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



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2015 Comets


2015 Season ...

As expected, Comets No. 1 seed in Southern Cal

SAN MARCOS (4-26-2015) -- To the surprise of no one, Palomar was selected as the No. 1 seed in the Southern California Regional baseball playoffs at Sunday's seeding meeting and will open the post-season at home on Myers Field next Friday and Saturday with a best-of-3 series against a still-undetermined opponent .

The Comets (30-6) will play the first game of the series Friday at 2 p.m. against the remaining team with the lowest seed after two loser-go-home play-in-games on Tuesday -- No. 17 seed Irvine Valley (20-16) at No. 16 seed Los Angeles Mission (22-14) and No. 18 seed Riverside City College (21-15) at No. 15 seed Cerritos (22-14).

Saturday's game 2 will be played at 11 a.m. with a third game, if necessary, to follow.

Unless someone upsets the Comets, who are ranked fifth nationally, they'll remain at home throughout the regionals through the next three weekends, in every case facing the lowest remaining seed in the playoffs. The State Final Four will be played at Fresno on May 29-31. That would be the first and only time Palomar would have to go on the road, the same scenario that top seed and nationally No. 1-ranked San Joaquin Delta (33-3) faces in Northern California.

Southwestern (28-8), with the fourth-best RPI in the South (Palomar has the best RPI), was surprisingly seeded No. 9 and will be on the road in the first round next weekend at No. 8 seed Glendale (19-17). The second-through-eighth seeds in Southern California are No. 2 Oxnard (26-9-1), No. 3 Santa Barbara City College (28-8), No. 4 Golden West (23-13), No. 5 Cypress (25-11), No. 6 San Bernardino Valley (23-13), No. 7 Long Beach City College (20-16) and No. 8 Glendale.

Against teams in the Regionals, the Comets split two games with No. 4 seed Golden West during the regular season, lost in 12 innings to No. 5 Cypress 8-7, beat No. 6 San Bernardino Valley 12-3, beat No. 8 Glendale 9-2, split four games with No. 9 Southwestern, split two games with No. 10 Orange Coast, swept two games from No. 12 Fullerton 8-1 and 4-2 and beat No. 15 Cerritos 7-1.

PC self-destructs in 5th, suffers 1st home loss

SAN MARCOS (4-25-2015) -- Palomar, which will officially be named the No. 1 seed in the Southern California community college baseball playoffs on Sunday, played eight outstanding innings and one very forgetable nightmare inning on Saturday in the final regular-season game ever at Myers Field.

The nightmare top of the fifth cost the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champions, but only in the short term.

It was Palomar's first home loss of the season (after a 15-0 start) and prevents the 2015 team from claiming the first unbeaten home season in 68 years of Palomar baseball. It was only the second time the Comets have lost this year by more than one run (the only previous time was back on Jan. 31, at Golden West). It negatively impacted two pitchers' earned run averages. And it punched a hole in the Comets' considerable momentum entering the postseason, snapping their 10-game winning streak.

In the big picture, however, the loss doesn't mean squat. The Comets finish the regular season 30-6, winning their fifth straight PCAC championship by three games over the second-place Jaguars. They're still ranked No. 1 in Southern California, No. 2 in the state, No. 2 in California-Oregon-Washington and No. 5 in the nation.

And they still easily own the best RPI in Southern California. It's a virtual lock that Palomar and Santa Barbara City College will be announced as the 1-2 seeds in the playoffs on Sunday.

Starter Jake Barnett, who came into the day with a 7-1 record, began the game by pitching four no-hit innings, allowing only one baserunner (on a fourth-inning walk), and striking out four. The Comets led 1-0 entering the top of the fifth, having scored in the bottom of the fourth when Anthony Balderas singled to right to drive in Chris Stratton, who led off the inning by doubling to center.

However, in the fifth, nothing went right for the Comets, as Southwestern scored eight runs vs. two Palomar pitchers on four walks, a hit batter, three singles and a base-clearing double by Steven Sherwood, the first batter to face Palomar's first reliever of the afternoon. Four runs that were charged to Barnett came after he exited the game.

The inning included a reversal of the hit-batter call, which came after the plate umpire had originally ruled Southwestern's Ray Peterson had swung at the pitch. Following two outs that came down after that, Barnett would have been out of the inning without a run. But, after Southwestern argued the original call and the plate umpire conferred with the base ump, he then reversed his ruling and sent the batter to first. That opened the gates.

Four more Palomar relievers -- Troy Lamparello, Josh Bravin, Matt Flake and Graham Gomez -- combined to pitch scoreless, hitless ball over the final four innings, meaning the Comets' pitchers no-hit the Jaguars while shutting them out over eight of the games's nine innings. Southwestern was retired 1-2-3 in the first, second, third, seventh, eighth and ninth.

The Comet pitchers retired the Jaguars' first 10 batters of the game and their last 11 batters.

Palomar scored one run the sixth inning, when Nico Holm singled to drive in Francis Christy, who had walked and advanced on Balderas' second single of the day. The Comets tallied the game's final run in the ninth, when pinch-hitter Travis Mitchell was hit by a pitch and, after an error and Colton Aaro's second walk of the game, eventually scored on a balk.

Balderas and Southwestern's Sherwood each had two hits on the day.

The Jaguars finish the season 28-8, 18-6 in the PCAC, and will enter the seeding meeting with the fourth-best RPI in Southern California.

Palomar will be home to an undetermined opponent in a best-of-three playoff series to begin the playoffs next Friday and Saturday.


PICTURED ABOVE: Palomar catcher Colton Aaro catches a foul pop-up in the ninth inning Saturday. -- Photo by Steven Davis

Alec Salcedo's seventh-inning bunt single loaded the bases, just before Francis Christy worked Southwestern pitcher Calvin Faucher for a bases-loaded walk that put Palomar in front 3-2 Thursday. Christy (below left) went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. He doubled to drive in a run in the Comets' ninth-inning rally that lifted the Comets to a 7-4 victory. Travis Mitchell (below right), who followed Christy to the plate, had what turned out to be the game-winning RBI when he singled to right to score Chase Grant. -- Above photo by Russell Scoffin, Southwestern College

Comets get 30th win with ninth-inning rally

CHULA VISTA (4-23-2015) -- Visiting Palomar, trailing by a run going into the ninth inning, pushed across four runs off ace Southwestern closer Kevin Ginkel on Thursday and beat the Jaguars for the second time in three days 7-4.

The Comets, ranked No. 1 in Southern California and No. 5 in the nation, ran their current win streak to 10 games and notched their 30th victory of 2015. They'll take a 30-5 record and a 21-2 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference mark into their regular-season finale against the Jaguars at home on Myers Field at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Coach Buck Taylor's PCAC champions are expected to be the No. 1 seed in the Southern California Community College Regionals that start next weekend.

Starter Tyler Russell, who pitched six innings of four-hit ball, had left the game by the time the Jaguars, down 3-2, took the lead 4-3 with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth.

That set the stage for Palomar's big top of the ninth, which started when Ginkel hit Salcedo, the Comets' leadoff hitter, with a pitch. Pinch-hitter Chase Grant drew a walk and state RBI leader Francis Christy slammed an opposite-field double to leftfield to drive in Salcedo and tie the game at 4-4.

Travis Mitchell, the next batter, singled to left to score Grant with what turned out to be the winning run.

Dylan Brault lined a sacrifice fly to the leftfielder, chasing home Christy and putting Palomar up 6-4. After a Derek Black single, Mitchell stole third and came home on a balk, making the final score 7-4.

Russell had opened the game with a dominant first five innings, when he shut out Southwestern on one hit, striking out six, as Niko Holm staked him to a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth, when he singled in Dylan Breault, who had singled and taken second on a passed ball.

