameron Haskell combined to pitch a 4-hit shutout as the Comets improved their record to 10-5, 2-0 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Coach Buck Taylor used 23 players and got all 18 of the Comets' position players in the game as Palomar defeated Mt. San Jac for the second time in 2 days by a combined 26 runs to 6.

Conor McKenna (right) paced an 11-hit attack for Palomar by going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and 2 RBIs. Juwan Maxwell went 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI. Joey Cooper singled, walked and drove in 2 runs. Haskell singled, drove in a run, walked and scored 2 runs. Gabe Willis, Christian Colon, Carl Schwettmann, Grant Buck and Edgar Morales also hit safely.

The Comets will try to sweep the teams' conference-opening 3-game series on Saturday when they host the Eagles at Palomar College Ballpark, beginning at noon.

Willes, Sidney, Montoya lift PC in PCAC opener

SAN MARCOS (3-01-2007) -- Visiting Palomar rocked Mt. San Jacinto 14-6 to begin Pacific Coast Athletic Confernce baseball play on Wednesday.

Gabe Willes (left) went 3-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and 3 RBIs to pace a 16-hit attack and starter Josh Sidney (right) pitched 6 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits to record the win.

Sidney, a redshirt freshman from Torrey Pines and a transfer from Valparaiso University, retired the last 12 batters he faced. The Comets opened up a 10 to lead over the Eagles and coasted in.

Other multiple-hit contributors for Palomar (9-5, 1-0) were Jared Montoya (3-for-6 with a double), Grant Buck (2-for 4 with 2 RBIs and 2 walks), Joey Cooper (2-for-5 with 2 RBIs and a sacrifice bunt) and Jordan Gardner (2-for-5 with a walk).

Jonathan Vizcaino pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Comets and, at the late, was 1-for-2 with a 2-run double. Conor McKenna was 1-for-2 with 2 walks. Cameron Haskell singled, walked and drove in a run with a ground ball to the right side. Tristan King also singled.

The Comets and Eagles will play again on Thursday at 2 p.m., also at Mt. San Jacinto, and will close out their 3-game opening-week series on Saturday with a noon game at Palomar College Ballpark.

Cameron Haskell, shown rounding the bases at Palomar College Ballpark after his third-inning home run in a 6-1 victory over Fullerton on Feb. 25, has accepted a scholarship to the University of Arizona. He took his recruiting visit last week, then signed with the Wildcats. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Haskell signs with Arizona; 3 Comets to D-I so far

SAN MARCOS (2-28-2017) -- Sophomore designated hitter/pitcher Cameron Haskell, who took his recruiting visit to the University of Arizona last week, has signed with the Wildcats.

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound sophomore, a product of Chaparral High School in Temecula who transferred to Palomar in the off-season after playing last season for UC Riverside, becomes the third current Comet to sign with a Division I university.

Mike Benson, a Rancho Buena Vista High School product and the Comets' starting catcher last season, previously signed with Arizona. Benson, who is sitting out the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, originally signed with UCLA out of Rancho Buena Vista High School but left the Bruins' program before the 2016 season.

The third Comet to sign a D-I letter of intent, first baseman and Carlsbad High product Grant Buck, will play for Houston Baptist.

Haskell is hitting .345 through 13 games with 4 doubles, 3 home runs, 15 RBIs and a .582 slugging percentage. His best games as a Comet to date came in an 8-7 victory over  2016 CCCAA state runner-up Golden West on Jan. 28 in Palomar's home opener and last Wednesday on the road vs. Orange Coast, the 2014 and 2015 state champion.

Haskell went 4-for-5 with a double, a single, a 2-run walk-off home run and 3 RBIs vs. Golden West. Against Orange Coast, he went 4-for-6 with 2 doubles, a single, a 3-run home run and 6 RBIs in leading Palomar to a 13-4 victory.

On the mound, he has a 2.70 ERA with a 1-1 record and a save.

At UC Riverside last season as a true freshman, Haskell played in 21 games, hitting .288 highlighted by a 3-for-3 performance that led the Highlanders to an 8-3 victory over San Diego State on May 17. He also appeared in 9 games as a relief pitcher.

According to Haskell's 2016 UC Riverside media guide bio, Haskell is a descendent of Davey Crockett and Juan Ponce de Leon.

Haskell and Benson will follow in the footsteps of one of Palomar's all-time great players at Arizona. Shortstop Jim Scranton, who played for the Comets under the late Jim Clayton, played for the Wildcats on a College World Series team and went on from there to play Major League Baseball for the Kansas City Royals.

