Fall 2008 News ...
Shore verbals to Oklahoma and will sign
with Sooners when early period begins Nov. 12
SAN MARCOS (10-13-08) -- Palomar sophomore right-handed pitcher Bobby Shore has verbally committed to the University of Oklahoma and will sign with the Sooners during the early signing period that begins Nov. 12.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Shore was 4-2 with a 3.31 earned run average for the Comets last season as a freshman, appearing in 15 games and starting 10. He was Avocado League Player of the Year and an All-CIF-San Diego Section selection as a senior at Oceanside High School in 2007.
This, after helping the Oceanside American Little League All-Stars to the 2001 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, PA. Oceanside American lost to Bronx, NY and overage pitcher Danny Almonte 1-0 on a one-hitter on ESPN2 in the United States semifinals.
Shore will become the second Palomar pitcher to move on to Oklahoma. Mike Ponio pitched for the Sooners in during the 1988 and 1989 seasons, on a pair of back-to-back NCAA tournament qualifying teams.
Shore is the second 2009 Palomar sophomore to commit to a four-year college. Earlier, outfielder/ pitcher Shawn Sanford committed to San Diego State. Sanford also will sign during the early signing period
Sanford comes first 2009 sophomore to commit
to a four-year college program, picking Aztecs
SAN MARCOS (9-22-08) -- Shawn Sanford, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound outfielder and left-handed relief pitcher, has committed to San Diego State.
He becomes the first 2009 Palomar sophomore to choose a four-year college. The early signing period will be Nov. 12-19.
Sanford, who prepped at Fallbrook High School, played in 33 games and started 22 of them in the outfield last season as a freshman. Sanford batted .250 and banged out 10 doubles. He also went 1-1 pitching 11 relief innings.
He struck out 11 batters.
2008 News ...
BASEBALL / Pro Alumni
Vincent gives up 2 hits in 5 innings pitched
after being moved to Triple-A Portland club
PORTLAND, Ore. (8-25-08) -- Just 15 1/2 months after pitching for Palomar. right-hander Nick Vincent was transferred from the San Diego Padres' Class A farm club at Eugene, OR, to their Class AAA Portland Beavers team of the Pacific Coast League on Sunday and threw two-hit ball over five innings in a spot start.
Vincent, drafted and signed out of Long Beach State after the 2008 season, retired Tacoma 1-2-3 in the first inning but gave up a second-inning home run and was tagged with the loss as the Rainers won 7-4 before 9,491 at PGE Park in Portland. Vincent, who struck out four and walked one, became the first Palomar alum to pitch in a Triple-A game since Will Flynt in 2002.
Vincent wins again, still sailing in Class A;
Esquibel owns an ERA of 1.88 in Rookie ball
EUGENE, Ore. (8-10-08) -- Nick Vincent did it again Thursday evening, pitching five innings of two hit ball and striking out six to pick up the victory as the San Diego Padres' Eugene farm club in the Class A short-season Northwest League won for the 14th time in 17 games.
The right-handed Palomar alum, who signed out of Long Beach State in June after being drafted by the Pads in the 18th round, struck out the side in the first inning and didn't give up a hit until the fourth to beat Yakima before a crowd of 3.958 at Civic Stadium.
Vincent is 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 24 innings since being moved from the bullpen to a starting role on July 17. On the season, he's 3-1 with two saves, a 3.32 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings.
Among other Comets in minor-league baseball, Andres Esquibel (formerly of the University of Kansas) is 1-0 with one save and a 1.88 ERA for the Seattle Mariners' Pulaski farm club in the Rookie Classification Appalachian League. He's surrendered one earned run in his last 18 1/3 innings. Esquibel closed the game with two perfet innings on Friday as the Pulaski Mariners defeated Johnson City 6-2.
Marcus Hatley has allowed two earned runs in his last 9 1/3 innings, striking out nine during that time, for the Chicago Cubs' Boise farm club in the Class A short-season Northwest League.
Jeff Nettles is batting .251 with 22 doubles, 22 home runs and 69 RBIs for the Baltimore Orioles' Bowie farm club in the Class AA Eastern League. This, after Nettles went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk on Saturday vs. New Britain.
Ex-Padres farm hand Skip Adams, who played for Florida International after Palomar, is hitting .327 in Independent ball for Lincoln in the American Association of Independent Baseball.
Ex-Comets playing pro baseball, 2008 (as of Aug. 10)
All-PCC 2nd baseman Blackburn selects SDSU;
all 13 of Palomar's 2008 sophomores moving on
SAN MARCOS (7-24-08) -- Palomar All-Pacific Coast Conference second baseman Mitch Blackburn announced Thursday he has committed to attend and play for San Diego State University.
That means all 13 Palomar baseball sophomores are heading on to the four-year college level.
Seven of them -- Blackburn, Kegan Sharp (San Diego State), Guy Willeford (San Diego State), Tyler Hamilton (St. John's University), Jimmy Hoyt (Centenary College of Louisiana) and Ryle Parks (Centenary College of Louisiana) are on their way to NCAA Division I programs.
Blackburn, shown in photo sliding in at second base in the Comets' Southern California Regional victory over Santa Barbara City College (photo by Rick Rowell), started 46 of 47 games during the 2008 season as a sophomore.
He batted.354 with 11 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 25 RBIs. He had 16 successful sacrifice bunts, second on the all-time Palomar list, and stole seven bases on eight attempts.
Blackburn set a Palomar career record with 25 sacrifice bunts over two seasons.
Blackburn, out of Chaparral High School in Temecula, was Palomar's starting third baseman as a freshman before moving to second base for his sophomore season. He also played shortstop for the Comets.
He selected the Aztecs over two-time recent NAIA World Series qualifier Jamestown College of North Dakota and two other NCAA Division I schools, Murray State University and Lipscomb.
"I took my recruiting trip to Lipscomb (in Nashville, TN) over the weekend, and my dad and I talked after I got back and decided San Diego State was the best situation for me," Blackburn said on Thursday afternoon.
The list of Palomar baseball sophomores moving on to four-year college programs:
Padres ink Vincent, assign ex-Comet to Eugene;
Esquibel (Mariners), Preisdendorfer (Yanks) sign
18th-round draft pick Nick Vincent, whose 20 career wins rank second on the all-time Palomar list, signed with the San Diego Padres on Sunday and flew to Oregon later in the day. Vincent will begin his pro baseball career with the Eugene Emeralds in the Class A Northwest League.
Vincent (left), a right-hander who prepped at Ramona High School, was 4-0 with two saves and a 1.76 ERA for Long Beach State during the 2008 season. He allowed 19 hits in 30 2/3 innings, striking out 33 and walking five.
Meanwhile, ex-Palomar right-handed pitcher Andres Esquibel, drafted in the 38th round by Seattle out of the University of Kansas, has signed with the Mariners. He's been assigned to Peoria of the Rookie Classification Arizona League.
Former Comet left-handed pitcher Clint Preisendorfer of San Diego Christian College signed with the New York Yankees. He was drafted by the Yanks in the 42nd round. He's been assigned to Tampa of the Rookie Classification Gulf Coast League.
Former Palomar right-handed pitcher Keith Noe, who set a UC San Diego record with 14 saves as the Tritons' closer after transferring from Division I Coastal Carolina, has signed with the Brocton, Mass., Rox of the Can-Am League of Independent pro baseball. Noe was named to the 2008 Rawlings-ACBA NCAA Division II All-America third team. Noe was 4-1 for UCSD with a 2.19 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 37 innings.
Palomar center fielder Eric Rodriguez has committed to Culver-Stockton College, an NAIA school in Canton, MO.
