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2015 Season ...
Fullerton, PC 1-2 in SoCal; 2-4 in Pacific Assn.
SAN MARCOS (3-03-2015) --Palomar is ranked No. 2 in the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association's Southern California poll released Tuesday, trailing only No. 1 Fullerton.
In the American Baseball Coaches Association's Pacific Division poll (California, Oregon and Washington), the Comets are ranked fourth behind No. 1 San Joaquin Delta of Stockton, No. 2 Fullerton and No. 3 Tacoma Community College of Tacoma, WA.
In the Southern California poll, the Fullerton Hornets received 10 first-place votes, the Comets 4 votes, Oxnard 3 votes, Santa Ana 2 votes and Cypress 2 votes.
Palomar (12-3) and Fullerton (12-3) have played twice during the 2015 season, with the Comets winning both meetings 8-1 on Feb. 12 at Hornet Field in Fullerton and 4-2 on Feb. 14 at Myers Field.
Other Pacific Coast Athletic Association teams ranked in the Top Twenty in Southern California are Southwestern (No. 11) and San Diego City College (No. 16).
PICTURED ABOVE:Palomar coach Buck Taylor
Mt. San Jacinto at PC game moved to Friday
SAN MARCOS (3-03-2015) --Palomar's Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball game vs. Mt. San Jacinto, originally scheduled for Tuesday at Myers Field, has been postponed until Friday at 2 p.m.
Myers Field was deemed unplayable due to field conditions following the recent rain.
ABOVE: State RBI leader Francis Christy (above) smashes a bases-loaded double to drive in Ryan Lemus (not pictured), Alec Salcedo (No. 16) and Chris Stratton (No. 3) Friday against Mesa. Salcedo and Stratton rounded third and headed for home within feet of each other and slid in one right after another. -- Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Jake Barnett, who combined with Rusty Huber to shut out the Olympians
Barnett, Christy lay the hammer on Olympians
SAN MARCOS (2-27-2015) -- Jake Barnett and Rusty Huber combined on a shutout and Francis Christy drove in six runs with a tape-measure home run and a double on Friday as Palomar pounded San Diego Mesa 10-0 at Myers Field.
The Comets are 12-3, 3-0 to lead the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and have won eight straight games.
Barnett (3-1) pitched seven innings of seven-hit ball, striking out six and walking none. Huber came on to begin the eighth and threw two shutout innings.
Christy, meanwhile, slugged a monster, three-run home run into the tennis courts behind the rightfield fence, his fifth of the year, to break a scoreless tie in the third inning. He followed that shot with a bases-loaded double to centerfield in the fifth that drove home three more runs. He was 2-for-4 for the day
Christy is second in the state in home runs, leads the state with 24 RBIs and is batting .433. He has an .817 slugging percentage.
Vince Mori went 3-for-4 and scored a run. Niko Holm, the Comets' leading hitter with a .455 average, was 2-for-4 with an RBI double, a run scored and a groundball to the right side which drove home another run.
Jordan Gardner (2-for-2, 2 runs scored), and Alec Salcedo (2-fo-5, 2 runs scored) also had multiple hits. Dylan Brault tripled to drive in two runs. Travis Mitchell and Ryan Lemus each added a single.
The Comets will be back at Myers Field on Tuesday at 2 p.m. to host Mt. San Jacinto.
Lemus: 5 RBIs as Russell advances to 3-0
IMPERIAL (2-26-2015) --Palomar got another strong pitching performance on Thursday from Tyler Russell (left), who threw four-hit ball over the first 6 1/3 innings to pick up the victory as the Comets bombarded host Imperial Valley 12-1.
Russell (3-0) got plenty of support from Palomar's offense in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference victory. The Comets banged out 17 hits, led by Ryan Lemus (right), who went 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, a run scored and five RBIs.
Dylan Breault also went 3-for-4 with a triple and double. He also was hit by a pitch, scored three runs and drove in one. And Francis Christy was 3-for-5, stealing a base and scoring a run.
Travis Mitchell added 2 hits in 4 at-bats. Vince Mori singled to drive in two runs, walked and was hit by a pitch. Niko Holm was 1-for-2, singled and walked twice. Chris Stratton, Jordan Gardner and Cole Brooks each added an RBI single.
Russell struck out six and walked one and was followed to the mound by Adam Estermyer, Josh Bravin and Matt Glake, who pitched three-hit ball over the final 2 2/3 innings, striking out two and walking none.
Palomar broke open a 4-1 game wiht six runs in the top of the seventh inning. The Comets are 11-3, 2-0 in conference and are alone in first place in the PCAC going into a home game on Friday at 12:30 p.m. against San Diego Mesa. The Comets' win streak sits at seven games.
"That was easily the best team we've seen all season," IVC coach Jim McCate said. "They have guys who can swing the bat from the top of their lineup to the bottom."
ABOVE: Palomar's Dylan Brault slides in safely at third base under San Diego City's Alberto Robles' tag. -- Photo by Philip Farry. BELOW LEFT: Winning pitcher Jake Barnett. BELOW RIGHT: Vince Mori, who went 2-for-4 for the Comets
Barnett pitches Palomar to win in PCAC opener
SAN MARCOS (2-21-2015) -- Jake Barnett pitched Palomar to an 8-1 victory over San Diego City College in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opener at Myers Field on Saturday. He threw the first seven innings and getting five of his last seven outs on strikeouts.