Brault drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the sixth, putting the Comets on top 2-0. The Jaguars tied it up with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, but the Comets then went back in front 3-2 in the seventh when Christy walked with the bases loaded.

Joey Cooper, Chris Stratton and Salcedo had banged out consecutive singles to load the bases. Salcedo's hit came on a bunt single to the third-base side.

Troy Lamparello, Graham Gomez and Anthony Balderas pitched hitless ball over the final three innings for Palomar, but the Comets made two errors which allowed Southwestern to regain the lead in the eighth.

Balderas came on in relief in the eighth, then retired the Jaguars in the bottom of the ninth on a walk, a strikeout and a double play from Stratton at second base to Breault at shortstop to Black at first to end the the game. Balderas recorded the win to go to 2-0 on the year.

Christy went 2-for-4 with the double, walk and two RBIs to pace a nine-hit attack for the Comets. Breault was 2-for-3 with the walk, sac fly and two RBIs.


Comets move up to No. 5 spot in the nation

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (4-22-2015) -- Palomar, which clinched its fifth straight conference championship on Tuesday by beating Southwestern to advance to 29-5, has moved up to No. 5 in the National Community College baseball rankings compiled by Perfect Game USA of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The Comets, under coach Buck Taylor (left), previously were ranked seventh in the nation.

San Joaquin Delta College of Stockton remains No. 1 in the country but now has "slipped" to 31-2 after suffering its second loss on Tuesday, falling to Cosumnes River of Sacramento 8-1.

Rounding out the Top 5 behind Delta are No. 2 St. John's River (Florida), No. 3 Cipola (Florida), No. 4 Cowley County (Kansas), and the No. 5-ranked Comets.

The other Top Ten teams in the country are No. 6 Iowa Western, No. 7 Walters State (Tennessee), No. 8 Cochise (Arizona), No. 9 Johnson County (Kansas) and No. 10 Southern Nevada.

The only other California team in the Top 25 along with San Joaquin Delta and Palomar is No. 15 Fresno City College.

Perfect Game USA
1. San Joaquin Delta College (Northern California)
2. St. John's River Community College (Florida)
3. Chipola Community College (Florida)
4. Cowley County Community College (Kansas)
5. Palomar College (Southern California)
6. Iowa Western Community College
7. Walters State College (Tennessee)
8. Cochise College (Arizona)
9. Johnson County Community College (Kansas)
10. College of Southern Nevada

TOP PHOTO: Taylor Turski pitches to Southwestern on Tuesday at Myers Field. He threw eight five-hit, scoreless innings as the Comets won 7-0. DIRECTLY ABOVE: The Comets celebrate clinching their fifth conference championship in a row. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Chase Grant, who came off the bench to drive in two runs with a pair of late-inning hits

Comets roll behind Turski for 5th title in row

SAN MARCOS (4-21-2015) -- This story never seems to get old for the Palomar College baseball team.

By shutting out second-place Southwestern 7-0 on Tuesday at Myers Field, Palomar clinched its fifth straight Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship with two games still to play.

Taylor Turski (5-0) handcuffed the Jaguars for eight innings as he combined on a five-hit shutout with Rusty Huber, who came on to throw a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Turski, who struck out six batters and walked one, lowered his earned run average to 0.72 for 50 innings, tying him for the state community college lead with Santa Rosa's Garrett Hill.

Chase Grant came off the bench to drive in two big runs with a seventh-inning double which extended a 1-0 Palomar lead to 2-0 and an eighth-inning single that was among the highlights in a five-run outburst by the Comets.

Niko Holm (two singles), Chris Stratton (double and single), and Vince Mori (two singles) had two hits apiece. Francis Christy singled to drive in two runs as he took over the state RBI lead with 45. He leads Gage Matuszak of Feather River, who has 43 RBIs.

Palomar broke a scoreless tie when the Comets scored a fourth-inning run on singles by Travis Mitchell, Mori and Holm. Holm's hit drove in Mitchell.

The Comets took a 2-1 lead in the seventh when Stratton reached base as a hit batter, stole second, went to third on Alec Salcedo's sacrifice bunt and scored on Grant's single to left.

Palomar then broke the game open in the eighth inning, when they chased Southwestern starter Adrian Orozco, who came into the game with a 9-0 record, and reliever Dylan McDonald.

Dylan Breault singled to center to lead off the inning and, with one out, Holm singled to right to advance him to second. They advanced to second and third on a double steal and Stratton doubled into the right-centerfield gap with two outs to drive in both runners and make it 4-0.

Salcedo walked, Grant singled up the middle to score Stratton. Both runners moved up on a passed ball and Christy doubled to right, driving in Salcedo and Grant and making the final score 7-0.

Salcedo had the Comets' other hit, a single, as he finished the day 1-for-2 with two sacrifices and a walk. Holm was 2-for-3 with his RBI and also was hit by a pitch. Mori went 2-for-3 and also reached base as a hit batter. Stratton was 1-for-2 with the two run double, was hit by pitches twice and stole a base.

Palomar ran its current win streak to nine games and snapped Southwestern's win streak at 14 games.

Southern California No. 1-ranked Palomar advances to 29-5, 20-2 in conference with regular-season games remaining on Thursday at Southwestern and back home at Myers Field on Friday against the Jaguars. Southwestern is 27-7 and 17-5 in the PCAC.


Comets go for 5th straight PCAC title Tuesday

SAN MARCOS (4-15-2015) -- Palomar will attempt to clinch its fifth straight Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball championship on Tuesday when the first-place Comets open a three-game series with second-place Southwestern.

The Southern California No. 1-ranked Comets (28-5, 19-2) and the fifth-ranked Jaguars (27-6, 17-4) will square off at Myers Field at 2 p.m.

If the two teams go with their regular Tuesday pitchers, Palomar left-hander Taylor Turski (4-0, 0.86 ERA, second-best in the state) and Southwestern right-hander Adrian Orozco (9-0, 1.64 ERA) will be the two starters.

Turski (left) is a freshman lefthander from Temecula Valley High School returning to baseball this season after a layoff following an injury and surgery. Coach Buck Taylor brought him along slowly early in the season before moving him into the starting rotation.

Orozco (right) is a sophomore righthander from Otay Ranch High School who pitched for UC San Diego in 2013 as a true freshman, then received an injury redshirt after beginning the 2014 season for the Tritons.

Southwestern defeated Mt. San Jacinto 11-6 on Saturday to remain alive in the conference race.

The Jaguars trail the Comets by two games with three to play, and one loss in the series (the teams also will play at Southwestern on Thursday and back at Palomar on Friday) would eliminate the Jags.

If the Comets win Tuesday, they'll have a three-game lead on the Jaguars with two games remaining.

Southwestern can win the championship outright by sweeping the series.

TOP PHOTO: Palomar's Jake Barnett delivers a pitch during his complete-game victory over Grossmont on Friday at Myers Field. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Second baseman Chris Stratton cocks to throw ball to first base for out No. 1 in the ninth inning. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Alec Salcedo, who went 4-for-4 and drove in the winning run to lead the Comets at the plate. Palomar won 4-2

Barnett's 11 strikeouts lift PC closer to title

SAN MARCOS (4-18-2015) -- Palomar's "magic number" to clinch at least a tie for its fifth consecutive conference baseball championship is at one after pitcher Jake Barnett beat Grossmont 4-2 on Friday at Myers Field with a complete-game six-hitter. He struck out 11 and walked two.

The win, the Comets' ninth straight, advanced Barnett to 7-1 on the season with a 2.14 ERA and moved the Southern California No. 1-ranked Comets to 19-2 in the conference and 28-5 overall. They lead second-place Southwestern by 2 1/2 games with three games to play (for the Comets) and four (for the Jaguars).