CLICK HERE for John Maffei's North County Times article on the Padres drafting Nick Vincent in the 18th round
Comets, with just 13 players, take game to
10 innings before being eliminated by Cuesta 6-5
Palomar, with a 13-man roster for the best-of-three series, took No. 2 seed Cuesta to extra innings Saturday before dropping a 6-5 decision that eliminated the Comets from the state community college tournament's Southern California Regionals in San Luis Obispo..
The Comets, playing the best-of-three series without 16 players who were suspended for violating team policy, rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 10th after the Cougars had broken a 3-3 tie with three runs in the top of the inning as the visitors on their own field.
Anthony Renteria (left) contributed an RBI single for his third hit of the day in the inning and Mitch Ferguson, a relief pitcher who played all 19 innings in the series at second base, added a sacrifice fly.
Right fielder Matt Frankfurth (right) jumped up reached over the fence and robbed Cuesta's Quinton Cate of a home run in the eighth inning.
“I could not be more proud of what these kids did under these circumstances. I don’t know if I have ever been more proud of a group of kids since I’ve been here,” said Palomar coach Buck Taylor, in his third season as head coach and eighth season on the Comets staff.
Palomar finished the season 26-21 while Cuesta advanced to 32-13-1.
Cuesta 12, Palomar 5 -- One bad inning spelled disaster for the Comets as the Cougars scored nine times in the bottom of the second and won the first game of the series on Friday. Palomar took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Willeford and Lee drove in runs with a single and groundball to the right side, respectively, but couldn't hold on.
Rodriguez (2-for-4, double, walk), Jason Laws (double, single, sacrifice bunt) and Frankfurth (2-for-4, double) had multiple hits for the Comets.
ABOVE: Guy Willeford follows through on Tuesday against Santa Barbara City College. BELOW RIGHT: Matt Strom delivers pitch. -- (Photos by Hugh Gerhardt)
Strom (4-hitter, 10 strikeouts) throws shutout as
Comets top Santa Barbara 3-0 in playoff opener
Freshman left-hander Matt Strom pitched a four-hit, complete-game shutout on Tuesday as Palomar downed Santa Barbara City College 3-0 at Myers Field to begin the Southern California Community College baseball regionals.
Strom, who pitched out of the bullpen until late March, struck out 10 and walked none as he lowered his earned run average to 0.91 with 41 strikeouts and only seven walks over 39 2/3 innings.
Along the way, he became the first Palomar pitcher to throw a complete-game shutout since Nick Vincent, now at Long Beach State, beat Rio Hondo 1-0 in a Southern Cal regional game on May 13, 2006.
Mitch Blackburn (3-for-4, RBI) and Eric Rodriguez (3-for-4, stolen base) led the way offensively as Palomar moved on to a best-of-three series against Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo this weekend. The Comets and Cougars will play the first game Friday at 2 p.m., with the second game at 11 a.m. Saturday and a third game, if necessary, to follow.
Jake Onorato broke up a scoreless pitching duel between Strom and 6-foot-6 Vaqueros right-hander Blake McFarland with a sixth-inning sacrifice fly that scored Blackburn, who was aboard on a single.
Jason Laws, the next batter, singled to drive in Guy Willeford, also aboard on a single, with the second Palomar run. Blackburn singled in the Comets' third run in the seventh inning, driving in Rodriguez. Rodriguez had singled, stolen second and advanced to third on Tyler Saladino's second sacrifice bunt of the game.
Onorato, playing right field, went to the top of the bank in the first inning to catch a long fly ball by Aaron Bauman and rob him of an extra-base hit. Rodriguez made two outstanding catches, going up the bank in straight-away center to take an extra- base hit away from Andrew Leighty in the third inning and making a diving catch coming in on Brendan Pichettoe's blooper in the ninth.
"I don't worry about (the other team's) hitting the ball with our defense," Strom said.
Onorato singled for the Comets' other hit, rounding out an eight-hit attack off three Santa Barbara pitchers.
Palomar advanced to 26-19.
Five Palomar players make all-conference team
Five Palomar players made the All-Pacific Coast Conference baseball team selected Wednesday by conference coaches.
Named to the first team: sophomore second baseman Mitch Blackburn (left), freshman shortstop Tyler Saladino, sophomore center fielder Eric Rodriguez, sophomore first baseman Guy Willeford and sophomore relief pitcher Kegan Sharp.
ABOVE: Anthony Renteria bangs the ball in Thursday's victory over Imperial Valley. BELOW RIGHT: Eric Rodriguez singleds. -- (Photos by Rick Rowell) ORDER PHOTOS (password: cometball)
Playoffs next up for Palomar after Jew defeats
Arabs 4-1 with 8 strong innings, 7 strikeouts
Sam Jew pitched eight innings of one-run, six-hit ball Thursday as Palomar closed the regular season with a 4-1 victory over Imperial Valley at Myers Field.
Jew (3-1) struck out seven and walked none as the Comets advanced to 25-19, 18-7 to finish alone in second in the Pacific Coast Conference entering the Southern California playoffs which begin next week.
Tyler Saladino (3-for-5, two doubles, one run scored) and Mitch Blackburn (3-for-3, one walk, two runs scored) paced a 10-hit attack for Palomar. Colby Ho reached base for the 20th and 21st time this season as a hit batter.
Jimmy Hoyt came on to pitch shutout ball in the ninth inning, picking up his first save.
Palomar will either be in the play-in game on Tuesday or will open the postseason with a first-round best-of-three series next weekend (May 9-10). The seeding meeting for the Southern Cal playoffs is slated for Sunday.
Comets slug four home runs and Jenkins
goes 7 innings without earned run in 13-2 win
Winning pitcher Andrew Jenkins (left) didn't allow an earned run in seven innings and Palomar slugged four home runs in a 13-2 victory at Imperial Valley on Tuesday in the Comets' next-to-last game of the regular season.
Colby Ho (3-for-4, HR, two doubles, RBI, three runs scored, two walks) and Jason Laws (right, 3-for-6, RBI, double) paced a 17-hit attack as Palomar advanced to 24-19, 17-7 in the Pacific Coast Conference) with one game left in the regular season.
Ho and Kellen Lee both homered in the seventh inning. Ho's solo HR was his third of the season. Lee's three-run blast was his second. Mitch Blackburn and Anthony Renteria hit solo shots in the top of the ninth, No. 2 for Blackburn, No. 5 for Renteria.
PCC champion Jaguars overcome 3-1 deficit
in seventh inning to and turn back Palomar 9-5
Second-place Palomar led the Pacific Coast Conference champions 3-1 on Saturday when starting pitcher Matt Strom, who was sailing along with a four-hitter, tired quickly in the top of the seventh inning.
The Jaguars wound up scoring five runs in the inning off three Palomar pitchers, three of them unearned, and continued on to runa 9-5 victory that ran their record to 31-10, 21-2 in conference in the Comets' last home Saturday game of the season.
Mitch Blackburn (left) went 3-for-4, doubled and drove in a run for the Comets (23-19, 16-7).
Eric Rodriguez, Palomar's leading hitter on the season, was 1-for-2 with a double, was hit by a pitch, walked, was hit by a pitch and scored three runs. Reece Alnas went 1-for-2 with two sacrifice bunts and two runs scored.
Palomar's relief pitchers walked five batters.
Jew, and Sharp (record seventh save) pitch
Comets to 3-1 win over PCC champion Jaguars
Palomar went on the road and stunned Pacific Coast Conference champion Southwestern 3-1 on Thursday, beating conference pitching leader Daniel Stenavich.