The Comets advanced to 10-3 on the season. The Knights slipped to 6-4 overall.
Rusty Huber and Anthony Balderas pitched effectively for in relief of Barnett (2-1). Vince Mori went 2-for-4 to pace an eight-hit attack for the Comets.
Palomar pushed across five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie on the way to its fourth victory of the week and its sixth win in a row. The Comets have won nine of their last 10 games.
Travis Mitchell contributed a two-run double for Palomar. Francis Christy, Ryan Lemus and Niko Holm had RBI singles, and Derek Black added an RBI on a fielder's choice. Chase Grant and Joey Cooper also had base hits.
The Comets, who are seeking a fifth straight conference championship, will be off until Thursday, when they visit Imperial Valley in their second PCAC game.
TOP PHOTO:Troy Lamparello deals in Palomar's 3-1 victory over visiting COD on Thursday. The freshman from El Camino High School ran his record to 4-0 by pitching seven shutout innings. He allowed only three hits. -- Photo by Philip Farry. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Vince Mori singles through the left side of the infield in the fourth inning to drive in one of the Comets' three runs. -- Photo by Stephen Davis
Lamparello's lights-out game gives PC 9th win
SAN MARCOS (2-19-2015) --In its final non-conference game of the 2015 pre-season, Palomar needed a big-time pitching performance Thursday at Myers Field in what amounted to a "trap" game against a College of the Desert team it had beaten 19-0 back on Feb. 5.
And that's exactly what the Comets got.
Facing the same pitching they demolished in the earlier 19-run win but this time getting a polar opposite result, the Comets managed only three hits. But they survived a major scare against the Roadrunners thanks to a lights-out outing from Troy Lamparello.
The freshman right-hander out of El Camino High School advanced to 4-0 on the season, shutting out the visitors on three hits over the first seven innings in a game Palomar held on to win 3-1.
The victory gives the Comets a 9-3 record going into their Pacific Coast Athletic Conference opener against San Diego City College back at Myers Field on Saturday at noon. COD, which used seven of its 12 pitchers on Thursday, falls to 1-10.
Lamparello was followed to the mound by Rusty Huber, who retired the Roadrunners in order n the eighth inning, and closer Anthony Balderas. Balderas allowed the only COD run in the ninth but struck out two batters and recorded his third save.
Palomar made the most of its three hits, an RBI single by Vince Mori in the fourth inning and singles by Joey Cooper on a bunt just inside the third-base line in the fifth and by Dylan Breault, who lined a single to right-center in the sixth.
The Comets took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Chase Grant walked, went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on Chris Stratton's sacrifice bunt and scored on Francis Christy's RBI grounder to the shortstop.
Breault walked to lead off the fourth inning, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Mori singled through the left side of the infield. That made it 2-0.
The Comets manufactured a run for the third time in the last half of the seventh. Stratton reached base as a hit batter to lead off the inning, Christy walked and Travis Mitchell moved the two runners up with a sacrifice bunt. Andres Ramirez, COD's fourth pitcher of the day, walked Breault intentionally to load the bases.
Coach Buck Taylor's daring bases-loaded suicide squeeze play call hit the jackpot as Jordan Gardner got down a perfect bunt to score Berault.
Berault reached base in all four of his plate appearance, three times on walks and the other time on his base hit. Cooper also got aboard four times, on his bunt single, a walk, a hit by pitch and an error on the first baseman.
Turski's, Gomez' pitching, Christy's HR lift PC
NORWALK (2-17-2015) --Left-handers Taylor Turski (left) and Graham Gomez (right) combined to pitch a five-hitter on Thursday as visiting Palomar spanked Cerritos 7-1 in a non-conference game to run its current streaks to four straight wins and seven victories in their last eight games.
Turski and Gomez got plenty of offensive help from sophomore catcher Francis Christy, who slugged his fourth home run of the season over the rightfield fence in the fifth inning at Kincaid Field and finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Turski pitched effectively, stopping the Falcons on three hits over the first four innings as the Comets took a 4-1 lead into the fifth.
That's when Gomez came on to relieve Turski, and he turned in a lights-out performance. Gomez threw two-hit, shutout ball over the last five innings to record his second pitching win in three decisions.
He retired the first eight batters he faced before Jose Pedormo singled to left wiht two out in the bottom of the seventh. Pedormo tried to stretch the single into a double and was gunned down by leftfielder Joey Cooper.
Gomez then got the next five batters before Mark Pena doubled to center wiht two out in the bottom of the ninth. Gomez then retired Justin Walsh for the final out of the day on a groundball to shortstop Dylan Breault, who threw across the infield to get Walsh as first baseman Derek Black picked the ball out of the dirt.
Gomez' line: 5 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 5 strikeouts, 0 walks.
Centerfielder Chase Grant and Cooper ran down multiple balls in the outfield and Grant made a catch right up against the leftfield fence.
Vince Mori also went 2-for-4, driving in two runs. Niko Holm and Anthony Balderas added base hits for the Comets.
Palomar will host College of the Desert on Thursday at 2 p.m. before opening Pacific Coast Athletic Conference play vs. San Diego City College on Saturday at noon on Myers Field.
Russell pitches 6 shutout innings to go 2-0
RIVERSIDE (2-17-2015) -- Sophomore left-hander Tyler Russell (left) threw six shutout innings as Palomar downed Glendale 9-2 at the neutral-site UC Riverside Sports Complex in a non-conference game on Tuesday.
With the win, the Comets advanced to 7-3 for the season.
