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2015 Season ...

Comets celebrate after winning their fifth straight conference championship. -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Palomar finishes 2015 ranked No. 9 in nation

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (6-19-2015) -- Palomar (37-8), which sailed into the California State Championship Final Four ranked No. 2 in the National Community College baseball rankings, finished the 2015 season at No. 9 in the country.

The Comets wound up third in the Calfornia State Tournament.

The national rankings are compiled by Perfect Game USA of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Northwest Florida State (41-13), the NJCAA World Series champion, finished the year ranked No. 1.

Previously nationally top-ranked San Joaquin Delta College of Stockton (41-6), which eliminated the Comets in the California Final Four at Fresno, finished second in the California tournament  and wound up ranked No. 3 in the country

Orange Coast, the defending national champion, defeated Delta in the state championship game and wound up No. 11. The 2015 Pirates finished the year 30-17.

NATIONAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE BASEBALL RANKINGS
Perfect Game USA
1. Northwest Florida State, 42-13
2. LSU-Eunice (Louisiana), 49-10
3. San Joaquin Delta (Northern California), 41-6
4. Walters State College (Tennessee), 57-12
5. Iowa Western, 54-7
6. Cowley County (Kansas), 54-5
7. St. Johns River (Florida), 57-10
8. McLennan (Texas), 41-20
9. Palomar, 37-8
10. Lower Columbia (Washington), 41-10

 
      TOP PHOTO: Palomar sophomore reliever Graham Gomez has accepted a scholarship to San Diego State. BELOW, L to R: Josh Bravin (Eastern Michigan), Rusty Huber (Rogers State, Oklahoma) and Alec Salcedo: Lindsay-Wilson University, Kentucky), all of whom also received scholarships to four-year colleges

Four more Comets commit; Gomez to SDSU 

SAN MARCOS (6-15-2015) -- Four more Palomar baseball sophomores have committed to four-year colleges, bringing the Comets' total for its 2015 season to eight and counting.

Reliever Graham Gomez (4-2, 1 save, 1.53 ERA for 35 1/3 innings) accepted a scholarship to San Diego State.

Reliever Rusty Huber (4-0, 5 saves, 2.45 ERA for 33 innings) accepted a scholarship to Rogers State University (Oklahoma).

Reliever Josh Braven (0-1, 1 save, 0.00 ERA for 10 2/3 innings) accepted a scholarship to Eastern Michigan University.

And outfielder Alec Salcedo (.278, 23 RBIs) accepted a scholarship to Lindsay-Wilson University (Kentucky).

Gomez prepped at Santa Fe Christian High School, Braven at Silverado (Las Vegas), Huber at Mira Mesa and Salcedo at Murrieta Mesa.

PALOMAR 4-YEAR SIGNINGS AS OF JUNE 15 
NCAA Division I 
C Francis Christy, University of Washington (drafted and signed by Arizona Diamondbacks) 
RHP Tyler Russell, Oral Roberts University
LHP Graham Gomez, San Diego State University 
RHP Josh Bravin, Eastern Michigan University
NCAA Division II 
RHP Rusty Huber, Rogers State University (Oklahoma) 
NAIA 
LHP Jake Barnett, 2015 NAIA World Series champion Lewis-Clark State 
RHP/1B Anthony Balderas, 2015 NAIA World Series champion Lewis-Clark State 
OF Alec Salcedo, Lindsay-Wilson University (Kentucky) 

Diamondbacks take Christy in 7th round

SAN MARCOS (6-09-2015) -- Francis Christy, Palomar's catcher who previously was named California Community College Player of the Year and National Community College Player of the Year, was drafted in the seventh round by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.

He was the first player taken in round 7 and the first California community college player selected in the draft. He also was the first community college catcher in the nation taken in the draft.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound sophomore, who signed a letter of intent with the University of Washington prior to Palomar's 2015 season, batted .316 with a state-leading 11 home runs, 52 RBIs and 43 runs scored in 45 games as the Comets went 37-8 and finished third in the California State Tournament.

Christy improved his draft status by 30 rounds by spending two seasons with coach Buck Taylor's Comets. He was selected in the 37th round by the Oakland A's after his senior season at Casa Grande High School in Petaluma.