The Comets' Sam Jew (left, 2-1) won a pitchers' duel from Stenavich, who came into the game with a 7-1 record and ERAs of 1.64 (overall) and 1.45 (conference).
Jew, a freshman right-hander from Kalamunda, Perth, Australia, stopped the Jaguars (30-10, 20-2) on eight hits and one run over the first eighth innings.
Sophomore right-hander Kegan Sharp pitched the ninth for save No. 7, moving to second on the all-time Palomar single-season list. The save also was Sharp's seventh in conference play, breaking the Palomar record of six that he had tied against Grossmont on April 19.
Jerry Stafford, who went on to pitch for San Diego State and in the Florida Marlins organization, had set the old mark in 1990. Chris Adams, who later pitched for the University of New Mexico, first tied it a year later.
After a lead-off walk, Sharp retired the final three Southwestern batters on a strikeout looking and two ground balls.
The Comets, trailing 1-0, scored three runs in the top of the sixth on Eric Rodriguez' triple to right field, Mitch Blackburn's sacrifice fly to center, Guy Willeford's fifth home run of the season over the rightfield fence and a Southwestern error. Willeford and Anthony Renteria each went 2-for-4. Rodriguez went 2-for-5.
Ferguson played the whole game at second base and had the Comets' first hit of the game off Stenavich, an opposite-field single with two out in the third inning. Ferguson had two putouts and seven assists. He made a diving stop to throw out Southwestern clean-up hitter Edgar Molina in the third inning and turned a line drive by Taylor Comford into a fourth-inning double play -- throwing to first to double off the Jaguars' Ryan Feriss. Laws played the entire game at third and had a putout and three assists.
The Comets (23-18, 16-6) locked up undisputed second place with the victory. The two teams will play again on Saturday at noon at Myers Field.
Tyler Saladino slides in safely for Comets in Tuesday's game with Grossmont. (Photo by Hugh Gerhardt)
Saladino remains hot by going 3-for-4 with a
home run and double but Palomar tumbles
Tyler Saladino went 3-for-4, slugged his fourth home run, doubled and reached base as a hit batter on Tuesday, but second-place Palomar dropped a 5-2 Pacific Coast Conference decision to third-place Grossmont at Myers Field.
The Comets had only two runs to show for 12 hits as they dropped to 22-18 on the season, 15-6 in conference going into a two-game series with newly-crowned PCC champion Southwestern on Thursday at Southwestern and Saturday at home.
Palomar leads Grossmont by four games with four to play, so the Comets' "magic number" remains at one -- one Palomar victory or one Grossmont loss -- to clinch second place outright. The Comets have already wrapped up the conference's No. 2 playoff berth by winning their season series from Grossmont four games to one.
Kellen Lee went 2-for-4 with a double and a single for Palomar. The Comets, trailing 5-0, scored their first run in the eighth inning on a walk to Colby Ho, pinch-hitter Jake Onorato's fielder's choice and pinch-hitter Reece Alnas' RBI single to up the middle. Saladino's solo homer over the rightfield fence to lead off the bottom of the ninth made the final score 5-2.
Eric Rodriguez went up the bank in center field to make two spectacular catches against the fence for Palomar.
Over Palomar's last three games -- victories over San Diego Mesa and Grossmont and Tuesday's loss to the Griffins -- Saladino is 6-for-9 with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs, five runs scored, three walks and a hit-by-pitch.
Strom (seven innings, three hits, no runs)
sets stage as Comets beat Grossmont on road
Matt Strom (left), Palomar's most effective relief pitcher, finally got a start on Saturday. You can bet the farm it will not be his last.
The freshman left-hander, working ahead of almost every hitter he faced, pitched seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball, striking out five and walking none, in an 11-6 Pacific Coast Conference victory over host Grossmont. He threw 87 pitches
The Griffins, battling back from an 8-0 deficit after Strom left the game, scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull to within two runs at 8-6. But freshman shortstop Tyler Saladino (right) slugged a three-run home run over the rightfield fence in the top of the ninth to put the game out of reach.
Palomar had stretched a 4-0 lead to 8-0 in the top of the eighth, when Guy Willeford slugged a three-run home run to right. Mitch Blackburn preceded Willeford's HR with an RBI single earlier in the inning. Willeford had four RBIs for the day.
Kegan Sharp came on to get the Comets out of the eighth inning, tacked on a scoreless ninth and notched his sixth save.
Strom, pitching this season for the first time since he threw two no-hitters for Temecula Valley High School in 2003, now has an ERA of 0.73 on the season, with 26 strikeouts and six walks in 24 2/3 innings. In conference, he's 1-1 with an ERA of 0.50, and 17 strikeouts and four walks in 16 innings.
His previous 13 appearances had all been in relief.
The second-place Comets (22-17, 15-5) now lead the third-place Griffins (17-18, 10-10) by five games with five to play.
TOP PHOTO: Reece Alnas (No. 1) receives congratulations from first-base coach Rich Graves after his pinch-hit single in the bottom of the eighth. BELOW: Colby Ho gets down suicide squeeze bunt to score Mitch Blackburn, also in the eighth. (Photos by Hugh Gerhardt)
Saladino's 3-run double in 8th defeats Mesa;
Jew gets win with 5 1/3 scoreless relief innings
Tyler Saladino's bases-loaded double in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted Palomar to a come-from-behind, 8-4 Pacific Coast Conference baseball win over San Diego Mesa on Thursday at Myers Field.
The Comets, who trailed early 4-0, scored five times in the inning to give freshman right-handed Australian Sam Jew (left), who threw 5 1/3 innings of shutout ball, the pitching win in relief.
With Palomar down 4-3, Jason Laws led off the inning with a single to left and pinch-runner beat the throw to second on Matt Frankfurth's sacrifice fielder's choice. Eric Rodriguez singled on a picture-perfect bunt just inside the third-base line, when Mesa pitcher Blake Gallacher had no chance to throw out Rodriguez and had to eat the ball.
Saladino followed with his three-run double, giving the Comets a 6-4 lead. Saladino scored when Mitch Blackburn was safe at second on a sacrifice bunt an an error. Guy Willeford bunted Blackburn to third, he came home on Colby Ho's suicide squeeze bunt.
Kegan Sharp then came on to shut out the Olympians in the top of the ninth.
Saladino went 2-for-3 with the double, a walk, two runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base. He also was hit by a pitch.
Palomar advances to 14-5 in conference, 21-17 on the season, and solidified its hold on second place when Grossmont lost to San Diego City College in extra innings.
Shore's 7-inning, 7-strikeout, 1-earned run
performance goes for naught in a 4-3 defeat
Freshman right-hander Bobby Shore (left) pitched four-hit ball over seven innings, surrendering one earned run and leaving the game with a 3-2 lead.
But Shore, who struck out seven and walked two, wound up with a non-decision to show for his efforts as the visiting Comets couldn't hold on against the Olympians.
Palomar fell to 20-17 on the season, 13-5 in th Pacific Coast Conference.
Onorato's two-run double in ninth inning leaves
San Diego City College standing in 10-9 win
Jake Onorato's (left) two-run double on a 3-2 count in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday drove in the tying and winning runs and gave Palomar a wild 10-9 victory over San Diego City College at Myers Field.
The Knights, taking advantage of seven Palomar errors in possibly the most sloppy game the Comets have played all season, rallied from an 8-2 deficit to take a 9-8 lead in the top of the eighth,.
Guy Willeford then led off the bottom of the ninth by drawing a walk.
Jared Jones bunted pinch-runner Reece Alnas to second and Anthony Renteria (right), working City College reliever Matt Veltmann deep into the count, was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second.