Russell, a Vista Murrieta High School product and a transfer from Division I Eastern Michigan University, struck out five and walked one as he scattered six hits. Carlos Robles tripled with two out in the bottom of the second, but Russell stranded him at third by striking out Raul Camas swinging to end the inning.
Shane Gonzales (Great Oak High School, USC) came on to relieve Russell to begin the seventh inning and retired the side the side in order with two strikeouts and a groundball to short. Josh Bravin pitched a scoreless eighth inning before the Vaqueros finally put two runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the ninth.
On offense, leadoff batter Chase Grant (right), the Comets' center fielder, went 2-for-5 with a triple, double and two RBIs to pace an 11-hit attack. Francis Christy went 2-for-3 with a two-run double and also reached base as a hit batter. Niko Holm was 2-for-3 and drove in a run.
Travis Mitchell with an RBI triple, Ryan Lemus (two-run single) and Chris Stratton (RBI single) also drove in runs. Vince Mori and Joey Cooper also contributed hits.
TOP PHOTO: Winner Jake Barnett delivers a pitch Saturday in Palomar's 4-2 win over Fullerton at Myers Field. -- Photo by Philip Farry. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Rightfielder Joey Cooper's diving catch robs the Hornets' Julio Rivera of a hit the top of the fourth. -- Photos by Stephen Davis. BELOW: Francis Christy, who smashed a home run over the centerfield fence to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
Barnett wins, Christy homers as PC sweeps
SAN MARCOS (2-14-2015) -- After a non-decision against defending state and national champion Orange Coast and a one-run loss to 2013 state champion Cypress, Palomar sophomore left-hander Jake Barnett picked up his first win of the season Saturday.
Barnett got the victory in impressive fashion, shutting down 2013 state runner-up Fullerton's big bats as the Comets won 4-2 at Myers Field for their second non-conference victory over the Hornets in three days.
The Hornets came into the two-game series undefeated at 6-0 and averaging 11 runs a game, but Palomar won 8-1 on Thursday and pinned the visitors with their second straight loss on Saturday.
Barnett and relievers Rusty Huber and Anthony Balderas combined on a six-hitter, striking out seven and walking two. Barnett threw four-hit ball over the first 6 1/3 innings. Huber followed him with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Balderos closed the game by getting two of three outs in the top of the ninth via strikeouts to notch his second save.
Francis Christy provided much of the offensive punch as he went 2-for-4 and slugged his third home run of the season to straightaway centerfield to lead off the fourth inning. Chris Stratton went 2-3 and drove in the first run of the game with a single to centerfield in the bottom of the third, scoring Niko Holm who had singled and moved up on Joey Cooper's sacrifice bunt. Holm was 2-for-2 for the day.
The Comets pushed across their last two runs in the sixth on a walk to Chase Grant, a sacrifice bunt by Stratton who reached base on a throwing error on the play, Balderas' sacrifice fly to center that drove in Grant and Dylan Breault's double to leftfield that drove in Stratton.
Cooper made a huge defensive play in rightfield in back of Barnett in the top of the fourth, making a diving catch to rob the Hornets' Julio Rivera of a hit.
Palomar will play four games in a five-day period beginning Tuesday when the Comets face Glendale on a neutral field at UC Riverside. Palomar travels to Cerritos on Wednesday, hosts College of the Desert on Thursday and faces San Diego City College to begin Pacific Coast Athletic Conference play on Saturday at noon.
Lamperello hands Hornets first loss of season
FULLERTON (2-12-2015) -- Freshman right-hander Troy Lamperello (left) advanced to 3-0 on the season on Thursday as he pitched Palomar to an 8-1 victory over host Fullerton, pinning the Hornets with their first loss of the season after six straight wins.
Lamperello scattered five hits over the first seven innings as he combined to throw a combined six-hitter with relievers Graham Gomez, who came on to throw a scoreless eighth inning, and Anthony Balderos, who followed Gomez to begin the ninth and retired the side in order.
Redshirt freshman third baseman Vince Mori (right) went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs as the Comets banged out nine hits off four Fullerton pitchers.
Trailing 1-0, Palomar pushed across three runs in the second after leading off the inning with a bad-hop shot by Travis Mitchell that rocketed over the second baseman's head but was ruled an error.
Dylan Breault followed with a single to center and advanced to second on a passed ball. Chase Grant drove in Mitchell with a single to right, moving Breault to third, then went to second on a wild pitch.
Mori drove in Breault with a groundball to the right side and Niko Holm scored Grant on a sacrifice fly to center.
The Comets never looked back, adding two runs in the fourth inning and three more in the seventh to turn the game into a blowout.
Grant walked with one out in the fourth and went to second on a wild pitch. Mori singled to right, advancing Grant to third. Holm's squeeze bunt to the left side scored Grant, and Joey Coooper's double drove in Mori.
Palomar tallied the game's last three runs in the seventh on back-to-back singles by Chris Stratton and Francis Christy, Carl Schwettmann's sacifice bunt, Breault's RBI grounder that went for an error and Mori's two-run double over the leftfielder's head.
Defensively, first basemen Holm and Derek Black made a series out outstanding scoops of balls thrown in dirt.
The Comets and Hornets will square off again on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Myers Field.
Christy has huge day, but rally falls just short
PALM DESERT (2-07-2015) --Sophomore catcher Francis Christy (left) had his best day as a Comet on Saturday, and he had it against a top-qualify opponent.