Southwestern hosts Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday before the Comets and Jaguars close out the regular season with a three game series next week, on Tuesday (at Palomar), Thursday (at Southwestern) and Friday (back at Palomar). Either one more Palomar win or one more Southwestern loss will clinch at least a tie for the title for the Comets.

Barnett (who is 6-0 in conference with a 1.33 ERA), gave up an earned run in the first inning on Friday, allowed an unearned run in the third when the Comets made an uncharacteristic three errors behind him, then shut out the Griffins on two hits the remainder of the afternoon.

Centerfielder Alec Salcedo went 4-for-4 stole a base and drove in the winning run with a seventh-inning single to pace an 11-hit attack for the Comets. Dylan Breault was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Joey Cooper was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Francis Christy, Travis Mitchell and Vince Mori added one single each.

The two teams combined to make seven errors (four by the Griffins) in their second sloppy game in two days, and only three of the combined four runs were earned. But, for the second straight day, the Comets found a way to win.

Palomar, which scored one run in the bottom of the first and a second run in the second inning, pushed across the go-ahead run in the seventh on Breault's single and stolen base, Cooper's sacrifice bunt, an error and Salcedo's single to right that drove in Breault.

The Comets added an insurance run in the eighth when Mori singled to right, went to second on Niko Holm's sacrifice and scored on Cooper's opposite-field single through the left side with two outs.


Comets find a way to win, go to 27-5 on year

EL CAJON (4-16-2015) -- Palomar took another step toward its fifth straight Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball championship on Thursday, scoring three runs without benefit of a hit in the top of the ninth inning for a come-from-behind 4-2 road victory over Grossmont.

The win may have been ugly, but it was functional as the first-place Comets, ranked No. 1 in Southern California and No. 7 in the nation, advanced to 18-2 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (27-5 overall).

Coach Buck Taylor's squad retained a two-game lead with four games to play over the PCAC's second-place team, Southwestern, which is 16-4 and 26-6 after a 14-8 victory at Mt. San Jacinto on Thursday.

The Comets made the most of only four hits off four Grossmont pitchers. Dylan Breault (above left), who also had another oustanding at shortstop, was 2-for-4 at the plate with some alert baserunning. Francis Christy doubled to drive in a run in the third inning. And Joey Cooper was 1-for-3 with a single, Cooper also drew a walk and scored what turned out to be the winning run during the three-run top of the ninth.

Grossmont's third pitcher of the afternoon imploded in the ninth inning, throwing three wild pitches that allowed runners to score from third.

This happened after Jorge Garcia homered to leadoff the bottom of the eighth, breaking a 1-1 tie and putting the Griffins up 2-1.

Palomar starter Tyler Russell held Grossmont to one run over the first 6 1/3 innings before Rusty Huber (above right) came on to relieve him. Huber allowed the run that put Grossmont in front but wound up otherwise handcuffing the Griffins for three innings to get the win. Huber is now 3-0 on the season, with all three wins coming out of the bullpen.

The Comets, who extended their most recent win streak to seven games, and the Griffins will play the third game of the the series on Friday at 2 p.m. at Myers Field. Palomar finishes the regular season next week with three big games vs. Southwestern (Tuesday at home, Thursday on the road and Friday back at Myers Field).


Comets remain No. 2 in ABCA Pacific rankings

SAN MARCOS (4-15-2015) -- Palomar still sits at No. 2 in the American Baseball Coaches Association's Pacific Divisions (California, Oregon and Washington) community college rankings.

The Comets (27-5) trail only No. 1-ranked San Joaquin Delta (30-1), which is also ranked No. 1 in the nation by Perfect Game Baseball.com. Palomar is No. 7 in the nation.

American Baseball Coaches Association
1. San Joaquin Delta College (Northern California)
2. Palomar College (Southern California)
3. Mt. Hood Community College (Oregon)
4. Cypress College (Southern California)
5. Fresno City College (Northern California)
6. Oxnard College (Southern California)
7. Spokane Valley Community College (Washington)
8. Santa Barbara City College (Southern California)
9. Feather River College (Northern California)
10. Orange Coast College)(Southern California)

Palomar pitcher Barnett is honored by PCAC

SAN DIEGO (4-14-2015) -- Palomar baseball pitcher Jake Barnett has been selected by the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference as its Men's Athlete of the Week for all sports for April 6-12.

Barnett, a sophomore lefthander out of Orange Glen High School, ran his win-loss record to 6-1 for the season (14-4 for the 2014 and 2015 seasons combined) last Saturday, when he pitched three-hit ball over seven innings in a 6-2 victory over Mt. San Jacinto.

Barnett allowed a lone unearned run while striking out 10 batters and walking two. He lowered his ERA to 2.31 on the year for the PCAC leaders, who are ranked No. 1 in Southern California, No. 2 in the state and No. 7 in the nation. Barnett is 5-0 in conference with a 1.39 ERA.

TOP PHOTO: Taylor Turski delivers a pitch in Palomar's 8-0 win over Grossmont on Tuesday at Myers Field. He advanced to 4-0 on the season with an ERA of 0.86. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Vince Mori rounds third as he scores on Niko Holm's eighth-inning triple. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Dylan Breault, who went 3-for-3 for the Comets, tripled, scored three runs, stole a base and drove in a run. BELOW RIGHT: Graham Gomez, who pitched hitless, scoreless ball over the final two innings to combine with Turski on a four-hitter

Turski tames Griffins 8-0; Breault goes 3-for-3

SAN MARCOS (4-14-2015) -- Taylor Turski kept a good thing going for Palomar on Tuesday as he pitched Palomar to an 8-0 victory over Grossmont at Myers Field. The win kept the Comets two games up on second-place Southwestern in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference race.

Turski pitched four-hit ball over the first seven innings to go to 4-0 on the season with an ERA of 0.86. Graham Gomez came on to pitch hitless, scoreless relief ball over the final two innings as he combined with Turski on a four-hit shutout.

Shortstop Dylan Breault had a big day both offensively and in the field for the nationally seventh-ranked Comets (26-5, 17-2). He went 3-for-3 at the plate with a triple, two singles, three runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base.

Chris Stratton also had a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Niko Holm tripled to drive in a run and pinch-hitter Travis Mitchell doubled to drive in two runs as Palomar scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to completely break open a 5-0 game. Holm had two RBIs for the game.

Vince Mori contributed a single and a sacrifice fly to drive in a run, and Joey Cooper added an RBI single.

 Southwestern stayed two games behind the Comets in the conference race with five games to play with a 4-2 win over Mt. San Jacinto.

Palomar will visit Grossmont on Thursday at 2 p.m. and will return home to host the Griffins in the final game of the series on Friday at the same time back at Myers Field. They'll close the season with a three-game series with Southwestern next week, with the teams playing next Tuesday at Myers Field, on Thursday at The Junction in Chula Vista and the following day back at Myers Field.


Comets remain No. 1 in Southern Cal rankings

SACRAMENTO (4-14-2014) -- Palomar (26-5) is still ranked No. 1 in Southern California by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association. Cypress (23-9) is No. 2.

The Comets also are ranked No. 2 in the state by both the American Baseball Coaches Association and Perfect Game Baseball.com.

Palomar is also ranked No. 2 in the Pacific Divisions (California, Oregon and Washington) by the ABCA and No. 7 in the nation by Perfect Game Baseball.com

San Joaquin Delta (28-1) of Stockton, which suffered its first loss of 2015 when it was upset by Sacramento City College 7-5 on Saturday, is ranked No. 1 in the nation, in California and in the ABCA Pacific Divisions.