That brought up Onorato, who hit a towering drive into the right-centerfield gap to score Alnas and Renteria and win the game.
Renteria hit a long, high two-run home run over the rightfield fence in the fifth inning for the Comets (20-16, 13-4 Pacific Coast Conference). On the day, he also had a sacrifice bunt and scored three runs.
Kegan Sharp, the fifth Palomar pitcher of the afternoon, came on with two outs in the eighth inning and picked up the victory after Palomar's ninth-inning rally.
Palomar starter Joe Cates got shaky defensive support as he pitched five-hit ball over the first six innings and allowed two runs, both unearned. He left the game with an 8-2 lead that the Knights (14-15, 6-11) erased with a six-run eighth inning.
Shore, Strom and Sharp combine to pitch
Comets to 6-2 win vs. San Diego City College
Shore pitched five-hit ball over 5 2/3 innings. Strom gave up only a bloop hit down he rightfield line, shutting out the Knights over 2 1/3 innings. Sharp came on to pitch the ninth, giving up a leadoff single and then getting three straight outs, two on strikeouts.
Mitch Blackburn paced a 10-hit attack for the Comets (19-16, 12-4 Pacific Coast Conference) by going 3-for-5 with two doubles and a bunt single. Tyler Saladino (2-for-5, double, two RBIs), Jason Laws (2-for-4, RBI) and Eric Rodriguez (2-for-3, double) also had multiple hits.
The second-place Comets trail first-place Southwestern, which fell behind 9-1 but came back to beat San Diego Mesa 10-9, by three games with nine to play.
The Knights are 14-14, 6-10.
Willeford (4-4), Renteria (home run, 4 RBIs)
lead the way in 14-2 victory over Imperial Valley
Guy Willeford (left) went 4-for-4, doubled, was hit by a pitch, scored a run and drove in three Saturday as Palomar clubbed Imperial Valley 14-2 at Myers Field.
In his last eight at-bats, the sophomore first baseman from Ramona High School has gone 8-for-8. He has 19 hits in his last 28 at-bats with a home run, four doubles, eight RBIs and a .929 slugging percentage during that span.
Willeford becomes the first Palomar player to hit safely in eight straight at-bats since Kyle Floquet (who later played at San Diego State) in 2001.
Anthony Renteria (above right) went 2-for-4 with his third home run, a two-run shot over the right-field fence in the fifth inning, and drove in four runs.
Jason Laws was 2-for-3 with a double, a sacrifice fly, a walk, two runs scored and three RBIs. Tyler Saladino went 2-for-3 with two doubles, a sacrifice fly, three runs scored a stolen base and an RBI. Eric Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a double, and RBI and two steals.
Jenkins pitched five shutout innings to begin the game. He surrendered two runs in the sixth and wound up allowing five hits while striking out five and walking none. Ferreira, Strom and Haynal each threw a shutout inning. Strom, who has an 0.60 ERA for the season (0.00 in conference) struck out two.
Palomar advanced to 18-16 on the season, 11-4 in the conference and remain in second place.
Hoyt, Ferguson pitch Comets past Arabs;
Willeford still on fire, hitting .615 last 26 AB's
Jimmy Hoyt (2-2) pitched seven-hit ball over seven innings, retiring the last 13 batters he faced, and Mitch Ferguson (left) came in to throw two perfect innings with three strikeouts as Palomar downed host Imperial Valley 7-2 in baseball Thursday.
Kellen Lee and Guy Willeford (right) came up big at the plate for Palomar (17-16 overall, 10-4 in conference). Lee went 2-for-4 with a triple, double and four RBIs. Willeford was 3-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBIs and is 16-for-27 for his last seven games.
Palomar catcher Kellen Lee unsuccessfully tries to stop . -- (Photo by Hugh Gerhardt)
Comets find backs to the wall in PCC race
after dropping 7-2 decision to Southwestern
Second-place Palomar finds itself with its collective backs to the wall in the race for the Pacific Coast Conference championship after falling to first-place Southwestern 7-2 on Tuesday at Myers Field.
With Southwestern (12-1) clinching the conference's top-seed tie-breaker by taking a 3-0 lead in the teams' five-game series, the 9-4 Comets have to make up four games on the Jaguars with just 12 to play or their season is very likely over.
The Comets fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first before Bobby Shore came on in relief to begin the second and pitched four-hit, one-run ball over six innings.
Palomar closed a 4-0 deficit to 4-2 but that was as sloce as the Comets could get.
Second baseman Mitch Blackburn made a diving stop of Kenneth Miramontes' ground ball in the top of the seventh and threw him out at first, robbing k him of a hit and saving a run.
The Jaguars move to 21-8 overall. The Comets fall to 16-16.
Saladino's game-winning hit, Rodriguez' catch,
Onorato's HR, Sharp's 5th save lift Comets 9-8
Palomar ran its winning streak to four games on Thursday and set up a showdown for the Pacific Coast Conference lead with Southwestern in the process.
The Comets defeated host Grossmont 9-8 on Tyler Saladino's (left) check-swing, two-run single to left field with two out in the ninth inning. They pulled to within a game of first-place Southwestern entering a two-game series with the Jaguars.
Kegan Sharp came on in the ninth inning to notch his fifth save, giving Jack Davidson the pitching win, and a leaping Eric Rodriguez reached over the centerfield fence in the second inning to rob the Griffins' Sequoyah Stonecipher of a two-run home run.
Saladino went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, a run scored and three RBIs for the Comets. Jake Onorato (right) went 2-for-4 with a three-run home run to left field in the sixth inning and a stolen base.
Davidson, the fifth of six Palomar pitchers, went one-third of an inning to even his win-loss record at 2-2. Shawn Sanford also was effective in relief, giving up one hit in 2 1/3 innings.
The Comets trailed 7-6 entering the top of the ninth.
Rodriguez, who had doubled and scored the game's first run on Jarend Jones' sacrifice fly in the first, got the inning started by being hit by a pitch by losing pitcher Robert Stevens.
Mitch Blackburn moved Rodriguez to second with his 11th sacrifice bunt of the season. Jones walked and Reece Alnas came in to run for him. Guy Willeford moved the runners to second and third with a groundball to the right side, setting the stage for Saladino's game-winner.
Sharp entered the game in the bottom of the ninth and recorded his second save in three days by pitching a no-hit, scoreless inning.
Stonecipher and Travis Taijeron both homered for Grossmont. The Comets advanced to 16-14, 9-2 in conference while the Griffs are 13-13, 6-5.
Cates' performance goes for naught in 10-inning heartbreaker
Visiting Palomar wasted an outstanding pitching performance from starter Joe Cates (left) on Saturday as the Comets dropped a 3-2 showdown against Southwestern for the Pacific Coast Conference lead.
Cates allowed one run on three hits over six innings before leaving the game with a 2-1 lead.
The Jaguars lead the second-place Comets by two games with 13 conference games left.
Palomar will try to close back to within in game of the conference lead when the two teams meet again at Myers Field at 2 p.m.
TOP: Guy Willeford scores on Jason Laws' single in the bottom of the first s Grossmont catcher Travis Taijeron retrieves throw from left field. (Photo by Hugh Cox). BELOW LEFT: Cameron Aspaas, who ran his conference win-loss record to 4-0, delivers pitch. (Photo by Rick Rowell) ORDER PHOTOS (password: cometball)
Comets down Griffins 7-5, move to one game
of PCC lead after City stuns Southwestern
Second-place Palomar moved to within one game of the Pacific Coast Conference baseball lead on Tuesday at Myers Field
The Comets defeated third-place Grossmont 7-5 while San Diego City College upset first-place Southwestern 15-7.