ABOVE: Anthony McIver delivers a pitch for Palomar during the 2013 season. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 15th round Wednesday out of the University of San Diego. -- File photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Catcher Audie Afenir, who was selected by the New York Yankees in the 25th round out of Oral Roberts University.

McIver goes in 15th round, Afenir in 25th round

SAN MARCOS (6-10-2015) -- The Minnesota Twins selected Palomar pitching product Anthony McIver in the 15th round out of the University of San Diego on Wednesday. He was the fifth player selected in the round.

The New York Yankees selected ex-Comet catcher Audie Afenir out of Oral Roberts University in the 25th round. Escondido High School product Afenir, son of former Palomar player and assistant coach and ex-Major League catcher Troy Afenir, hit .347 as the second-leading hitter for the Eagles with 23 multiple-hit games, 16 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs and 43 RBIs. He went 4-for-7 in two NCAC Division I National Tournament games.

McIver, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound junior left-hander who prepped at Rancho Buena Vista High School, was 3-2 for USD during the 2015 season with seven saves and a 3.55 earned run average for former Palomar pitching coach Tyler Kincaid. He struck out 38 batters and walked 15 over 33 innings coming out of the bullpen.

McIver was 2-0 with three saves in the West Coast Conference as the Toreros won the WCC championship.

Padres recall ex-Comet Vincent from Triple-A

SAN DIEGO (6-10-2015) -- The San Diego Padres have recalled former Palomar pitcher Nick Vincent from Triple-A El Paso of the Pacific Coast League.

Vincent, who went on from Palomar to pitch for Long Beach State before being drafted and signed, is in his fourth Major League season for the Padres.

A Ramona High School product who compiled a 20-6 win-loss record with a career ERA of 2.11 as a starter for the Comets from 2005-2007, Vincent was one of the most effective relief pitchers in Major League baseball in preventing inherited runners from scoring during both the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

 

ABOVE: Palomar catcher Francis Christy, shown in the CCCAA State Championship Final Four in Fresno two weeks ago, is the National Community College Player of the Year. -- Photo by Philip Farr. BELOW: Comet outfielder Chase Grant, selected to the Pacific Association (California, Oregon and Washington) Gold Glove team

Christy wins National Player of Year award

SAN MARCOS (6-04-2015) -- With next week's 2015 First-Year Player Draft only days away, the honors for Palomar sophomore catcher Francis Christy continue unabated.

Christy, an early University of Washington signee who was previously selected as Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year and California Community College Player of the Year, has been named ABCA/Rawlings Gold Bat Award National Co-Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Christy was selected from the ABCA's Pacific Division (California, Oregon and Washington). The other ABCA/Rawlings Gold Bat Award National Co-Player of the Year, representing the National Junior College Athletic Association, will be announced on June 11.

Christy, who is expected to be selected high in Major League Baseball's 2015 First-Year Player Draft which will be conducted Monday through Wednesday of next week, batted .316 with a CCCA-leading 11 home runs, 52 RBIs and 43 runs scored in 45 games as the Comets went 37-8 and finished third in the California State Tournament.

He also was the catcher to the Pacific Association first team. Palomar sophomore left-handed pitcher Jake Barnett, like Christy a first-team All-California pick, made the Pacific Association third team. Comet freshman outfielder Chase Grant was selected to the Pacific Association Gold Glove team by the ABCA.

Established in 1945, the ABCA is the primary professional organization for baseball coaches at the amateur level. Its over 6,600 members represent all 50 states and 23 countries. Since its initial meeting of 27 college baseball coaches in June 1945, Association membership has broadened to include NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA, NJCAA, Pacific Association Division, High School and Youth. The 72nd annual ABCA Convention will be held Jan. 7-10, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee.

ABOVE: Palomar catcher Francis Christy, about to tag San Joaquin Delta's Collin Theroux at the plate in the third inning in Sunday's second game, was announced as State Player of the Year during the CCCAA State Championship Final Four. BELOW LEFT: The Comets' Jake Barnett, shown pitching in Sunday's first game vs. eventual state champion Orange Coast, also was named to the all-state first team. -- Photos by Philip Farry. BELOW RIGHT: Buck Taylor was named Southern California Coach of the Year

 Player of Year Christy, Barnett are all-state

FRESNO (5-25-2015) -- Palomar sophomore catcher Francis Christy, who tied for the state lead with 11 home runs and was third in RBIs with 52, was named California Community College Player of the Year during the weekend's CCCAA Final Four.