California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (Records as of April 13)
1. Palomar College (25-5)
2. Cypress College (22-9)
3. Oxnard College (22-7-1)
4. Santa Barbara City College (23-7)
5. Orange Coast College (19-12)
6. Southwestern College (24-6)
7. Golden West College (18-13)
8. Fullerton College (20-11)
9. Rio Hondo College (22-8)
10. Glendale College (15-15)

Barnett K's 10 in 8 innings; Christy hits 9th HR

SAN JACINTO (4-11-2015) -- Sophomore left-hander Jake Barnett (left) ran his win-loss record to 6-1 on the year and 14-4 over two seasons on Saturday. He couldn't have been more dominant doing it.

The returning first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection overwhelmed host Mt. San Jacinto, allowing only a lone unearned run on three hits and striking out 10.

Barnett's performance, along with a combined 8-for-15 day at the plate with four extra-base hits and six RBIs by Francis Christy (right), Dylan Breault and Vince Mori, led Southern California No. 1-ranked Palomar to a 6-2 win on the road.

The Comets (25-5, 16-2), ranked No. 7 in the nation by Perfect Game USA.com, got all the runs they needed on one swing by Christy in the top of the third inning. The lefthanded-hitting 6-foot-3, 220-pound sophomore catcher broke a 0-0 tie when he blasted a towering three-run home run over the rightfield fence to score Alec Salcedo, who had walked, and Joey Cooper, who had singled, ahead of him.

Mt. San Jacinto's rightfielder couldn't have misjudged Christy's ninth HR of the season any worse as he intitially came in several steps before the ball disappeared high in the air over his head and then the fence.

After the Eagles scored an unearned run in the bottom of the inning, the Comets came back to push two runs across the plate to make it 5-1 in the top of the fifth when Anthony Balderas singled, Mori drove him in with a double to right-center and Breault scored Mori with a single to rightfield. 

Mori drove in Travis Mitchell, with a seventh-inning single. The Comets knocked out five hits in the inning, but had to settle for the one run when MSJ rightfielder Fernando Fernandez threw out Christy trying to score from second on a single by Mitchell.

For the game, Christy went 3-for-5 with the home run, a double, a single and three RBIs. Breault was 3-for-5 with a double, two singles and an RBI. Mori was 2-for-5 with his double and an RBI.

Meanwhile, Barnett retired the Eagles in order in the second, fifth and seventh innings and struck out three batters in the first, two in the third, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and two more in the eighth.

 Barnett didn't issue a walk until he had struck out the first two batters and gone 0-and-2 on the third in the bottom of the eighth, when it appeared the plate umpire lost track of the count. Mt. San Jac's Bryan Derzern then walked on what Palomar argued was actually a 2-and-2 pitch.

No replay in community college baseball, and the umpire's call stood when the base umpire did not appear to be keeping the count.

After reliever Rusty Huber struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth the Eagles finally got on the scoreboard with a single, a hit batter and another single before Salcedo made a spectacular diving catch racing in toward second base to rob Mt. San Jacinto's Johnny Valdez of a hit on the final pitch of the game.

Salcedo and Jordan Gardner also singled for the Comts, rounding out a 13-hit attack.

Palomar leads the PCAC by two games over second-place Southwestern with six games to play. This upcoming week, the Comets will host Grossmont on Tuesday, play the Griffins on the road Thursday then host them again on Friday, all at 2 p.m.


ABOVE: Tyler Russell delivers a pitch in the Comets' 9-2 victory over visiting Mt. San Jacinto on Thursday. Russell allowed one run over the first six innings as he ran his win-loss record to 5-0. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Chris Stratton, who went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs. BELOW RIGHT: Anthony Balderas, who also was 3-for-4

Stratton (3-for-4, 4 RBIs), Comets pound MSJ

SAN MARCOS (4-09-2015) -- Chris Stratton and Anthony Balderas each knocked out three hits on Thursday as Palomar pounded Mt. San Jacinto 9-2 at Myers Field.

Stratton, the Comets' sophomore second baseman from Chaparral High School in Temecula, went 3-for-4 with three singles, two runs scored and four RBIs. Balderas, a sophomore closer / first baseman / designated hitter from La Costa Canyon, was at DH on Thursday and also went 3-for-4 with three singles and scored a pair of runs.

Freshman shortstop Dylan Breault and third baseman Vince Mori played outstanding defense in back of pitchers Tyler Russell, the starter and winner, and relievers Troy Lamparell and Adam Esetrmyer.

Russell allowed a lone run in the fourth inning as he ran his win-loss record to 5-0 as he tied Lamparello (5-0) and Jake Barnett (5-1) for most wins on the Palomar staff.

Breault also had an RBI double in the fifth inning as he went 1-for-2 while drawing a pair of walks. Alec Salcedo went 2-for-4 with an RBI and was hit by a pitch. Jordan Gardner had an RBI single to go along with a sacrifice bunt and a walk. Francis Christy and Mori also singled, rounding out a 12-hit attack.

The Comets took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second and added four more runs in the fifth inning to lead 8-1. Joey Cooper turned a walk and a steal into their final run in the seventh when he raced home on a wild pitch.

Palomar, which is ranked first in Southern California and seventh in the nation, advanced to  24-5 on the season and 15-2 to retain a two-game lead over second-place Southwestern in the PCAC race.

Kash Mattson, Javon Evans and Mauryse McClennan had two hits each for the Eagles, who fell to 10-19 and 8-9. The two teams will play again on Saturday at noon in San Jacinto.


Mitchell's third hit gives Turski (3-0) the win

SAN JACINTO (4-07-2015) -- After climbing to No. 7 in the nation in the morning, Palomar got clutch performances from Travis Mitchell (left) and Taylor Turski (right) on Tuesday afternoon as the Comets rallied to down Mt. San Jacinto 3-2.

Mitchell singled up the middle with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, driving in Francis Christy from second with the winning run. It was Mitchell's third hit of his 3-for-4 day, two-RBI day, breaking a 2-2 tie.

The hit gave freshman lefthander Turski (3-0, 1.03 ERA for 35 innings) the pitching win and allowed the Comets to go to 23-5 on the season, 14-2 to remain two games ahead of Southwestern in the loss column in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

Turski, who before this season last pitched in 2011 as a Temecula Valley senior when an arm injury that eventually required surgery ended his senior season, fell behind 2-0 in the first inning.

After that, he dominated the Eagles until two were out in the bottom of the ninth, when Rusty Huber came in to get a called third strike on Mt. San Jac's Johnny Valdez for the game's final out. Huber notched his third save of the year.

Turski, who struck out five batters in 8 2/3 innings, had gotten the first two outs in the bottom of the first on a swinging strikeout and a groundball to shortstop Dylan Breault. Mt. San Jac's Kash Mattson bounced a single through the right side of the infield, but it appeared the Comets were out of the inning when the next batter, Nick Gonzalez, hit a medium-velocity groundball in the direction of third baseman Niko Helm.

But, as Helm went to backhand the ball, it hit the third base bag and bounced into foul territory for what turned into a double. Ben Moreno singled to center to drive in runners from second and third for the 2-0 Mt. San Jacinto lead, which turned out to be all the offense the Eagles could piece together all day.

Turski ended the inning when he struck out Johnny Wells-Jaime swinging at a breaking pitch and retired the next nine batters.

Palomar closed to 2-1 in the top of the fourth when Holm singled, a fielder's choice hit by Anthony Balderas, a wild pitch and Mitchell's first RBI of the day, which came on a single into rightfield that scored Balderas.

Fast-forwarding five innngs. As Turski continued to dominate the Eagles inning-after-inning, Mitchell hit a leadoff single through the right side to leadoff the seventh. Brault followed with a triple into right-centerfield that drove in Mitchell with the tying run.