Palomar jumped out to a 4-1 lead on six first-inning hits and led the whole way. Jason Laws singled and drove in two runs.
Cameron Aspaas pitched the first six innings to extend his win-loss record to 4-2 on the season, 4-0 in the conference. Matt Strom, who threw 2 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run, and Kegan Sharp, who came in to get the last two outs, also pitched effectively. Sharp recorded his fourth save.
Comets avenge loss to San Bernardino Valley
as they pound Glendale tourney champs 13-5
Palomar avenged an early-season non-conference loss Friday as the Comets traveled to Fiscalini Field in San Bernardino and knocked off San Bernardino Valley 13-5.
The Wolverines won the Glendale Tournament earlier in the week, going undefeated.
Tyler Saladino (left, 4-for-4, double, three RBIs, walk, four steals) and Jarend Jones (right, 3-for-6, two doubles, three RBIs) paced a 15-hit attack for the Comets.
Guy Willeford went 2-for-3 with his third home run of the season, a two-run shot over the leftfield fence in the third inning. Brian Joyce was 2-for-3 with a double.
Freshman right-hander Mitch Ferguson was the most effective of five Palomar pitchers who combined on a six-hitter. He came on with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning and got the Comets out of the inning without a run as he retired San Bernardino's No. 5 and No. 6 hitters on a pop-up and strikeout.
Ferguson struck out three batters in 1 2/3 innings.
The Comets, leading 3-2, scored four runs in the fifth inning and blew the game wide open with five runs in the top of the seventh.
Palomar is 14-14 while San Bernardino fell to 14-11.
Eric Rodriguez gets down sacrifice bunt in the fourth inning in 10-4 win over San Joaquin Delta. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt
Palomar gets back on track, shells Delta 10-4
to conclude Comet-Olympian Easter Series
Mitch Blackburn (left) went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs, Anthony Renteria slugged his second home run in three days and Palomar broke out of its recent funk Thursday at Myers Field.
The Comets, visitors on their own field, pounded out 13 hits and clubbed San Joaquin Delta from Stockton 10-4.
Palomar jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the third after Tyler Saladino and Eric Rodriguez beat out consecutive bunts to the left side of the infield to begin the inning. Blackburn, Colby Ho and Jason Laws also singled as the Comets sent nine batters to the plate.
The Comets added two runs in the fourth inning and tacked on a run in the top of the ninth on Renteria's towering home run over the right-center field fence.
Guy Willeford (2-for-5, two RBIs), Saladino (2-for-4, three runs scored) and Ho (2-for-4) also had multiple-hit performances,
Freshman right-hander Bobby Shore advanced to 3-1 on the season as he pitched 5 1/3 innings of five-hit ball. Freshman left-hander Shawn Sanford (2 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball) and Mitch Ferguson turned in strong relief efforts.
Ferguson got the Comets out of a ninth-inning jam when he came in with the bases loaded and one out and got the Mustangs' Alex Zunini to hit into a double play from Blackburn, who had moved from second to shortstop, to second baseman Nico Chesterton to Willeford at first.
Palomar will visit San Bernardino Valley Friday at 2 p.m. in a non-conference make-up game before returning to Pacific Coast Conference action on Tuesday at Grossmont.
Vincent closes vs. USC with 2 perfect innings;
Esquibel notches save for Kansas vs. Texas
Ex-Palomar pitcher Nick Vincent continued to dominate as Long Beach State's closer on Sunday.
Vincent (left) closed out the game with two perfect innings in a 16-9 win over USC at Blair Field in Long Beach...
Vincent, who struck out three Trojans, still owns an ERA of 0.00 with a 3-0 record and a save for the Dirtbags (12-3).
Long Beach, which is ranked No. 7 in the nation by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America, will play a three-games series against UCLA this upcoming weekend, then will host Harvard on Monday, March 24.
More Palomar baseball alumni news:
Palomar falls in Easter Series despite strong
performances by starter Cates, reliever Strom
Palomar got 5 1/3 strong innings from right-handed starting pitcher Joe Cates and three outstanding relief innings from freshman left-hander Matt Strom on Wednesday.
But it wasn't enough as Orange Coast broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the ninth and went on to win 5-1 at Myers Field in the Comet-Olympian Easter Series.
Cates began the game by holding Coast to one run in 5 1/3 innings before Strom came on with runners at second and third and two out in the sixth and struck out the Pirates' No. 5 hitter.with runners at second and third in the sixth.
Strom, who left with the game with one out in the ninth and the score tied 1-1, struck out five and walked none. He was charged with his first run of the season in eight relief appearances, which scored after he came out, and was tagged with a hard-luck loss..
Mitch Blackburn doubled to lead off the fourth inning and gave the Comets a 1-0 lead on Jarend Jones' suicide squeeze bunt. Tyler Saladino and Jake Onerato also doubled for Palomar.
The Comets,will host San Joaquin Delta to conclude the Easter Classic on Thursday at 10 a.m.
Mt. San Jacinto 7, Palomar 4 -- The Comets wasted 3 2/3 strong relief innings from Andrew Jenkins and a 12-hit offensive performance at the plate in its first game of the day in the day.
Jenkins (above left, photo by Hugh Gerhardt), scattered three hits, surrendered one run and struck out three.
Colby Ho went 2-for-3 for Palomar with two doubles, the second on a sun ball, and an RBI. Anthony Renteria and Reece Alnas also had two hits apiece.
The Comets stranded 11 runners, eight in scoring position.
Third baseman Colby Ho throws to second past Mt. San Jacinto base-runner Jeff Bunch to begin third-inning double play on Tuesday. (Photo by Hugh Gerhardt)
Palomar pulls off first triple play since 1997 and
four double plays but falls 5-3 in Easter Series
Palomar pulled off its first triple play in 11 years on Tuesday -- and also turned four double plays -- but dropped a 5-3 decision to Mt. San Jacinto at Myers Field.
The game began action in the Comet-Olympian Easter Series, which continues Wednesday with Palomar hosting Orange Coast at 10 a.m. and Mt. San Jacinto again at 2 p.m.
The triple play went from first baseman Jarend Jones to second baseman Mitch Blackburn to shortstop Tyler Saladino. Jones caught Danny Aradas' soft line drive to begin the play and the Comets doubled and tripled two Mt. San Jacinto runners, who were going on the play, off base.
Freshman designated hitter Anthony Renteria (above left) slugged a solo home run over the right-field fence with one out in the fourth inning. That tied the game at 3-3 but Palomar could not score again.
Eric Rodriguez contributed an RBI single, and Austin Haynal pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Comets. The Eagles broke the tie in the eighth inning after freshman left-hander Matt Strom, brought in to face a left-handed hitter, coaxed a high pop-up down the right-field line. No one could get to the ball, and two runs wound up scoring on the play.
Palomar (12-12) left seven runners in scoring position. Mt. San Jacinto advanced to 13-9-1.
ABOVE: Jack Davidson (left) and Matt Frankfurth both pitched effectively against Mesa on Thursday. BELOW LEFT: Colby Ho heads home with Palomar's second run in the first inning. Photos by Rick Rowell ORDER PHOTOS (password: cometball)
Comets suffer second loss of season in PCC,
await 5-game week that begins with tourney
Palomar sustained its second Pacific Coast Conference loss of the season on Thursday when the Comets fell 5-2 at home to San Diego Mesa.
The Comets couldn't hold an early lead after going in front 2-1 in the bottom of the first inning on Eric Rodriguez' single, a wild pitch, a fielder's choice, Colby Ho's getting hit by a pitch, Jarend Jones' single to drive in Rodriguez and an error on Mesa's right fielder that allowed Ho to score on the play.
