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Scott Cathcart

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2010 Schedule / Results/Boxes  |  2010 Palomar Stats  |  2010 Roster |  2010 Coaching Staff  |  2010 Conference Stats

  All-Time Offensive Leaders Through 2010 | All-Time Pitching Leaders Through 2010

Comets to 4-Yr. Colleges | Comets to the Pros

2009 | 2008 |  | 2007 2006 |  |  2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000


ABOVE: Palomar outfielder Jeremy Cline, shown doubling in the first inning vs. Southwestern last season, has signed early with 16-time NAIA World Series champion Lewis-Clark State. -- Photo by Hugh Cox.  BELOW LEFT: Returning right-handed pitcher Ryan Wilkins, who has signed with North Carolina State. BELOW RIGHT: Catcher Casey Husband, who transferred from USC in the off-season and has signed early with Santa Clara. Shortstop Tyler Bernard (not shown), a red-shirt at Arizona State last season, has signed with Virginia Tech.

4 to NC State, Santa Clara, Va Tech, Lewis-Clark

Casey HusbandSAN MARCOS (12-13-10) -- Four Palomar baseball players signed early and will transfer to four-year colleges at the conclusion of the upcoming 2011 season.

Three of the Comets signed with NCAA Division I schools during the early signing period that ended on Nov 17

Right-handed.pitcher Ryan Wilkins (Cathedral Catholic High School, where he was the 2008 CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year) has signed with North Carolina State.

Wilkins went 6-3 with a 3.32 earned run average and 81 strikeouts in 89 1/3 innings for Palomar last season and was a first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection. He was 4-2 in conference games last season with a 2.52 ERA. Wilkins is the son of Dean Wilkins, who pitched three seasons in the Major Leagues with the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros from 1989-1991.

Catcher Casey Husband (Cathedral Catholic High), who played for USC last season as a freshman and transferred to Palomar in the off-season, has signed with Santa Clara University.

Shortstop Tyler Bernard (Valley Center High), who red-shirted at Arizona State in 2010, has signed with Virginia Tech.

And outfielder Jeremy Cline (Valley Center High) has signed with Lewis-Clark State. Lewis-Clark is a 16-time NAIA World Series champion and has a 1,705-430 win-loss record over the last 35 years. Cline hit .343 for the Comets last season with six doubles, four triples, three home runs, 28 RBIs and 8 stolen bases on 11 attempts. He batted .342 in the PCAC and was a first-team all-conference selection.

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Gabrielson is leaving for Bethany College (Kansas)

SAN MARCOS (12-13-10) -- Matt Gabrielson, who batted .375 for Palomar's 2010 team in 12 games as a back-up middle infielder, will transfer to Bethany College for the upcoming season.

Bethany is an NAIA school located in Lindsborg, Kansas.

Gabrielson (Riverside Pony High School) came to Palomar from Division I UC Riverside.

He was a red-shirt for the Highlanders during the 2009 season.


Comets will enter 2011 ranked 4th in SoCal

SAN MARCOS (11-2-10) -- Palomar will enter the 2011 season highly-ranked. The Comets, under veteran coach Buck Taylor (left), are No. 4 in Southern California in the pre-season by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association.

Palomar is ranked No. 8 on the Pacific Coast (and sixth in California) in the American Baseball Coaches Association Pacific Associations poll.

SOUTHERN CAL: 1 Santa Ana, 2 El Camino, 3 Cypress, 4 Palomar, 5 Hancock,. 6 Orange Coast, 7 Rio Hondo, 8 Cuesta, 9 Oxnard, 10 Santa Barbara City. San Diego City is No. 11. ... STATE: 1 Santa Ana, 2 College of San Mateo, 3 El Camino, 4 Fresno City College, 5 Cypress, 6 Palomar, 7 Chabot, 8 Hancock, 9 Ohlone, 10 Orange Coast. ... PACIFIC DIVISIONS (CALIFORNIA, OREGON, WASHINGTON): 1 Santa Ana, 2 San Mateo, 3 Bellevue (WA), 4 El Camino, 5 Fresno, 6 Cypress, 7 Edmonds (WA), 8 Palomar, 9 Chabot, 10 Hancock.


Vincent among four former Comets in playoffs

ELSINORE / CLINTON, Iowa / FORT WAYNE, Indiana / BILLINGS, Montana (9-7-10) Updated 9-9-10-- Palomar alums Nick Vincent and Mitch Blackburn both are awaiting the opening round of their respective minor league playoffs.

Vincent (4-0, 1.87 ERA for 81 2/3 innings) and the San Diego Padres' Lake Elsinore Storm farm club have a first-round bye in the Advanced Class A California League playoffs.

In his last 12 appearances, Vincent compiled a ERA of 0.50 with 20 strikeouts and one walk over 18 innings.

The Storm won the first-half championship in the Cal League's Southern Division.

Blackburn, after a stint as a backup shortstop for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Arkansas Travelers farm club in the Double-A Texas League, joined the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kernels, who are hosting the Clinton, Iowa, Lumber Kings in the first round of the Class A Midwest League playoffs.

Blackburn joined the Kernels for the last two games of the regular season and went 4-for-9 in a pair of meetings with the Beliot, Wisconsin, Snappers.

Blackburn went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored on Sunday, and was 2-for-4 w3ith a walk on Tuesday.

Also in the playoffs: Left-handed pitcher Jeff Ibarra and the Padres' Fort Wayne Tincups farm club in the Class A Midwest League playoffs, and infielder Jeff Tezak and the Chicago White Sox' Great Falls Voyagers in the Rookie Classification Pioneer League playoffs.

The Tincups are playing the Great Lakes Loons. The Voyagers are playing Billings.

BASEBALL PRO,  4-YEAR COLLEGE ALUMS

PLAYERS IN THE MINOR LEAGUES IN 2010 SEASON
Player Pos. Organization / Team
Nick Vincent RHP Padres / Lake Elsinore (A)
Mitch Blackburn INF Angels / Cedar Rapids (A)
Tyler Saladino INF White Sox / Kannapolis (A)
Jeff Ibarra LHP Padres / Ft. Wayne (A)
Marcus Hatley RHP Cubs / Peoria (A)
Jeff Tezak INF White Sox / Great Falls (Rookie)
Brenden Webb OF Orioles / Bluefield  (Rookie)
Travis Strong RHP Orioles / GCL O's (Rookie)
Joe Ramos INF Independent / Lake County
Jeff Nettles INF Independent / Somerset
Scott Robinson OF Independent / River City
Dylan Parzyk C Independent / Schaumberg
Lyndon Poole OF Independent / Schaumberg
Andres Esquibel RHP Independent / Oaland County
Cameron Aspass RHP Independent / Evansville
Zane Chavez C Independent / Pittsfield
Scott Clement C Independent / St. George
4-Year College Teams for Players in Pro Baseball -- Nick Vincent, Long Beach State / Jeff Ibarra, Lee University / Jeff Tezak, Nebraska / Tyler Saladino, Oral Roberts / Joe Ramos, Chico State / Dylan Parzyk, Kansas / Andres Esquibel, Kansas / Cameron Aspass, Abilene Chrstian / Zane Chavez, Indiana State / Scott Clement, UC San Diego
FORMER PLAYERS SELECTED IN 2010 DRAFT
Player Pos. Team
Tyler Saladino INF White Sox (7th Round, signed)
Travis Strong RHP Orioles (39th Round, signed)
4-YEAR COLLEGE PLAYERS IN 2010
NCAA DIVISION i
Player Pos. College
Bobby Shore RHP Oklahoma
Tyler Saladino INF` Oral Roberts
Mitch Blackburn INF San Diego State
Guy Willeford 1B San Diego State
Kegan Sharp RHP San Diego State
Shawn Sanford LHP San Diego State
Matt Carvutto OF University of the Pacific
Jason Laws C Murray State
Sam Jew RHP Arkansas State
NCAA DIVISION II
Kellen Lee C UC San Diego
Matt Hubbard INF UC San Diego
Casey Edelbrock RHP Chico State
Kevin Seaver 1B Chico State
Leland Sisco 1B Cal State San Bernardino
Matt Strom LHP Cal State Los Angeles
Cameron Aspaas RHP Abilene Christian
Michael Cruz RHP Cal State Dominguez Hills
NAIA
Reece Alnas OF Oklahoma Baptist
Mitch Ferguson RHP/INF Cal State San Marcos
Ryle Parks C Cal State San Marcos
Joe Cates RHP Culver-Stockton
Andrew Jenkins RHP Sioux Falls
James Borges INF Sioux Falls
COMMITS, SIGNINGS, TRANSFERS

Player

Pos.

4-Year College

Scott Myers RHP Oklahoma
B.K. Santy C Washington
Ty Afenir INF Washington
Patrick Smith RHP University of San Diego
Trevor Bayless RHP University of San Diego
Alfonso Casillas 1B/3B Lewis-Clark State (de-commit from University of the Pacific)
Casey Edelbrock RHP Lewis Clark State ('09 Palomar team / transferring from Chico State)
Shane Philipps LHP Cal Poly Pomona
Terrence Buchanan INF Oklahoma Baptist
Andrew Larsen RHP Cal State San Marcos
Victor Martinez OF San Diego Christian
David Ring OF University of Texas at Tyler

ABOVE: Right-handed pitcher Casey Edelbrock is pictured pitching at Chico State during the 2010 season. He was the Wildcats' closer and wound up as their No. 2 starter. -- Chico State University photo. BELOW: First baseman / third baseman Alfonso Casillas, who originally signed a Division I letter of intent with the University of the Pacific. Both are now at Lewis-Clark State.

Edelbrock, Casillas both land at Lewis-Clark

LEWISTON, Idaho (8-27-10) -- Two record-setting former Palomar baseball players both have landed at Lewis-Clark State College, traditionally the top power in the NAIA.

Right-handed pitcher Casey Edelbrock, the Comets' all-time save leader, has transferred from Chico State, where he had a big year in 2010. Edelbrock was the Wildcats' closer for most of the season and was their No. 2 starter later in the season.

Casillas, Palomar's all-time career leader in batting average, de-committed from the University of the Pacific of the Big West Conference.

Edelbrock came to Palomar from Poway High School, Casillas from Vista Murrieta High School..


Saladino's hit streak at 7; Tezak 7-for-last 12 ABs

GREENSBORO,  North Carolina / OGDEN, Utah (8-25-10) -- Shortly after having a 10-game hitting streak come to an end, shortstop Tyler Saladino (Palomar /  Oral Roberts University) currently has a new seven-game streak in progress.

The Chicago White Sox' seventh-round craft pick in June, Saladino went 2-for-4 with two runs scored in a game at Greensboro on Tuesday night.

A product of University City High School in San Diego who was an All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection for the Comets, Saladino is batting .338 for Kannapolis of the Class A South Atlantic League.

He was the 2010 Summit League Player of the Year at Oral Roberts.

Another White Sox farm hand, Jeff Tezak (Palomar / University of Nebraska) is 7-for-12 in his last three games for Great Falls in the Rookie Classification Pioneer League.

Tezak is hitting .323 for the Voyagers.


Tezak goes 4-for-4, hitting .400 in last 10 games

OREM, Utah (8-19-10) -- Jeff Tezak (Palomar / University of Nebraska) went 4-for-4 with a double and two RBIs against Orem for the Chicago White Sox' Great Falls, Montana farm club in the Rookie Classification  Pioneer League on Thursday evening.

The switch-hitting second baseman is batting .400 for his last 10 games.

On the season, he's batting .318 for the Voyagers. Tezak is hitting .308 overall in minor league baseball for two White Sox farm clubs.


Vincent's ERA at 2.05; Saladino is hitting .347

LAKE ELSINORE / SAVANNAH, Georgia, (8-13-10) -- Palomar College baseball alums Nick Vincent and Tyler Saladino (right) continue to have huge minor league seasons.

With back-to-back scoreless one-inning relief performances at home vs. Rancho Cucamonga the last two nights, right-handed pitcher Vincent (4-0) has lowered his ERA to 2.05 for the San Diego Padres' Lake Elsinore farm club in the Advanced Class A California League.

Vincent has struck out 72 batters and walked 22 in 74 2/3 innings. In his last 10 appearances, he has an ERA of 0.89 and 23 strikeouts and only 2 walks over 18 1/3 innings.

Shortstop Saladino, the Chicago White Sox' seventh-round draft pick out of Oral Roberts after the 2010 college season, is hitting .347 for the Sox' Kannapolis farm club in the Class A South Atlantic League.

Saladino, who went 2-for-5 in a game at Savannah on Thursday night, has been on fire in his last nine games. Over that span, he's batting .467 for the Intimidators (14-for-30). 


Blackburn called up to Double-A Arkansas

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (8-8-10) -- The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have moved Palomar baseball alum Mitch Blackburn up from their Rookie Classification Arizona League farm club to the Arkansas Travelers of the Double-A Texas League..

Blackburn signed with the Angels this summer, after his senior season at San Diego State University. He played second base for the Comets and both second and short for the Aztecs.

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Vincent goes to 4-0; has 14 Ks, 0 BBs last 9 IP

LAKE ELSINORE (8-9-10 ) -- Former Palomar standout Nick Vincent's storybook season continues for the San Diego Padres' Lake Elsinore Storm Advanced Class A farm club in the California League.

The right-hander advanced to 4-0 with two shutout relief innings, two strikeouts and no walks on Sunday in the Storm's 5-2 win over the Lancaster Jet Hawks at The Diamond.

Vincent, who was selected by the Padres in the 18th round in 2008 after going 4-0 with a 1.76 ERA as a junior at Long Beach State, has totaled the following numbers for the Storm:

  • In his last five appearances: a 1.00 ERA with one run allowed on three hits with 14 strikeouts and 0 walks over nine innings pitched.

  • In his last 10 appearances: a 1.80 ERA with 25 strikeouts and three walks over 20 innings.

  • For 41 appearances on the season, a 2.11 ERA with 70 strikeouts and 22 walks for 72 2/3 innings.

Tyler Saladino, Kannapolis (Class A Midwest League): Saladino, the Chicago White Sox' seventh-round pick out of Oral Roberts in the 2010 draft, has nine hits in his last 19 at-bats for the Intimidators. Over the weekend, he was 5-for-11 with a home run, a double, three runs scored and three RBIs in three games vs. Hagerstown.

For the season, Saladino is batting .333 for 84 at-bats with 11 doubles, one home run, 11 RBIs and 19 runs scored. Saladino has a .500 slugging percentage.

Jeff Ibarra, Class A Midwest League: The left-handed pitcher out of Palomar and Lee University, notched his first victory on Friday, striking out four and walking one in two innings for the Padres' Fort Wayne farm club against Lansing. Ibarra has struck out 14 and walked six over 12.1 innings and us 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in that span. On the season, he has 37 strikeouts and 11 walks for 36 2/3 innings for the TinCups.

Jeff Tezak, Great Falls (Rookie Classification Pioneer League): Tezak, who went on from Palomar to star for the University of Nebraska, is hitting .311 on the season and .381 for his last 10 games for the White Sox farm club. He was 3-for-8 with two doubles, four RBIs and a run scored in three games over the weekend vs. Missoula and Helena.


Palomar alum Webb heats it up in O's system

BLUEFIELD, West Virginia (7- 27-10) -- Centerfielder Brenden Webb, who turned down a scholarship to USC to sign with the Baltimore Orioles out of Palomar in 2009, is batting .357 for his last 10 games for Bluefield of the Rookie Classification Appalachian League.

Webb went 3-for-3 with two triples and an RBI to lead the Orioles to a 2-1 road win over the Kingsport Mets on Thursday night. On Saturday, he was 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in an 8-3 victory over the Princeton Rays at Bluefield.

He leads the O's in games played (32) and is hitting .274..

BRENDEN WEBB VIDEO -- WVVA-TV (NBC affiliated), Bluefield /  BRENDEN WEBB PLAYER REPORT -- Daily Dugout web site / PITCHERS, WEBB BEAT METS -- Bluefield Telegraph, July 23 / WEBB MAKING TRANSITION TO BLUEFIELD -- Bluefield Telegraph, June 26


Buchanan 11th Comet to move on to 4-year level

SHAWNEE, Oklahoma (7-24-10) -- Two-year starter and second baseman Terrence Buchanan has become the 11th member of Palomar's 2010 baseball team to move on to the four-year college level.