Buck Taylor was selected as Southern California Coach of the Year.

Christy was joined on the all-state first team by sophomore left-hander and Palomar teammate Jake Barnett. Two Comets were named second-team all-state and first-team All-Southern California, freshman left-handed pitcher Taylor Turski, who was 8-0 on the year, and freshman shortstop Dylan Breault.

Christy, expected to go somewhere in the early rounds of next month's draft, hit .326 for his sophomore season with 12 doubles, 1 triple, the 11 home runs and a .599 slugging percentage. He also stole 10 bases on 12 attempts.

Christy's RBI total places him fourth on the all-time Palomar single-season list. His HR total ties in for seventh on the all-time PC list.

Barnett, the 2013 CIF-San Diego Section strikeout leader at Orange Glen High School, had a 9-3 pitching record on the season with a 2.65 earned run average. He struck out 91 batters while walking 22.

Barnett, who was 8-2 a year ago as a freshman, like Christy was a two-time All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first-team selection. His 17 career victories ties him for sixth on the all-time Palomar list.

ABOVE SEQUENCE: Chase Grant (2) scores on a squeeze by Alex Salcedo (top photo) in the second inning to give Palomar a 4-0 lead over Fresno City College before a stunned standing-room-only partisan Rams crowd that packed John Euless Ballpark on the first night of the Final Four on Saturday. Grant had just put the Comets in front 3-0 with a bases-loaded triple on the previous play. He also doubled two innings later as he drove in four of Palomar's seven runs. BELOW: The camera captures the Comets being introduced before their 7-3 win over the Rams. -- Photos by Philip Farry

PC tags Fresno 7-3 but settles for 3rd in state

FRESNO (5-24-2015) (5-25-2015) -- Palomar pounded tournament host Fresno City College 7-3 behind Chase Grant's four RBIs, stunning a standing-room only crowd to begin the CCCAA State Champion Final Four on Saturday night at John Euless Ballpark.

But Jake Barnett lost a pitching duel to Art Vidrio 3-0 on Sunday afternoon and the Comets were unable to completely recover as they lost 14-7 to San Joaquin Delta that evening and were eliminated. Orange Coast went on to beat Delta 9-4 on Monday, going undefeated in the double-elimination event to win its second straight state title.

Palomar had to "settle" for third in the state, finishing its season 37-8. It was the first time the Comets were shut out all season and the first time they lost two straight games.

Joey Cooper went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the win over Fresno, while Taylor Turski ran his win-loss record to 8-0 by striking out five battters over the first 6 2/3 innings. Graham Gomez finished up with 2 1/3 shutout innings.

Against Orange Coast, Palomar wasted Barnett's pitching performance after blowing an opportunity to get back in the game in the sixth inning, when they loaded the bases with two outs. A pinch-hitter popped up to the third baseman on the first pitch.

State Player of the Year Francis Christy went 2-for-4 and Anthony Balderas was 2-for-3 against the Pirates. Vince Mori, Cooper and Grant also hit safely.

Delta jumped out to an early 12-1 lead in the final game of the tournament for Palomar, but the Comets refused to give in and battled back to close to within 12-7 with five runs in the fifth inning and one more in the sixth. The latter came on Christy's 11th home run of the year, which disappeared high over the rightfield wall to lead off the inning.

But Palomar could get no closer, leaving two runners on base after Christy's homer in the seventh and stranding three more runners in the eighth. The Comets loaded the bases with one out but the next two batters flied out to left and struck out. The Mustangs added a pair of late insurance runs.

Palomar left 14 runners for the game and stranded 27 runners over three games

For the game, Mori went 4-for-5 and Christy was 3-for-4 and walked twice, once intentionally, to close out 5-for-6 for his last game and a half as a Comet. Cooper was 3-for-6, finishing the tournament 7-for-12 over three games, and Salcedo went 3-for-5.