Christy went 3-for-4 with a home run, double, a walk and five RBIs against 2013 state community college champion Cypress, which has jumped off to a 6-0 start to begin the 2015 season. But his heroics went for naught as the Chargers held off the Comets 8-7 when Palomar's four-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning fell just short.
The fireworks came on the final day of the three-day, round-robin Buttles Memorial Tournament at College of the Desert's Ted Hamilton Field. The Chargers escaped against a Comet team that had blown out COD 19-0 on Thursday and San Bernardino Valley 12-3 on Friday in a game that ended under the lights.
Chris Stratton, Chase Grant and Dylan Breault each went 2-for-5 against the Chargers. Jordan Gardner had a double in Palomar's two-run seventh inning. Brauldt had an RBI single during the Comets' ninth-inning rally.
Christy singled in the first inning, walked in the third, slugged a solo home run to lead off the sixth, drove in a run with a seventh-inning fielder's choice and drove in three runs in the bottom of the ninth with a bases-loaded double.
For the three-day tournament, Christy was 9-for-13. He scored 7 runs, drove in 7 runs and had 5 doubles, a home run and two walks.
Palomar received an encouraging, if short, pitching performance from Shane Gonzales (right), a sophomore out of Great Oak High School in Temecula who pitched for USC as a true freshman in 2013 and was drafted in the 31st round by the Philadelphia Phillies after red-shirting in 2014 at Fullerton College.
Gonzales made his first appearance coming off an injury, coming on to begin the ninth inning and retiring Cypress in order on a grounder to the first baseman, a fly out to leftfield and a strikeout looking. Gonzales, being brought back carefully and deliberately, hit 88 miles per hour, well under his best velocity but encouraging for his first mound action since the off-season injury.
Palomar wins big again on second day at COD
PALM DESERT (2-06-2015) --For the second consecutive day at College of the Desert's Buttles Memorial Tournament, Palomar won big on Friday, defeating San Bernardino Valley 12-3.
Francis Christy (4-for-5, 3 doubles), Travis Mitchell (left, 2-for-3, hit by pitch, 3 RBIs), Chase Grant (3-for-4) had multiple hits for the Comets, who advanced to 4-2 on the season with their third win of the week.
Joey Cooper doubled to drive in two runs. Colton Aaro also contributed a double. Vince Mori drove in two runs with a sacrifice fly and a ground ball.
Winning pitcher Troy Lamparello (right) advanced to 2-0 on the year by throwing six-hit ball over the first seven innings, striking out six.
Comets score 14 in 2nd inning, bury Desert
PALM DESERT (2-05-2015) -- The Palomar baseball team sent 19 batters to the plate in the top of the second inning on Thursday, scoring 14 runs, and went on to bury College of the Desert 19-0, in the opening game of the three-day, round-robin Buttles Memorial Tournament.
Chris Stratton (left, 3-for-4, 2 runs scored, hit by pitch) and Nico Holm (right, 3-for-3, walk, 3 runs scored) paced a 22-hit attack by the Comets off four COD pitchers.
Vince Mori (2-for-5, 2 doubles, walk, 3 runs scored, RBI), Alec Salcedo (2-for-4, walk, 2 runs scored, 3 RBIs), Francis Christy (2-fo-4, doiuble, walk, 2 RBIs), Dylan Breault (2-for-4, double, walk, 2 runs scored, RBI), Joey Cooper (2-for-3, double, walk, 3 runs scored, 3 RBIs), Grant Chase (2-for-4, 2 runs scored, RBI) and Carl Schwettmann (2-for-2, RBI) also had multiple his.
Travis Mitchell added a double and 3 RBIs. Derek Black also contributed a single.
Transfer right-hander Tyler Russell pitched the first 6 innings, striking out 4 and walking 0, to record his first pitching win as a Comet. Josh Braven notched a rare save in a 19-0 game by pitching 3 innings, one of the qualifiers for a save, to finish the two-pitcher shutout.
The Comets got 22 players into the game as they ran their record to 3-2. COD saw its record fall to 1-4.
Palomar will be back at Ted Hamilton Field on the COD campus to play San Bernardino Valley on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The Comets will play their third game in the tournament on Saturday at noon against 2013 state community college champion Cypress. The Chargers are 4-0 after beating San Bernardino 2-0 in Thursday's second game.
ABOVE: Francis Christy bangs a double for Palomar in the seventh inning of the Comets' win over Orange Coast on Tuesday. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Chase Grant, whose two-run single provided the margin of victory in the sixth inning. BELOW RIGHT:Winning pitcher Grant Gomez
Grant's 2-run single gives Gomez pitching win
SAN MARCOS (2-03-2015) -- Freshman right fielder Chase Grant hit a two-run single to centerfield with two outs in the sixth inning Tuesday at Meyers Field, lifting Palomar to a 4-3 victory over 2014 mythical national community college baseball champion Orange Coast.
Starter Graham Gomez threw six innings of four-hit ball to record the pitching win. Rusty Huber held the lead with two hitless, scoresless innings and Anthony Balderas, who pitched the ninth inning, picked up a save by striking out two batters
Niko Holm (3-for-4, RBI) and Francis Christy (2-for-3, double, walk) contributed multiple hits as the Comets (2-2) avenged a season opening 5-4 loss to the defending state champion Pirates in 11 innings in Costa Mesa.