Buchanan signed with Oklahoma Baptist University.

Buchanan hit .309 for Palomar as a sophomore in 2010 for a team that advanced to the El Camino Super Regional. He drove in 20 runs and stole 14 of 15 bases while starting 35 of the Comets' 39 games. He batted .292 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and was an all-conference honorable mention selection.


10th 2010 Comet to 4-year level (and 6th to D-I)

University of San DiegoSAN DIEGO (7-14-10) --  Trevor Bayless has become the 10th 2010 Palomar baseball player to move on to the four-year college level and the sixth to NCAA Division I.

Bayless, a right-handed Temecula Great Oak High School product who was 1-1 for the Comets in a freshman season cut short by injury, is transferring to the University of San Diego. Bayless struck out 13 batters in 18 innings and had a 4.05 ERA in 13 1/3 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference innings.

Bayless allowed an unearned run on one hit over the first 6 1/3 innings to pick up the win in an 18-1 victory over Grossmont on March 27.

So far, Palomar is sending two players to the University of Washington, two to USD, one to Oklahoma, one to the University of the Pacific, one to NCAA Division II,  two to NAIA and one to NCAA Division III.


Blackburn 4-for-8 in first 2 minor league games

Mitch BlackburnGOODYEAR, Arizona (7-11-10) -- Former Palomar and San Diego State second baseman Mitch Blackburn, who signed a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday, began his pro career in memorable fashion over the weekend.

Blackburn went 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Tempe-based Rookie Classification Arizona League Angels on Sunday against the AZL Dodgers.

On Saturday, he'd gone 1-for-3, walked scored a run and drove in a run vs. the AZL Giants -- and is hitting .500 (4-for-8) after his first two pro games.


Vincent goes to 3-0; Saladino (4-for-5) on fire

SAN JOSE / ELIZABETHTON, Tennessee / LANCASTER, Pennsylvania (7-11-10) -- Palomar alums Nick Vincent (left), Tyler Saladino and Jeff Nettles are all coming off big weekends in Minor League baseball.

At San Jose, Vincent advanced to 3-0 on the season Saturday as the San Diego Padres' Advanced A California League Lake Elsinore farm club beat the San Jose Giants 8-2..

Vincent allowed one hit in two relief innings, striking out two and walking none. He's struck out 43 batters and walked 18 over 51 1/3 innings for the Storm, and has a 1.95 ERA for his last 10 appearances. He's struck out 21 batters in 18 1/3 innings during that span.

Vincent was drafted by the Padres in the 18th round in 2008, after his junior season at Long Beach State.

At Elizabethton, TN, Bristol White Sox shortstop Tyler Saladino went 4-for-5 with a double on Sunday vs. against the Elizabethton Twins.

Saladino, taken by the White Sox in the seventh round of the 2010 draft out of Oral Roberts University, is batting .333 in his last 10 games in the Rookie Classification Appalachian League and .400 in his last seven games for 25 at-bats. He's raised his batting average for the season to .292.

At Lancaster, PA, third baseman Jeff Nettles of the Someset (MA) Patriots came off two months on the disabled list with a bang, knocking out five hits in a weekend series with the Lancaster Barnstormers.

Nettles went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI on Friday and was 2-for-4 on Sunday during the Atlantic League (Independent) series.

Nettles was selected in the 47th round of the 1998 draft by the New York Yankees after his sophomore season at Palomar, and advanced to the Triple-A level in five seasons in the Yanks' farm system. He also played a season in the Kansas City Royals' system and is Somerset's all-time leader in games played, at-bats, hits (716), doubles (156), home runs (118) and RBIs (470).

Nettles is hitting .355 for  the Patriots. He was on the DL from May 7 until last Thursday after going 5-for-8 with a home run, double and three RBIs in his last two games before being hit on the left hand by a pitch.

FAST FACTS:  Jeff Nettles is the son of Graig Nettles, a six-time All-Star with the Yankees and Padres, who hit 390 home runs in 22 Major League seasons and is considered one of the best defensive third basemen of all-time. Graig Nettles spent 11 of those 22 seasons with the Yanks and was captain of the Yankees from 1982-84.

Jeff Nettles and younger brother Tim, a center fielder who also played in the Yankees' farm system, were teammates at Palomar.

 


ABOVE: Former Comet Mitch Blackburn, shown sliding into second base for San Diego State during the 2010 season, will sign with the Angels on Friday. -- SDSU photo.

Angels to sign Blackburn; 3 more to 4-yr. level

ANAHEIM / POMONA / SAN DIEGO / TYLER, Texas (7-7-10) -- Palomar product Mitch Blackburn, an all-conference selection for San Diego State during the 2010 season, will sign a free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday.

Blackburn will be assigned to the Angels' Tempe farm club in the Rookie Classification Arizona League.

Also, the Comets' Shane Phillips, Victor Martinez and David Ring have committed to four-year colleges, bringing the running total of players from the 2010 Palomar team moving on to that level to nine -- five to NCAA Division I, one to NCAA Division II, two to NAIA and one to NCAA Division III.

Mitch BlackburnMITCH BLACKBURN -- Blackburn was a second-team All-Mountain West Conference selection for the Aztecs this past spring, when he hit .372 as a senior with 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 36 RBIs.

Blackburn was a two-year starter at second base for the Aztecs  and had a 24-game hitting streak during the 2010 season, fourth-best in San Diego State history. Blackburn batted .417 in the MWC.

As a junior in 2009, Blackburn hit .312 for the Aztecs with 12 doubles and 34 RBIs and was a teammate of Steven Strasburg on a team that eventually was eliminated by Virginia in the Irvine Regional.

The Temecula Chaparral High School product was a two-time All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference pick at Palomar as a freshman in 2007 and as a sophomore in 2008, when he hit .354 (season) and .352 (conference).

SHANE PHILLIPS -- Left-handed pitcher Phillips (Temecula Valley High School) committed this week to NCAA Division II Cal Poly Pomona.

Phillips was 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in the PCAC for the 2010 Comets. On the season, he went 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA.

Phillips pitched five shutout relief innings to notch the pitching win in a 9-5 victory over Imperial Valley on March 31.

Phillips was an All-PCAC honorable mention selection and Palomar's 2010 Jim Town Award winner.

Cal  Poly is a three-time NCAA Division II national champion.

VICTOR MARTINEZ -- Martinez, an All-PCAC honorable mention selection this past season, is moving on to the NAIA's San Diego Christian College after starting 40 games in the outfield for the Comets the past two seasons.

The Vista High School product hit.294  (.311 in conference games) as a sophomore with 10 doubles, two home runs and 22 RBIs for a team  that went 24-15 and advanced to one of two Southern California Super Regional tournaments.

As a freshman in 2009, Martinez hit .304 on the season and .306 in the PCAC. This, for a club that went 36-13-1, won the PCAC championship, was ranked No. 1 in Southern California and No. 6 in the nation at the end of  the regular season and advanced to the championship game of one of two Southern Cal Super Regional tournaments. 

DAVID RING -- Ring, a sophomore outfielder from Rancho Bernardo High School, is moving on to the University of Texas at Tyler, one of the top teams in the nation in NCAA Division III.

Ring hit .362 for the 2010 Comets with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and 25 RBIs. He also batted .362 in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference games, and was an All-PCAC honorable mention selection.

UT Tyler went 36-12, won the American Southwest Conference championship and was ranked  No. 16 in the nation in the final American Baseball Coaches Association NCAA Division III national poll in 2010.

The Patriots advanced to the McMinville, Oregon Regional, where they lost to Pomona-Pitzer, defeated Chapman and were eventually eliminated by Mississippi College.9-8.


 

Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley, who pitched for Palomar during the 1983 and 1984 seasons, has his staff first in the Major Leagues with a 3.03 earned run average as of Saturday. His 2007 staff also led the Majors, while his 2006 staff led the National League. In 2004, his first full season as a Major League pitching coach, the Padres were fifth in baseball in ERA. -- Padres photo

Balsley's staff leads Majors with 2.99 ERA

Photo of Darren BalsleyMIAMI, Florida (6-27-10) -- Former Palomar standout Darren Balsley's San Diego Padres pitching staff leads the Major Leagues with a 2.99 team earned run average after the Padres swept three games from the Florida Marlins over the weekend. Balsley's handling of the Padres' pitchers is considered a big reason the Padres lead the National League West.

Balsley, who pitched for Palomar in 1983 and 1984 and in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, was named the Padres' pitching coach on May 17, 2003.

His Padres staff was fifth in ERA in the Major Leagues in 2004, second in 2006 and first in 2007.


7th-rounder Saladino signs with White Sox

CHICAGO (6-22-10) -- Oral Roberts University shortstop and former Palomar all-state and All-American selection Tyler Saladino, the Chicago White Sox' seventh-round pick in the 2010 draft, signed with the Sox on Monday.

Saladino the 2010 Summit League Player of the Year as an Oral Roberts junior, has been assigned to the White Sox' Bristol farm club of the Rookie Classification Appalachian League.


Shore tries to pitch Sooners to 2-0 CWS mark

Bobby ShoreOMAHA, Nebraska (6-22-10) -- Palomar transfer Bobby Shore, who pitched Oklahoma to championship-game wins over North Carolina and Virginia in the Norman Regional and Charlottesville Super Regional, respectively, will try to keep the Sooners unbeaten in the College World Series today at 6 p.m. PDT.

Shore (10-4 on the season, 2-0 in the post-season with an ERA of 0.59) will start against Clemson in a battle of two teams that won their College World Series openers. The game will  be aired live nationally on ESPN2.

Shore becomes the first former Comet to pitch in the College World Series since Steve Kovensky threw a shutout inning in relief for Florida State vs. eventual champion Miami on June 6, 1986. The Seminoles finished the CWS as runners-up to the Wildcats.

SOONER SHORES UP DELIVERY -- San Diego Union Tribune 6/22/10

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Shore exits in 4th after pitching OU to 1-0 lead

OMAHA, Nebraska (6-22-10) -- After pitching Oklahoma to wins in championship games of the Norman Regional and Charlottesville Super Regional and three shutout innings to begin Tuesday's College World Series game vs. Clemson, Bobby Shore exited the game.

Shore departed in the fourth inning due to wildness and the Sooners trailed 6-1 when the game was suspended by rain in the sixth. It's to be concluded on Wednesday.

Shore, who had allowed one hit, and Oklahoma led 1-0 entering the bottom of the fourth. He left with the game tied 1-1, and had put the lead run on base when Clemson took the lead in the inning.


Saladino potential 'MLB starter'; Strong signs

CHICAGO / BALTIMORE (6-19-10) -- A Chicago-based web site projects Palomar product Tyler Saladino (left), the White Sox' as-yet unsigned seventh-round draft pick, as a potential Major League starting shortstop.

Meanwhile, 6-foot-5 ex-Comet right-handed pitcher Travis Strong, the Baltimore Orioles' 39th-round pick, signed with the O's on Tuesday.

Jeff Buchanan writes the following on the ChicagoNow.com's "Future Sox" Draft Report: about Saladino, who hit .381 for Oral Roberts as a junior this season  with 17 home runs,16 doubles and 16 steals:

"The White Sox system desperately needed a good middle infield prospect (in the June 7-9 draft) as the offensively deficient Eduardo Escobar currently ranks as the team's top SS prospect. Tyler Saladino has the potential to become a starting shortstop at the Major League level with a plus glove and an average to above-average bat."

According to Buchanan, "Scouting reports on Saladino are ... strong. ... he is considered a very good defensive shortstop, with plus range, good hands and an above-average arm. Saladino's offensive potential is not considered as promising as his defensive potential, but he does still have a solid swing. He hits the ball to all fields and displays good doubles power. ... He also has good speed  and is capable of swiping his fair share of bases."

Buchanan described Saladino thusly on the web site: "Saladino was something of a late bloomer, having not been much of a draft prospect coming out of University City HS (CA) in 20007, when he went un-drafted. His baseball prospects rose dramatically after two years at Palomar, to the point where he Houston Astros decided to take a shot on him n the 36th round of last year's draft."

MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT: Nick Vincent (Palomar / Long Beach State) has made four consecutive scoreless relief appearances for the Padres' Lake Elsinore Storm farm club in the Advanced-Class A California League. Vincent pitched 2.0 shutout innings (3 strikeouts, 1 walks) vs. Modesto on June 6, 3.2 shutout innings (2 strikeouts, 2 walks) vs. Lancaster on June 12, 1.0 shutout innings (one strikeout, 0 walks) vs. Rancho Cucamonga on June 16 and 2.0 shutout innings (4 strikeouts, 0 walks) vs. San Jose on June 17. Vincent is 2-0 for the Storm with a 2.25 ERA, and 27 strikeouts and 11 walks in 36 innings. ... Jeff Ibarra (Palomar / Lee University) remains 0-1 with a 2.63 ERA, and 16 strikeouts and two walks in 13 2/3 innings for the Padres' Ft. Wayne farm club in the Class A Midwest League.


Shore pitches OU into College World Series 11-0

Bobby ShoreCHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia (6-14-10) -- Palomar transfer Bobby Shore shut out Virginia on four hits over eight innings on Monday evening as he pitched Oklahoma into the College World Series.

The Sooners beat the Cavaliers, the No. 1-ranked team in the nation by Baseball America, 11-0 in the third and deciding game of the Charlottesville Super Regional.

Along the way, they gave Shore his 10th victory in 14 decisions and became the first team to shut out the Cavaliers in 143 games. The Oceanside High School graduate didn't allow a runner past first base.

Shore, named the Outstanding Player for the Norman Regional one week earlier, was selected as the Capital One Player of the Game for Monday's Super Regional final.

The Sooners will play South Carolina at 11 a.m. PDT in their opener in Omaha on Sunday.

Virginia beat Steven Strasburg to eliminate San Diego State in regional play last season on the Cavaliers' way to the College World Series.

FAST FACTS:  Bobby Shore went 11-1 and was a community college all-state and All-American selection for coach Buck Taylor's Palomar team a year ago for a team that was ranked sixth in the nation at the end of the regular season.


Saladino to the White Sox in seventh round

CHICAGO (6-8-10) / BALTIMORE (6-9-10) -- 2008 and 2009 Palomar shortstop and current Oral Roberts University clean-up hitter Tyler Saladino, the 2010 Summit League Player of the Year, was drafted in the seventh round by the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

Right-handed pitcher Travis Strong (right), who went 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 39 innings for Palomar in 2009, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 39th round on Wednesday.

Saladino batted .379 for the Summit League champion Eagles during the 2010 season with 16 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs and 76 RBIs.

He led Oral Roberts to the NCAA Division I Regionals, where they eliminated Cal, then were eliminated by North Carolina on Sunday at Norman, Oklahoma.

Saladino batted .379 for the Summit League champion Eagles during the 2010 season with 16 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs and 76 RBIs.

He led Oral Roberts to the NCAA Division I Regionals, where they eliminated Cal, then were eliminated by North Carolina on Sunday at Norman, Oklahoma.


Shortstop Ty Afenir will play in the Pac-10 for the University of Washington.  -- Photo by Hugh Cox

Afenir is on way to University of Washington

SEATTLE, Washington (6-9-10) -- Ty Afenir, Palomar's 2010 starting shortstop as a freshman, has accepted a scholarship to the University of Washington and will transfer there this Fall. Afenir was a first-team All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference selection and Gold Glove winner.

Afenir will join Palomar catcher B.K. Santy, who signed early with the Huskies. Afenir hit .312 for the Comets (.338 in conference games).

The Vista Murrieta High School product was the fifth Afenir to play for Palomar. He's the son of ex-Comet and BYU third baseman Ricky Afenir.

His three uncles who played for the Comets are PC bullpen coach Troy Afneir, who played in the Major Leagues for the Astros, A's and Reds; Tom Afenir, who caught for Mississippi and in the Indians farm system; and Steve Afenir, who was an outfielder for Wyoming.