Chris Stratton added a pair of hits. Grant singled to drive in a run.

Palomar pounded out 18 hits in the loss -- but Delta had 19 hits off four Comet pitchers.

It was the Comets' second appearance in the Final Four. They were runners-up in the state tournament in 2005. They needed one win to bring home the state championship but lost twice the final day to Santa Rosa, which wrapped up the title.

BOX VS. FRESNO BOX VS. ORANGE COASTBOX VS. DELTA SEASON STATS

Barnett to Lewis-Clark; PC opens in Final Four

SAN MARCOS (5-20-2015) -- Palomar's two-time All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first-team pitcher Jake Barnett has signed with the NAIA's premier baseball program, Lewis-Clark State College of Lewiston, Idaho.

Barnett (photo by Hugh Cox) will take a 9-2 win-loss record for 2015 to Fresno as the nationally second-ranked Comets open play in the CCCAA State Chamionship Final Four against host Fresno City College on Saturday night. He accepted a full scholarship to pitch for the Lewis-Clark State Warriors.

Lewis-Clark State has won 16 NAIA baseball national championships and has finished as runner-up the last two seasons to Faulkner University of Alabama in 2013 and Cumberland University of Tennessee in 2014. No other NAIA program has won more than four national titles.

The Warriors will host the 2015 NAIA World Series beginning Friday at Harris Field in Lewiston.

Barnett, who led the CIF San Diego Section in strikeouts at Orange Glen High School in 2013, drew heavy recruiting interest early in the current season from some of the top programs in NCAA Division I, notably Cal State Fullerton and current No. 7-ranked Vanderbilt. But he would have had to spend additional time at Palomar to receive an A.A. degree in order to transfer to Division I.

Palomar will play Fresno City College, which is ranked ninth in the nation, to begin the State Championship Final Four at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Rams' John Euless Ballpark. Nationally No. 1 ranked San Joaquin Delta and 2014 state and mythical national champion Orange Coast are in the opposite bracket.

The Comets previously advanced to the Final Four in 2005, losing to Santa Rosa in the state championship game.

Afenir 4-for-7 in 2 games, finishes year at .347

STILLWATER, Oklahoma (5-29-2015) (5-30-2015) -- Oral Roberts University exited the Division I National Tournament in two games at the Stillwater Regional. But former Palomar catcher/first baseman Audie Afenir finished his college baseball career in style.

Afenir went 4-for-7 in ORU's  two postseason games, concluding his senior season as the second-leading hitter on a club that won 41 games and lost only 16.

He went 2-for 3 with a sacrifice fly in an 8-6 loss to Arkansas on Friday and was 2-for-3 with two runs scored on Saturday, when St. John's eliminated the Eagles 10-4 at Oklahoma State's Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.

Afenir, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior, started every game but one (when he sustained a concussion after being hit in the head with a pitch) playing under coach Buck Taylor as a two-time All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection for the Comets in 2011 and 2012.

He started 51 games behind the plate for Oral Roberts as a redshirt junior in 2014 and started all 57 games for the Eagles this season. For the season, Afenir hit .347 with 23 multiple-hit games, 16 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs and 43 RBIs.

Afenir is the third ex-Palomar player to go on to have an outstanding four-year college career at Oral Roberts.

Chad Stewart was the starting centerfielder on the Eagles' 2001 and 2002 teams that advanced to the Division I National Tournament. . He went on to play independent league professional baseball.

Shortstop Tyler Saladino played one season for ORU after transfering from Palomar, in 2010 when he was Summit League Player of the Year, played in the D-I National Tournament and was drafted in the seventh round by the Chicago White Sox. He's currently on the White Sox' 40-man roster and is playing shortstop in Triple-A.

Even though Afenir graduates and is expected to be selected in next month's draft, Palomar's tradition of sending outstanding players to Oral Roberts will continue. 2015 Palomar pitcher Tyler Russell signed early with Oral Roberts.

Afenir's dad Troy Afenir was a first-round draft choice by the Chicago Cubs when he was at Palomar, where he was a first-team all-state community college selection as a sophomore catcher under coach Bob Vetter in 1983. Signing out of Palomar, he was a catcher in the Major Leagues with the Houston Astros, Oakland A's and Cincinnati Reds.