Trailing 1-0, Palomar tied the game in the second inning on back-to-back walks to Balderas and Vince Mori, Ryan Lemus' single to left to load the bases and Holm's RBI single.
Orange Coast went on top 3-1 with one run each in the third and fourth innings, the latter unearned.
Palomar then came back to score three runs, including the game-winner, in the bottom of the sixth. Christy singled to right and Dylan Breaul got down a perfectly-placed bunt single to put two runners on with none out. Balderas attempted a sacrifice bunt back to Orange Coast pitcher Tanner Murphrey, who went to third to try to force Christy, the lead runner. But the ball got away from third baseman James McLellan as Christy scored and Breault went all the way to third.
That set the stage for Grant's game-winning single two outs later.
Palomar will open play in the three-day, round-robin David Buttles Memorial Tournament at College of the Desert on Thursday, facing COD at noon. The Comets also will play San Bernardino Valley on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and close the tournament against Cypress on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Comets lose momentum, lead and rematch
HUNTINGTON BEACH (1-31-2015) --After defeating Golden West at home on Friday, the Palomar baseball team jumped on the Rustlers for four runs in the top of the fifth inning on Saturday to take a 5-1 lead in the team's non-conference rematch.
That's when the good times abruptly ended.
The Comets lost their momentum, the lead and the game 11-6 as Golden West outscored them 10-1 from that point forward.
Nothing much went right for Palomar the rest of the way as Golden West struck for five runs in the bottom of the fifth, three more runs in the seventh and two more in the bottom of the eighth.
Although the plusses were overshadowed by the flip in momentum, there also were some positives for the Comets.
Francis Christy (left), Chris Stratton (right), Dylon Brault and Vince Mori had multiple hits in defeat.
Christy went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run, a double and four RBIs.
Stratton was 2-for-5 with a sacrifice fly on a line drive to left to drive in a rune. Brault was 2-for- with a walk and a steal. Mori was 2-for-3 and reached base as a hit batter.
Chase Grant drove in a run with a single, rounding out a nine-hit attack for Palomar, and also had a sacifice bunt.
Stratton, the Comets' second baseman, made the defensive play of the afternoon in the bottom of the first. Stratton jumped high in the air to spear a liner off the bat of Golden West's Chris Williams and threw to first to double off Philip Knapp, who had reached base as a hit batter, to end the inning.
Palomar (1-2) will attempt to get back to .500 when the Comets host Orange Coast on Tuesday at Myers Field, beginning at 2 p.m.
ABOVE: Winner Troy Lamparello delivers a pitch in Palomar's 3-2 victory over Golden West in its home opener on Friday. The freshman out of El Camino High School threw six innings of two-hit ball, allowing a lone unearned run. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Chase Grant. BELOW RIGHT: Travis Mitchell. Both those players slugged home runs. Mitchell's blast decided the game in the bottom of the sixth
Lamparello, Huber pitch Palomar to victory
SAN MARCOS (1-30-2015) -- Chase Grant and Travis Mitchell slugged home runs on Thursday and Troy Lamparello and Rusty Huber combined to pitch Palomar to a 3-2 win over Golden West in the Comets' home baseball opener.
The visiting Rustlers led in the game 1-0 and 2-1, but both times Palomar rallied to tie the score.
Grant, batting ninth in the Comets' order, homered over the rightfield fence at Myers Field to lead off the bottom of the third inning, pulling Palomar even 1-1.
Alec Salcedo singled to center to drive in Vince Mori, aboard on a double, to tie the score 2-2 in the fifth.
Mitchell then homered over the rightfield fence to lead off the bottom of the fifth, putting Palomar on top for the first time 3-2, and the Comets held on the rest of the way for the victory.
Lamparello pitched six innings of two-hit ball, striking out four and walking none, to record the victory. Josh Bravin started the seventh inning, giving up one hit. Huber came on with one out and two on in the seventh inning and threw the final 2 2/3 innings to notch the save. He allowed two hits, striking out two and walking none. Lamparello, Bravin and
Mitchell and Mori each went 2-for-3 as they paced an eight-hit attack for Palomar.
Dylan Breault and Joey Cooper also hit safely for the Comets.
Second baseman Chis Stratton made two big defensie plays to rob Golden West and also turned a double play that went from third baseman Mori-to-Stratton-to-first baseman Derek Black that ended the game in the top of the ninth.
The Comets will play at Golden West on Saturday at 1 p.m.
No. 2 Comets fall in 11 to No. 1-ranked Pirates
COSTA MESA (1-29-2015) --After battling back and forth for 3 hours and 7 minutes, and with the game concluding in near darkness on Thursday, Southern California No. 2-ranked Palomar dropped its season baseball opener to No. 1-ranked Orange Coast 5-4 on an unearned run in the bottom of the 11th inning.
A throwing error on a dropped third strike open the door for the defending state champion and 2014 nationally No. 1-ranked Pirates to win the game on an RBI single by Robert Longtree that dropped just in front of Palomar center fielder Alec Salcedo.
It was the second unearned run of the afternoon off five Palomar pitchers and came with the teams quickly running out of light, some five innings after the Comets had knocked Orange Coast starter Art Vidrio, a first-team all-state selection and state tournament MVP last season, out of the game in the sixth inning.
The Comets had staked their starter and top returning pitcher Jake Barnett to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a two-run double by freshman shortstop Dylan Breault (above left) down the leftfield line. Breault drove in Salcedo, aboard as a hit batter on the first pitch of the game, Chris Stratton's sacrifice bunt and Francis Christy's single. The Pirates pulled to within a run in the third inning, then tied it in the fourth on an unearned run.