Sean Sanford doubled for Palomar's only extra base hit and the Comets managed only four hits, all in the first four innings.
Ho was hit by pitches for the 10th and 11th times this season.
Matt Frankfurth, Jack Davidson and Tyler Hamilton all had effective short stints in relief. Hamilton came on to retire the Olympians 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth.
The Comets fell to 12-11 on the season and 7-2 in conference play. Mesa 5-13, 3-6.
Palomar has a bye in the conference on Saturday will play five games next week -- four in the Comet-Olympian Easter Series on Tuesday through Thursday and as non-conference rain make-up at San Bernardino Valley on Friday.
Rodriguez goes 5-for-6 as Comets blast Mesa
in 13-4 rout for seventh win in last eight games
Eric Rodriguez (left) went 5-for-6, doubled three times, scored a run and drove in another run as visiting Palomar pounded out 14 his and routed San Diego Mesa 13-4 on Tuesday.
The Comets ran their win streak to four games and won for the seventh time in their last eight games.
Tyler Saladino (2-for-5, double, two RBIs) also had a multiple-hit game for Palomar (12-10, 7-1 in the Pacific Coast Conference). Mitch Blackburn doubled, drove in two runs, contributed a sacrifice fly and a successful suicide squeeze bunt and walked.
The Comets used back-to-back suicide squeezes, one of them on which Rodriguez reached base on a single, to take a 4-0 lead in the second inning. They led the rest of the way.
Guy Willeford (right) hit a two-run home run that bounced off Mesa right fielder Anthony Carruesco's glove over the fence in the fifth inning.
Cameron Aspaas, the first of five Palomar pitchers, gave up one earned run and scattered four hits in six innings to pick up his third straight win.
ABOVE LEFT: Mitch Ferguson pitches in sixth inning. RIGHT: Coach Buck Taylor. BELOW LEFT: Knights' Alex Cann tries to run over Palomar catcher Kellen Lee in the fifth inning. Lee kept his feet, held onto the ball and Cann was ejected. Photos by Rick Rowell ORDER PHOTOS (password: cometball)
Palomar scores five runs in bottom of the 7th,
tops City 7-4 to continued its winning ways
The Palomar baseball team remained hot at Myers Field on Thursday, scoring five times in the bottom of the seventh to beat San Diego City College 7-4.
The Comets won for the fifth time in their last six games and advanced ;to 5-1 in the Pacific Coast Conference (10-10 overall).
With the Knights on top 3-2, Colby Ho tied the game with an opposite-field RBI single to right. Ho gave Palomar Ho gave the Comets the lead when he scored on a passed ball, and Brian Joyce made it 7-3 with a three-run double to left field.
Ho, a sophomore third baseman from Honolulu who has already signed with the University of Hawaii, went 3-for 4 with two RBIs and also reached base on a walk and as a hit batter.
Along the way, Ho raised his batting average to .455 on the season and .524 in six PCC games, both to lead the conference.
Joyce also had a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-4 with the double and three RBIs. Mitch Blackburn had a triple, Shawn Sanford doubled and Jarend Jones, Eric Rodgiruez and Matt Frankfurth added singles.
The Comets turned three traditional double plays, and Sanford gunned down Alex Cann, trying to score on a fly ball to right, on a throw to catcher Kellen Lee in the sixth. Cann unsuccessfully tried to run Lee over on the play and was ejected.
Pitchers Bobby Shore, Mitch Ferguson, winner Jack Davidson and Kegan Sharp scattered nine City College hits. Shore struck out five in 5 1/3 innings, and Sharp came on with two on and none out in the eighth and threw two innings of hitless, scoreless ball.
Sharp gets second save in two games as Comets beat Knights 4-2
Sophomore right-hander Kegan Sharp (left) earned his second save in two games on Saturday by shutting out San Diego City College over the final 1 1/3 innings as the Comets won 4-2 at Morley Field in San Diego. He had two big strikeouts.
His performance gave Tyler Hamilton, the second of six Palomar pitchers, the victory as the Comets won for the sixth time in their last seven games.
Sharp came into the game with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the eighth inning and slammed the door on the Knights by striking out Allen Coons..
Colby Ho and Mitch Blackburn had two hits each to pace a 10-hit attack for Palomar off eight City College pitchers.
Ho singled twice, walked, reached base as a hit batter and drove in a run as he went 2-for-3. Blackburn singled twice in four at bats and also had a sacrifice fly and a stolen base.
Eric Rodriguez, Jarend Jones, Shawn Sanford, Guy Willeford, and Jason Laws also hit safely.
The Comets, who have won six of their last seven games, advanced to 11-10 on the season, 6-1 in conference, while the Knights fell to 10-9, 1-6 in conference..
Aspaas strikes out 12, walks none over first
eight innings and Comets roll up Arabs 9-0
Sophomore right-hander Cameron Aspaas (left) pitched scoreless, five-hit over the first eight innings, striking out 12 and walking 0. He struck out six batters in a row at one point.
Aspaas' performance helped the Comets advance to 4-1 in the Pacific Coast Conference race at the conclusion of the first of five rounds.
Aspaas and Austin Haynal, who threw the ninth inning, teamed to blank the Arabs with 14 strikeouts and 0 walks.
Jason Laws (right, 2-for-3, double, walk, hit by pitch, RBI) and Colby Ho (2-3, walk, hit by pitch, two runs scored) had multiple hits to pace Palomar's 10-hit attack.
Jarend Jones had a double, two sacrifice flies and two RBIs). Mitch Blackburn, Adam Pickens, Brian Joyce, Jake Onarato and Blaine Washington also hit safely.
LEFT: Second baseman Mitch Blackburn tags out Grossmont's Clifton Thomas, who was trying to steal, on throw from catcher Jason Laws in the second inning. ABOVE RIGHT: Reliever Mitch Ferguson deals.
ABOVE LEFT: Comets coach Buck Taylor. RIGHT: Starter and winner Bobby Shore gets high five from teammates. BELOW LEFT: Matt Frankfurth is hit by a pitch in the top of the second. Photos by Rick Rowell ORDER PHOTOS (password: cometball)
Comets run conference record to 3-0 as they
down Grossmont 8-6 on road; Saladino homers
As the weather has heated up, so have the Palomar Comets.
Palomar advanced to 3-0 in the Pacific Coast Conference by beating Grossmont on the road Thursday afternoon 8-6.
It was the Comets' third conference victory in three days.
Tyler Saladino (2-for-3, home run, two RBIs), Jake Onarato (2-4, double, RBI), Colby Ho (2-4, RBI), Brian Joyce (2-4, RBI) and Eric Rodriguez (2-5) had multiple-hit games for the Comets.
Jarend Jones drove in three runs with a single and a sacrifice fly.
Starter and winner Bobby Shore struck out seven in five innings to get the pitching win with effective relief help from Jack Davidson, Matt Strom, Mitch Ferguson and Kegan Sharp.
Sharp got the save.
Palomar again gets good relief but falls in battle of PCC leaders
Palomar got 3 2/3 innings of relief without an earned run by Joe Cates, 2 1/3 shutout innings from Matt Strom, a scoreless inning from Tyler Hamilton and a 1-2-3, three-stikeout inning from Jack Hamilton in the ninth inning Saturday at Myers Field..
But the Comets lost to Southwestern 9-2 in a battle of Pacific Coast Conference co-leaders.
The Jaguars scored six runs in the top of the first with the aid of three walks, a hit batter and a key throwing error and held off the Comets.With the win, Southwestern moved to 4-0 in the conference, while Palomar dropped to 3-1.