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Larsen: accepts ride to Cal State San Marcos

SAN MARCOS (6-14-10) -- Palomar sophomore right-handed pitcher Andrew Larsen has accepted a scholarship to the NAIA's Cal State San Marcos.

The Murrieta Valley High School product was 3-3 with a 2.68 ERA as a part-time starter for the Comets during the 2010 season


Shore is Region MVP; Super Regional next

NORMAN, Oklahoma (6-8-10) -- Palomar transfer Bobby Shore, who pitched Oklahoma to a 3-2 championship-game win over North Carolina on Sunday, has been named the Outstanding Player in the Norman Regional.

Shore, a junior, now awaits results of the draft, then will help lead the Sooners into a best-of-three Super Regional Series at Virginia on Saturday through Monday at Charlottesville, Virginia.

While the Sooners are ranked No. 11 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball, the Cavaliers are No. 1 nationally in both the Baseball America rankings and the ESPN Coaches Poll. Virginia is second din the Collegiate Baseball rankings, behind Arizona State.

Shore (9-4), who leads Oklahoma in pitching wins, threw 7 1/3 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits to beat North Carolina. He struck out six and walked none.

"I found the zone," said Shore. " I just went out there and I found the zone. Like Coach (Sunny) Golloway said, you have to go out there and be confident and have no fear. I took it to heart and found that back-door slider and I was just hitting my spots and making sure the ball was down and making them hit ground balls."

The Super Regional champion advances  to the College World Series. Oklahoma is seeking its 10th CWS appearance.


Shore pitches Sooners to regional title

Bobby ShoreNORMAN, Oklahoma (6-6-10) -- Junior right-handed pitcher and Palomar transfer Bobby Shore (left) pitched nationally 11th-ranked Oklahoma to a 3-2 win over North Carolina and the Norman Regional championship on Sunday evening. Shore picked up his ninth pitching win of the season.

Shore (9-4) took a two-hitter and a 3-2 lead over the Tar Heels into the eighth inning. He finished with the following line: 7 1/3 innings, four hits, two runs, one earned  run, six strikeouts and no walks.

The Sooners are a best-of-3 Super Regional victory over either Virginia or St. John's from their 10th appearance in the College World Series.


ABOVE: Tyler Saladino is pictured at Oral Roberts University's J.L. Johnson Stadium after being named Summit League Player of the Year on Wednesday. The stadium opened in 1978 as host Oral Roberts defeated Michigan State and Kirk Gibson on the way to a regional title and advanced to the College World Series. -- ORU photo. BELOW RIGHT: Ex-Palomar and current USD pitching coach Tyler Kincaid.

Saladino and Kincaid finish big seasons

NORMAN, Oklahoma / TEMPE, Arizona --  (6-4-10) (6-5-10) (6-6-10))-- Palomar transfer, junior shortstop and Oral Roberts clean-up hitter Tyler Saladino further helped his stock for Monday's Major League draft in the opening game of the Norman Regional on Friday.

Saladino, named Summit League Player of the Year, went 3-for-5 and slugged a three-run home run in the sixth inning to put ORU ahead of nationally No. 11-ranked and and top regional seed Oklahoma -- but the Sooners came back to beat the Golden Eagles 7-6 in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Oral Roberts bounced back to eliminate Cal 9-8 on Saturday but was eliminated by North Carolina on Sunday. Saladino contributed one hit in each of  those games.

Saladino batted .379 for the Summit League champion Eagles with 16 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs and 76 RBIs.

Meanwhile, ex-Palomar pitching coach Tyler Kincaid's first season as pitchingcoach at No.15-ranked University of San Diego came to an end with a loss to Hawaii on Sunday in the Tempe Regional. The Toreros defeated Milwaukee 22-1 on Saturday to stay alive in the regional.

Palomar transfer Bobby Shore delivers pitch during No. 11-ranked Oklahoma's 13-2 win over Kansas State in the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday. Shore advanced to 8-4 on the year by stopping the Wildcats on two hits over 5 2/3 innings. -- Oklahoma University photo. Shore is pictured as a Palomar sophomore in 2009, below.

Shore, OU host regional; Saladino to Norman

NORMAN, Oklahoma / TULSA, Oklahoma (5-31-10) -- The NCAA announced its 64-team Division I baseball tournament field on Monday, and Oklahoma will be one of the first-round regional hosts.

The Sooners, ranked No. 11 in the nation by Baseball
America
and seeded first in the regional field, will host Cal, North Carolina and Oral Roberts at Norman, OK this upcoming Friday through Monday.

Palomar alums Bobby Shore, who pitched Oklahoma past Kansas State 13-2 in  the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday, and Tyler Saladino, who helped lead Oral Roberts to its 13th straight conference tournament championship in the Summit League tourney, will play prominent roles in the double-elimination regional tournament..

Shore (8-4) is expected to pitch Oklahoma's third game in the regional. Saladino plays shortstop and bats cleanup for Oral Roberts, which will face the Sooners to open the tournament at 11 a.m. PDT on Friday at OU's L. Dale Mitchell Park.

Both are juniors who helped lead coach Buck Taylor's Palomar team to a final No. 6 national community college regular-season ranking in 2009.

Shore halted Kansas State on two hits over the first 5 2/3 innings to pick up the victory on Saturday in Oklahoma City. Saladino lashed out four hits in Oral Roberts'  final two games in the Summit League tournament at Tulsa, back-to-back 21-6 and 12-2 wins over South Dakota State. Saladino was 3-for-6 with four runs scored and two RBIs in the 21-6 game on Friday night.

The regional winner at Norman will advance to the Super Regional round the weekend of June 11-14. The eight Super Regional winners move on to the College World Series beginning June 13 at Omaha, NE.


Vincent lowers his ERA with Storm to 1.42

LAKE ELSINORE (5-28-10) -- Right-handed pitcher and Palomar alumnus Nick Vincent has run his streak of appearances without giving up a run for the San Diego Padres' Class A-Advanced Lake Elsinore Storm farm club to seven games -- and lowered his ERA to 1.42.

The former Comet and ex-Long Beach State standout threw another shutout relief inning in Friday's 3-2 California League victory over Lancaster, striking out one and walking none at The Diamond. On Monday, he threw two shutout, hitless innings at Bakersfield, striking out three and walking none. He is 2-0.


UCSD, with ex-Comets Lee, Hubbard, lose title

CARY, North Carolina (5-29-10) -- UC San Diego, with former Palomar players Kellen Lee and Matt Hubbard, fell short in their bid for a national baseball championship on Saturday as Southern Indiana won 6-4 in finals of the NCAA Division II College World Series.

Lee (above left), the second-team Division II All-American catcher, went 1-for-3 with a walk in the game. He singled up the middle in the Triton's two-run eighth inning.

Hubbard (above right) came in to play second base for UCSD (54-8) in the game.

Lee and Hubbard, both juniors, will have one more shot at the D-II national title, in 2011.


Blackburn: 3-for-5, HR in final game as Aztec

SAN DIEGO (5-26-10) -- Palomar baseball alumnus Mitch Blackburn, who was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week for the second time and also second-team all-conference earlier in the week, went out in style in the final game of his San Diego State career on Wednesday.

Blackburn went 3-for-5 and slugged a home run as the Aztecs were eliminated from the conference tournament with a 16-8 loss to BYU at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

Blackburn, SDSU's second baseman for the last two seasons, batted .372 as a senior and hit safely in 34 of the Aztecs' final 35 games.


Lee: GWRBI in nationals, All-American

CARY. North Carolina / SAN DIEGO / TULSA, Oklahoma (5-24-10) -- Ex-Palomar catcher Kellen Lee drove in the winning run with a none-out single in the top of the 11th inning on Monday evening to give nationally No. 1-ranked UC San Diego its second win in the NCAA Division II World Series, 2-1 over Central Missouri at Cary, NC.

It was a big day for Lee (above left) all-around. He received second-team All-American honors and took home a National Gold Glove catcher's award. Lee, who was 2-for-5 Monday, is hitting .410 for the Tritons and has a 1.000 fielding percentage for 229 chances.

Palomar alum and San Diego State second baseman / shortstop Mitch Blackburn (above right), meanwhile, was selected Mountain West Conference Player of the Week and received second-team All-MWC honors after going 11-for-14 in a weekend sweep of UNLV to close the regular season.

Blackburn, whose Aztecs open play vs. Utah in the MWC tournament on Tuesday evening at Tony Gwynn Stadium, went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a sacrifice, one runs scored and two RBIs in an 8-4 victory over the Rebels on Friday. He was 5-for-6 with a double, one run scored and four RBIs in a 12-6 victory on Saturday. And he went 2-for-4 with a triple double, hit by pitch and run scored in a 6-4 win on Sunday.

In 54 regular-season games, Blackburn hit .371 with 12 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 60 runs scored and 33 RBIs. He batted .417 in 24 conference games, and hit safely in 32 of SDSU's final 33 games.

Tyler Saladino went 5-for-14 with his 17th home run, four runs scored and five RBIs as Oral Roberts won three of four games from North Dakota State to close out the regular season. The Golden Eagles will host the Summit League tournament, opening against Centenary on Thursday in Tulsa. Oral Roberts is seeking its 13th straight NCAA Division I Regional appearance.


Casillas breaks record, is 2nd-team all-state

FRESNO (5-22-10) -- Palomar's Alfonso Casillas, who batted .401 with 14 doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and 38 RBIs during the 2010 season, has been selected to the All-Southern California community college team as well as second-team all-state.

The all-state and all-region teams were announced by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association at the CCCAA State Final Four Championship.

Casillas (photo by Hugh Cox) was selected as a first baseman and split time between there and third base for the Comets during the recently-concluded season.

The sophomore from Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, who signed early with the University of the Pacific, broke Palomar's career hitting record with a .419 batting average during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

Casillas bettered the Palomar career record of .414 set by Billy Dunckel in 1988-89. Dunckel went on to earn third-team All-American honors at San Diego State and played in the Angels farm system where  his career was cut short by an injury.

ALL-TIME PALOMAR OFFENSIVE LEADERS | ALL-TIME PALOMAR DEFENSIVE LEADERS


ABOVE: NCAA Division II nationally No. 1-ranked UC San Diego, featuring Palomar alums Kellen Lee and Matt Hubbard, celebrates winning the West Regional. The Tritons (51-9) will be the top seed in the Division II World Series which begins this weekend. BELOW: Lee, UCSD's catcher, who homered in the regional championship game and is batting 423 with a 1.000 fielding percentage. -- UCSD photos

Vincent's ERA at 1.61; Lee sparks No. 1 UCSD

LAKE ELSINORE / COMPTON / OTHER LOCATIONS (5-20-10) -- Lake Elsinore's Nick Vincent has lowered his earned-run average to 1.61 for 22 1/3 innings pitched with after throwing 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief vs. Stockton on Thursday night, striking out three and walking none.

Right-hander Vincent, whose Palomar ERA was 1.49 in 2005 and 1.51 in 2006 and who had a 1.76 ERA at Long Beach State in 2008, is 2-0 for the Storm, the San Diego Padres' Class A-Advanced farm club in the California League.

On the NCAA-Division I level, Bobby Shore advanced to 7-4 for 14th-ranked Oklahoma last weekend as he pitched  six innings of four-hit, two-run ball, striking out five, to beat Memphis 9-2.

And ex-Palomar catcher Kellen Lee went 6-for-12 and drove in six runs in the NCAA Division II West Regional, homering in UC San Diego's 9-4 win over Hawaii Pacific in the championship game at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy stadium at Compton College. Lee will help lead the nationally No. 1-ranked Tritons (51-9) into the D-II World series that beings this weekend at Cary, North Carolina.

Lee enters the national tournament with a .423 batting average, 12 doubles, a triple, eight homer runs, 36 RBIs, a .715 slugging percentage -- and a 1.000 fielding percentage.

Ex-Comet infielder Matt Hubbard is hitting .279 for UCSD, the top seed in the World Series.

MORE PROS -- While Nick Vincent (left) owns a 1.61 ERA for Lake Elsinore, reft-handed pitcher Jeff Ibarra right) has a 2.08 ERA with 13 strikeouts and one walk in 8 2/3 innings for the Padres' Class A Ft. Wayne, Indiana farm club. ... Second baseman Jeff Tezak has split time between the Chicago White Sox' Winston-Salem farm club in the Class A-Advanced Carolina League and Kannapolis in the Class A South Atlantic League. ... Right-handed pitcher Marcus Hatley is in Cactus League extended spring training in Phoenix in the Chicago Cubs system and outfielder Brenden Webb, coming off an injury, is with the Baltimore Orioles' farm team in the Rookie-Classification Gulf Coast League. The Gulf Coast gets underway in June. ... In Independent pro baseball, infielder Joe Ramos is now with the expansion Lake County (Illinois) team in the Northern League.

MORE NCAA D-I -- Shortstop Tyler Saladino (left) remains on fire for Oral Roberts University, going 6-for-11 with two doubles and five RBIs as the Golden Eagles took two of three games from Centenary. Saladino leads Oral Roberts, which is seeking its 13th straight regional appearance, with a .390 batting average, 16 doubles, two triples, 16 RBIs and 66 RBIs. He's wearing out Summit League pitching with a .510 average. ...    Catcher Jason Laws is hitting .317 with 12 doubles, four home runs and 31 RBIs batting cleanup for Murray State. He homered on Tuesday evening in a 6-3 loss to Kentucky. ... Mitch Blackburn went 6-for-13 with four runs scored for San Diego State in a three-game series at BYU last weekend. He's hitting .343 playing both second base and shortstop for the Aztecs with eight doubles, a triple and 27 RBIs. Blackburn had a 24-game hitting streak, fourth-longest in SDSU history, come to an end a week and a half ago. ... Right-handed pitcher Sam Jew is 0-0 with one save for Arkansas State.

MORE NCAA D-II -- Kevin Seaver (left) finished his senior season at the West Regional for Chico State, winding up the year with a .320 average, 26 doubles, five home runs, 56 RBIs and a .519 slugging percentage. ... Right-handed pitcher Casey Edelbrock was 5-3 with four saves and a 3.60 ERA for Chico. ... Right-handed pitcher Cameron Aspaas was  8-4 with a 3.05 ERA for nationally No. 7-ranked Abilene Christian, which lost to Central Missouri in the championship game of the South Central Regional. ... Right-handed pitcher Michael Cruz was 1-0 with 20 strikeouts in 34 innings as a reliever for Cal State Dominguez Hills. No. 26-ranked Dominguez Hills was eliminated from the West Regional with back-to-back one-run losses to eventual regional champ UC San Diego and Hawaii Pacific. ... First baseman Leland Sisco hit .279 for Cal State San Bernardino with five doubles, four home runs, 20 RBIs and a .529 slugging percentage. ... Left-handed pitcher Matt Strom was 1-1 for Cal State Los Angeles.

NAIA -- Outfielder Reece Alnas was at his best for Oklahoma Baptist in Sooner Athletic Conference match-ups with Lubbock Christian, No. 1-ranked in the nation, on April 2 and sixth-ranked Oklahoma City on April 9. Alnas, who batted .261 on the season, drove in four runs and slugged a three-run home run in a wild 17-16 loss to Lubbock Christian. He hit a two-run homer that turned out to be the difference in the game as Oklahoma Baptist knocked off Oklahoma City 10-8. ... Mitch Ferguson did double duty for Cal State San Marcos, banging out seven doubles in 93 at-bats as an infielder and going 1-1 with two saves and a 4.35 ERA as a relief pitcher. ... Catcher Ryle Parks hit .335 for the Cougars with 13 doubles, a triple, six home runs, 36 RBIs and a .582 slugging percentage. ... Andrew Jenkins went 6-0 as a right-handed pitcher and batted .314 as a shortstop for the University of Sioux Falls. ... Second baseman James Borges hit .291 with 14 doubles, a triple and 37 RBIs for the Cougars and was a Gold Glove winner in the Great Plains Athletic Conference.