Orange Coast took a 4-2 lead sixth when Barnett quickly tired after five effective innings. But Palomar came right back to tie it 4-4 with two runs of their own in the top of the seventh on singles by Joel Mitchell and pinch-hitter Jordan Gardner, Vince Mori's RBI grounder to the right side, an error and Salcedo's sacrifice fly to center.
That's the way it stood until the sun was setting in the last half of the 11th inning as Palomar also received strong relief pitching performances from Rusty Huber, Taylor Turski, Anthony Balderas and Graham Gomez.
Stratton (above right) and Joey Cooper each went 2-for-4 for the Comets. Mori, playing third base for Palomar, made a series of outstanding defensive plays and throws across the infield.
Palomar will host Golden West in its home opener on Friday at 2 p.m., then will visit Golden West on Saturday at 1 p.m. and will be back at Myers Field for a rematch with Orange Coast on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
Jake Barnett, who was 8-2 with a 2.50 ERA as a Palomar freshman, is pictured pitching against Santa Ana a year ago at Myers Field. The Comets will begin 2015 playing home games at the aging, 1950s-era facility but hope to finish the season at their new complex that is being constructed at the north end of campus, near Borden Road. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
Comets enter '15 season No. 2 in Southern Cal
SAN MARCOS (12-30-2014) -- Palomar will begin the 2015 season ranked No. 2 in Southern California by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association.
Only Orange Coast, the defending state and national champion that was ranked No. 1 nationally at the conclusion of the 2015 season by Perfect Game USA of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is ranked ahead of the Comets.
Palomar, which has won four straight Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championships, was ranked No. 19 in the nation at the conclusion of the 2014 regular season before being upset by Allan Hancock in the first round of the state playoffs. The Comets won the first game of the best-of-three series 10-2 before the Bulldogs bounced back the following day to sweep two games, ending Palomar's 16-game winning streak and the Comets' season.
No. 3 Oxnard, No. 4 Santa Barbara City College and No. 5 Santa Ana round out the Top Five-ranked teams in Southern California to begin 2015. Southwestern, which finished second in the PCAC behind the Comets last season, is ranked No. 6.
Palomar and Orange Coast will again square off twice during the 2015 regular season. Coach Buck Taylor's Comets will play coach John Altobelli's Pirates to open the season on Jan. 29 in Costa Mesa. The teams will play a return game at Palomar's Myers Field five days later, on Feb. 3.
Palomar will play 13 of its 36 regular-season games against teams ranked in the Southern California Top Twenty. Besides the two games vs. Orange Coast, the Comets will play No. 5 Santa Ana twice, No. 6 Southwestern four times, No. 7 Cypress once, No. 15 Cerritos once, No. 17 Glendale once and No. 19 Fullerton twice.
Astros acquire ex-Comet Hoyt from Braves
HOUSTON (1-14-2015) -- Former Palomar pitcher James "Jimmy" Hoyt went from the National League to the American League on Wednesday as the Atlanta Braves traded him to the Houston Astros.
The Braves traded Hoyt (left) and catcher/outfielder Evan Garris to the Astros for three players in a deal announced Wednesday night.
Hoyt, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound right-hander out of Palomar and Centenary College of Louisiana, threw for the Braves in Major League spring training games a year ago. During the regular season, he compiled a 3.17 earned run average and struck out 11.6 batters per nine innings pitched for Triple A Gwinnett and Double A Mississippi.
Barraza 20th '14 Comet to transfer to 4-yr.
SAN MARCOS (1-14-2015) -- Nolan Barraza (left) has become the 20th member of Palomar's 2014 baseball team, including all 19 sophomores, to transfer to a four-year college for the 2015 season.
The 6-foot-4, 202-pound third baseman / outfielder / designated hitter out of Mission Hills High School transferred to NCAA Division II Hawaii Pacific University over the semester break.
Barraza becomes the third Comet from last season's team to transfer to Hawaii Pacific, joining right-handed pitcher Cody Ells and catcher Bubba Craig.
Barraza appeared in 18 games for the 2014 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champions, batting .275. He hit .333 in conference games.
The only 2014 freshman to accept a baseball scholarship, Zach Bonneau, currently is a sophomore catcher at the University of Washington.
PALOMAR'S DIVISION I TRANSFERS (10) --CF Dillan Smith (San Jose State), RHP Zach Wilkins (Nevada), 1B Eric Sapp (University of Portland), C Zach Bonneau (University of Washington), RHP Vaughn Berberet (Long Beach State), RHP Gary Cornish (University of San Diego), OF Matt Matlock (Grand Canyon), OF Anthony Fernandez (Prarie View A&M), RHP Taylor Miller (Nevada), LHP Robert Woodcock (Purdue)
DIVISION II (5) -- RHP Cody Ells (Hawaii Pacific), RHP Troy Forester (UC San Diego), RHP Kamden Haglund (Cal State San Bernardino), C Bubba Craig (Hawaii Pacific); Nolan Barraza (Hawaii Pacific)
NAIA (5) -- SS Dennis Morton (2013 national champion Faulkner University), RHP Emilio Esquibel (Cal State San Marcos), RHP Zach Wickham (Cal State San Marcos), RHP Michael Jordan (Vanguard University), RHP Matt Silberman (Vanguard University)
Catcher Francis Christy and pitcher Tyler Russell have become the first two 2015 Comets to commit to four-year colleges for the 2016 season. Christy, pictured in the top photo during Palomar's 2014 season, is headed to the University of Washington. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. Eastern Michigan University transfer Tyler Russell, pictured directly above pitching for Vista Murrieta High School where he went 31-7 over three seasons, is headed to Oral Roberts University. -- Courtesy photo
Christy to Washington; Russell to Oral Roberts
SAN MARCOS (12-16-2014) --Sophomore catcher Francis Christy and sophomore right-handed pitcher Tyler Russell have become the first two members of Palomar's 2015 baseball team to commit to four-year colleges.