Then, in the eighth, Christy got things untracked for the Comets with two outs when he singled to right. Christy moved up on a wild pitch and, Balderas walked and, after a Mt. San Jacinto pitching change, Mitchell's third single drove in the winning run.

Palomar benefited from some outstanding defense from sophomore second baseman Chris Stratton, who had missed the previous two games with a minor injury, and Holm at third.

The two teams will play the second game of the series on Thursday bat Myers Field, with the third game back at Mt. San Jacinto on Saturday at noon.


Barnett wins behind Balderas and Christy

SAN DIEGO (4-03-2015) -- First-place Palomar had its way with San Diego Mesa on Friday, pounding the Olympians 12-2 on the road as sophomore left-hander Jake Barnett dominated for the first six innings to advance to 5-1 on the season.

Barnett left the game to begin the seventh inning with the Comets leading 9-2. Relievers Graham Gomez, Josh Bravin, Adam Estermyer and Matt Flake finished off the Olympians as Palomar advanced to 22-5 on the season and 13-2 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

The Comets lead second-place Southwestern, a 14-2 winner over Imperial Valley, by two games in the loss column with nine games to play.

First baseman Anthony Balderas (4-for-5, 3 RBIs) and Francis Christy (2-for-3, home run No. 8 on the season, sacrifice fly, walk, 4 RBIs) paced a 13-hit attack off five Mesa pitchers.

Balderas lost what appeared to be a double and 2 RBIs in the seventh inning when he lined a rocket off the tip of Mesa third baseman  Kyle Abblit's glove into left field. The play was ruled an error by Abblit, who tried to protect himself with the glove from being hit in the face. The scoring decision cost Balderas a 5-for-5 day.

Christy also lost what originally was ruled a first-inning infield hit off Mesa starting and losing pitcher Joe DaLuz when the ruling was later changed to an error.

Joey Cooper (2-for-5, hit by pitch, RBI) and Niko Holm (2-for 6, RBI) also had multiple hits for the Comets. Chase Grant, Ryan Lemus and Brian Boomhower added one single each.

Dylan Breault adjusted on a difficult-to-bunt pitch to deliver a suicide squeeze that drove in Balderas in the third inning.

Palomar, which is ranked first in Southern California, No. 2 on the Pacific Coast and No. 12 in the nation, will play Mt. San Jacinto in a three-game conference next week, on Tuesday on the road, Thursday at home and next Saturday back on the road.


Palomar shortstop Dylan Breault (top photo) fields the ball in the fourth inning on Thursday. He threw to first to get Mesa's Jake Rico for the final out of the inning. Alec Salcedo (directly above) gets down a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the ninth. The Olympians' pitcher tried to get Sam Casinelli, aboard on a single, on the play but threw wildly to second. Casinelli was safe on the sacrifice fielder's choice and the next batter, Joey Cooper, doubled deep into the rightfield corner to win the game. -- Above photos by Hugh Cox

Cooper beats Mesa with double in bottom of 9

SAN MARCOS (4-02-2015) -- Joey Cooper (left), who went 3-for-4 on the day, doubled deep into the rightfield corner with in the bottom of the ninth inning at Myers Field on Thursday, driving in Sam Casinelli with the winning run as the Comets left San Diego Mesa standing 5-4.

The Olympians had knocked off Palomar 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday in San Diego, but the Southern California top-ranked Comets weren't about to let the Olympians get out of town with another upset win in Thursday's game.

Mesa, trailing by a run, tied the game 4-4 in the top of the inning, Mesa brought in its closer, Brad Moreno (6-0) to begin the bottom of the ninth. Sam Casinelli, playing in his 17th game of the season but making his first start in place of injured second baseman Chris Stratton, led off the inning by banging an opposite-field single to right.

Alec Salcedo got down a textbook sacrifice bunt to move Casinelli to second, but instead of going to first to get the out, Moreno tried to get Casinelli at second and made a wild throw for an error. Casinelli was safe at second on the sacrifice fielder's choice and Cooper, the next batter, lined a walk-off double into the corner to score Casinelli.

The nationally 12th-ranked Comets (21-5, 12-2) handed Moreno, the winning pitcher in relief on Tuesday, his first loss of the season and remained two games ahead of second-place Southwestern (21-6, 13-4), a 3-1 winner over Imperial Valley, in the loss column in the PCAC race.

Mesa (15-13, 10-7), the third-place team, saw its record dip to 15-13, 10-7, and now trails the Comets by five games in the loss column and the Jaguars by three games.


10-year-old Palomar batboy Elijah Belden, who nearly died in a November incident at a pool party at his parents' house at which his Little League team was celebrating his birthday, poses for the camera with Comet baseball player Joey Cooper on Thursday at Myers Field. After Elijah asked Joey to win Thursday's game for him when he came to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning, that's exactly what Cooper did. He delivered a walk-off double to beat San Diego Mesa 5-4. -- Courtesy photo by Tony Belden

Walk-off fulfills wish for freak-accident victim

SAN MARCOS / TEMECULA (4-02-2015) -- All Palomar batboy Elijah Belden wanted on Thursday when the Comets hosted San Diego Mesa at Myers Field was for Joey Cooper to get a big hit for him.

Cooper got a big hit for him all right, after Elijah reminded Joey of his request from earlier in the game as the freshman leftfielder came to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning with the teams tied 4-4. Cooper's third hit of the afternoon was way bigger and way more important than a pair of earlier singles -- a booming walk-off double into the rightfield corner that scored Sam Casinelli from second base and gave Palomar, the No. 1-ranked community college team in Southern California, a 5-4 victory.

One could call what happened a miracle finish to Elijah's day at the ballpark. And Elijah knows something about miracles -- in his case an actual, real-life miracle after he lay near death in November.

Elijah, who played for former Palomar pitcher Travis Goset, one of the coaches on the Temecula Valley Little League Class A winter-league team on which Belden and Goset's two nephews were teammates, was nearly electrocuted during a post-game team pool party to celebrate his upcoming 10th birthday.

Elijah inadvertantly touched a pool-cover metal pole that no one realized had become electrified when it came in contact with a string of Christmas lights that had dropped into the water in the pool. It was a chaotic scene as Elijah dropped to the pool deck unconscious. Afterword, his mom told reporters she'd thought her son was dead, and for all intents and purposes he was. His heart had stopped.

 Belden cheated death when Scott Baker, a law enforcement officer who coached the team along with Goset, gave Elijah CPR to help re-start his heart, keeping him alive until first responders could arrive. He was rushed to Temecula Valley Hospital, then transported to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.

With his chances of survival unknown and the final outcome touch-and-go, Elijah spent eight days in an induced coma at Rady Children's Hospital while doctors fought to save his life.

Family, teammates, schoolmates, friends and neighbors kept a constant vigil at the hospital -- with plenty of prayers and as much positive thinking as everyone could muster. The story received media attention throughout the nation. A Facebook page was set up.

Elijah's tests began to show positive signs but, after eight days, when doctors brought him out of the coma, no one knew what to expect. When he awakened and began speaking, it began to appear the outcome would be a positive one. And it has been. He's back playing baseball -- and got a big emotional boost on Thursday from the Comets' Joey Cooper.

After moving to No. 1, Comets stumble in loss

SAN DIEGO (3-31-2015) -- Sometimes, being No. 1 may not be all it's cracked up to be.

After finally moving from No. 2 to No. 1 in Southern California in the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association poll (see article at left) earlier in the day, Palomar's Pacific Coast Athletic Conference leaders stumbled against third-place San Diego Mesa on the road Tuesday afternoon.