Audie's mom Kim Afenir is the former Kim Carter, a Palomar softball standout for two seasons under coach Mark Eldridge.

Troy Afenir spent three seasons as a Palomar assistant coach for Taylor and currently is Southern California scout for the New York Yankees.

Seven members of the Afenir family have played for the Comets. Along with Troy and Audie, the others have been Audie's uncles Steve (an outfielder who later played for the University of Wyoming), Rick (who later played third base for BYU), Tom (who caught for the University of Mississippi and in the Cleveland Indians farm system) and cousin Ty (who played shortstop for the University of Washington and in the Yankees farm system). Two other cousins played at the University of Kansas, one of them who also played in the Yankees minor league system.

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TOP PHOTO: The Comets are back in celebration mode after sweeping their best 2-of-3 Sectional Series from Saddleback on Sunday, winning 4-3 in 11 innings to qualify for next weekend's State Championship Final Four. -- Photo by Deb Hellman. DIRECTLY ABOVE: Second baseman Chris Stratton takes a throw from catcher Francis Christy in the fifth inning and tags out Jack Kaloogian trying to steal. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Pitcher Jake Barnett, who pitched four-hit ball over the first nine innings

PC wins last gameat Myers, Fresno-bound

SAN MARCOS (5-17-2015) -- Palomar made its final appearance ever at ancient Myers Field a memorable one, beating Saddleback 4-3 in 11 innings to sweep the team's best 2-of-3 Sectional series 2 games to 0 to qualify for next weekend's State Championship Final Four.

The Comets, visitors on their own field, got nine innings of four-hit pitching from starter Jake Barnett, who struck out five and walked one before leaving the game after nine inning with the score tied 3-3. Barnett retired the last 11 Saddleback batters he faced.

Rusty Huber (4-0) shut out the Gauchos in the 10th and 11th innings to notch the win.

Palomar scored the winning run in the top of the 11th after Saddleback reliever Trevor Charpie tried to pitch around Francis Christy and walked him. Travis Mitchell moved Christy to second with a sacrifice bunt.

Vince Mori drove in Christy with what turned out to be the game-winner when he singled to right centerfield.

Anthony Balderas went 2-for-4 with a pair of infield hits as the Comets made the most of six hits. Chris Stratton and Alec Salcedo each drove in a run with a double. Dylan Brault added a single.

The right side of the infield, with Stratton at second and Balderas at first, made a series of spectacular defensive plays. Derek Black, who replaced Balderas at first after Sam Casinelli pinch ran for Balderas in the top of the ninth, also had a big defensive play when he made an acrobatic pick of a throw coming across the infield for out No. 2 in the Saddleback 11th inning.

The nationally No. 2-ranked Comets (36-6) , making their second appearance ever in the Final Four after finishing second in the state in 2005, will play their first game on Saturday night against tournament host and nationally No. 9-ranked Fresno City College (35-9) at the Rams' John Euless Ballpark. The Rams swept their Sectional series from Feather River 2-0.

Nationally No. 1-ranked San Joaquin Delta (39-5), which eliminated College of San Mateo 7-2 on Sunday, will play the noon game to open the tournament against Orange Coast (27-17), which eliminated Santa Barbara City College 10-2 on Sunday.

Saddleback finished its season 27-16.

BOX

PC tops S'back 6-1, try to sweep series

SAN MARCOS (5-16-2015) -- Nationally No. 2-ranked Palomar thumped Saddleback 6-1 on Saturday on Taylor Turski's complete-game five-hitter and can sweep the teams' best 2-of-3 sectional series 2 games to 0 by winning Sunday's 1 p.m. game.

With a victory, the Comets (35-6) would advance to the CCCAA State Championship Final Four next Friday through Sunday at Fresno City College's John Euless Ballpark.

In Saturday's game, Turski (7-0) struck out seven and walked one. The freshman left-hander from Temecula Valley High School faced the minimum three batters in the fourth, fifth, eighth and ninth innings.

Palomar banged out 10 hits off Saddleback starter and loser Cameron Aufderheide, who came into the game with a 6-0 record, and two relievers. Three Comets contributed multiple hits behind Turski -- Vince Mori (2-for-3, 2 RBIs), Chris Stratton (2-for-5, double) and Joey Cooper (2-for-4).