Benson hit .363 with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs and 29 RBIs for the Comets last season, appearing in 34 games. In 13 games this season, Buck is batting .294 as a sophomore with 6 doubles and 15 RBIs.

Comets pound out 18 hits, send Sac City packing

SAN MARCOS (2-25-2017) -- Led by Cody Norton (left), who went 3-for-3 with a home run, double, two walks, two RBIs and four runs scored, Palomar ruined the last day of Sacramento City College's Southern California trip Saturday, knocking out 18 hits in a 14-4 victory.

The Comets now will conclude a huge week RPI wise on Sunday at 11 a.m., when they go on the road to play a rain make-up against Fullerton, which is 10-4 after rocking San Diego Mesa's world 20-1 with a 20-hit attack and a combined one-hitter on Saturday. It will be Coach Buck Taylor's team's final warm-up for its Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opener on Tuesday at Mt. San Jacinto.

The Panthers, with back-to-back victories on their trip south, at 2016 state runner-up Golden West on Thursday and at Palomar on Friday, brought a 9-3 record into Saturday's game and led early 1-0.

But the Comets (8-5 vs. one of the state's toughest schedules) anwered back with three runs in the third inning, two in the fourth, six in the bottom of the seventh and two in the eighth inning.

George Chapman (right), a 6-foot-6 freshman from Oceanside High School and the third of five Palomar pitchers on the day, recorded his first college win by retiring five of the six batters he faced, striking out two. Starter Nate Stilnovich allowed three runs over the first 4 2/3 innings before Chapman, Tanner Roberts, Devin Castro and Stephen Rausa combined to throw 4 1/3 scoreless innings the rest of the way.

Along with Norton, six other Comets also had multiple-hit performances. Cameron Haskell went 2-for-3 with a double, a single and two RBIs. He also reached base twice as a hit batter and stole home on a double steal with Jawan Maxwell in the seventh inning.

Ryan Hartin went  2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Austen Salcedo was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Jonathan Vizcaino was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and drew two walks, one with the bases loaded. Jared Montoya went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a sacrifice bunt and was hit by a pitch. Carl Schwettmann was 2-for-4 and drove in a run.

Palomar players with one hit each were Anthony Ignatsu (1-for-2, double, hit by pitch, walk) and Marc Sauceda (RBI single).Palomar stranded 12 runners, but 30 Comets reached as far as second base.

Palomar second baseman Gabe Willes guns down Sac City's Auston Chastain at first base in the top of the fifth inning on Friday. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Palomar loses a tight one to Sacramento

SAN MARCOS (2-24-2017) -- Visiting Sacramento City College began its two-game series with Palomar's baseball team by edging the Comets in a 6-5 squeaker at Palomar College Ballpark.

The Comets, trailing by a run, had pulled even in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double to rightfield by freshman second baseman Gabe Willes.

Connor McKenna walked with two outs and Willes drove him in. Willes went to third on the throw to the plate but, after a walk to pinch-hitter Marc Sauceda, Sacramento pitcher Billy Babb got out of the inning by coaxing Tristan King to fly out to right, stranding both Willes and pinch-runner Austen Salcedo.

Willes led the Comets by going 2-for-4 with 2 doubles, a run scored and the RBI. Jordan Gardner went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt. Grant Buck doubled in a pair of run, King contributed a sacrifice fly, Cameron Haskel singled and picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice, and Marco Young had a bunt single.

Connor Zalewski, the Palomar starter, allowed one run over the first 5 innings. Zach Wallace, the fourth of five pitchers utilized by coach Buck Taylor, pitched one inning and retired the Panthers in order.

Left fielder Joey Cooper made a circus catch.

Sacramento, which began its road trip with a win at last year's state runnerup Golden West on Thursday, ran its record to 9-3, while the Comets slipped to 7-5 against what could be the toughest schedule in the state.

The two teams will conclude their series on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Palomar College Ballpark.

Haskell, Semon lead PC to rout of Orange Coast

COSTA MESA (2-21-2017) -- Cameron Haskell (left) went 4-for-6 with a home run, two doubles and six RBIs and Ryan Semon (right) pitched seven strong relief innings to advance his win-loss record to 3-0 on Tuesday, lifting visiting Palomar to a 13-4 non-conference baseball victory over Orange Coast.

Facing a team that had steamrolled everyone in its path to start the season 10-1, the Comets stunned the Pirates by scoring eight runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back.

Haskell, who is taking his recruiting trip to the University of Arizona on Tuesday, doubled to drive in a run, then singled in two more runs as Palomar sent 13 batters to the plate in the top of the first. He also slugged a three-run home run over the rightfield fence at Wendell Pickens field in the third inning and doubled in the top of the ninth.