ABOVE: Palomar third baseman Alfonso Casillas slugs his 10th home run of the season on Friday against El Camino. BELOW LEFT: Second baseman Terrence Buchanan leaps high but can't quite get to line drive that went for a double. BELOW RIGHT: Jeremy Cline homers on the first pitch of the game. -- Photos by Hugh Cox.

HR barrage falls short in Super Regional

TORRANCE / WILMINGTON (5-14-10 /5/15/10 -- Palomar's baseball season came to an end over the weekend in the Southern California Community College Playoffs' El Camino Super Regional despite a barrage of home runs.

Jeremy Cline and Alfonso Casillas homered Friday in a 12-5 loss to El Camino at El Camino College's Warrior Field, while Cline and Jose Rodriguez slugged homers on Saturday as the Comets were eliminated by Cypress 6-5 at Los Angeles Harbor's field.

Unfortunately for Palomar, which ended the season 24-15, all four home runs came with the bases empty.

Coach Buck Taylor's Comets battled back from early deficits to tie each of the games 5-5 but in both cases came up short.

Against El Camino, the Comets pulled even in the top of the fifth when Victor Martinez drove in a run with a double to left field for the big blow. But the Warriors came back for two runs in the bottom of the inning and five more runs in the sixth.

Cline, Martinez and Austin Muehring all went 2-for-4 and Cline homered on the first pitch of the game.

Palomar got 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief pitching from Andrew Larsen and an inning of perfect relief from Adam Mott to end the game, but it turned out to be a matter of too little, too late.

In Saturday's game against Cypress, the Comets came back to tie it with single runs in five consecutive innings -- the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seven -- but the Chargers got the win on David Silvas' solo home run with one out in the eighth.

The two teams combined for five home runs, by the Comets Jeremy Cline (solo shot in the sixth) and Jose Rodriguez (solo shot in the seventh) and Cypress’ Erik Hempe, D.C. Legg and Silvas.

B.K. Santy was 3-for-4 with an RBI double which drove in Palomar's fifth-inning run in his final game as a Comet. Santy, Palomar's catcher who is headed for the University of Washington, also made a spectacular catch when he extended to haul in a foul pop-up by Cypress' Erik Hempe.

BOX VS. EL CAMINO  | BOX VS. CYPRESS  | SEASON


Head coach Taylor lands fulltime contract

SAN MARCOS (5-12-10) -- The Palomar College Governing Board made it official on Tuesday evening, approving the elevation of baseball coach Buck Taylor to full-time faculty status.

2008 California Community College Baseball Coach of the Year Taylor, who is in his 10th season on the Palomar baseball staff and his fifth season as head coach, has been an adjunct (part-time) faculty member in Health and Physical Education in addition to his coaching duties. His full-time hires as an Assistant Professor puts him in a tenure-track instructional / coaching position.

Former MiraCosta College, Santa Ana College and San Francisco State catcher Taylor received his B.S. degree in Physical Education (Human Movement Studies) from San Francisco State University and his M.Ed. degree in Physical Education from Azusa Pacific.

Taylor's Palomar teams have compiled a 142-81 record with two conference titles and four playoff appearances entering Friday's Super Regional opener at El Camino College. Last year's team was ranked No. 6 nationally at the end of the regular season.

Taylor is one of the country's most successful community college coaches in placing players on the four-year college level, and four sophomores from his current Palomar team already signed early with Division I programs (University of Washington, University of Oklahoma, University of San Diego and University of the Pacific).

He's been the only part-time head baseball coach in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, and says the full-time hire is huge for for both him and his family (he is married with two young daughters). As a fulltime faculty member, Taylor will begin receiving medical and retirement benefits when the change in job status takes effect in August..

"It means security for my family. It means I don't have to give private lessons until midnight or coach travel-ball teams to make ends meet. It was a grind to survive, but now I (will have the time) to give (even) more to the Palomar program," he told the North County Times.

Carlsbad High School graduate Taylor has lifetime North County ties.

FAST FACTS: Palomar Director of Athletics Scott Cathcart's statement regarding Buck Taylor's full-time hiring: "Through his dedication,  loyalty and personal commitment to Palomar College Baseball, Coach Taylor earned this position. He came to us as a knowledgeable, effective instructor and is a proven leader. Our entire athletic program has been strengthened with his hiring and I look forward to working with him for many years to come."

Craft to take over at Palomar; Taylor also elevated to fulltime -- (North County Times)

PICTURED: Buck Taylor (Photo by Hugh Gerhardt)


Comets sweep on Muehring walk-off in ninth

OXNARD (5-8-10) -- Palomar, trailing 10-6, rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday and left No. 3 Southern California baseball playoff seed Oxnard standing on its own field as the Comets won 11-10.

With the victory, Palomar swept the teams' opening-round series two games to none and advanced to one of two Southern Cal Super Regional tournaments that begin Friday.

The Comets will be at El Camino College in Torrance to face host El Camino at 11 a.m. in a first-round game. Hancock and Cypress will play Friday's other game at 3 p.m.. The double-elimination tourney runs through Sunday, with the winner advancing to the CCCAA State Final Foul on Memorial Day weekend at Fresno City College.

Austin Muehring (above left) won the game for the Comets in the ninth, giving freshman right-handed reliever Evan Mott (right) the pitching win, with a walk-off, two-run double over the center fielder's head that scored pinch-runners Mitch Tybroski and Anthony Meza. Palomar tallied the inning's first three runs on David Ring's two-run single and an RBI single by Jose Rodriguez.

Muehring went 2-for-4 for the game with two doubles and four RBIs. Rodriguez was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, a run scored and was hit by a pitch. Alfonso Casillas went 3-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored and a walk, playing with a strained hamstring sustained a 17-5 victory over the Condors on Friday. Jeremy Cline went 2-for-4, scored  two runs and stole a base before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.

Mott came on to get the final out of the fifth inning and threw 4 1/3 innings of one-hit, shutout ball to run his win-loss record to 4-1.

Palomar advanced to 24-13 on the season.

BOX  | SEASON

FAST FACTS: Palomar has won seven straight games, 11 of its last 13 games and 116 of its last 20 games. ... PCAC champion San Diego City College was eliminated by Cuesta two games to one on Saturday when the Cougars defeated the Knights 12-11 in 12 innings and 20-7 to win their series two games to one at Morley Field in San Diego.

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Mott is PCAC Athlete of the Week for all sports

SAN DIEGO (5-10-10) -- Palomar pitcher Evan Mott has been selected as the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference's Men's Athlete of the Week for all sports.

Mott, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound freshman right-hander from  Riverside Poly High School,  came on to get the final out of the fifth inning and threw 4 1/3 innings of one-hit, shutout ball as he gave the Comets' an 11-10 win over Oxnard. With the victory, Palomar swept the teams' first-round Southern California Regional playoff series two games to none.

Mott advanced to 4-1 on the season with a 2.25 earner-run average.


PC rolls to 17-5 win vs. Oxnard to open regional

OXNARD (5-7-10) -- Jeremy Cline (left), Alfonso Casillas (right) and Ty Afenir combined for 13 base hits between them on Friday as No.14-seed Palomar handed No. 3-seed Oxnard a 17-5 beat-down to open the teams' best-of-3 Southern Californria Community College Regional first-round series.

Cline went 5-for-7 with a double, four runs scored and an RBI.

Casillas was 4-for-5 with his eighth and ninth home runs of the season, a double, four runs scored and four RBIs.

Afenir went 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored and also reached base twice as a pinch-hitter.

Terrence Buchanan (2-for-5, walk, sacrifice bunt, run scored, RBI) and B.K. Santy (2-for-6, double, two runs scored, RBI) also had multiple hits as the Comets pounded out 20 hits.

Palomar scored all 17 runs against Oxnard starter Justin Bricker, who threw an 8-0 coplete-game shutout at No. 1 seed Santa Ana last month.

The Comets broke the game open early, scoring six runs in the top half of the first inning as Austin Muehring provided the big blow with a bases-loaded triple.

Ryan Wilkins (6-2) notched the pitching win, throwing eight innings, scattering seven hits and allowing three earned runs. Alex Meza pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

BOX


Sophomore catcher B.K. Santy (above, photo by Hugh Gerhardt) and freshman shortstop Ty Afenir (below) were the two Palomar players named to the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first team and also honored with conference Gold Glove recognition.

Comets land six on all-PCAC first team

SAN DIEGO (5-5-10) -- Palomar landed five players on the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball first team on Wednesday at the PCAC coaches' selection meeting.

Two Comets, catcher B.K. Santy and shortstop Ty Afenir, also received conference Gold Glove recognition.

Comets selected to the first team were::

  • Sophomore catcher B.K. Santy (Rancho Bernardo High School)

  • Sophomore first baseman Alfonso Casillas (Vista Murrieta High School)

  • Freshman shortstop Ty Aferir (Vista Murrieta High School)

  • Freshman outfielder Jeremy Cline (Valley Center High School)

  • Sophomore right-handed pitcher Ryan Wilkins (Cathedral Catholic High School)

  • Freshman designated hitter Derek Baum (Grossmnt High School)

Palomar players receiving honorable mention were sohomore outfielder David Ring (Rancho Bernardo High), freshman left-handed pitcher Tim Hill (Granada Hills Charter), sophomore right-handed pitcher Patrick Smith (Paloma Valley), freshman left-handed pitcher Levi Stevens (Grossmont), second baseman Terrence Buchanan (Mt. Carmel), sohomore outfielder Victor Martinez (Vista) and sophomore left-handed pitcher Shane Philipps (Temecula Valley).

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Palomar will open regional action at Oxnard

SAN MARCOS (5-2-10) -- Palomar (22-13), seeded been 14th in the Southern California Community College baseball regionals, will open the post-season with a best-of-3 series at third-seeded Oxnard (26-10) on Friday at 2 p.m..The second game will be played on Saturday at 11 a.m. A third game, if necessary, would follow.

If the Comets win the series, they'll play in one of two four-team Southern California Super Regionals on May 14-16. The CCCAA State Final Four is May 21-23 at Fresno City College.

Palomar, under 2008 California Community College Baseball Coach of the Year Buck Taylor (above left, file photo by Hugh Gerhardt), has won five straight games, nine of its last 11 games and 14 of its last 18 games entering the post-season.


Casillas picked as PCAC Athlete of the Week

SAN DIEGO (5-4-10) -- Palomar baseball player Alfonso Casillas (left) and Comets swimmer Ryan Krause share the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Men's Athlete of the Week award.

Casillas, a sophomore third baseman and first baseman from Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta who signed early with the University of the Pacific, raised his batting average to .392 last week when he went 5-for-9 in two games with two doubles, five RBIs, five runs scored and a walk. He also reached base three times when he was hit by pitches.

Last Tuesday, Casillas went 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs in an 11-2 victory over Imperial Valley. On Thursday, he was 3-for-6 with a double, four runs scored and three RBIs as the Comets routed the Arabs again 36-8.

On the season, Casillas has 51 hits, 13 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 40 runs scored, 32 RBIs and a .669 slugging percentage. He's walked 31 times, has been hit by pitches six times and has stolen four bases in four attempts.


ABOVE: Palomar transfer and CCAA Pitcher of the Week Casey Edelbrock throws his second complete-game shutout for Chico State since being moved from his closer's role to the starting rotation. -- Chico State University photo. BELOW LEFT: Mitch Blackburn, who saw his 23-game consecutive-game hitting streak, fourth longest in San Diego State University history, came to an end against New Mexico. BELOW RIGHT: Edelbvock's Chico State teammate Kevin Seaver slugs one of his two home runs in final home game on Senior Day. -- Chico State photo.

Alumni: Edelbrock, Seaver, Blackburn star

CHICO / SAN DIEGO (5-4-10) -- Palomar transfer Casey Edelbrock, a Chico State junior right-hander , was named CCAA Pitcher of the Week after throwing his second complete-game shutout since moving from closer to a starting role.

Meanwhile, ex-Comet Mitch Blackburn's 23-game consecutive-game hitting streak, the fourth-longest in San Diego State history, came to an end on Sunday when he went 0-for-4 as the Aztecs lost 20-8 to New Mexico at Tony Gwynn Stadium. Blackburn is SDSU's second-leading hitter at .328 with eight doubles, one triple, three home runs and 26 RBIs.

Edelbrock recorded 13-ground ball outs and didn't walk a batter as he ended Western Oregon's 17-game winning streak 4-0. He has a 4-2 record with a 2.09 ERA since being moved to a starter. Edlebrock is 5-3 with five saves  on the season and leads the Wildcats with a 2.53 ERA.

Chico teammate Kevin Seaver went out in style in his final home game for the Wildcats on Sunday, going 2-for-4 with two home runs three runs scored and four RBIs as Chico beat Cal State Monterey Bay 12-3 to complete a four-game series streak. He was 6-for-10 in the last three games of the series and is batting .315 with 22 doubles, five home runs and 55 RBIs.


Ring, Gabrielson, Comets roll up IVC 36-8

IMPERIAL (4-29-10) -- David Ring (left) and Matt Gabrielson (right) came off the bench to combine for eight hits and eight RBIs between them on Thursday, and Palomar closed its regular season with a 36-8 rout of Imperial Valley.

The Comets (22-13, 17-8), who scored 16 runs in the top of the eighth inning to turn a boat-race into a bigger boat-race, won for the fifth straight game and 14th time in its last 18 games. They'll open the post-season in the Southern California playoffs next Friday (May 7), and will find out their playoff seed and opponent on Sunday.

Eleven Palomar players contributed multiple-hit performances as the Comets gave starter and winner Evan Mott (3-1) a huge early lead, then continued to pummel the Arabs all afternoon.

Ring went 3-for-3 during the eighth-inning explosion, when the Comets sent 21 batters to the plate. Gabrielson and Mitrch Tybroski had two hits each in the inning.

The first 16 batters reached base safely with hits, walks or being hit by pitches before the Arabs finally recorded the first out of the inning.

The multiple-hit Comets were:

  • Sophomore left fielder Ring (4-for-5, 3 doubles, 3 runs scored, 4 RBIs).

  • Freshman second baseman Gabrielson (4-for-4, double, 3 runs scored, 4 RBIs)

  • Freshman right fielder Austin Muehring, who just missed hitting for the cycle by going 3-for-4 with a home run, triple, single, 3 runs scored and 4 RBIs before Ring pinch-hit for him in the fifth inning.

  • Tybroski (3-for-3, 3 runs scored, 3 RBIs).

  • Alfonso Casillas (3-for-6, double, 4 runs scored, 3 RBIs)

  • Terrence Buchanan (3-for-7, triple, 3 runs scored, 3 RBIs)

  • Derek Baum (2-for-3, double), Jeremy Cline (2-for-4), Austin Cusack (2-for-3), Cameron Buford (2-for-2) and B.K. Santy (2-for-2)

Levi Stevens, Chip Baumann and Andrew Larsen contributed scoreless relief innings.

BOX  | SEASON


ABOVE: Palomar shortstop Terrence Buchanan tags out IVC's Cavid Corona in the top of the fifth. No. 3 is second baseman Anthony Meza. BELOW LEFT : Ryan Wilkins, who struck out eight batters in six innings. -- Photo by Hugh Cox.  BELOW RIGHT: Cameron Buford, who homered in the bottom of the eighth.

Wilkins: 8 Ks in 6 inn., Buford homers in win

SAN MARCOS (4-27-10) -- Sophomore right-hander Ryan Wilkins blew down visiting Imperial Valley in a six-inning stint and he got plenty of support both in the field and at the plate on Tuesday as the Comets won their home baseball finale 11-2.

Wilkins (5-2) struck out eight batters in six innings as his teammates staked him to a 7-1 lead and Alex Meza, Scott Myers and Sean Philipps each threw an inning in relief to complete a combined five-hit, 11-strikeout performance.

Cameron Buford, who is hitting .455 for 11 at-bats after being activated well into the season when he had recovered enough from an injury, singled off the bench in the sixth inning and lined a solo homer over the left-field fence in the eighth.