Christy, a first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection for the Comets a year ago, has accepted a scholarship to the University of Washington. Russell, a transfer from Eastern Michigan University who was 31-7 in three seasons at Vista Murrieta High School, has accepted a scholarship to Oral Roberts University. Both will transfer after playing for the Comets in the upcoming 2015 season.
Christy, who was drafted by the Oakland A's in the 37th round in 2013 out of Casa Grande High School in Petaluma, hit .322 and made the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first team as a freshman for Palomar last season when the Comets went 28-12 and won their fourth straight conference championship. Following his junior season at Casa Grande, Christy turned down a full-ride scholarship to Oregon predicated on his willingness to graduate from high school early and skip his senior prep season to play for the Ducks.
Christy hit .413 as a senior and was selected to the Maxpreps all-state medium schools first team.
Russell pitched 45 innings appearing in 15 games for Eastern Michigan a year ago as a true freshman after a record-setting career at Vista Murrieta High School. He compiled a 31-7 win-loss record over three varsity seasons for the Broncos. Russell was 11-2 with a 1.58 earned run average two years ago as a senior All-Southern Section CIF selection. He was a three-time All-Southwestern League first-team pick, a two-time All-CIF selection and was selected all-state second team by ESPN Rise.
Palomar has sent a number of players on to Oral Roberts, including shortstop Tyler Saladino, who is currently on the Chicago White Sox' major league roster.
Palomar moved 19 players on to the four-year college level after the 2014 season, 10 of them to Division I including catcher Zach Bonneau, who batted .292 appearing in 18 games playing behind Christy last season and was the only freshman to move on among the 19 scholarship players. He also received a scholarship to Washington.
B.K. Santy, Palomar's new catchers coach who was an All-PCAC selection playing behind the plate for the Comets, spent two seasons as Washington's starting starting catcher before playing in the Minnesota Twins organization.
Audie Afenir, another former Palomar all-confernce catcher, currently plays at Oral Roberts.
Former Palomar shortstop Tyler Saladino, coming off elbow surgery, has been elevated to the Chicago White Sox' 40-man Major League roster. -- Courtesy photo
White Sox elevate Saladino to 40-man roster
CHICAGO (11-21-2014) --The Chicago White Sox have elevated Palomar product Tyler Saladino to their 40-man roster.
Saladino appeared in 82 games with Triple-A Charlotte during the 2014 season, batting .310 with 16 doubles, four triples, nine homers, 43 RBIs and 41 runs scored. He was placed on the disabled list on July 13 and missed the remainder of the season after undergoing ulnar colateral ligament replacement surgery on hisr ight elbow.
Named as the starting shortstop for the International League for the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game against the Pacific Coast League, sustained the injury days before the game and had to be replaced in the starting lineup.
Saladino has played shortstop for the White Sox in Major League in spring training the last three years as a non-roster player while he made his way up through the club's minor league system.
He was at Palomar last week for Groundbreaking Ceremonies for the Comets' new baseball field.
ABOVE: Palomar Director of Athletics Scott Cathcart speaks Friday morning at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Comets' new baseball field at the north end of campus. The field is slated for completion in spring 2015. BELOW:Trustee Nancy Chadwick and President Bob Deegan wield ceremonial shovels. -- Photos by Melinda Finn
Field groundbreaking previews the near future
SAN MARCOS (11-14-2014) -- The ceremonial groundbreaking for Palomar's new baseball facility, which is scheduled for completion this spring, went off without a hitch on Friday morning.
Palomar Superintendent/President Robert P. Deegan officiated at the ceremony and head baseball coach Buck Taylor gave the keynote address that included recognition of long-time Palomar coach Bob Vetter.
Taylor introduced former PC assistant coaches Tyler Kincaid and Rich Graves, plus nine former Comet players who starred on the four-year level and/or played pro baseball or are still active in pro ball. Kincaid is now the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of San Diego Kincaid's current recruiting class has been rated the fourth best in NCAA Division I.
Also speaking at the event were Trustee Nancy Chadwick, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services Adrian Gonzales, Director of Athletics Scott Cathcart and representatives of Northern San Diego County politicians.
The new facility will include a natural turf field with a subsurface drainage system, artificial turf in foul territory, state-of-the-art dugouts, a digital scoreboard with high-visability red numbers, permanent seating for approximately 300 with additional upper seating on a grass slope, seven full batting cages, five bullpens, an elevated press box with PA system, a designated warm-up area for visiting teams and additional amenities including full restroom facilities.
Built with funds from Palomar's Proposition M which was approved by voters in 2006, the facility will replace the aging Myers Field just off Mission Road which originally was constructed in the early 1950s by the late Palomar head coach Ward "Rusty" Myers, his players and volunteers.