Meanwhile, Semon came on in relief with none out and the bases loaded in the second and pitched seven dominant innings.

The red-shirt freshman left-hander from Valley Center High School allowed only an unearned run on a lone infield hit, a seventh-inning chopper to the left side off the bat of Orange Coast's Luke Hussung. Conor McKenna, charging in from shortstop, couldn't find a handle and wisely held onto the ball.

Semon, who has not allowed an earned run all season, retired 15 batters in a row leading up to Hussung's hit.

The Comets jumped right on Orange Coast starter Cameron Jabara, who came in with a 3-0 record, to begin the game.

Joey Cooper (2-for-6 for the day) doubled. Jordan Gardner (1-for-2 while reaching twice as a hit batter) bunted for a single. Haskell doubled, driving in Cooper. With one out, McKenna (2-for-4, hit by pitch, sacrifice fly) singled to drive in Gardner and Haskell. Jonathan Vizcaino (3-for-5) singled. Gabe Willes singled to drive in McKenna. Tristan King singled, scoring Vizcaino. An error on the throw to first on a drag bunt by Marco Young (2-for-5, 2 doubles, RBI) allowed Willes to score.

That brought Palomar back to the top of the order. After Cooper lined out to the shortstop, Gardner was hit by a pitch. And Haskell, batting for the second time in the inning, singled do drive in King and Young.

Grant Buck went 2-for-6 with a double. In all, the Comets banged out 18 hits off three Orange Coast pitchers.

Prior to the regularly-scheduled game, the teams completed their Feb. 10 game, which was suspended because of darkness with Orange Coast coming to bat in the top of the ninth inning and the Comets leading the Pirates 5-4. When the game resumed, Orange Coast tied the game with a run in the ninth and went on to win in 12 innings 8-7. For the game, Buck wound up going 3-for-5 with two RBIs. McKenna was 2-for-4 with two doubles. Cooper went 2-for-4.

Haskell, who had worked the final 2/3 of an inning to get the Comets out of the Orange Coast eighth on Feb. 10, went back to the mound on Tuesday, surrendered the tying run in the ninth but then pitched three additional scoreless innings before coming out of the game.

After playing five straight games on the road, The Comets will return to Palomar College Ballpark at the week to play a two-game series with Sacramento City College at 2 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.

Comets cool off under lights on the road

GLENDALE (2-16-2017) -- Palomar saw its baseball hot streak come to a screeching halt on the road against Glendale College on Thursday at Casey Stengal Field.

Playing for the first time under the lights since a victory over Fresno City College on opening night of the CCCAA State Championship Final Four two years ago in Fresno, the Comets dropped both games of a non-conference doubleheader vs. the Vaqueros, losing 3-2 in the afternoon and 12-2 at night.

Glendale (7-3), ranked No. 3 in Southern California in the pre-season (Palomar was ranked fifth), was bunting and stealing bases vs. coach Buck Taylor's Palomar reserves when the second game was out of reach late. The Comets fell to 6-3 on the season.

 Taylor used 10 pitchers in the night game, four of them making their first appearances of the year, as the Vaqueros turned a 5-2 game in the middle innings into a blowout.

Palomar's most notable performance of the doubleheader came in the bottom of the eighth inning of the nightcap after the final PC pitcher to appear in a 2017 game, 5-foot-7 freshman left-hander Stephen Rausa (left) out of Vista Murrieta High School, likely earned himself more innings by retiring Glendale in order on a strikeout, a pop-up to second baseman Gabe Willes and another strikeout.

The two teams will first finish their Feb. 10 game, which was suspended due to darkness with the host Comets leading 5-4 and the Pirates coming to bat in the top of the ninth. Then they'll play a regularly-scheduled game at 2 p.m.

Comets advance to 6-1 with victory over Tigers

RIVERSIDE (2-15-2017) -- Palomar got another strong relief performance from Ryan Semon on Wednesday as the Comets defeated host Riverside City College 6-1 to record their sixth victory in seven games to begin the 2017 season.

Seamon (left), a redshirt freshman left-hander from Valley Center High School, came on to begin the bottom of the fifth and pitched 3 1/3 innings of shutout relief to go to 2-0 on the season.

Starter Josh Sidney, Semon and Kevin Palm combined to limit the Tigers (7-5) to one run on eight hits, striking out seven. Semon has thrown 10 innings in four appearances, allowing a single unearned run for an ERA of 0.00.

Palomar took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on as Cody Norton (right) singled to drive in the first run, Grant Buck doubled to drive in the second run and Jared Montoya drove in the third run on a squeeze play sacrifice bunt.