Jeremy Cline (3-for-5, two steals, Austin Muehring (2-for-5, triple, double), Terrence Buchanan (2-for-4,hit by pitch, three runs scored, RBI, steal), Alfonso Casillas (2-for-3, double, hit by pitch, two RBIs), Anthony Meza (2-for-4, double, RBI) and Jose Rodriguez (2-for-3, RBI) also contributed multiple-hit performances.

In all, the Comets pounded out 18 hits off three IVC pitchers. Derek Baum added a double, Victor Martinez contributed a two-run single and Hayden Schrimpf added a pinch-hit, RBI single.

Palomar (21-13, 16-8), which has won four games in a row and 13 of its last 17 games, will finish the regular season at Imperial Valley on Thursday at 2 p.m.

FAST FACTS: The Comets will enter the Southern California playoffs as the conference's second-place team after finally being eliminated from the PCAC race on Tuesday. San Diego City College wrapped up the conference title with an 18-0 rout of Grossmont.

BOX  | SEASON


ABOVE: Ex-Palomar All-American pitcher Bobby Shore delivers to the plate in win over Texas A&M.. -- Oklahoma University photo. BELOW LEFT: Tyler Saladino, who went 11-for-16 for Oral Roberts in a four-game sweep of Western Illinois. BELOW RIGHT: Mitch Blackburn, who was 9-for-19 in San Diego State's four-game sweep of Wagner.

Shore tops A&M; Blackburn, Saladino 20-35

Mitch BlackburnTyler Saladino blasted a three-run home run as part of ORU's 5-run eighth inning.COLLEGE STATION, Texas / SAN DIEGO / TULSA, Oklahomar (4-25-10) -- Former Palomar community college All-American selection Bobby Shore advanced to 6-2 for visiting Oklahoma on Sunday, beating Texas A&M 10-2.and giving the Sooners a 2-1 edge in the three-game series.

Shore pitched the first seven innings, allowing two runs.

Ex-Comets Mitch Blackburn and Tyler Saladino went a combined 20-for-35 with 21 RBIs and four home runs over the weekend as San Diego State swept a four-game series from Wagner University and Oral Roberts swept a four-game series from Western Illinois.

At Tony Gwynn Stadium in San Diego, Blackburn, who plays both shortstop and second base for the Aztecs, went 9-for-19 against Wagner with a home run, two doubles, eight runs and 10 RBIs.

He went 4-for-6 Friday with a homer, a double, four runs scored and five RBIs as SDSU beat Wagner 18-0. He was 1-for-4 as the Aztecs won the first game of a double-header on Saturday 7-2. In game two, a 12-1 SDSU victory, he went 2-for-5 went 2-for-4 with a double, two runsscored and two RBIs.

Then, in a 21-12 win on Sunday, Blackburn went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs.

At Tulsa, Oklahoma, Saladino was 11-for-16 with nine runs scored, 11 RBIs and his eighth, ninth and 10th home runs as the Golden Eagles swept West Illinois. Saladino was selected as Summit League Player of the Week.

Saladino slugged a game-winning three-run homer as the Eagles scored five runs in the eighth inning to win Game 1 on Friday night. For the game, he went 3-for-3 with the HR, scored two runs and drove in three.

He came back to go 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, two runs scored and three RBIs as the Eagles won the first game of a double-header on Saturday 13-3. In the second game, Saladino was 3-for-4 with a triple, a double, two runs scored and two RBIs in Oral Roberts' 9-3 win.

Then, in the final game of the series on Sunday, Sadadino wasthree-for-4 with a two-run homer, scored three runs and had three RBIs as the Egles finished off the sweep with a 14-4 victory.


Stevens beats G-House; Casillas 3-5 with HR

EL CAJON (4-24-10) -- A dominant pitching performance by starter Levi Stevens and another big day at the plate by Alfonso Casillas set the tone Saturday as the Palomar baseball team beat Grossmont for the second time in two days.

The Comets won 6-3 at Mickelsen Field as Stevens (above left), a freshman left-hander from nearby Grossmont High School, returned to his hometown and pitched 5 1/3 innings of three-hit, one run ball. He struck out seven batters and walked two. The Griffins' lone run off Stevens, in the bottom of the first inning was unearned.

Stevens left the game with a 5-1 lead and was followed to the mound by Patrick Smith, Shane Philipps and Ryan Wilkins, who worked the final 2/3 of an inning to record his third save. The four pitchers combined on a five-hitter.

Casillas (above right), who has broken out of a slump with a vengeance, went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run, his seventh of the season, in the third inning, a double and four RBIs.

Jeremy Cline went 3-for-5 for Palomar and drove in a run. Ty Afenir was 1-for-3 with a double and a sacrifice bunt which Grossmont's pitcher threw away for an error and produced a run. Jose Rodriguez and Derrick Brown also doubled. Terrence Buchanan singled and was hit by a pitch, Austin Muehring contributed an RBI single and a stolen base.

Palomar, which won for the 12th time in its last 16 games, advanced to 20-13, 15-8 in conference and clinched second place in the Pacific Coast  Athletic Conference. The Comets will close the regular season with a home game vs. Imperial Valley on Tuesday and an away game against the Arabs on Thursday, then will await their Southern California playoff seed.

The Comets have an outside shot at tying San Diego College, which leads the conference by two games with two to play. But that would take a PC sweep vs. IVC and a Grossmont sweep of a season-ending two-game series with City College. And, even then, the Knights would be the conference's No. 1 playoff seed because they won their season series with the Comets.

FAST FACTS: Alfonso Casillas raised his batting average, best on the team, to .380 on Saturday. He has 11 doubles, a triple, seven home runs and 27 RBIs. Winning pitcher Levi Stevens lowered his earned run average to 2.25 (1.59 in PCAC games). Patrick Smith, the Comets' second pitcher of the afternoon, lowered his ERA to 2.67 on the year (2.05 in conference). Ryan Wilkins, who got the save, has ERAs of 2.83 on the season (2.63 in conference).

BOX  | SEASON


ABOVE: Palomar catcher B.K. Santy tags Grossmont's Ben Sarno out at the plate on a third-inning squeeze play. Pitcher Evan Mott charged off the mount to make an alert play and flip the ball to Santy. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Winning pitcher Mott, who threw six shutout innings. -- Photos by Hugh Cox.  BELOW RIGHT:

Mott (6 shutout innigs), Cusack (3-4) lead way

SAN MARCOS (4-23-10) -- Winning pitcher Evan Mott threw six shutout innings to stake Palomar to a 9-0 lead and the Comets held on to defeat Grossmont 10-5 in a PCAC baseball rain make-up on Friday at Myers Field.

Adam Cusack paced a 14-hit attack for Palomar (19-13, 14-8) by going 3-for-4 with a double. B.K. Santy hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Ty Afenir went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt. Alfonso Casillas was 2-for-4 with a walk.

The Comets pulled off the defensive play of the game in the third inning when Mott charged off the mound to field a squeeze bunt by the Griffins' Taylor Eichhorst and used his momentum toward the plate to flip the ball to the catcher, Santy. The University of Washington-bound Santy tagged Ben Sarno, who was sliding in, for the out

Palomar took a 1-0 first-inning lead on Terrence Buchanan's double into the right-field corner, Matt Gabrielson's sacrifice bunt and Casillas' double-play grounder which allowed Buchanan to come home from third.

The Comets made it 4-0 with three fourth-inning runs. Casillas singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Jeremy Cline's single. Santy followed with a two-run HR over the left-field fence.

Afenir's single, Buchanan's sacrifice bunt, Derrick Baum's RBI single, a walk to Casillas, David Ring's RBI double and Jose Rodriguez' run-scoring single advanced Palomar's lead to 7-0 in the fifth. Palomar made it 9-0 with two more runs in the sixth on singles by Cusack and Afenir, an  error, Buchanan's sacrifice fly to right and Anthony Meza's RBI single through the right side of the infield.

Grossmont 16-14, 10-12) scored all its runs in the top of the eighth to close Palomar's lead from 9-0 to 9-5. Paul DeFrancisco came in to finally get the Comets out of the inning by getting Eichhurst to hit into a double-play from Afenir at short to Buchanan at second to Rodriguez at first.

Palomar closer Tim Hill then came on in the ninth, gave up a hit to begin the inning, then got three straight outs, the last one n a strikeout. Alex Meza also threw a shutout relief inning.

BOX


ABOVE: Palomar shortstop Ty Afenir spears a high bounce and throws the ball to first baseman Jose Rodriguez to get Mesa's Brad Balkan for the third out in the top of the seventh.  BELOW: Tim Hill, who retired the last four batters and struck out three of them to record the win, side-arms a pitch to the plate. -- Photos by Deb Hellman.

Comets give Hill win in 9th, near playoffs

SAN MARCOS (4-20-10) -- Palomar, on the strength of another brilliant relief performance by freshman left-hander Tim Hill, some outstanding defense and a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, defeated San Diego Mesa 4-3 on Tuesday at Myers Field.

Along the way, the Comets got half of what they wanted as they made a big step toward a berth Southern California community college playoffs.

Firmly entrenched in second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, the defending champions lead third-place Southwestern by two games with four games to play. But they still trail first-place San Diego City College by two games after the Knights out-slugged the Jaguars on Tuesday in San Diego 17-13.

With Mesa leading 3-2, Hill came on with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the eighth inning and immediately got the Olympians' Jake Wilt looking at a called third strike.

Palomar tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a walk to Alfonso Casillas, a hit batter (Derrick Baum), a fielder's choice and David Ring's pinch-hit single up the middle which drovein pinch-runner Austin Muehring.

Hill (1-0 with three saves) then retired Mesa in order in the top of the ninth on a fly ball, a called strikeout and a swinging strikeout.

And the Comets won it in the bottom of the inning when Afenir led off with a double into the right-field corner, a wild pitch, a walk to Zach Gage and another wild pitch that scored Afenir from third.

Afenir went 2-for-4 with the double and winning run and, with the University of Washington watching him, had a spectacular day at shortstop defensively. Along with Casillas at third, the left side of the infield and Washington-bound catcher B.K. Santy kept the Comets in the game with one outstanding play after another.

Santy gunned down two more runners attempting to steal, and first baseman Jose Rodriguez also contributed a big defensive play to begin a bang-bang first-to-short-to-first double play to get the Comets out of the seventh inning.

Anthony Meza drove in Palomar's first two runs with a grounder to the right side in the fourth inning and an RBI single in the sixth.

Casillas and Jeremy Cline each contributed a triple.

Palomar advanced to 18-13 on the season,13-8 in conference.

FAST FACT: By pitching 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief with three strikeouts, Tim Hill has struck out 25 batters and walked 8 batters in 21 1/3 innings. In conference play, Hill has 15 strikeouts and 3 walks in 13 1/3 innings.

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Game is rained out, rescheduled for Friday

SAN MARCOS (4-22-10) -- Palomar's home baseball game with Grossmont College, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed due to rain and wet grounds.

The game now will be played on Friday, April 23, at Myers Field at 2 p.m.


Left-handed relief pitchers Tim Hill (above) and Alex Meza (below) will play key roles as Palomar tries to keep its PCAC championship hopes alive and continues its run toward the playoffs. -- Photos by Jim McCormack

On the air: PC tries to jump-start playoff run

SAN MARCOS (4-19-10) -- Palomar begins its stretch run toward, at best, a possible Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball championship or co-championship or at least a post-season playoff berth when the Comets host San Diego Mesa on Tuesday.

The first pitch at Myers Field is scheduled at 2 p.m.

Tuesday's game, and Thursday's 2 p.m. home game vs. Grossmont,  both will be broadcast live on KKSM-1320 AM (also on Cox Cable channel 958 and on the world wide web at:

http://www.palomar.edu/kksm/live.html.

Palomar (17-13, 12-8 in the PCAC) enters the final two weeks of the regular season in second place, two games in back of conference leader San Diego City College and one game ahead of Southwestern and San Diego Mesa, who are tied for third.

The combination of a Palomar win over Mesa and a Southwestern victory at San Diego City on Tuesday would move the Comets back to within one game of first place with four games to play.

Two teams from the conference, and possibly three, will advance to the Southern California Regionals, the first step toward the CCCAA State Final Four on May 21-23 at Fresno City College.

After the games on Tuesday and Thursday, coach Buck Taylor's Comets will close the regular season with a Saturday game at Grossmont, starting at noon, and games next week vs. Imperial Valley at home next Tuesday, April 27, and at Imperial on Thursday, April 29.


Palomar wastes comeback, loses by one

SAN DIEGO (4-15-10) -- Palomar wasted big days by designated hitter David Ring (left), second baseman Terrence Buchanan (right) and shortstop Ty Afenir on Saturday.

The Comets wasted strong relief performances by pitchers Patrick Smith and Evan Mott.

Worst of all, they wasted a 9-0 comeback from the top of the third inning through the top of the sixth as they dropped a frustrating 10-9 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball decision to host San Diego Mesa.

The loss again drops the Comets (17-13, 12-8) two games back of first-place San Diego City College, which held off Southwestern 8-6. Palomar remains alone in second place, one game ahead of the Jaguars and Mesa with five games remaining.

The Comets fell behind 6-0 in a miserable first inning as the Olympians parlayed five hits including a home run, a triple and a double with a walk and an error to jump out in front.

Then, while Smith came in to get the final out of the inning on a strikeout and then pitched additional more innings of shutout relief, the Comets battled back with a run in the third inning, a run in the fourth, two runs in the fifth and five runs in the top of the sixth and took a 9-6 lead.

But, as Smith tired, the Olympians (12-19, 11-9) won it with four runs in the bottom of the inning -- two unearned run and an earned run off of Smith and an unearned run off Mott. Mott stopped Mesa without a hit and allowed only the one unearned run over 2 2/3 innings. But damage had been done.

For Palomar, Ring went 4-for-4 with a triple, a walk and and a walk.

Buchanan was 3-for-6 with two RBIs, two runs scored, his 12th steal on 12 attempts and some spectacular defensive plays.

Afenir, who also was big in the field, went 2-for-3, doubled, drove in a run on a sacrifice fly, walked and moved a runner from second  to third with a ground ball to the right side with none out and the Comets trailing by the final one-run margin in the top of the seventh. But Palomar couldn't get the runner across.

First baseman Alfonso Casillas slugged his sixth home run of the season,  a two-run shot to left-center field in the fifth inning. But he was frustrated by being walked three times, twice intentionally. The second intentional walk came with runners at first and second in the top of the ninth, which loaded the bases with two out.

The Comets left the bases loaded when Mesa reliever and winning pitcher Allen Townsend got pinch-hitter Mitch Tybroski to hit a grounder back to the mound. Townsend knocked the ball down and threw it to first for the final out of the game.

BOX  | SEASON


Myers, Hill come up big; Comets top leaders

SAN DIEGO (4-15-10) -- Palomar got dominant relief pitching from Scott Myers (left) and Tim Hill (right) on Thursday and knocked off Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball leader San Diego City College 9-5 at Morley Field.

The Comets moved back to within one game of first place with the victory, with six games remaining beginning Saturday at noon at San Diego Mesa. Palomar remains alone in second, one game ahead of third-place Southwestern.

Myers (2-2), who notched the win, and Hill, who recorded his third save, stopped the Knights on an unearned run on three hits over the last six innings. They combined to strike out nine.

Myers threw the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, allowing the unearned run and two hits. He struck out six and walked none.

Hill retired the side in order in the eighth inning on three straight called third strikes, and wound up throwing two innings of shutout, one-hit ball. The 6-foot-4 freshman left-hander struck out three and walked none. He got a double-play ball in the ninth.

The Comets broke a 5-5 tie to score what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the sixth. Ty Afenir led off the inning with a single to short right field, Terrence Buchanan moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt and Derrick Baum and Alfonso Casillas drew back-to-back walks.

Pinch-hitter Victor Martinez then drove in Afenir with a ground ball to right right side with the bases loaded.

Casillas led Palomar at the plate by going 2-for-4 with a double. Buchanan's alert base-running on a bouncer past the second base bag highlighted a three-run ninth inning which broke open a 6-5 game. He alertly went to second for a double, sliding in head first when no one covered the bag. Buchanan's hit drove in the Comets' final run.