Palomar did not play particularly well. Underdog Mesa, on the other hand, played about as well as they could play, making the plays and executing, something the Comets had difficulty doing much of the afternoon as the Olympians rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the middle of the seventh inning to win 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth.

Alex Emerick singled past the third-base bag with two outs, driving in the winning run and dropping Palomar to 20-5 on the season, 11-2 in the conference. Mesa goes to 15-12, 10-6, with its eighth win in its last nine games. Second-place Southwestern (20-6, 12-4 in conference) moved to within two games of the Comets in the loss column by beating Imperial Valley on Tuesday 11-0.

For the Comets, whose non-plays in the field hurt them as much as two actual errors and whose inability to get bunts down and pick up signs accurately contributed mightily to their misfortunes, Joey Cooper (left) went 2-for-4 with a home run and Chase Grant (right) was 2-for-3 with a double.

Anthony Balderas and Dylan Brault each had a hit and an RBI. Francis Christy, whom the Olympians walked three times, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

For Mesa, Zachary Taylor and Esteban Lieras each had two hits. Andrew McWilliam, the PCAC Men's Athlete of the Week, was 2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs.

The two teams will play twice more this week, on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Palomar's Myers Field and at the same time Friday back at Mesa.


ABOVE: Palomar's Jake Barnett, who threw eight shutout innings to beat Imperial Valley on Friday, follows through on a pitch. The Comets won 2-0 and Barnett advanced to 4-1 on the season. -- Photo by Philip Farry. BELOW: Francis Christy, who went 3-for-4 for the Comets.

Barnett pitches Comets to 20th win of season

SAN MARCOS (3-27-2015) -- Palomar sophomore left-hander Jake Barnett brought his "A" game with him Saturday, and that was exactly what the Comets needed as they held off Imperial Valley 2-0 at Myers Field.

Barnett pitched eight shutout innings, scattering five hits, as Palomar ran its current win streak to six games, its season's record to 20-4 and its first-place Pacific Coast Athletic Conference record to 11-1.

Barnett struck out eight and walked none as he ran his record to 4-1. Anthony Balderas and Rusty Huber pitched the ninth inning, with Huber coming on with two outs and the bases loaded to get the final out of the game on a groundball back to the mound.

Francis Christy paced a 10-hit attack for the Comets, going 3-for-4 and stealing a base. Joey Cooper was 2-for-4. Balderas, Niko Holm, Grant Chase and Chris Stratton each added a hit.

Palomar scored the only runs of the game in the fifth inning on a one-out walk to Jordan Gardner, Christy's single through the right side, a throwing error by IVC's pitcher, Balderas' RBI single through the left side and Dylan Breault's sacrifice squeeze bunt to the pitcher.


ABOVE: Palomar catcher Francis Christy tags out Imperial Valley's Hector Mellos trying to score from second base on a single for the third out in the top of the first inning at Myers Field on Thursday. Left fielder Jordan Gardner threw Mellos out at the plate. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Gardner, who also went 2-for-3 with an RBI double, a single, a squeeze bunt that drove in two runs, two runs scored and a stolen base. BELOW RIGHT: Joey Cooper, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI and three steals.

Palomar starts slow, finishes with blowout win

SAN MARCOS (3-26-2015) -- Palomar's Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball leaders started slowly on Thursday, then exploded for eight runs in the sixth inning and four more runs in the seventh to smack visiting Imperial Valley 15-3.

Along the way, the Comets ran their record to 19-4 on the season, 10-1 in conference.

IVC banged out five hits in the first inning to lead 2-0 and was tied with the nationally 12th-ranked Comets at 3-3 through the first 5 1/2 innings at Myers Field. Then the roof fell in on the Arabs in the bottom of the sixth and Graham Gomez, the second of four Palomar pitchers, came on with two outs in the top of the third and pitched 3 1/3 shutout innings, allowing one hit, as he ran his win-loss record to 3-1.

Left fielder Jordan Gardner, first baseman Anthony Balderas and rightfielder Grant Chase supplied a huge chunk of the Comets' offensive production on the day, going a combined 6-for-10, scoring five runs and driving in 10 runs between them.

Gardner, who got the Comets' out of what had turned into a nightmare first inning by gunning down the Arabs' Hector Mello trying to score from second base on a single for the third out, went 2-for-3, doubled to drive in a run, singled, drove in two runs on a squeeze bunt in the eight-run sixth, scored two runs and stole a base.

Balderas went 2-for-3 with a run-scoring double, a two-run single and a sacrifice fly. He drove in four runs and scored two runs.

Grant was 2-for-4, and had two hits and three RBIs in the big sixth inning. He ignited the inning a double to right that drove in a run, then added a two-run single later in the inning.

Then there was designated hitter Joey Cooper, who was 2-for-3, drove in a run and stole three bases.

Third baseman Niko Holm also had a multi-hit day, singling twice and driving in a run.

Alec Salcedo, Dylan Breault and pinch-hitters Brian Boomhower and Brayden McCoy also had singles.

Adam Estermyer and Matt Flake, the third and fourth pitchers of the afternoon, closed out the Arabs by pitching hitless, scoreless ball in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

Palomar had to overcome a series of big defensive plays by IVC's second baseman Fernando Sanchez. Jared Espinoza and Javier Vasquez each had two hits for the Arabs.

The two teams will play again on Friday at noon on Myers Field.


Turski's six 2-hit shutout innings lead way

IMPERIAL (3-24-2015) -- After climbing from No. 23 to No. 12 in the nation in the morning, Palomar returned to Pacific Coast Athletic Conference action in the afternoon Tuesday, defeating Imperial Valley 7-1 behind Taylor Turski's strong pitching performance.

Turski (left) pitched six strong shutout innings, allowing only two hits and striking out six, and Francis Christy (right) hammered his seventh home run of the season as the first-place Comets moved to 18-4 on the season and 9-1 in the conference.

Palomar remains three games in front of second-place Southwestern in the loss column in the PCAC race. The Jaguars defeated Grossmont on Tuesday 5-2.

 Tyler Russell, normally one of the Comets' starters, came on for Turski to begin the seventh and worked the final three innings to record his first save. The Arabs finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the ninth on Raul Carrillo's RBI single.

Niko Holm (3-for-4, RBI), Christy (2-for-5, three RBIs), Sam Casinelli (2-for-3 off the bench) and Alec Salcedo (2-for-5) had multiple-hit games to supply all nine of Palomar's hits off three Imperial Valley pitchers. Dylan Breault added a sacrifice fly, a walk and a steal.

And Casinelli, playing second base, supplied the defensive play of the game in the bottom of the ninth when he dove to his right to spear a hard-hit shot off the bat of IVC's Jared Espinoza and jumped up to throw to first baseman Derek Black to get Espinoza. Brault had a series of big plays at short, with Black stretching to pick three throws from deep in the hole.

Palomar jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the first on Salcedo's single to lead off the game, Jordan Gardner's sacrifice bunt and Christy's long home run on a ball he pulled over the rightfield fence.

The Comets made it 3-0 in the third inning on Holm's RBI single and broke the game open with four runs in the top of the fifth.


Sankey hammers Va Tech with 4 hits, 2 HRs

BLACKSBURG, Virginia (3-17-2015)  -- Becker Sankey, a catcher / designated hitter on Palomar's 2013 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship team that fell one run shy of advancing to the state community college Final Four, unloaded on Virginia Tech on Tuesday.

hammered host Virginia Tech with two home runs including a grand-slam in the top of the ninth inning, a double, a single, a career-high five RBIs and three runs scored as the Flames won on the road 12-5.

The victory was Liberty's first at English Field in Blacksburg since 2008 and also was Liberty's seventh win in a row. Virginia Tech was coming off a weekend series sweep over Virginia, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Sankey is a Rancho Bernardo High School product.