Marco Young, Cameron Haskell and Joey Cooper had the Comets' other hits.

Palomar will play a doubleheader on the road on Thursday at Glendale. The Comets were originally scheduled to host Glendale on Thursday at Palomar College Ballpark and visit Glendale on Saturday, but the schedule was readjusted because of the impending rainstorm expected to arrive on Friday and drench Southern California.

Marco Young, who had singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch, slides in safely at home on Cameron Haskell's RBI single in the sixth inning of Palomar's 6-1 victory over visiting Fullerton on Thursday. The Comets will put their 5-1 record on the line against Orange Coast (6-0) on Friday at 2 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets win again, to host 6-0 Orange Coast

SAN MARCOS (2-09-2017) -- Coach Buck Taylor's Palomar baseball team kept a good thing going on Thursday, turning back visiting Fullerton 6-1 behind a combined five-hitter thrown by Connor Zalewski, Devin Castro and Kevin Palm.

Leftfielder and leadoff hitter Joey Cooper went 3-for-5 and Cameron Haskell slugged his second home run as the Comets ran their record to 5 wins and 1 loss in the non-conference matchup at Palomar College Ballpark. The Hornets had the same record coming in as the Comets, 5-1.

The win sets up a big early-season match-up with another red-hit team, Orange Coast, which will bring a 6-0 record to town to face the Comets on Friday at 2 p.m. after a 9-1 victory Thursday over a 4-1 Long Beach City College club.

Zalewski, a 6-foot-3 freshman right-hander from Kalani High School in Honolulu, retired the first 11 Fullerton batters and wound up allowing one run on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. Palm recorded the save with three innings of hitless, scoreless ball.

Palomar went on front 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning when Cooper led off with a drag-bunt single and came around to score on Grant Bunt's single through the right side. From there, the Comets didn't let up, pushing across another run in the second inning and two more third, when Haskell led off the inning with a towering home run over the rightfield fence.

Palomar also added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings as the Comets pounded out 15 hits off three Fulleton pitchers. Haskell (2-for-5, 2 RBIs), and Conor McKenna (also 2-for-5), Jared Montoya (2-for-3) and Marco Young (2-for-4, 1 RBI)  joined Cooper with multiple hits.

Jordan Gardner, Anthony Inatsugu and Tristan King each added a single.

Comets blitz state favorites on 4-hit shutout

PALM DESERT (2-04-2017) -- Joey Cooper (left) went 3-for-4 to pace a 12-hit attack and three Palomar pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout as the Comets blanked state championship favorite Cypress 7-0 on Saturday in the David Buttles Memorial Tournament.

Josh Sydney, Ryan Semon and Jonathan Vizcaino (right) teamed up to throw the shutout to close out the tournament at College of the Desert's Ted Hamilton Field as the Comets advanced to 4-1 and the Chargers suffered their first loss in falling to 4-1.

Semon entered the game with one out in the fourth and pitched the next 1 2/3 innings to record the pitching win, and Vizcaino earned the save with 4 1/3 innings of scoreless, no-hit ball.

Vizcaino struck out six batters and allowed only one baserunner, on a sixth-inning walk. He retired the last 10 Cypress batters in order.

Cooper contributed an RBI double in the top of the sixth among his three hits. Jared Montoya doubled to drive in a run, while Grant Buck contributed an RBI single to go along with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. Conor McKenna had a single, sacrifice bunt and also reached base as a hit batter. Marco Young had a single and an RBI fielder's choice.

Cameron Haskell, Edgar Morales, Marc Sauceda and Tristan King had one single each as nine different Comets hit safely.

Lasers upset PC after Comets' 3-0 start

PALM DESERT (2-03-2017) -- Upstart Irvine Valley College cooled off Palomar's baseball team after the Comets' 3-0 start to begin the season on Friday, winning 5-1 after the Comets spent the afternoon missing scoring chances.

The Comets stranded 13 men on base and left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning in their first of two games on the weekend in the David Buttles Memorial Tournament at College of the Desert's Ted Hamilton Field.

The Lasers led 2-1 going into the top of the ninth after the Comets outhit them 9-5 over the first eight innings, then were able to push across three runs.

"We have to learn from this," Palomar coach Buck Taylor said. "I thought we came out a little flat and they wanted it more than us. We got great defense all afternoon but we weren't aggressive at all at the plate and couldn't get hits when we needed them with runners in scoring position. We beat ourselves."

