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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Jake Barnett, who pitched four-hit ball over the first nine
wins last gameat Myers, Fresno-bound
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
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
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
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
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
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
San Joaquin Delta College (Northern California), 37-3
2. Palomar College (Southern
Western Community College (Iowa), 48-5
4. Walters State College
College of Southern Nevada (Nevada), 44-15
6. Northwest Florida State College
County Community College (Kansas), 54-5
8. St. Johns River State College
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
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.
Taylor is PCAC Coach of Year for all sports
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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