Jarend Jones and Kellen Lee each had two singles for the Comets (7-1 overall). Matt Frankfurth singled in Lee, on base on a single, for Palomar's first run in the third inning. Tyler Saladino doubled in Jake Onarato, aboard on a walk, with run No. 2 in the fifth.
Southwestern is 10-7 overall.
Rodriguez goes 4-for-5, drives in 3 runs
and relievers stand out in 15-6 win over City
Tyler Hamilton's (left) and Andrew Jenkins' (right) superb relief pitching and Eric Rodriguez' 4-for-5 offensive performance led Palomar to its second straight Pacific Coast Conference win without a loss on Wednesday.
The Comets overcame an early 1-0 deficit by scoring eight runs in the second inning and going on to rout San Diego City College 15-6 at Morley Field in Balboa Park.
Hamilton and Jenkins combined to shut out the Knights on three hits over the final 5 1/3 innings. Hamilton gave up two hits in 3 1/3 innings and Jenkins surrendered one hit over the final two innings.
Rodguez singled four times, scored two runs, drove in three and also reached base as a hit batter. Mitch Blackburn (2-for-4, triple, three runs scored, two RBI's, two walks) and Colby Ho (2-for-4, sacrifice fly, three RBI's) also had multiple hits as Palomar banged out 14 hits off three City College pitchers.
Brian Joyce had a two-run single, Jake Onerado doubled in a run, Tyler Saladino contributed RBIs on a bases-loaded walk and a single. Kellen Lee, Matt Frankfurth and Adams Pickens also hit safely.
ABOVE LEFT: Third baseman Colby Ho fields ball he threw to first to get Mesa's for the second out of the sixth inning. ABOVE RIGHT: Second baseman Mitch Blackburn turns a ninth-inning double play as the Olympians' Nick Emigh slides in at second. BELOW RIGHT: First baseman Matt Frankfurth catches ball as Mesa's Anthony Lopez dives back to bag. BELOW LEFT: Sean Sanford, who went 2-for-4, drives the ball. Photos by Rick Rowell ORDER PHOTOS (password: cometball)
Aspaas pitches Palomar to 5-2 win over Mesa
in PCC opener; Rodriguez makes 2 big catches
A grinding pre-season schedule and a lot of early experimentation with 33 players on a freshman-dominated roster paid off for Palomar on Tuesday in its Pacific Coast Conference opener at Myers Field
Sophomore right-hander Cameron Aspaas was dominating over eight innings and the Comets scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth to down defending conference champion San Diego Mesa 5-2.
Aspass pitched three-hit, one-run ball over the first eight innings, striking out eight, walking none and retiring the last 14 batters he faced.
Mitch Blackburn drove in the winning run with an eighth-inning single. The inning also featured an RBI squeeze bunt by Jarend Jones, a two-run double by Shawn Sanford and singles by Eric Rodriguez and Colby Ho.
Rodriguez made two running catches at the top of the bank in center field, in the first inning to rob the Olympians Eli Tupuloa of an extra-base hit and in the top of the ninth to rob Kenny Mickens for the last out of the game. Palomar also turned double plays in the third and ninth innings -- the first from Blackburn at second to shortstop Tyler Saladino to first baseman Matt Frankfurth and the second from Saladino to Blackburn to Frankfurth.
Rodriguez made two running catches at the top of the bank in center field, in the first inning to rob the Olympians Eli Tupuloa of an extra-base hit and in the top of the ninth to rob Kenny Mickens for the last out of the game. Palomar also turned double plays in the third and ninth innings -- the first from Blackburn at second to shortstop Tyler Saladino to first baseman Matt Frankfurth and the second from Saladino to Blackburn to Frankfurth.
Palomar drops tough 5-4 decision against
a 12-2-1 Orange Coast squad on the road
While visiting Palomar was trying to issue him an intentional walk in the bottom of the ninth, the Pirates’ Wes Kartch reached out and hit the ball for a game-winning sacrifice fly in a 5-4 victory over the Comets on Tuesday at Orange Coast's Pickens Field.
The play gave Brent Wallach, son of former Expos, Dodgers and Angels 17-year Major League veteran Tim Wallach, his first community college victory to go along with seven saves.
Andrew Jenkins (left) pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit relief for Palomar. Mitch Ferguson pitched 2 2/3 innings of one-run, wo-hit ball.
Brian Joyce ((right, 2-for-4, double) and Mitch Blackburn (2-for-4, RBI, two steals) led the Comets offensively. Tyler Saladino singled to drive in a run, walked twice and stole a base. Jake Orarato had a single and a steal.
.Orange Coast advanced to 12-2-1 with the non-conference win. Palomar is 5-9.
Ho (3-for-5, homer, 3 RBI's), Comets bang out
10 hits, bury Rio Hondo 11-1 in tourney finale
Red-hot third baseman Colby Ho (left) had another big day Saturday as he helped lead Palomar to an 11-1 win over Rio Hondo at Myers Field.
The sophomore third baseman from Honolulu, who has signed the the University of Hawaii, went 3-for-5 with his second home run in two days, three RBI's and a walk as Palomar banged out 15 hits on the final day of the Comet Invitational. at Myers Field
Guy Willeford (3-for-5, double, three RBIs), Blaine Washington (right, 2--for-3, double, sacrifice bunt) and Eric Rodriguez (2-for-3, RBI) also had multiple hits for the Comets. Jarend Jones had a single and a sacrifice fly, driving in two runs, Jake Onarato had a double and a sacrifice bunt, Mitch Blackburn contributed a single, two sacrifice bunts (one on a success squeeze), Jason Laws and Brian Joyce also hit safely.
Shawn Sanford, the second of five Palomar pitchers, threw 1 1/3 innings ofscoreless ball to pick up the win. Jimmy Hoyt, Sanford,. Matt Ferreira, Tyler Hamilton and Jack Davidson combined on a six-hitter. The Comets are 4-8.
Ho goes 5-for-8, homers and drives in 5 runs
as Comets split pair after tournament is moved
Palomar third baseman Colby Ho (left) went 5-for-8, slugged a home run, doubled twice, drove in four runs, scored four runs and reached base twice as a hit batter on Friday.
Ho's performance helped Palomar split a pair of games in the Comet Invitational, which was moved to Mt. SAC for a day because of wet field conditions at Palomar.
The Comets, who downed Mt. SAC 9-4 and dropped a close one 7-5 to Los Angeles Pierce, will host Rio Hondo on Saturday at 2 p.m. to close out the tournament.
Palomar 9, Mt. SAC 4 -- Ho was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs. Guy Willeford went 2-fo-4 with an RBI and Mitch Blackburn also was 2-for-4 as the Comets banged out 11 hits. Brian Joyce hit a solo home run in the second inning to break a 1-1 tie and Palomar led 9-2 at one point. Brandon Joyce slugged a solo home run. Pitchers Bobby Shore, winner Matt Frankfurth (right) and Kegan Sharp turned in a game-deciding performance for Palomar. Frankfurth advanced to 2-0.
Los Angeles Pierce 7, Palomar 5 -- The Brahmas scored four runs in the seventh inning under the lights to overcome a dominant showing by pitcher Sam Jew, who shut them out for six innings before suddenly tiring in the seventh. The Comets rallied for a run in the sixth inning, one in the seventh and two in the eighth to tie the game 5-5 before falling. Ho went 3-for-4 with a solo home run. Jarend Jones also was 3-for-4 and had a two-run double. Eric Rodriguez went 2-for-5. Austin Haynal, the fourth of five Palomar pitchers, was a hard-luck loser as Pierce, where Barry Zito pitched before moving on to USC and the Major Leagues, scored two runs in the top of the ninth. The Bhramas advanced to 7-4 while the Comets fell to 4-8.