The defensive play of the day came from shortstop Jared Montoya, who made a spectacular diving stop of a ball off the bat of Irvine Valley's Ryan Rafferty in the top of the eighth and gunned down Rafferty at first.

"That was a big-league play," Taylor said.

Edgar Morales (above left) went 2-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt for Palomar and drove in the Comets' only run with one out in the third inning, scoring Jordan Gardner, who had singled and stolen second, with a single down the rightfield line. After a walk to Cameron Haskell put runners at first and second, a double play got the Lasers out of the inning.

Gardner (above right) reached base four times for Palomar as he singled twice, was hit by a pitch and walked.

Palomar starter Nate Stillinovich pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only one baserunner on a walk, before allowing a run on a throwing error on three hits in the top of the fourth. That was all the offense Irvine Valley could muster until the top of the ninth.

Kevin Palm pitched three scoreless relief innings , allowing only one baserunner on a single with two out in the seventh. He struck out three.

Tanner Roberts, the winner in relief, delivers a pitch in Palomar's come-from-behind 4-3 victory over visiting Riverside City College on Wednesday. Connor Zalewski, Davin Castro, Roberts, Ryan Semon and Cameron Haskell, who notched a save, combined on a four-hitter. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Comets come back again, top RCC to go 3-0

SAN MARCOS (2-01-2017) -- Palomar put itself in a hole surrendering three unearned runs to fall behind early in the game, then rallied to down visiting Riverside City College 4-3 on Wednesday behind the four-hit pitching of Connor Zalewski, Davin Castro, Tanner Roberts, Ryan Semon and Cameron Haskell.

Coach Buck Taylor's club, trailing 3-0 after two innings, scored all four of its runs in the bottom of the sixth on singles by Tristan King and Gabe Willes, Carl Schwettmann's double to center which drove in two runs, Jonathan Vizcaino's RBI single to center to tie the game and a two-out double to rightfield by Grant Buck which drove in the winning run.

Roberts recorded the win by coming in with two outs and two on in the sixth inning to get the Tigers' Eduardo Martinez to fly out to centerfield. Semon, in his second strong relief appearance of in five days, followed with three innings of one-hit, scoreless ball to set up Haskell, who came on to throw a scoreless ninth inning to notch the save.

Schwettmann went 2-for-4 with his two-run double and Vizcaino was 2-for-4 with his run-scoring single.

Palomar will return to action this weekend at the David Buttles Memorial Tournament at College of the Desert where the Comets will play two games -- facing Irvine Valley on Friday at 2 p.m. and Cypress on Saturday at the same time.

ABOVE: Freshman Ryan Semon out of Valley Center High School delivers a pitch for Palomar in Saturday's home-opening win over 2016 state runner-up Golden West. Semon and three other relievers pitched seven dominant innings, surrendering only a lone unearned run, after the Comets had fallen behind 6-0. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Cameron Haskell, the winning pitcher, who went 4-for-5 at the plate and won the game with a walk-off 2-run homer

PC, down 6-0, wins on Haskell's walk-off HR

SAN MARCOS (1-28-2017) -- Cameron Haskell, a sophomore out of Chaparral High in Temecula and a transfer from UC Riverside, deposited the last pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning over the rightfield fence for a walk-off two-run home run at Palomar College Ballpark on Saturday.

That gave the Comets, who trailed 6-0 early, an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over visiting Golden West, the 2016 state tournament runner-up, and a sweep of the teams' two-game series.

Haskell who began the game as Palomar's designated hitter before coming on in the top of the ninth to retire the visitors 1-2-3 with the Comets down 7-6, went 4-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and the game-winning HR -- and notched the pitching win.

The Comets cut the Rustlers' early lead to 6-4 with four runs in the bottom of the second, with the rally highlighted by Christian Colon's two-run single.

That's when Palomar relievers Ryan Semon, Tanner Roberts, Connor Zalewski and Haskell started slamming the door on Golden West's hitters, allowing only a lone unearned by pitching seven innings of three-hit ball.

Semon threw three shutout innings, followed by Roberts (one inning, Zalewski (two innings) and Haskell (one inning). Counting the last two outs by Semon in the fifth, the Comet bullpen retired the Rustlers' last 14 batters.

Palomar banged out 12 hits off four Golden West pitcher. Christian Colon (2-for-4, two RBI) joined Haskell with multiple hits. Eric Charles, Joey Cooper, Grant Buck, Carl Schwettmann, Jared Montoya and Gabe Willes each had one hit.

Austin Salcedo, running for Colon in the seventh inning, was the base-running star of the day. Salcedo took off on a wild pick-off attempt, kept going all the way to third and forced a throwing error by Golden West's rightfielder to score on the play.