David Ring and Zach Gage contributed RBI singles for Palomar. Baum doubled and Jeremy Cline singled for the Comets' other hits.

Palomar advances to 17-12 on the season, 12-7 in conference. City College is 20-10, 13-6 and begins a two-game series Saturday vs. a hot Southwestern team. The Jaguars clubbed Grossmont 16-0 on Thursday.

BOX


ABOVE: San Diego City baserunner Gilbert Gourdado comes in high, forcing Palomar shortstop Ty Afenir shortstop Ty Afenir to make a contorted throw to first to try to complete a double play in the fifth inning on Tuesday. The throw went awry and there was no further call by the base umpire after signaling Gourdado out. The Kndights' Corey Vasquez, who avoided the DP in the process, was awarded second. LOWER LEFT: Ryan Wilkins pitches in the first inning for the Comets. -- Photos by Hugh Cox

Comets self-destruct early, slip 2 games out

SAN MARCOS (4-13-10) -- Coming of a 3-0 week which saw it battle to within a game of Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball leader San Diego City College, Palomar picked a terrible time to play a bad game on Tuesday.

The Comets self-destructed early and lost 6-2 to the Knights at Myers Field, falling two games behind the Knights with seven to play. Palomar also saw its second-place lead over Southwestern shrink to one game when the Jaguars defeated Grossmont 5-4.

The Comets surrendered a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning as the Knights jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

Palomar blew a chance to get back in the game early after Anthony Meza singled through the right side to lead off the bottom of the second and Zach Gage doubled to left, putting runners at first and second with none out.

But City College got out of the inning without a run when the following batter bunted the ball to pitcher Hunter Herrera, which surprised coach Buck Taylor, who didn't have a play on, as well as both base runners. Gage started to go to third, got caught in a rundown, and Meza froze on the third-base bag. The result was a double play that virtually took the Comets out of the inning.

The game continued that way throughout the afternoon as the Comets kept making mistakes, which helped Herrera win a pitcher's duel from Palomar starter Ryan Wilkins to advance to 7-2 on the season. Herrera pitched a complete game, allowing eight hits. Wilkins left after the eighth inning trailing 5-2 while giving up only two earned runs.

Palomar got both its runs in the third inning when the Comets temporarily cut City's three-run lead to 3-2 on a walk to Ty Afenir, Alfonso Casillas' single and Victor Martinez' two-run single to right. But Herrera then got found his rhythm, settled down, and the Comets wound up making four actual errors and even more mental miscues.

Trailing 6-2, Palomar loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth on back-to-back singles by pinch-hitters David Ring and Cameron Buford and a walk to Mitch Tybroski. Herrera, however, got the last two outs to end the game.

The Comets (16-12, 11-7) get one more shot at the Knights (20-6, 13-5) on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Morley Field in San Diego. 

BOX


Comets beat Jags again, are one game out

CHULA VISTA (4-10-10) -- Andrew Larsen (left) and Alex Meza (right) pitched Palomar to a 5-4 victory at Southwestern on Saturday and to within one game of Pacific Coast Athletic Conference-leading San Diego City College.

The Comets, who have won eight of their last 10 games and are now two games up on Southwestern in second place, can move into a tie for first by beating the Knights on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Myers Field. The same two teams will play again on Thursday at Morley Field in San Diego.

Larsen (2-2, 2.89 ERA), a sophomore right-hander from Murrieta Valley High School, struck out seven batters over the first eight innings to record the pitching win. Meza, a sophomore left-hander from Great Oak High School in Temecula, came in with a runner on and none out in the bottom of the ninth and picked up s save.

Derek Baum's double in the top of the first scored two runs, the second one when the left fielder bobbled the ball, as the Comets jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Alfonso Casillas and Baum singled as Palomar made it 4-0 in the third inning.

After the Jaguars cut the lead to 4-3 with two runs in the fourth inning and one in the seventh, the Comets added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when pinch-hitter Victor Martinez doubled to left center field and B.K. Santy followed with an RBI double to left. That made it 5-3, the final score.

Santy led Palomar at the plate as he went 2-for-3 with the double and RBI. He also was hit by a pitch. Baum was 2-for-4 with his double and RBI.

The Comets are now 16-11 on the season, 12-6 in conference, while the third-place Jaguars fall to 16-11, 9-8. Palomar went from three games out of first place by going 3-0 during the week, while City College dropped two of three games, including a  9-8 stunner at the hands of last-place Imperial Valley on Friday, when the Arabs put up an eight-spot in the first inning.

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Oklahoma's Shore beats Missouri and is 5-1

Bobby ShoreNORMAN, Oklahoma (4-11-10) -- Palomar transfer Bobby Shore  (left) stopped visiting Missouri on two runs over seven innings on Saturday as he pitched No. 11-ranked Oklahoma to a 10-4 Big 12 victory over the Tigers.

Shore surrendered a two-run home run in the first inning, then shut out Mizzou the rest of the way until leaving the game to begin the eighth.

Shore, a community college All-American for the Comets last season when he went 11-1 as a sophomore, advanced to 5-1 on the season for Oklahoma. 

He leads the Sooners,  who are 26-7, with a 2.27 earned r8n average and has allowed 37 hits over 43 2/3 innings, striking out 42 and walking 10.


ABOVE: B.K. Santy gets down a sacrifice bunt to move Alfonso Casillas, who scored the winning run, from first to second in the 13th inning on Thursday. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Anthony Meza, who was 2-for-6 with a triple and RBI and made an unscheduled appearance in left field. BELOW RIGHT: Ty Afenir, who had another big day defensively had shortstop, singled twice, walked and drove in a run on a grounder to short in the bottom of the 12th to send the game to the 13th.

4 hours, 25 minutes later, Comets win in 13

SAN MARCOS (4-8-10) -- Four hours and 25 minutes, 46 players, 13 innings and implausible plays too numerous to count after it all began, Palomar defeated Southwestern 8-7 at Myers Field on Thursday afternoon.

With the marathon win, the Comets (15-11, 10-6) broke a tie with the Jaguars for second place and almost closed to one game of Pacific Coast Athletic Conference leader San Diego City College. The Knights held on to beat Imperial Valley 7-6 Thursday when the Arabs left the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Alfonso Casillas walked to lead off the bottom of the 13th, advanced to second on B.K. Santy's sacrifice bunt and went to third on Austin Muehring's infield single to the second baseman. Casillas, who broke for home on Jose Rodriguez' grounder, scored the winning run when the shortstop, who was charging the ball, booted it for an error.

The run gave freshman right-hander Adam Mott, the Comets' eighth pitcher of the day who came on to throw a hitless, shutout inning in the top of the ninth, his second win in two decisions.

The Comets, trailing 6-4 with two out sand no one on in the bottom of the 10th, tied the game on Anthony Meza's single, a walk to Terrence Buchanan, David Ring's pinch-hit RBI single, a single by Ty Afenir and a walk to Jeremy Cline with the bases loaded which forced in Buchanan.

Then, trailing again 7-6, they tied the game again in the last half of the 12th on back-to-back singles by Buchanan and Hayden Schrimpf and Afenir's RBI grounder to short.

Victor Martinez' two-run single with two outs and an 0-2 count in the seventh inning, had pulled the Comets back from a 3-2 deficit to a 4-3 lead. The Jaguars (16-11, 9-7) tied the game in the top of the ninth when they rallied for two runs after there were two outs and no one on.

Meza went 2-for-6 for Palomar with a triple and an RBI. Martinez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Afenir and Buchanan each were 2-for-5 with a walk and an RBI.

The Comets also got some strong relief pitching from Tim Hill, who retired the first eight batters he faced, Paul DeFrancesco, Shane Philipps and Alex Meza.

Afenir and Buchanan contributed spectacular plays at shortstop and second base, respectively. Anthony Meza, pressed into duty in the outfield when he went from designated hitter to defense as part of a triple-switch, and Mitch Tybroski made outstanding catches in left and right, respectively. Meza normally is a second baseman.

The two teams will play again at Southwestern on Saturday at noon.

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Muehring (10 RBIs) ties mark; PC wins 28-6

IMPERIAL (4-6-10) -- Austin Muehring's career day (5-for-7, two home runs, double, 10 RBIs) led the way Tuesday as Palomar rocked host Imperial Valley 28-6 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball game.

Muehring (left), a freshman outfielder from Rancho Bernardo High School, hammered a grand-slam home run in the fifth inning and a three-run HR in the ninth.

The 10 RBIs tied the Palomar single-game record set by Gera Alvarez in a 26-9 victory at Grossmont on April 10, 1999, during his freshman season. Alvarez, a shortstop who came to Palomar out of Vista High School, went on to break the Big 12 consecutive-game hitting streak record as a two-time first-team all-conference selection at Texas Tech. He played in the Baltimore Orioles' farm system for seven seasons, reaching the Triple-A level.

Muehring had plenty of company in Palomar's hit parade on Tuesday as 13 Comets hit safely. Jeremy Cline went 4-for-5 with a triple and four RBIs. Anthony Meza, who tripled and doubled, Alfonso Casillas, Victor Martinez, David Ring and Ty Afenir also had multiple hits.

The Comets spotted the Arabs a 3-0 lead before recording an out in the bottom of the first inning, but pushed across seven runs in the top of the second as the floodgates opened. Cline's bases-loaded triple tied the game and Casillas put the Comets in front for good with a double to left that drove in Cline. Zach Gage also tripled in the inning, driving in two runs.

Hayden Schrimpf, Derek Baum, B.K. Santy and Terrence Buchanan also hit safely, rounding out a 26-hit attack against six IVC pitchers.

Starter Evan Mott pitched the first five innings to record the win, striking out four batters.

Alex Meza, the Comets' second pitcher, threw two innings of shutout ball, striking out four.

Converted catcher Chip Baumann (above right), their fourth pitcher of the afternoon, threw a no-hit, scoreless ninth inning, striking out two. After an error on what would have been the third out extended the inning, Baumann got the Arabs' Benny Carter looking at a third strike, ending the game.

Palomar advanced to 14-11, 9-6 in the PCAC, and moved to within two games of first place when Grossmont upset San Diego City College 4-2. The defending champion Comets are tied with Southwestern, a 4-1 winner over San Diego Mesa, for the second spot and will open a two-game series with the Jaguars beginning on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Myers Field. The teams will also play Saturday at noon at Southwestern.

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ABOVE: Palomar alum Bobby Shore pitches for No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 7 Texas on Friday night at Norman, Oklahoma. Shore dropped a 2-0 heartbreaker in a pitchers' duel with the Longhorns' Cole Green for his first Division I loss. -- Oklahoma University photo. BELOW LEFT: San Diego State's Mitch Blackburn, who hit two home runs in an 11-5 loss to No. 11 TCU at Fort Worth, Texas.

Shore and Blackburn both come up big

Mitch BlackburnNORMAN, Oklahoma / FORT WORTH, Texas (4-2-10) -- Former Palomar baseball standouts Bobby Shore and Mitch Blackburn both came up big on Friday night, but both performances came in losing efforts.

Shore pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out seven for nationally No. 9-ranked Oklahoma but lost a pitchers' duel to Texas' Cole Green as the No. 7 Longhorns won 2-0 at Norman, OK.

Shore (4-1) suffered his first Division I loss. Green, who threw 7 2/3 innings of three-hit, shutout ball, improved to 6-0.

Blackburn homered twice for San Diego State but the Aztecs fell 11-11-5 to No. 11 TCU in Fort Worth, TX. Blackburn hit bases-empty HRs in the first and third innings, the first one to lead off the game and put SDSU on top 1-0. Blackburn wound up going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.


Buchanan (4-for-5), PC rock state champs

COSTA MESA (4-2-10) -- Terrence Buchanan (left), Alfonso Casillas (right) and Jeremy Cline combined for 11 of Palomar's 17 hits on Friday as the Comets rallied to beat defending state baseball champion Orange Coast 11-7 on the road.

Palomar advanced to 5-1 against teams from the Orange Empire Conference, the nation's strongest community college  conference, with two more games coming up the next three days vs. OEC teams.

The Comets will play Saturday at noon at state No. 1-ranked and Orange Empire leader Santa Ana, and Monday at 2 p.m. at home vs. Orange Coast again.

Buchanan went 4-for-5 with a double, a sacrifice bunt, two runs scored and four RBIs. On two occasions, his speed down the line caused the Pirates to hurry fielding bunts and throw the ball away. The first went for a single and an error, the second for a sacrifice and an error.

Casillas, who had been in a slump after a torrid start, was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two walks, one of them intentional.

Cline went 3-for-5 with an RBI, and Zach Gage was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a walk.

The Comets (13-10) jumped in front early, fell behind 7-4, then erupted for four runs in the eighth inning and three in the ninth as the Pirates threw their three best pitchers against them out of the bullpen.

Victor Martinez delivered a pinch-hit single for the go-ahead run in the eighth.

Matt Garner (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced for the third out in the bottom of the seventh inning to pick up the win. Tim Hill closed the game with two shutout innings to notch his second save.

Derek Baum, Austin Muehring, Mitch Tybroski and Ty Afenir also hit safely for the Comets.

Casillas, playing first base, made the defensive play of the day by passing the mound to field a bunt in the third inning and throw to Gage at third to force the Pirates'  Franklin Porter at third. Buchanan, playing second, and Afenir also spectacular plays on defense.

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Comets run into roadblock vs. No. 1 Dons

SANTA ANA (4-3-10) -- Palomar, coming off a win on the road against defending state champion Orange Coast on Friday (see article at left) ran into a roadblock at state No. 1-ranked Santa Ana on Saturday.

The Dons, also ranked No.1 on the West Coast and alone atop the powerful Orange Empire Conference by two games, downed the Comets 8-1 in a non-conference game as freshman right-hander Ben Burke threw a three-hitter.

Palomar (13-11) got its run in the ninth inning when Austin Cusack (left) was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on a double to left by pinch-hitter Derek Baum.

Anthony Meza and B.K. Santy had the Comets' other hits. Matt Gabrielson nearly homered to left-center field to lead off the ninth but the ball was hauled in near the fence by Dons center fielder Dominick Solley.

Santa Ana advanced to 19-6 by defeating the Comets, who will play a re-match vs. Orange Coast at Myers Field at 2 p.m. Monday.

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ABOVE: Palomar first baseman Alfonso Casillas hauls in a throw from catcher B.K. Santy, who slid to field a bunt by IVC's Giovanni and somehow threw a strike from his knees to Casillas to get Giovanni in the bottom of the fourth. -- Photo by Deb Hellman. LOWER LEFT: Anthony Meza, who went 3-for-5 for the Comets with a double and two RBIs. LOWER RIGHT: Winning pitcher Shane Philipps.

Philipps (5 shutout relief innings) tops IVC

SAN MARCOS (3-31-10) -- Shane Philipps threw five shutout relief innings to record the pitching win on Wednesday at Myers Field and Palomar came from behind to notch a "must-win" 9-5 baseball victory over visiting Imperial Valley.

Philipps (1-0), the third Palomar pitcher of the afternoon, came into the game to begin the fifth inning with the Comets trailing 5-4. He proceeded to shut out the Arabs on three hits the rest of the way, striking out four and walking none.

The sophomore left-hander out of Temecula Valley High School faced 17 batters, two over the minimum and allowed only three balls to be hit out of the infield. He lowered his earned run average to 1.23 for 14 2/3 innings (season) and 1.00 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (for 9.0 innings).

And he helped keep the Comets alive in the PCAC race with 11 conference games remaining.

Palomar took a 6-5 lead in the bottom  of the fifth on a walk to B.K. Santy, Anthony Meza's bunt single, a fielder's choice, Mitch Tybroski's RBI single to tie the game and Jeremy Cline's single to center which drove in the winning run.

The Comets added an insurance run in the sixth on Meza's RBI double and two more runs in the eighth on RBI singles by Meza and Ty Afenir.

David Ring and Santy had driven in runs in the first inning for Palomar with a single and a bases-loaded walk, respectively. Derek Baum contributed a two-run single in the second inning.