Ferguson's strong starting performance goes
for naught as Comets drop tough one on road
For the second day in a row, the Comets wasted a strong showing by their starting pitcher as freshman right-hander Mitch Ferguson threw 6 1/3 innings of four-hit ball in a 5-3 non-conference loss at Mt. San Jacinto..
Ferguson retired 11 batters in a row at one point.
Mitch Blackburn (left) went 2-for-4 for Palomar (3-7) with a double, RBI, sacrifice bunt and stolen base. Reece Almas, Brian Joyce, Guy Willeford, Adam Pickens and Colby Ho also hit safely for the Comets. Shawn Sanford contributed a sacrifice fly.
Palomar gets good pitching but falls to No. 1-ranked Dons
Visiting Palomar got good pitching from starter Cameron Aspaas and reliever Matt Feriera (who pitched two-hit, shut-out ball over the last 4 1/3 innings) Monday.
But Santa Ana, ranked No. 1 in Southern California in the preseason, won the game 6-1 on three pitches -- three two-run home runs in the in the second, fourth and fifth inning..
Eric Rodriguez drove in the lone Palomar run with a fifth-inning single to right field..
Brian Joyce, Tyler Saladino and Jason Laws all doubled for Palomar. Jake Onarato, Guy Willeford and Shawn Sanford also hit safely.
Strom and Jenkins throw 5 2/3 innings of
shutout relief, Blackburn homers in 5-4 loss
Palomar wasted 5 2/3 outstanding relief innings by Matt Strom and Andrew Jenkins (right) and a big offensive performance by Mitch Blackburn in a 5-4 non-conference loss at Myers Field on Saturday.
Strom threw three innings of one-inning ball, surrrending a lone unearned run. Jenkins pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, holding the Wolverines scoreless.
Blackburn went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs, a stolen base and a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning that pulled the Comets, trailing by three runs, to within a run.
The Wolverines' margin of victory turned out to be an unearned run in the top of the seventh inning.
Palomar (3-5) will make up a previous rained-out game at Santa Ana on Monday at 2 p.m.
Willeford HR breaks open 13-5 win over Ventura;
Frankfurth picks up pitching victory in relief
Guy Willeford's (left) first home run of the season, a long shot to right field, highlighted a six-run seventh inning Friday as Palomar downed Ventura 13-5 in its final game of the Mt. SAC baseball tournament.
Jason Laws (2-for-4, triple, walk with the bases loaded and four RBIs) and Tyler Saladino (2-for-2, double, two walks, one hit by pitch and a sacrifice bunt) paced a 12-hit attack for the Comets.
Matt Frankfurth, the second of four Palomar pitchers, picked up the win as the Comets battled back from an early 3-0 deficit.
Furious Comet comeback falls short to Hornets in 15-12 game
Palomar outscored a 4-1 Fullerton team 10-1 after falling behind 14-2, but dropped a wild 15-12 decision to the Hornets Thursday on day one of the Mt. SAC Tournament.
Reece Almas, Neiko Chesterton, Colby Ho and Jason Laws had two hits each for Palomar. Kellen Lee slugged a two-run home run over the leftfield fence to highlight the Comets' six-runeighth inning.
Thursday night's game against Mt. SAC was postponed to Friday morning due to a power outage and the Mounties downed the Comets 4-1.Guy Willeford drove in the lone Palomar run with a fifth-inning single.
Sanford, Jones each go 4-5; Comets get 17 hits
to topple Chaffey College in tournament finale
Shawn Sanford and Jarend Jones each went 4-for-5 and Palomar banged out 17 hits Saturday in an 8-4 win over Chaffey in the Palomesa Tournament at Myers Field.
Sanford doubled and singled twice. Jones singled four times and drove in two runs
Brian Joyce (two singles, three RBIs), Eric Rodriguez (double, single, RBI) and Mitch Blackburn (two singles) also turned in multiple-hit performance as the Comets evened their season record at 2-2 and finished 2-1 in the tournament. Brian Joyce had a double. Adam Pickens and Tyler Soladino added singles.
Bobby Shore came on in relief to throw 3.2 innings of one-hit, shutout ball, striking out five batters to record the pitching win.
Hoyt, three relievers throw three-hit shutout
and Jones, Saladino homer in 10-0 victory
Jimmy Hoyt (left, five innings, two hits), Andrew Jenkins Jack Davidson and Austin Haynal combined on a four-hit shutout and Jarend Jones and Tyler Saladino homered as the Comets won at home in the Palomesa Tournament.
Brian Joyce (2-for-4, two doubles, two RBIs), Reece Alnas (2-for-3,double, two RBIs), Saladino (2-for-4) and Eric Rodriguez (2-for-4) had multiple-hit games as Palomar halted a two-game losing streak to open the season.
Mitch Blackburn, Guy Willeford and Kellen Lee also hit safely as the Comets banged out 14 hits off four Ventura pitchers.
The Comets broke open a 1-0 game with a six-run fifth inning.
Errors kill Palomar's chances for second time
as Comets fall to Cerritos in Palomesa tourney
Sloppy defensive play cost Palomar for the second straight game Thursday at Myers Field, and the Comets fell to 0-2 in the process.
Sam Jew, Cameron Aspaas (left) and Joe Cates combined on a six-hitter for the Comets. But the visiting Falcons took advantage of five Palomar errors to score five unearned runs and take home a 7-3 win in the Palomesa Tournament.
Jew threw 4 2/3 innings of one-hit ball and Aspaas came on to retire the first eight batters he faced. But four Palomar errors in the top of the eighth allowed the Falcons to score six runs in the inning, five of them unearned. Aspass had five strikeouts and no walks over 3 1/3 innings.
Tyler Salatino drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Eric Rodriguez had an RBI single as the Comets scored two runs in the fifth inning to take a 2-1 lead. But the top of the eighth inning proved fatal.
Guy Willeford, Shawn Sanford and Brian Joyce added singles for the Comets (0-2). After making only 50 errors in 43 games last season, Palomar has 10 errors in its first two games in 2008.
The Falcons are 2-1.
ABOVE: Eric Rodriguez slides in safely at third on Guy Willeford's fly ball to right in the top of the eighth. BELOW RIGHT Matt Frankfurth delivers a pitch in the bottom of the eighth. Photos by Hugh Gerhardt
Sac State transfer Joyce goes 4-for-5, homers
but Comets drop season opener 6-5 at Cypress
Sacramento State transfer Brian Joyce went 4-for-5, doubled, drove in two runs and pulled Palomar within a run with a ninth-inning solo home run -- but Palomar dropped its baseball opener at Cypress 6-5 on Saturday.
Joyce was selected Pacific Coast Conference Men's Athlete of the Week.
The Chargers, ranked No. 4 in Southern California, jumped out to a 4-0 first-inning lead and the eighth-ranked Comets made several runs at them but fell one run short.
Shawn Sanford went 2-for-3 for Palomar with a double and two walks, Tyler Saldano doubled in a run, Guy Willeford and Jason Laws singled in runs and Eric Rodriguez, Mitch Blackburn and Kellen Lee also hit safely.
The Comets out-hit the Chargers 12-11. Three of Cypress' runs were unearned.
Palomar got superb relief pitching from Mitchell Ferguson, Bobby Shore and Matt Frankfurth (right, photo by Hugh Gerhardt), who combined to throw the last seven innings and gave up a lone unearned run.
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