Comets open by routing state runner-up

HUNTINGTON BEACH (1-27-2017) -- Getting a 3-for-4 hitting performance from Jordan Gardner (left) and a combined 5-hitter from pitchers Nate Silinovich, Kevin Palm and Jonathan Vizcaino, Palomar opened its 2017 baseball season on Friday by shelling 2016 state tournament runner up Golden West 8-1.

The Comets will play their home opener against this same Golden West team on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark.

Grant Buck (right, 2-for-4, 2 doubles) and Conor McKenna (2-for-4, double, walk) also had multiple hits for the Comets, who banged out 14 hits off three Rustler pitchers.

Cody Norton singled to centerfield to drive in McKenna, aboard on a single, to give Palomar a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth and the Comets never looked back in playing nearly-flawless baseball offensively, defensively, running the bases and on the mound.

Palomar added two more runs in the third on an RBI ground ball by Jared Montoya and and a run-scoring single off the bat of Khyle Schwettmann. the Comets then tacked on three more runs in the seventh, one in the eighth and one more in the top of the ninth.

Meanwhile, Silinovich (freshman left-hander from 2016 CIF Southern Section Division I champion Murrieta Mesa), Kevin Palm (freshman right-hander from Murrieta Mesa) and Jonathan Vizcaino (sophomore right-hander form San Diego Francis Parker), dominated the Rustlers in a game that took only 2 hours, 25 minutes. Palm notched the win and Vizcaino threw the final three innings for the save.

Also hitting safely for coach Buck Taylor's club: UC Riverside transfer Cameron Haskell with a single and 2 sacrifice flies, Tristan King with a double and Montoya and San Diego State tansfer Stone Scoppettuolo with singles.

Comets will open with 2016 state runner-up

SAN MARCOS  (1-20-2017) -- Under coach Buck Taylor (left), Palomar won five consecutive Pacific Coast Athletic Conference titles from 2011 through 2015, capped by a third-place finish in the CCCAA State tournament two years ago when the Comets entered the Final Four ranked second in the nation.

After slipping to second place in the conference a year ago, the Comets will attempt to return to their familiar championship ways during the 2017 season, which will begin next week when they visit last year's state runner-up Golden West on Friday at 2 p.m. at GWC's Fred Hoover Field, then will host the Rustlers on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark. Golden West was beaten by Santa Rosa in last season's state championship game.

Once again, the Comets will face one of the toughest community college schedules in both the state and the nation as they'll face teams that have won a combined 30 California state chamionships between them:

 -- Cerritos (state champions in 1966, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979, 1985, 1987 and 1989): Game on Tue., Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. at Cerritos' Wally Kincaid Field

-- Riverside City College (state champions in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2007): Games on Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark and Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at Riverside City College Sports Center's Evans Field

-- Cypress (state champions in 1991, 1994, 1997, 2003 and 2013): Game on Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. at College of the Desert's Hamilton Field in the David Buttles Memorial Tournament

-- Orange Coast (state champions in 1956, 1960, 1980, 2009, 2014 and 2015): Games on Feb 7 at 2 p.m. at Palomar College Ballpark and Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. at Orange Coast's Wendall Pickens Field

-- Sacramento City College (state champions in 1951, 1953, 1988, 1998 and 1999): Games on Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. and Feb. 25 at noon at Palomar College Ballpark

-- Los Angeles Valley (state champions in 1982): Game on March 31 at 2 p.m. at L.A. Valley College Baseball Field

Taylor's teams have won seven conference championships since he was named head coach of the Comets prior to the 2006 season (in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). He also was the associate head coach under California Community Hall of Fame coach Bob Vetter in Vetter's final season in 2005, when the Comets placed second in the CCCAA state tournament, losing to Santa Rosa in the championship game.

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.

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.)

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)

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. Troy Afenir (former Astros, A's and Reds player), New York Yankees Southern California Scout

6. 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 and third baseman Greg Bochy
2. Chicago White Sox manager Rick Renteria, father of former Palomar outfielder Anthony Renteria
3. Los Angeles Dodgers Special Assistant (and former Dodgers, Cubs, Mets, Indians, Giants, Yankees, Astros and Cardinals infielder) Jose Vizcaino, father of Palomar reliever - relief pitcher) Jonathan Vizcaino

Barnett (Nationals), 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.