Meza and Cline each went 3-for-5 to pace a 14-hit attack for Palomar (12-19, 8-6).

Santy, playing catcher, turned in the defensive play of the game for the Comets in the fourth inning when he slid to field a bunt in front of the plate by the Arabs' Giovanni Rosales and somehow threw out Rosales at first from his knees.

Palomar will visit defending state champion Orange Coast on Friday and Santa Ana on Saturday, then will host Orange Coast on Monday before returning to PCAC action on Tuesday at IVC.

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Alumni report: Saladino, ORU win at Texas

AUSTIN, Texas / LINCOLN, Nebraska / SAN DIEGO (3-31-10) -- Palomar alumnus Tyler Saladino, the starting shortstop and second-leading hitter for Oral Roberts University, helped the Golden Eagles knock off No. 7-ranked Texas 3-2 on Tuesday evening at Austin, TX.

Saladino contributed an RBI single for one of the Eagles' three runs vs. the Longhorns.

At Lincoln, NE, Oklahoma pitcher Bobby Shore ran his win-loss to 4-0 on Saturday evening as he defeated Nebraska 4-1 in a Big 12 Conference game. Shore, who is the Sooners' Saturday starter, allowed one run in five innings. The former Comet has a 2.12 earned run average and 29 strikeouts and eight walks over 29.2 innings for Oklahoma (22-3), which is ranked No. 9 in the nation.

At Tony Gwynn Stadium in San Diego, Palomar alum Mitch Blackburn went 4-for-6 with a triple, two runs scored and two RBIs on Wednesday evening but his San Diego State team lost to Stony Brook 18-14 in 14 innings.


Seventh-inning meltdown costly to Comets

EL CAJON (3-30-10) -- Palomar, leading 2-0 through six shutout innings thrown by Ryan Wilkins, suffered a pitching meltdown in the bottom of the seventh on Tuesday as host Grossmont put up a seven spot in the inning to win a PCAC game 7-3.

Wilkins (left), who struck out 11, tired early in the inning and the Comets sent four relievers to the mound before Levi Stevens finally got the third out. By that time Palomar had walked five batters, three with the bases loaded and also helped Grossmont along with a hit batter and a balk.

Jose Rodriguez and Terrence Buchanan singled in the top of the ninth, and Mitch Tybroski (above right) drove in Rodriguez with a sacrifice fly. But it was too little, too late as the Comets fell to 11-10, 7-6 in conference.

The Imperial Valley at Palomar game, originally scheduled for Thursday, will now be played on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Myers Field to beat an anticipated rainstorm.

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ABOVE: Palomar's Trevor Bayless delivers a pitch in 18-1 rout of Grossmont on Saturday. The Temecula Great Oak High product allowed an unearned run on one hit over 6 1/3 innings. LOWER LEFT: Unidentified Temecula Valley Youth Baseball player goes through his duties as a bat boy for the Comets. -- Photos by Deb. Hellman. LOWER RIGHT: Jose Rodriguez, who went 2-for-4 and clubbed a two-run homer.

3 pitchers halt G-House 18-1 on three-hitter

SAN MARCOS (3-27-10) -- A busload of players from Temecula Valley Youth Baseball arrived at Myers Field on Saturday to watch Palomar starter Trevor Bayless, a Great Oak High School alumnus, and two relievers shut down visiting Grossmont 18-1.

Bayless allowed an unearned run on one hit over the first 6 1/3 innings in a game that took only 2 hours, 34 minutes. Levi Stevens came in to strike out the final two batters in the seventh inning and wound up throwing 1 2/3 innings of one-hit, scoreless ball. Shane Philipps finished the game and pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

The Comets supported them with a 16-hit attack, led by Jeremy Cline, who went 4-for-5 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and two RBIs, and Derek Baum and Jose Rodriguez, who both homered.

The Griffins scored an unearned run in the top of the first. The Comets answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning and that was all the offense they needed to conclude a 3-0 week and move into a tie for second place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference.

But they got plenty more offense anyway in back of Bayless, Grossmont High product Stevens and Philipps, like Bayless a Temecula product (he's out of Temecula Valley High).

Baum, like Stevens a Grossmont High alum, topped off a  three-home run, 7-for-11 week as he went 2-for-2 with a solo HR to lead off the bottom of the third, a sacrifice fly, a walk, two runs scored and two RBIs.

Rodriguez went 2-for-4, slugged a two-run homer in the fifth inning, scored two runs and drove in two runs. Terrance Buchanan was 2-for-5 with a sacrifice bunt and three runs scored.

Alfonso Casillas, Mitch Tybroski, Victor Martinez and Cameron Buford also hit safely for the Comets (11-9, 7-5), who are now tied with Southwestern and San Diego Mesa for second. Those three teams are two games back of San Diego City College, a 9-6 winner over Mesa.

Zach Gage drove in three runs with a safety squeeze, a ground out and a bases-loaded walk. Casillas, Martinez, Tybroski and Matt Gabrielson also contributed RBIs, the latter in jarring manner when he was hit in the head by a pitch to force in a run in the bottom of the eighth. Gabrielson was not injured.

Bayless had a no-hitter going through the first out in the sixth. He struck out the side in the fifth inning and finished with six strikeouts and one walk.

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Comets get 2 'Baums', 21 hits, rout Mesa

SAN MARCOS (3-25-10) -- Host Palomar put a hurt on second-place San Diego Mesa on Thursday, winning 16-4 with a 21-hit attack to sweep the teams' two-game PCAC baseball series.

Catcher Derek Baum (left), a red-shirt freshman from Grossmont High School and a transfer from the University of the Pacific, ignited the victory with solo home runs in the first and third innings, the second one a towering shot over the scoreboard in left field at Myers Field.

Baum went 3-for-4 with the two homers, two runs scored and two RBIs. Alfonso Casillas added a bases-empty HR of his own in the sixth inning, and wound up going 2-for-6.

And sophomore right-hander Andrew Larsen, a transfer from Chaffey College, pitched a strong 5 1/3 innings to record the pitching win.

The win advanced Palomar to within one game of Mesa and Southwestern, who are tied for second and two games of first-place San Diego City College, which was beaten 6-2 by Southwestern.

Terrence Buchanan (above right), who has moved from second base to shortstop with Ty Afenir sidelined by a strained hamstring, had a big day for the Comets (10-9, 6-5) by going 2-for 4 with four RBIs and a squeeze bunt.

Jose Rodriguez, Mitch Tybroski, Jeremy Cline, Zach Gage, David Ring and Anthony Meza also had multiple-hit games for Palomar.

Rodriguez went 2-for-3, doubled, scored two runs, drove in a run, was hit by a pitch and walked. Tybroski was 2-for-5 with a double, one run scored and two RBIs. Cline went 2-for-6 with a double and two RBIs. Gage went 2-for-6 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Ring came off  the bench to go 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and two RBIs..And Meza was 2for-4 and scored two runs.

Victor Martinez and Cameron Buford also hit safely for Palomar. Buford's eighth-inning pinch-hit single, which helped spark an eight-run outburst by the Comets, was his first community college hit after he was activated two weeks ago from the injured list.

Patrick Smith came on to relieve Larsen during a three-run sixth for Mesa, which took advantage of two Palomar errors, the Comets' only defensive breakdown of the afternoon. He cut off the Olympians' mini-rally at the knees and pitched two innings of no-hit, scoreless ball, striking out two.

Tim Hill returned the favor in the eighth when he came in with runners at  first and third and two out and got the final out on a grounder he fielded himself.

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Comets slug 2 HRs, knock Mesa out 1st

SAN DIEGO (3-23-10) -- Victor Martinez and Mitch Tybroski slugged home runs on Tuesday as pitcher Ryan Wilkins and Palomar pounded host San Diego Mesa 6-1.

The loss dropped the Olympians out of a tie for first place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference with San Diego City College. The Comets (9-9, 5-5) moved into a third-place tie with Southwestern,  which dropped a 6-3 decision to the Knights.

Wilkins (above left) (4-0) allowed one run while scattering eight hits over the first seven innings, striking out five and walking one. Tim Hill (right) finished the game by pitching two innings of one-hit, shutout ball, striking out two and walking none.

Martinez' home run, a two-run shot, cleared the right-field fence in the seventh inning and extended a 1-0 Palomar lead to 3-0. After Mesa closed the gap to 3-1 in the seventh, Tybroski's three-run HR over the left-field fence in the top of the eighth broke the game open.

Martinez went 3-for-5 for the Palomar with two RBIs. Jose Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with a fourth-inning triple that gave the Comets a 1-0 lead. Derek Baum was 2-for-4.

The Comets can move to within one game of second place by beating Mesa again on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Myers Field. That game will be broadcast live on KKSM (1320-AM, Cox Cable channel 958 and internet at:

http:www.palomar.edu/kksm/live.html

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PC can't get untracked vs. 1st-place Knights

SAN MARCOS (3-20-10) -- Palomar didn't get untracked until the bottom of the ninth inning against first-place San Diego City College in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball game on Saturday at Myers Field.

By then the horses had long since left the barn and disappeared down Mission Road.

A run-scoring single by Derek Baum and an RBI double by Mitch Tybroski came way too late to help Palomar in a sloppy 16-2 loss. The defending champion Comets made seven errors and fell three games back in the conference race nine games into the 25-game PCAC season.

Tybroski (above left) wound up going 2-for-3 with two doubles. Baum (above right) went 2-for 5. And B.K. Santy was 2-for-3.

The Comets are 8-9 overall and 4-5 in conference. The Knights are 14-3, 7-2.

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Comets' 4-game win streak comes to end

SAN DIEGO (3-18-10) -- Palomar suffered its worst loss of the season on Thursday, dropping an 11-4 decision to San Diego City College at Morley Field in San Diego. The Comets' previous biggest loss had been by four runs.

Zach Gage (left) went 2-for-4 for Palomar with a two-run double, which closed an early SDCC lead to 4-3 in the top of the sixth. Palomar gave two runs back in the bottom of the inning and didn't threaten again.

Victor Martinez (right) hit a solo homer over the leftfield fence in the fourth inning.

Palomar fell to 8-8, 4-4 in  the PCAC. City advanced to 13-3, 6-2 by breaking the Comets' four-game win streak.

Palomar gets another shot at City, which leads the PCAC by a half-game, on Saturday at noon at Myers Field. The Comets can move back to within a game of the Knights in the 25-game conference season with a victory.

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ABOVE: Winning pitcher Ryan Wilkins, who advanced to 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA, fires to the plate. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Ty Afenir, who got the Comets' five-run sixth started with a single and also made a big defensive play. BELOW RIGHT: Zach Gage, who drove in a run with a single in the inning.

PC scores 5 in sixth, gives Wilkins 5-1 win

SAN MARCOS (3-16-10) -- Palomar sent 10 batters to the plate in a five-run sixth inning on Tuesday as the Comets downed Southwestern 5-1 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball game at Myers Field.

Ryan Wilkins and the Jaguars' Matt Milke were hooked up in a scoreless pitchers' duel when the Comets put up the five spot, enabling Wilkins to up his record to 3-0 by throwing 7 1/3 innings of one-run, six-hit ball. Scott Myers came on to notch his second save by pitching 1 2/3 innings of no-hit, shutout ball, striking out three. He has yet to allow an earned run on the season.

Ty Afenir got the sixth rolling for the Comets when he led off the bottom of the inning with an opposite-field single to right. With one out, Alfonso Casillas singled, and Jeremy Cline drove in the game's first run with a ground ball the second baseman muffed for an error.

David Ring singled to center, driving in two runs and, after a pickoff play, Victor Martinez followed with a run-scoring double to right that made it 4-0. Zach Gage drove in the fifth run of the inning with an opposite-field single to right.

Martinez also had an infield single as he went 2-for-3 with the double, two RBIs and a circus catch in left when he fell against the fence while catching a long fly. He some way held onto the ball as he tumbled to the ground for the first out in the top of the seventh.

Casillas, playing first, made a difficult play to get Southwestern leadoff hitter Eduardo Arroyo to lead off the sixth inning. Shortstop Afenir's quick reaction and rushed throw to third  baseman Gage resulted in the third out in the seventh, getting Willie Helen, who had doubled with two down. Sammy Montalvan hit a shot off Gage's glove and the ball ricocheted to Afenir.

Cline had the Comets' other hit, a single.

Palomar advanced to 8-7, 4-3 in the PCAC with its fourth straight win. Southwestern fell to 11-7, 4-3.

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Smith, Hill give Comets relief on road

CHULA VISTA (3-11-10) -- Patrick Smith (left) and Tim Hill (right) supplied Palomar with six innings of two-hit relief pitching on Thursday as the Comets knocked off host Southwestern 5-3.

Smith (2-1) came on with a runner on and none out in the fourth inning and wound up throwing 4 2/3 innings of one-hit ball to record the victory. Hill shut out the Jaguars over the last 1 1/3 innings, striking out two, to notch the save.

Coupled with Grossmont's 4-1 victory over San Diego Mesa, the win moves the Comets to within a game of first place six games into the 25-game conference season.

Zach Gage (2-for 4, RBI) broke a 3-3 tie with an opposite-field single to right in the sixth inning to drive in Victor Martinez, who  had doubled to center.

Pinch-hitter Austin Muehring gave the Comets an insurance run in the seventh when he singled up the middle to drive in Derek Baum.

Baum went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.

Baum, playing catcher, also gunned down a runner trying to steal and the Comets also got big defensive plays from shortstop Ty Afenir, second baseman Terrence Buchanan and center fielder Jeremy Cline.

Palomar (7-7, 3-3 in conference) turned two double plays. Southwestern, which remains in a first-place tie despite the loss, is 11-5, 4-2.

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PC rolls behind Wilkins (7 IP, 2 hits, 10 K's)

SAN MARCOS (3-9-10) -- Palomar made it two straight impressive PCAC wins on Tuesday, pounding out 15 hits in support of winning pitcher Ryan Wilkins and beating Imperial Valley 10-0 at Myers Field.

Wilkins (left) (2-0) threw seven innings of two-hit, scoreless ball, striking out 10 and walking none. Evan Mott and Alex Meza each added an inning of shutout relief as they combined with Wilkins on a four-hitter. Second baseman Matt Gabrielson put exclamation point on the victory by making a spectacular diving stop and difficult throw to first for the final out.

Derek Baum (above right) paced the offensive onslaught, going 4-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI. Austin Muerhing went 3-for-4, homered and drove in three runs. Ty Afenir was 3-for-3 with a double, a steal and an RBI. Zach Gage went 2-or-4 and drove in a run.

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Dominant Myers wins; Comets roll G-House

EL CAJON (3-5-10) -- Defending champion Palomar, off to a frustrating start to begin the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball season, was mad as hell and wasn't going to take it any more.

The Comets took out their frustrations on a stunned Grossmont team on Friday at Noel Mickelsen Field, pounding out 12 hits including two home runs to bash the Griffins 9-3.

Right-hander Scott Myers (above left), dominated the Griffins over 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two scratch singles and striking out four, after relieving starter Trevor Bayless when he began to tire in the fifth.

The University of Oklahoma-bound Myers, who has an ERA of 0.00 for 8 1/3 innings on the season, picked up the win with help from another left hander, Tim Hill, who retired Grossmont 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning and struck out one.

At the plate, four players had two hits each for Palomar (5-7, 1-3), led by Derek Baum (above right) and David Ring, who had two hits apiece.

Baum, a Grossmont High School product returning to the East County, went 2-for-5 with a first-inning home run that set the tone for the game and two RBIs. Ring was 2-for-4 with a third-inning homer and two RBIs. Ring also stole a base and reached base as a hit batter.

Jeremy Cline was 2-for-5 with a single and two RBIs. Alfonso Casillas also was 2-for-5. Mitch Tybroski doubled and walked. Terrence Buchanan, B.K. Santy and Zach Gage added singles. Gage also was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run, and Tybroski walked to force in a run.

Santy had to leave the game after a collision in the top of the ninth. He sustained an undetermined knee injury.

Grossmont is 7-5, 1-3.