Onetime PC great honored at golf tournament
VALLEY CENTER (9-26-2014) --Jack Wiland, one of Palomar's premier all-around athletes back "in the day" who returned to serve as an assistant coach for the Comets in both baseball and football, was honored at the Second Annual Palomar Alumni Golf Tournament last week at Woods Valley Golf Club.
Wiland, who is retired from teaching and living in Desert Hot Springs, CA, where he still coaches the boys and girls golf teams at Desert Hot Springs High School, played football for the Comets under the late head coach Bob Bowman and baseball under the late Ward "Rusty" Myers.
In baseball, the former multi-sport star at Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa, hit .360 for the Comets as a sophomore in 1961, slugging nine home runs which stood as the Palomar record for 20 years until it was broken during the 1981 season. Wiland hit .447 in the old South Central Conference during the '61 season, a mark that still ranks ninth on the all-time Palomar list. During that season, he also compiled a 6-2 win-loss record as a pitcher for the Comets.
Moving on to the University of Iowa on a baseball scholarship, Wiland compiled an 11-2 win-loss pitching record over two seasons and was Most Valuable Player of the 1963 team, which finished one game behind champion Illinois in the Big Ten standings. The '63 Hawkeyes were ranked as high as 11th in the nation.
As a senior, Wiland beat Minnesota, the following year's College World Series champion, 2-1, throwing 78 pitches in one hour and 28 minutes.
Wiland still holds two University of Iowa records, least bases on balls in a season (6) and lowest ERA (0.43 as a reliever during his junior season of 1962).
Wiland spent the 1964 baseball season as a graduate assistant at Iowa. Returning to California, he was a Palomar football assistant coach and was Bob Vetter's pitching coach for the Comets in baseball from 1987 through 1990. He coached Mark Ringkamp, who won 23 games in 1988-89, the best career mark in Palomar history (Nick Vincent is second on the all-time list with 20 wins).
Ringkamp, who went on to pitch for San Jose State and in the Texas Rangers organization, was drafted twice, after his freshman season at Palomar by the Seattle Mariners and out of San Jose State by the Rangers. He signed with the Rangers after his 1991 season for the Spartans, but suffered a career-ending arm injury in his second year of minor league ball, when he was 6-2 at the time at Fort Meyers, FL in Advanced Class A.
Wiland also was a minor league pitching coach in the Montreal Expos organization and was an associate scout for the Expos and later for the Colorado Rockies.
In football, he also coached at Fallbrook High School, where he spent a stint as head coach, and as an assistant at MiraCosta College before the Spartans dropped the sport. Wiland spent most of his teaching career at Fallbrook High and also was an adjunct professor at both Palomar and MiraCosta.
Wiland, who earned a Masters degree in physical education from the University of Iowa, has been married to the former Patricia Townsend for 52 years. Their son, the late Rick Wiland, played football for Palomar.
The Palomar Alumni golf tournament was a fund-raiser for the Comets' softball and women's golf teams.
Vincent's historic streak at 22 games, 80 days
LOS ANGELES (9-10-2014) --Palomar's Nick Vincent's performance out of the San Diego Padres' bullpen becomes more amazing every time he heads to the mound.
Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, Vincent relieved starter Ian Kennedy with none out, a run acoss and a runner on base in the seventh inning.
The right-handed former Comet pitched the Padres out of the jam with no further damage as he retired the Dodgers without a run, striking out Yasiel Puig along the way. He ran his scoreless relief appearance streak to 22 games and 22 2/3 innings.
Vincent has now gone 80 days without allowing a run. He last gave up a run back on June 11, just before he went on the disabled list because of shoulder fatigue in his throwing arm. He came off the DL on July 23 and has not allowed a run since.
Through Wednesday's game, he's allowed only 34 hits in 49 1/3 innings pitched during the 2014 season, striking out 56 batters and walking 9. Vincent has lowered his season earned-run average to 3.10 in 54 appearances.
Vincent's Major League career numbers over three seasons: 126 innings pitched, 86 hits, 132 strikeouts, 27 walks, a 2.43 ERA, and a 9-5 win-loss record with 1 save.
Hill finishes 1st year 3-1 with 9 saves, 1.64 ERA
LEXINGTON, Kentucky / other cities (9-02-2014) -- Palomar alum and 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher Tim Hill (left) finished a spectacular rookie pro season by going 2-0 with five saves and an ERA of 0.96 in his final 10 games for Lexington in the Class A South Atlantic League.
Hill was 2-0 with nine saves and a 1.26 ERA for the Legends after starting the season with Rookie Classification Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League. He was drafted in the 32nd round by the Kansas City Royals and was immediately promoted to long-season A after striking out 12 batters and walking 2 over 7 2/3 innings in five relief appearances.
For the two teams, Hill was a combined 3-1 with nine saves, a 1.64 ERA and 30 strikeouts compared with only 9 walks. His banner first pro season came after he made third-team NAIA All-American for Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
2014 was a mixed bag for ex-Comet Tyler Saladino, who sustained a UCL injury in his throwing elbow days before he was scheduled to start at shortstop for the International League against the Pacific Coast League in the Triple-A All-Star game. A seventh-round pick out of Oral Roberts University in 2009, he was hitting .310 with 16 doubles, 4 triples, 9 home runs and 43 RBIs through the first half of the seson for the Chicago White Sox' Charlotte farm club.
Saladino had been projected to arrive in the Major Leagues some time in the 2015 season, but instead underwent Tommy John surgery and could be sidlined until 2016.
(Home Games in Bold)
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