2017 Baseball Schedule and Results

(Home Games in Bold)

Fri Jan 27 at Golden West Huntington Beach (Hoover Field, Golden West College) WON 8-1 BOX 1-0  -----
Sat Jan 28 Golden West Palomar College Ballpark WON 8-7 BOX 2-0 -----
Web Feb 1 Riverside City College Palomar College Ballpark WON 4-3 BOX 3-0 -----
Fri Feb 3 vs. Irvine Valley (David Buttles Memorial Tournament) Palm Desert (Ted Hamilton Field, College of the Desert) Lost 1-5 BOX 3-1 -----
Sat Feb 4 vs. Cypress (David Buttles Memorial Tournament) Palm Desert (Ted Hamilton Field, College of the Desert) WON 7-0 BOX 4-1 -----
Thu Feb 9 Fullerton Palomar College Ballpark WON 6-1 BOX 5-1 -----
Fri Feb 10 Orange Coast Palomar College Ballpark Lost 7-8 (12 innings) BOX 5-2 -----
Wed Feb 15 at Riverside City College Riverside (Riverside Sports Complex, Evans Field) WON 6-1 BOX 6-2 -----
Thu Feb 16 at Glendale 
(Game 1 of doubleheader)
Glendale (Casey Stengal Field, Glendale College Lost 2-3 BOX 6-3 -----
    at Glendale (Game 2 of doubleheader) Glendale (Casey Stengal Field, Glendale College Lost 2-12 BOX 6-4 -----
Tue Feb 21 at Orange Coast Costa Mesa (Wendall Pickens Field, Orange Coast College) WON 13-4  BOX 7-4 -----
Fri Feb 24 Sacramento City College Palomar College Ballpark Lost 5-6 BOX 7-5 -----
Sat Feb 25 Sacramento City College Palomar College Ballpark WON 14-4 BOX 8-5 -----
Sun Feb 26 at Fullerton Hornet Field (Fullerton College) Postponed ----- ----- -----
Tue Feb 28 at Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) San Jacinto (Mt. San Jacinto College field, "The Jac") WON 14-6 BOX 9-5 1-0
Thu Mar 2 Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) San Jacinto (Mt. San Jacinto College field, "The Jac") WON 12-0 BOX 10-5 2-0
Sat Mar 4 vs. Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 11-1 BOX 11-5 3-0
Tue Mar 7 San Bernardino Valley (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 11-5  BOX 12-5 4-0
Thu Mar 9 at San Bernardino Valley San Bernardino (SBVC Baseball Field) WON 8-4 BOX 13-5 5-0
Sat Mar 11 San Bernardino Valley (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark Lost 6-8 BOX 13-6 5-1
Tue Mar 14 at San Diego City College (PCAC) Balboa Park, San Diego (Morley Field) WON 8-3 BOX 14-6 6-1
Thu Mar 16 San Diego City College (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 10-5 BOX 15-6 7-1
Sat Mar 18 at San Diego City College (PCAC) Balboa Park, San Diego (Morley Field) WON 9-3 BOX 16-6 8-1
Tue Mar 21 Imperial Valley (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 24-4 BOX 17-6 9-1
Thu Mar 23 at Imperial Valley (PCAC) Imperial (IVC Field) WON 19-1 BOX 18-6 10-1
Fri Mar 24 Imperial Valley (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 14-2 BOX 19-6 11-1
Fri Mar 31 at Los Angeles Valley Valley Glen, Los Angeles (L.A. Valley College Field) WON 10-2 BOX 20-6 -----
Tue Apr 4 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 5-4 BOX 21-6 12-1
Thu Apr 6 at San Diego Mesa (PCAC) San Diego (SD Mesa Field) WON 13-4 BOX 22-6 13-1
Sat Apr 8 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 11-10  BOX 23-6 14-1
Sun Apr 9 Fullerton Fullerton College (Hornet Field) WON 8-3 BOX 24-6 -----
Tue Apr 11 COD (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 19-4 BOX 25-6 15-1
Thu Apr 13 at COD (PCAC) Palm Desert (Ted Hamilton Field, College of the Desert) WON 6-3 BOX 26-6 16-1
Sat Apr 15 COD (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 20-4 BOX 27-6 17-1
Tue Apr 18 at Grossmont (PCAC) El Cajon (Noel Mickelsen Field, Grossmont College) Lost 3-11 BOX 27-7 17-2
Thu Apr 20 Grossmont (PCAC) Palomar College Ballpark WON 4-2 BOX 28-7 18-2
Sat Apr 22 at Grossmont (PCAC) El Cajon (Noel Mickelsen Field, Grossmont College) Lost 4-7 BOX 28-8 18-3
Tue Apr 25 at Southwestern (PCAC) Chula Vista (The Junction, Southwestern College) WON 10-5  BOX 29-8 19-3
Thu Apr 27 Southwestern (PCAC) Palomar College  Ballpark WON 5-0 BOX 30-8 20-3
Fri  Apr 28 at Southwestern (PCAC) Chula Vista (The Junction, Southwestern College) WON 6-4 BOX 31-8 21-3
Fri May 5 at L.A. Mission Sylmar (El Cariso Park) Lost 3-6 ----- 31-9 -----
Sat May 6 at L.A. Mission Sylmar El Cariso Park) WON 13-6 ----- 32-9 -----
    at L.A. Mission (if necessary) Sylmar (El Caiso Park) Lost 0-6 ----- 32-10 -----