If Palomar wins Sunday, the game would be the final one ever played at historic Myers Field, the Comets' baseball home for the last 62 years. If a third game is necessary Monday, then that would be the last game ever at the facility, was was completed during the Eisenhower administration. After this final home series of 2015, the Comets will moving to a brand-new, multi-million dollar facility which is nearly completed at the north end of campus.

Myers Field will be turned into a parking lot.

BOX

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Palomar jumps to No. 2 in national rankings

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (5-14-2015) -- Palomar (34-6) has jumped up to No. 2 in the National Community College baseball rankings compiled by Perfect Game USA of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

San Joaquin Delta College of Stockton (37-3) remains No. 1 in the country. The previous second-, third- and fourth-ranked teams all lost last week in the NJCAA playoffs for non-California and non-Pacific Northwest teams, helping the Comets make the leap from No. 5.

NATIONAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE BASEBALL RANKINGS
Perfect Game USA
1. San Joaquin Delta College (Northern California), 37-3
2. Palomar College (Southern California), 34-6
3. Iowa Western Community College (Iowa), 48-5
4. Walters State College (Tennessee), 51-10
5. College of Southern Nevada (Nevada), 44-15
6. Northwest Florida State College (Florida), 37-12
7. Cowley County Community College (Kansas), 54-5
8. St. Johns River State College (Florida), 47-10
9. Fresno City College (Northern California), 33-9
10. Yavapai College (Arizona), 41-16

Comets roll, 2 wins away from Final Four

SAN MARCOS (5-10-2015) -- Palomar is only two wins away from its second CCCAA State Final Four appearance and first since 2005 after clubbing Irvine Valley 11-1 behind pitcher Jake Barnett on Friday to sweep the teams' series in two games.

The sweep puts the Southern California No. 1 seed Comets (34-6) into a best 2-of-3 series against No. 11 seed Saddleback beginning next Friday at Myers Field. The Gauchos knocked off Golden West 8-7 on Sunday to win their series 2-1.

Barnett scattered six hits over the first eight innings, striking out six and walking none, to run his win-loss record to 9-2.

After the first reliever coach Buck Taylor brought in struggled, Graham Gomez came in with none out and two runners on base and retired the next three batters on a fly ball, a strikeout and a fielder's choice.

Palomar, the visitor in game 2 on its own field, banged out 15 hits, including Francis Christy's 10th home run of the season, and buried the Lasers with a five-run outburst in the top of the ninth inning that turned a 6-1 game into a complete blowout.

Travis Mitchell (3-for-5, two doubles, RBI), Joey Cooper (3-for-4, double) and Alec Salcedo (3-for-4, RBI, stolen base) had nine hits between them. Christy went 2-for-5, slugged home run No. 10 in the third inning and drove in three runs. Chris Stratton (2-for-3, sacrifice bunt, two RBIs, walk) also had multiple hits.

BOX

Turski and Huber combine to shut out Lasers

SAN MARCOS (5-09-2015) -- Taylor Turski and Rusty Huber combined to throw a four-hit shutout at Irvine Valley on Saturday as Palomar downed Irvine Valley 3-0 at Myers Field in the opening game of the Palomar Super Regional.

The Comets will attempt to sweep the best 2-of-3 series on Sunday at 1 p.m. If the Lasers were to win, there would be a third game on Monday at 2:30 p.m.

Turski pitched the first 7 1/3 innings Saturday, allowing four hits and striking out five batters, to go to 6-0 on the season. He trimmed his earned-run average to 0.71 for 63 1/3 innings. Huber pitched 1 2/3 innings of hitless, shutout relief ball, striking out two, for his fifth save of the season.

Turski also made two huge defensive plays, both on Irvine Valley bunts. He threw out Dillon Miller at first with an acrobatic play in the second inning and cut down Trey Ryan at the plate  on an attempted squeeze play in the fourth inning.

Shortstop and leadoff hitter Dylan Breault doubled, singled and got down a key sacrifice bunt to set up the first run of the game as he led the Comets at the plate by going 2-for-3.