PHOTO: Becker Sankey gets high-fives after his grand-slam home run vs. Virginia Tech. -- Courtesy photo

PC pitcher Tyler Russell honored by conference

SAN DIEGO (3-16-2015) -- Palomar baseball pitcher Tyler Russell has been selected as Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Men's Athlete of the Week for all sports for the week of March 9-15.

Russell, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound right-hander from Vista Murrieta High School who pitched one season for Eastern Michigan University, threw nine shutout innings during the week.

Russell threw the first 7 1/3 innings of a combined shutout with two other Palomar pitchers on Tuesday as the Comets defeated San Diego City College 1-0. On Saturday, he came in relief to pitch 1 2/3 scoreless innings, getting Palomar out of a jam as the Comets beat the Knights 10-6.

Russell is 4-0 on the season with a 1.34 earned run average. He has 22 strikeouts and only two walks for 33 2/3 innings pitched for the first-place Comets, who are 17-4 overall and 8-1 in conference.

Salcedo goes 4-for-6; Comets win a slugfest

SAN DIEGO (3-14-2015) -- Alex Salcedo (left) went 4-for-6 with a double, a triple, four RBIs and two runs scored on Saturday as Palomar held off San Diego City College 10-6 in a slugfest at Morley Field. The two teams combined for 29 hits.

Saceldo tripled to lead off the game, Jordan Gardner followed with a double to drive Salcedo in and Francis Christy (right) slammed his sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot over the rightfield fence to put the Comets in front early 3-0.

Palomar (17-4, 8-1 to lead the PCAC) added two more runs in the fifth inning on sngles by Niko Holm and Chase Grant and Salcedo's double to left field.

That made it 5-0, and it appeared the Southern California No. 2-ranked Comets were cruising with starting pitcher Jake Barnett dominating. Barnett had allowed two scratch singles over four shutout innings while striking out seven.

But Barnett suddenly hit a wall in the fifth, City College scored four runs in the bottom of the inning and the teams traded hits the rest of the way.

Barnett was gone and Rusty Huber, who picked up the pitching win in a short appearance, was also gone along with Graham Gomez who had an even shorter appearance, by the time regular starter Tyler Russell, who beat the Knights 1-0 on Tuesday, was summoned out of the bullpen. Russell regained control of the game for the Comets with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, striking out two.

Anthony Balderas moved from first base to the mound to pitch the bottom of the ninth, retiring the Knights on a high pop-up shortstop Dylan Breault went far back on the grass to catch, a walk, a strikeout and another pop-up to first. And the Comets were out of the woods on a bright, hot afternoon after 3 hours, 21 minutes of baseball.

Gardner (2-for-5, RBI), Sam Casinelli (2-for-3), and Chis Stratton (2-for-5) all had multiple hits. Chase Grant and Brault also hit safely.

For City College, Gabriel Santana came of the bench to go 3-for-3, highlighting a 14-hit attack in a losing cause.

Palomar, which swept its season series with the Knights four games to none, has a bye week in the conference race coming up and will return to action the following week when they play three games against Imperial Valley.


TOP PHOTO: Palomar's Jordan Gardner slides under Ricky Kliebenstein's tag as he steals second base in the seventh inning on Thursday. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Winning pitcher Troy Lamparello fires to the plate. He struck out five batters in the first five innings.-- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Taylor Turski, who struck out seven in three relief innings.

Lamparello (5-0), Turski fan 12; PC up 2 games

SAN MARCOS (3-12-2015) -- Starter Troy Lamparello and reliever Taylor Turski combined to strike out 12 batters over eight shutout innings on Thursday as Palomar beat San Diego City College 6-1 at Myers Field.

The Comets (16-4, 7-1 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference) now lead second-place Southwestern by two games in the conference race, thanks to San Diego Mesa which came from behind to upset the Jaguars on Thursday 10-6.

Lamparello (5-0), Turski and two other Palomar pitchers combined to throw a three-hitter at the Knights. City College finally scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth, but Rusty Huber came on to get the Comets out of the inning by getting the last two outs.

Lamparello allowed three hits over the first five innings, striking out five batters. Turski retired all nin batters he faced over the next three innings, recording svn strikeouts. He struck out the side in the sixth and eighth innings.

Anthony Balderas (2-for-4, double, RBI, steal) and Alec Salcedo (2-for-3, RBI, steal) had multiple hits for the Comets. Francis Christy drove in a run with a triple, Cole Brooks had an RBI single and Jordan Gardner was 1-for-2, was hit by a pitch and also stole a base. Dylan Brault walked three times and also had a steal.


McIver notches 2 saves vs. No. 7 Mississippi St.

STARKSVILLE, Miss. / MESA, Ariz. / Other (3/08/2015) (UPDATED 3/10/2015) -- Former Palomar pitcher Anthony McIver (left) notched two saves for the University of San Diego vs. nationally No. 7-ranked Mississippi State over the weekend as the Toreros won the teams' series 2 games to 1.

On Friday, McIver threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings as USD won 2-1 at Polk-Dement Stadium in Starkesville, Mississippi. On Sunday, he came back with another scoreless inning as the Toreros came from behind to beat the Bulldogs again 9-6. Palomar alum Gary Cornish started on the mound in Sunday's game for USD.

In Major League spring training on Sunday, ex-Comet Tyler Saladino (right) of the Chicago White Sox went 2-for-3, scored a run and drove in a run in a 10-4 victory over the Oakland A's at Mesa, Arizona. Saladino, elevated to the Sox' 40-man roster after playing for the Major League club the last three springs as a non-roster player, is hitting .284 for the spring. Saladino, who was the International League's All-Star shortstop last season on the Triple-A level, is listed at shortstop on Chicago's roster but played third base on Sunday.

On Friday, Saladino played but did not face former Comet Nick Vincent in a 5-0 loss to the Padres at Peoria, Arizona. Vincent, who is beginning his fourth season on the Major League level for the Padres, pitched a scoreless relief inning against the White Sox, striking out two and walking none.

James Hoyt, who pitched in spring training for the Atlanta Braves a year ago as a non-roster invitee before being shipped to the minor leagues, has thrown three shutout innings for the Houston Astros as a non-roster invitee this spring. Hoyt's most recent appearance came on Friday when he shut out the Cardinals in the third inning in a game the Astros eventually lost 5-2 in Jupiter, Florida.

Marcus Hatley, now with the Cardinals, reported to his third Major League spring training camp as a non-roster invitee. Hatley, who came to the Cards in the off-season from the Chicago Cubs organization, pitched two-thirds of a scoreless inning for the Major League club before being assigned to their minor league camp on Friday.

Dillan  SmithMORE ALUMNI HIGHLIGHTS -- Dillan Smith (left), last season's Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the Comets, is starting in right field for San Jose State and had back-to-back two-hit games vs. Stanford and the Air Force Academy last week.

Smith went 2-for-6 in a 13-8 loss to Stanford on Tuesday, then on Friday was 2-for-3, doubled and drove in two runs in a 2-0 Mountain West Conference victory over Air Force. ...

Zach Wilkins, Palomar all-time saves leader, has appeared in six games with a 0.00 ERA for Nevada. The Wolfpack improved to 13-2 over the weekend by sweeping three games from rival UNLV.