2017 Roster

1 Gabe Willes INF B/R 5-10 160 Fr La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad)
2 Joey Cooper OF L/R 5-10 170 So Highland (Bakersfield)
3 Austen Salcedo OF L/L 6-0 160 Fr Murrieta Mesa (Murrieta)
4 Eric Charles OF L/L 6-0 170 So Redwood (Visalia)
7 Edgar Morales INF L/R 5-8 185 So Gahr (Cerritos)
8 Jordan Gardner OF R/R 5-8 170 So Temecula Valley (Temecula)
9 Conor McKenna INF R/R 6-2 200 Fr Carlsbad (Carlsbad)
11 Marco Young OF L/L 6-2 160 Fr Del Norte (San Diego)
12 Jared Montoya INF R/R 5-10 180 So Douglas County (Castle Rock, CO) / Central Arizona CC
13 Ryan Semon LHP L/L 6-0 175 Fr Valley Center (Valley Center)
14 Stone Scoppettuolo OF R/R 6-1 180 Fr La Jolla (La Jolla) / San Diego St.
15 Kevin Palm RHP R/R 6-0 185 Fr Murrieta Mesa (Murrieta)
16 Julian McDonald RHP L/R 6-2 175 Fr La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad)
17 Connor Zalewski RHP R/R 6-3 175 Fr Kalani (Honolulu, HI)
18 Devin Castro LHP L/L 5-10 180 Fr Temecula Valley (Temecula)
19 Christian Colon C R/R 5-10 185 So Hamden (Hamden, CT) / Bates
20 Stephen Rausa LHP R/L 5-7 170 Fr Vista Murrieta (Murrieta)
21 Andrew White LHP L/L 5-11 175 Fr Fallbrook (Fallbrook)
22 Ryan Hartin INF R/R 6-0 180 Fr Madison (San Diego)
23 Chase McCann C L/R 6-1 180 Fr Alamo Heights (San Antonio, TX)
24 Carl Schwettmann OF R/R 6-2 185 So Ramona (Ramona)
25 Marc Sauceda LHP/1B L/L 5-11 205 So Chaparral (Temecula)
26 Tanner Roberts RHP R/R 6-0 180 So Vista Murrieta (Murrieta) / L.A. Harbor CC
27 Juwan Maxwell OF L/L 5-11 190 Fr Chaparral (Temecula)
28 Louis Tade OF R/R 6-0 185 Fr Chaparral (Temecula)
29 Anthony Inatsugu 1B R/R 6-2 195 Fr Santa Monica (Santa Monica)
30 Jonathan Vizcaino RHP/INF R/R 6-1 190 So Francis Parker (San Diego) / Susquehanna University
31 Cameron Haskell RHP/UT L/R 6-4 200 So Chaparral (Temecula) / UC Riverside
32 Nate Stilinovich LHP L/L 6-6 180 Fr Murrieta Mesa (Murrieta)
33 Josh Sidney RHP R/R 6-4 200 Fr Torrey Pines (San Diego)
34 Brett Lockwood RHP R/R 6-4 210 Fr Murrieta Valley (Murrieta)
35 Cody Norton OF R/R 6-5 220 So Carlsbad (Carlsbad)
36 Grant Buck 1B L/R 6-5 225 So Carlsbad (Carlsbad)
37 Tristan King C R/R 6-3 225 Fr Timberline (Boise, ID)
38 Zach Wallace RHP R/R 6-3 225 So De La Salle (Concord) / UC San Diego
39 George Chapman RHP R/R 6-6 225 Fr Oceanside (Oceanside)
40 Travis Marinshaw RHP R/R 6-3 215 Fr Ramona (Ramona)
Buck Taylor, Head Coach
Ben Adams, Associate Head Coach; Recruiting Coordinator, Infield Coach
Bob Vetter, Outfield Coach, Bench Coach
Bobby Shore, Pitching Coach
Zach Wilkins, Bullpen Coach
Jason Schmeiser, First Base
Rich Graves, Assistant Coach

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