BOX

Taylor is PCAC Coach of Year for all sports

Description: http://www.palomar.edu/athletics/baseball/07.taylor.cc.jpgVENTURA (5-06-2015) -- Palomar baseball coach Buck Taylor has been selected as the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference's 2014-15 Men's Sports Coach of the Year for all sports.

Athletic directors from the conference's 10 member colleges selected Taylor for the honor at the PCAC meeting at the Crowne Pointe Hotel Ventura Beach, where all the Southern California community college conferences met this week both individually and as a group. It's the second time Taylor has received this award. He previously was honored in 2008-09.

Southwestern men's soccer coach Cem Tont, who previously was Palomar's women's head coach, was runner-up for the award.

Taylor's 2015 team is ranked fifth in the nation and seeded No. 1 in the Southern California Regional Playoffs.

Palomar's Mori is top PCAC Scholar-Athlete

VENTURA (5-06-2015) -- Palomar baseball third baseman Vince Mori was selected as the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference's 2014-15 Outstanding Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for all sports by conference athletic directors at the Southern California meetings on Tuesday.

With spring grades still to come, the Westview High School graduate entered the 2015 spring semester with a 3.95 cumulative grade-point average for 60.5 units. A business administration major, Mori has posted a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in two of his three fulltime semesters at Palomar. He's currently enrolled in 20 units during the spring semester.

Mori is batting .315 for the 2015 Comets.

An All-PCAC honorable mention selection who likely missed first-team honors because of injuries that sidelined him during part of the season, has helped lead the Comets to back-to-back conference championships, current No. 1 Southern California Regional playoff seed, No. 5 national ranking and a 58-17 two-year record entering this weekend's playoff round 2.

He's being recruited by Santa Clara, Northern Colorado, UC San Diego and Cal State University San Bernardino.

Comets tame the Tigers again, sweep series

SAN MARCOS (5-02-2015) -- Jake Barnett pitched eight strong innings Saturday, retiring 14 of 15 batters at one point and advancing to 8-2, as No. 1 seed Palomar beat Riverside City College 4-2 at Myers Field to sweep the teams' first-round Southern California playoff series 2 games to 0.

The Comets move on to host 17th-seed Irvine Valley, which swept No. 2 seed Oxnard, in a second-round best 2-of-3 series next weekend at Myers Field. The first game will be played at 2 p.m. Friday.

Barnett allowed one earned run in his eight-inning stint, when RCC took advantage of two Palomar errors to cut a 4-0 deficit to 4-2 in the eighth inning. Rusty Huber relieved Barnett to begin the ninth and blanked the Tigers in the inning to record his fourth save.

Barnett struck out six and walked none.

Chris Stratton, who led Palomar (32-6) by going 2-for-3 with a walk and a steal, singled to lead off the third inning and wound up on third when the ball got past the Riverside right fielder for a two-base error. Chase Grant, the next batter, gave the Comets a 1-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to left.

The Comets added their other three runs in the fifth inning after Niko Holm led off by being hit by a pitch. Joey Cooper sacrificed Holm to second, Stratton singled and Grant singled to left to drive in Holm with his second RBI of the afternoon. Dylan Brault singled to drive in Stratton, then scored on Alec Salcedo's RBI ground ball to the first baseman.

Palomar made the most out of four hits to win it. Grant went 2-for-2 with the sacrifice fly and a walk. Holm worked Riverside's pitchers to reach base three times, onece by drawing a walk and twice more as a hit batter. 

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PC blows past Riverside in regional opener

SAN MARCOS (5-01-2015) -- On the same day the Padres recalled former Palomar pitcher Nick Vincent from Triple-A San Antonio, Vincent's old team got a combined four-hitter from Taylor Turski and Graham Gomez to beat Riverside City College 7-3 at Myers Field on Friday.

The win, in the first game of the teams' best two-of-three first-round Southern California Regional playoff series, also featured big hits from the Comets ' Travis Mitchell (a two-run single in the first inning) and Alec Salcedo (a bases-loaded triple which broke the game open in the bottom of the eighth).

Although the teams made three errors apiece, the match-up also featured spectacular defensive plays by both sides, with second baseman Chris Stratton providing multiple gems for Palomar.