2015 Baseball Schedule and Results

(Home Games in Bold)



Jan 29

at Orange Coast

Costa Mesa (Orange Coast College)

Lost 4-5 (11 inn.) BOX 0-1 0-0
Fri Jan 30 Golden West Myers Field WON 3-2 BOX 1-1 0-0
Sat Jan 31 at Golden West Huntington Beach (Golden West College) Lost 6-11 BOX 1-2 0-0
Tue Feb 3 Orange Coast Myers Field WON 4-3 BOX 2-2 0-0
Thu Feb. 5 at College of the Desert (Buttles Memorial Tournament) Palm Desert (COD) WON 19-0 BOX 3-2 0-0
Fri Feb 6 San Bernardino Valley (Buttles Memorial Tournament) Palm Desert (COD) WON 12-3 BOX 4-2 0-0
Sat Feb 7 Cypress (Buttles Tournament) Palm Desert (COD) Lost 7-8 BOX 4-3 0-0
Thu Feb 12 at Fullerton Fullerton (Hornet Field) WON 8-1 BOX 5-3 0-0
Sat Feb 14 Fullerton Myers Field WON 4-2 BOX 6-3 0-0
Tue Feb 17 Glendale UC Riverside WON 9-2 BOX 7-3 0-0
Wed Feb 18 at Cerritos Norwalk (Cerritos College) WON 7-1 BOX 8-3 0-0
Thu Feb 19 College of the Desert Myers Field WON 3-1 BOX 9-3 0-0
Sat Feb 21 San Diego City College (PCAC) Myers Field WON 8-1 BOX 10-3 1-0
Thu Feb 26 at Imperial Valley (PCAC) Imperial (Imperial Valley College) WON 12-1 BOX 11-3 2-0
Fri Feb 27 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Myers Field WON 10-0 BOX 12-3 3-0
Thu Mar 5 at Grossmont (PCAC) El Cajon (Noel Mickelsen Field) WON 4-3 BOX 13-3 4-0
Fri Mar 6 Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) Myers Field WON 7-0 BOX 14-3 5-0
Sat Mar 7 at Southwestern (PCAC) Chula Vista (Southwestern College) Lost 2-3 (12 inn.) BOX 14-4 5-1
Tue Mar 10 at San Diego City College (PCAC) San Diego (Morley Field) WON 1-0 BOX 15-4 6-1
Thu Mar 12 San Diego City College (PCAC) Myers Field WON 6-1 BOX 16-4 7-1
Sat Mar 14 at San Diego City College (PCAC) San Diego (Morley Field) WON 10-6 BOX 17-4 8-1
Tue Mar 24 at Imperial Valley (PCAC) Imperial (Imperial Valley College) WON 7-1 BOX 18-4 9-1
Thu Mar 26 Imperial Valley (PCAC) Myers Field WON 15-3 BOX 19-4 10-1
Fri Mar 27 Imperial Valley (PCAC) Myers Field WON 2-0 BOX 20-4 11-1
Tue Mar 31 at San Diego Mesa (PCAC) San Diego (SD Mesa College) Lost 5-6 BOX 20-5 11-2
Thu Apr 2 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Myers Field WON 5-4 BOX 21-5 12-2
Fri Apr 3 at San Diego Mesa (PCAC) San Diego (SD Mesa College) WON 12-2 BOX 22-5 13-2
Tue Apr 7 at Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) Mt. San Jacinto College (San Jacinto) WON 3-2 BOX 23-5 14-2
Thu Apr 9 Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) Myers Field WON 9-2 BOX 24-5 15-2
Sat Apr 11 at Mt. San Jacinto (PCAC) Mt. San Jacinto College (San Jacinto) WON 6-2 BOX 25-5 16-2
Tue Apr 14 Grossmont (PCAC) Myers Field WON 8-0 BOX 26-5 17-2
Thu Apr 16 at Grossmont (PCAC) El Cajon (Noel Mickelsen Field) WON 4-2 BOX 27-5 18-2
Fri Apr 17 Grossmont (PCAC) Myers Field WON 4-2 BOX 28-5 19-2
Tue Apr 21 Southwestern (PCAC) Myers Field WON 7-0 BOX 29-5 20-2
Thu Apr 23 at Southwestern (PCAC) Chula Vista (Southwestern College) WON 7-4 BOX 30-5 21-2
Sat Apr 25 Southwestern (PCAC) Myers Field Lost 3-8 BOX 30-6 21-3
Fri May 1 TBA (Game 1) Myers Field 2 p.m.      
Sat May 2 TBA (Game 2) Myers Field 11 a.m.      
    TBA (Game 3, if necessary) Myers Field 2 p.m.      

2015 Roster








High School (City) / Previous College

1 Joey Cooper LHP/OF L/R 5'10 160 Fr Highland (Bakersfield, CA)
2 Chase Grant OF L/R 5'11 175 Fr Carlsbad (Carlsbad, CA)
3 Chris Stratton INF R/R 6'0 165 So Chaparral (Temecula, CA)
4 Dylan Breault INF R/R 6'1 170 Fr Northville (Northville, MI)
7 Jordan Gardner OF R/R 5'10 170 Fr Temecula Valley (Temecula, CA)
8 Taylor Turski LHP L/L 5'9 160 Fr Temecula Valley (Temecula, CA)
9 Brian Broomhower INF R/R 5'10 175 Fr San Marcos (San Marcos, CA)
11 Sam Casinelli INF R/R 5'10 175 Fr La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, CA) / Riverside City College
13 Graham Gomez LHP L/L 6-0 185 So Santa Fe Christian (Encinitas, CA) / Wheaton College
14 Troy Lamparello RHP R/R 6'0 170 Fr El Camino (Oceanside, CA)
15 Colton Aaro C L/R 6'0 175 Fr San Pasqual (Escondido, CA) / Chapman University
16 Alec Salcedo OF L/R 6'2 170 So Murrieta Mesa (Murrieta, CA)
17 Derek Black 1B L/L 6'1 190 Fr Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) / Purdue University
18 Vince Mori INF R/R 6'0 180 So Westview (San Diego, CA)
19 Jake Barnett LHP L/L 6'2 175 So Orange Glen (Escondido, CA)
20 Josh Bravin RHP R/R 5'11 175 So Silverado (Las Vegas, NV) / Ventura CC
23 Niko Holm INF R/R 6'2 185 Fr Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, CA)
24 Ryan Lemus OF R/R 6'1 180 So Arlington (Riverside, CA) / Chaffey CC
25 Travis Mitchell OF L/L 5'10 205 So M.L. King (Riverside, CA) / Colorado Northwestern CC
26 Carl Schwettmann OF R/R 6'0 180 Fr Ramona (Ramona, CA)
27 Adam Estemyer LHP L/L 6'0 180 Fr East Valley (Redlands, CA) / Concordia University (Irvine)
28 Cole Brooks OF L/R 6'2 215 Fr San Marcos (San Marcos, CA)
29 Rusty Huber RHP R/R 6'4 170 So Mira Mesa (San Diego, CA)
31 Matt Flake RHP R/R 6'1 185 Fr Oceanside (Oceanside, CA) / St. Katherine College
33 Francis Christy C L/R 6'3 220 So Casa Grande (Petaluma, CA)
34 Brayden McCoy C R/R 6'3 225 Fr Escondido (Escondido, CA)
35 Joel Mitchell 1B R/R 6'4 215 Fr Ramona (Ramona, CA)
36 Anthony Balderas 1B/RHP R/R 6'1 210 So La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, CA)
37 Tyler Russell RHP R/R 6'2 240 Fr Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, CA) / Eastern Michigan University
39 Shane Gonzales RHP R/R 6'2 210 So Great Oak (Temecula, CA) / USC
40 Thomas Brunansky RHP R/R 6'4 215 Fr Poway (Poway, CA)
Ben Adams, Associate Head Coach, Recruiting Coordinator, Infield Coach
Jared Suwyn, Pitching Coach
Josh Larrinaga, Outfield Coach
Bobby Shore, Bullpen Coach
B.K. Santy, Catching Coach
Michael Cruz, Bullpen Coach

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Questions about this web site? contact Tom Saxe