The Comets and Tigers will play the second game of the series on Saturday at 11 a.m. with a third game to follow if RCC wins.

Turski, who struck out six and walked one over the first six innings, allowed one earned run before departing with the score tied 3-3. Gomez recorded the victory with three no-hit, shutout relief innings, going to 4-2 on the season.

These two teams once were rivals in the old Mission Conference, but  Friday's game was the first between the Comets and Tigers since 2007, when they split back-to-back non-conference games early in the season.

Vincent pitched a four-hit complete game on Feb. 7 of that year at Myers Field to pin a 6-1 defeat on the Tigers, who came into the game ranked No. 2 in the nation by Perfect Game Baseball USA. RCC rallied to beat the Cometrs 7-5 two days later in Riverside and the two schools had not met again until Friday.

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Description: http://www.palomar.edu/athletics/15.christy.file%20photo.jpg

ABOVE: Palomar sophomore catcher Francis Christy, shown rounding the bases after a home run, is Palomar's third straight conference player of the year. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW: Buck Taylor, named PCAC Coach of the Year for the seventh time -- File photo by Hugh Cox

Christy is Player of Yr.; Taylor is Coach of Yr.

SAN DIEGO (4-30-2015) -- Francis Christy was selected as Palomar's third consecutive conference Player of the Year and Buck Taylor was named Coach of the Year for the seventh time in his 10 seasons as the Comets' head coach at the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference postseason meeting on Wednesday.

Five players from Palomar's No. 5 nationally-ranked and Southern California Regionals top-seeded team received first-team recognition in balloting among conference head coaches.

The Comets' first-team PCAC selections are Christy, sophomore left-handed pitcher Jake Barnett, freshman left-handed pitcher Turski, sophomore right-handed reliever Taylor Russell and freshman shortstop Dylan Brauldt. Christy and Barnett are repeat selections who also made the first team last season.

Kyle Montiel, who moved on to pitch for Cal State San Marcos, and Dylan Smith, now the starting rightfielder at San Jose State, were PCAC Player of the Year selections in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Receiving honorable mention were freshman corner infielder Niko Holm sophomore outfielder Alex Salcedo, sohomore third baseman Vince Mori, sophomore second baseman Chris Stratton, sophomore utility player Anthony Balderas, freshman right-handed pitcher Troy Lamparello,sophomore right-handed reliever Rusty Huber, sophomore left-handed reliever Graham Gomez and freshman outfielder Joey Cooper.

Description: http://www.palomar.edu/athletics/15.baseball.celebration.swc.jpg

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.

 

2015 Baseball Schedule and Results

(Home Games in Bold)

DAY DATE OPPONENT SITE TIME / SCORE BOX W-L CON

Thu

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
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROUND 1 (Best 2-of-3 Series)
Fri May 1 Riverside City College (Game 1) Myers Field WON 7-3 BOX 31-6
Sat May 2 Riverside City College (Game 2) Myers Field WON 4-2 BOX 32-6
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ROUND 2 / Palomar Super Regional (Best 2-of-3 Series)
Sat May 9 Irvine Valley (Game 1) Myers Field WON 3-0 BOX 33-6  
Sun May 10 Irvine Valley (Game 2) Myers Field WON 11-1 BOX 34-6  
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SECTIONAL (Best 2-of-3 Series)
Sat May 16 Saddleback (Game 1) Myers Field WON 6-1 BOX 35-6  
Sun May 17 Saddleback (Game 2) Myers Field WON 4-3 (11 inn.) BOX 36-6  
CCCAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL FOUR (4-team double-elimination) 
Sat May 23 Fresno City College John Euless Ballpark, Fresno City College WON 7-3 BOX 37-6  
Sun May 24 Orange Coast John Euless Ballpark, Fresno City College Lot 0-3 BOX 37-7  
Mon May San Joaquin Delta John Euless Ballpark, Fresno City College Lost 7-14 BOX 37-8  

2015 Roster

No

Name

Pos

B/T

Ht

Wt

Yr

High School (City) / Previous College

1 Joey Cooper 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 Boomhower IF 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 PF 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) / Saint 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)
COACHING STAFF
Buck Taylor, Head Coach
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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