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Six of Palomar's 10 current pro baseball players were at Myers on Thursday to work out prior to reporting for spring training. TOP ROW, FROM LEFT: Nick Vincent (Padres organization), Brenden Webb (Orioles organization). BOTTOM ROW, FROM LEFT: Jeff Ibarra (Padres organization), Andrew Esquibel (Mariners organization), Kurt Wideman (Padres organization) and Jeff Tezak (White Sox organization). -- Courtesy photo

Pro former Comets return to Myers Field

SAN MARCOS (2-25-10) -- Six of Palomar's 10 pro baseball players returned to Myers Field on Thursday, joining other North County pro players, to pitch and take batting practice prior to reporting for spring training.

The players were: Pitcher Nick Vincent (Padres organization), who played at Long Beach State after Palomar; outfielder Brenden Webb (Orioles), who signed out of Palomar; pitcher Jeff Ibarra (Padres), who played at Lee University; pitcher Andrew Esquibel (Mariners), who played at the University of Kansas; catcher Kurt Wideman (Padres), who played at the University of the Pacific; and infielder Jeff Tezak (White Sox), who played at the University of Nebraska.


Casillas, Smith stand out in loss to Mesa

SAN MARCOS (3-4-10) -- Alfonso Casillas (left) pounded out three more hits on Thursday, going 3-for-3 and walking twice, but Palomar dropped a 6-2 PCAC baseball decision to San Diego Mesa at Myers Field.

The Comets left 11 runners on base, eight in scoring position.

Patrick Smith (right) pitched 4 1/3 strong relief innings for the Comets, giving up a lone unearned run and striking out five. Smith struck out the side in the fifth inning.

Terrence Buchanan and B.K. Santy each had a pair of hits. Jeremy slugged a two-run home run.

It was the worst loss of what has been a frustrating early season for Palomar (4-7). The Comets' previous six losses were by a total of 10 runs.

BOX


ABOVE: Palomar's Jeremy Cline doubles in the first inning. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Trevor Bayless, who struck out three batters in a one-inning relief stint. BELOW RIGHT: Evan Mott, the final pitcher of the day for the Comets in the five-hitter.

Comets waste 5-hitter, fall on unearned runs

SAN MARCOS (3-3-10) -- Palomar continued to lose close baseball games on Wednesday, getting a combined five-hitter from five pitchers but losing 5-3 at home to Southwestern by allowing four unearned runs.

Jeremy Cline went 3-for-5 for the Comets with two doubles and an RBI. Andrew Larsen, Shane Phillips, Trevor Bayless, Alex Meza and Evan Mott  teamed  up on the five-hitter. Bayless struck out the side while allowing a scratch single in the seventh inning.

The Comets' other hits came on a double by Alfonso Casillas, who also walked twice and singles by B.K. Santy, Anthony Meza, Mitch Tybroski and Ty Afenir. Derek Baum contributed a sacrifice fly.

BOX  | SEASON


Casillas 4-for-5 but two 9th-inning errors fatal

SAN DIEGO (3-2-10) -- Palomar's Alfonso Casillas (left) went 4-for-5 with a home run, double and three RBIs on Tuesday, but two errors in the bottom of the ninth inning gave San Diego City College a 5-4 baseball win.

The Comets, who host Southwestern on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in a rain make-up from Saturday, also got doubles from B.K. Santy and Ty Afenir and 1 1/3 perfect relief innings from Tim Hill (right), who retired all four batters he faced.

Casillas ran his streak of consecutive plate appearances with base hits, walks or being hit by pitches to 14 before making an out in the top of the ninth inning.

Palomar has traditionally had trouble winning conference openers, and the defending PCAC champions fell to 0-1 in the conference with the loss.

BOX


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP PHOTO: Comets' Jeremy Cline successfully steals second in the seventh inning Friday. The ball got away from Pirates second baseman Derek Ring. Cline advanced to third on the play and scored on Alfonso Casillas' double. LOWER LEFT: Reliever Tim Hill delivers pitch. LOWER RIGHT: Alfonso Casillas on ninth-inning home run. -- Photos by Hugh Cox.

Casillas still on fire but PC drops strange one 

SAN MARCOS (2-26-10) -- Alfonso Casillas stayed red-hot, going 2-for 2 with his third home run, two RBIs and three walks on Friday at Myers Field, but his performance wasn't enough to beat visiting Ventura in a non-conference game.

The Pirates held on to win 6-5 as a strange top of the ninth and almost-as-strange bottom of  the ninth ruined the Comets' chances for their third win of the week.

In the top of the ninth, with Scott Myers on the mound in relief, Palomar appeared to get out of the inning when Myers struck out Ryan Jones for out No. 3.

Jones swung at a breaking ball which hit the dirt. Catcher Derek Baum blocked the ball routinely -- but the bat hit Baum in the head on the backswing..

A dazed Baum managed to throw to first, which would have gotten Jones and ended the inning. The ball, however, hit Jones in the back. Joseph Luna came home from third on the play, stretching a one-run Pirates lead to two runs.

Palomar still battled  back in the bottom of the ninth, but another strange play did in the Comets, who fell a run short.

Jeremy Cline walked to lead off the inning. Pinch-hitter Jose Rodriguez then hit a frozen rope line-drive which first baseman Dewey Grattin somehow managed to catch and he tagged first to double off Cline.

The next batter, Casillas, homered over the left field fence. But instead of a three-run HR that would have won the game, it was a solo shot and the Comets trailed 7-6. David Ring and Austin Muerhing followed with back-to-back singles but the next batter, pinch-hitting for Baum who had to leave the game, flied out to right for the final out..

Casillas has now gone 10 straight plate appearances either reaching base or homering.

Ring went 2-for-5 with a two-run double. Baum was 2-for-4.

Ventura, which clubbed San Diego Mesa 20-7 the previous afternoon, is 5-4. Palomar is 4-4, with its four wins all over teams from the powerful Orange Empire Conference.

Palomar is scheduled to open defense of its Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship on Saturday at noon at Myers Field vs. Southwestern, the champion two years ago when the Jaguars lost in the championship game of the state tournament. But the forecast calls for rain, which would postpone the game until Wednesday.

BOX


Wilkins, Ring, Casillas pace rout of Cypress

CYPRESS (2-23-10) -- Pitcher Ryan Wilkins (left) allowed one earned run over seven-plus innings in a dominating performance on Tuesday as Palomar beat Cypress 7-3 in a game that was more one-sided than the score would indicate.

David Ring (right) and Alfonso Casillas went 6-for-7 between them with a home run, three doubles and four RBIs.

It was Palomar's second win in two days over two Orange Empire Conference teams (the Comets won 4-1 at Saddleback on Monday) with a combined record of 13-2 vs. everyone else. The Chargers came into Tuesday's game fresh from a lop-sided weekend win over NJCAA (non-California and Pacific Northwest teams) Division I nationally No. 1-ranked College of Southern Nevada.

But Wilkins, a sophomore right-hander from Cathedral Catholic High School by way of College of Southern Idaho, struck out six and walked one over the first seven innings as the Comets methodically dismantled the Chargers to take a 7-0 lead. Wilkins tired to begin the eighth and Tim Hill came on to get the Comets out of the inning. Scott Myers entered ended the game in the ninth and pitched to one batter, getting a game-ending double play for the save.

Ring set the tone for the afternoon in the top of the first with a two-run home run over the left-field fence, scoring Casillas ahead of him to put Palomar immediately on top 2-0. Casillas, in a rare lead-off appearance, had walked and advanced to second on the first of two sacrifice bunts by Mitch Tybroski.

The Comets made it 4-0 in the fourth, 6-0 in the seventh and 7-0 in the top of the eighth. Ring wound up going 3-for-4 with the home run, a double and two RBIs. Casillas was 3-for-3, doubled twice, drove in two runs, walked and was hit by a pitch.

Ty Afenir went 2-for-4. Derek Baum contributed a double and a sacrifice fly to drive in Palomar's fifth run. Tybroski went 1-for-2 with the two sacrifices and an RBI ground ball to the right side. Zach Gage and Jeremy Cline also hit safely.

Palomar turned three double plays, from shortstop Ty Afenir to second baseman Matt Gabrielson to first baseman Casillas in the first inning, from Gabrielson to Afenir to Casillas in the fifth and from Casillas, by then at third, to second baseman Anthony Meza to first baseman Hayden Schrimpf to close out the game in the ninth. Gage,  playing third, made a spectacular defensive play to field the ball and throw to first for the third out in the bottom of the third.

The Comets have a 4-3 record but are 4-0 on the road and are 3-1 vs. teams from the powerful Orange Empire, considered the nation's toughest conference. The Chargers fell to 7-3.

BOX  | SEASON


Larsen, Stevens pitch Comets over S'back

MISSION VIEJO (2-22-10) -- Saddleback is 6-0 vs. the rest of its baseball opponents but 0-2 against Palomar.

This, after Andrew Larsen (left) and Levi Stevens (right) pitched the Comets to a 4-1 win over the Gauchos in a rain make-up on Monday.

Chaffey College transfer Larsen threw the first five innings to record the win. Stevens, a freshman left-hander from Grossmont High School, was lights-out in a four-inning relief appearance to pick up his first community college save.

"That's what happens when you throw breaking pitches for strikes and pitch ahead," Palomar coach Buck Taylor said.

Stevens has an ERA of 0.00 for seven innings pitched on the season.

The Comets had only six hits but made them count. Terrence Buchanan went 3-for-3, walked, drove in a run and scored two of Palomar's four runs.

Alfonso Castillo hit a laser, line-drive, two-run home run over the right-field fence in the eighth inning. It was his second homer of the season.

B.K. Santy went 2-for-4.

Palomar handed Saddleback its only previous loss 3-1 back on Feb. 3, also at Saddleback. Monday's game originally was scheduled for Saturday at Myers Field, was rained out and re-scheduled for Monday at Palomar. It was switched to Saddleback due to weather.

The Comets (3-3) will visit Cypress (7-2), a 12-7 winner over NJCAA (non-California and Pacific Northwest teams) Division I No. 1-ranked College of Southern Nevada over the weekend, on Tuesday at 2 p.m.

BOX  | SEASON


Shore pitches Oklahoma past San Diego St.

Bobby ShoreSAN DIEGO (2-21-2010) -- Junior right-hander Bobby Shore, who was 11-1 for Palomar last season as a sophomore, made his Division I debut a memorable one on Sunday as he pitched 22nd-ranked Oklahoma to a 5-2 win over San Diego State at Tony Gwynn Stadium.

Shore surrendered one run on five hits over seven innings, striking out five and walking one, to record the victory and give the Sooners a 4-0 season-opening series sweep of the Aztecs.

Two ex-Comets played for SDSU. Sean Sanford pitched 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Second baseman and leadoff hitter Mitch Blackburn walked against Oklahoma reliever Drew Verhagen and scored a run.


ABOVE: Palomar's Ty Afnier steals second base in sixth inning of Monday's first game. He also stole third. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt. BELOW LEFT: Anthony Meza, who homered for the Comets in the second game.

Comets take pair of heartbreaking losses

SAN MARCOS (2-15-10) -- Palomar dropped a pair of tough non-conference baseball losses to College of the Desert on Monday at Myers Field, despite a 5-for-9, six-RBI performance by Alfonso Casillas...

The Comets lost the first game 9-8. Casillas was 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, a walk and four RBIs. The HR actually had come six days earlier when the teams' originally-scheduled game at COD was suspended by rain with Palomar ahead 2-0 in the top of the first.

The Comets extended the lead to 5-0 after a half-inning when the game resumed Monday at Myers Field. But they couldn't hold on in the first of two mistake-filled contests..

Mitch Tybroski (2-for-3, double, RBI, walk), B.K. Santy (2-for-4, double, 2 RBIs, hit by pitch) and Terrence Buchanan (2-for-4) also had multiple hits for PC in Game 1.

Two errors resulted in COD runs in the second game and the Roadrunners won it on a two-run homer that followed the second error in the top of the 10th. David Ring (3-for-3), Casillas (2-for-5, two RBIs) and Anthony Meza (home run) paced 12-hit attack for Palomar.

Buchanan's drive to left field which would have won the game in the bottom of the ninth hit the top of the fence inches below the scoreboard and bounced back onto the field for a double, and the Comets didn't score in the inning. That set the stage for COD's game-winning HR in the 10th.

Freshman left-hander Alex Meza retired all four batters he faced in relief in the second game, three by strikeouts.

GAME 1 BOX  | GAME 2 BOX


Martinez' 3 hits, Afenir's defense lifts PC

FULLERTON (2-12-10) -- Palomar pounded out 15 hits, led by Victor Martinez (right, 3-for-5, double), and freshman shortstop Ty Afenir (left) had a huge day defensively in an 8-6 baseball win at Fullerton on Saturday.

Jeremy Cline (triple single, two RBIs), Anthony Meza (two singles, walk, two RBIs), Terrence Buchanan (two singles, RBI, steal) and Hayden Schrimpf (two singles) also had multiple hits.

Afenir, the fifth member of his family to start regularly for the Comets, robbed Fullerton players of hits with spectacular plays in the eighth and ninth inning. He also contributed a double in the eighth for his first community college hit and walked twice.

Adam Mott, the second PC pitcher of the day, picked up the win. Starter Levi Stevens threw three one-hit, shutout innings and Alex Meza pitched a scoreless inning in relief. Tim Hill struck out four in 1 2/3 innings. Ryan Wilkins pitched the last 1 1/3 innings, when the Hornets scored two unearned runs the make the game appear closer than it was. Palomar led through seven innings 8-2.

Alfonso Casillas, Derek Braum, B.K. Santy, Austin Muerhing and Jose Rodriguez also hit safely.

BOX


Ex-Comet, Braves MLB player joins Padres

Card3_0003.jpgSAN DIEGO (2-12-10) -- The migration of former Palomar baseball players to the San Diego Padres continued on Thursday when one-time Comet and ex-Atlanta Braves third baseman Randy Johnson was named as the organization's minor league field coordinator.

He joins fellow ex-Comets Robert "Jason" McLeod (assistant general manager),  Nick Vincent (minor league pitcher), Jeff Ibarra (minor league pitcher) and Kurt Wideman (minor league catcher) in the Padres organization.

And, in the process, he gets to do something he couldn't while serving as assistant to the general manager of the Oakland A's -- work with players on the field.

Johnson starred for the Comets in baseball (under then-coach Jim Clayton) and as a football place-kicker (under Mack Wiebe). He then starred in both baseball and football at San Jose State.

Johnson, who now lives in Valley Center, played Major League Baseball for the Braves from 1982-84 prior to two seasons in Japan with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp..He was the Braves' starting third baseman for most of the 1984 season, batting a career-high .279, when All-Star third baseman Bob Horner was injured.

Johnson returns to the Padres, where he was a minor league scout, cross-checker and Major League advance scout from 1990-92 and 1994-95. He's been a special assistant to Oakland A's general manager Billy Bean and an advance scout and foreign scout for the A's for the past seven seasons. Johnson also was Western scouting director for the Colorado Rockies, and served a stint with the Detroit Tigers, where he was assistant to the general manager, held various scouting positions and spent a season as roving minor league hitting instructor.

At Palomar, Johnson was a two-year starter in baseball and, in football, kicked field goals of 53, 52, 50 and 49 yards for the Comets. His 53-yarder vs. Riverside City College in 1974 is still Palomar's record for longest field goal. The record was tied by Matt George vs. Los Angeles Pierce in 1993. George went on to kick for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While the Comets produced Tom Dempsey, who set the NFL record for longest field goal with a game-winning 63-yarder for the New Orleans Saints to beat the Detroit Lions on Nov. 8, 1970, Johnson is considered the most consistent kicker in Palomar history. He was expected to be an NFL kicker coming out of San Jose State but chose baseball instead.

At San Jose State, Johnson was an Academic All-American in baseball. His brother, Don Johnson, was a standout pitcher for the Comets and pitched in the Angels organization. Don Johnson is now an assistant Palomar softball coach.

As field coordinator, Johnson will coordinate spring training and then work the organization's farm  teams.


One bad inning costs Comets in home debut

SAN MARCOS (2-12-10) -- In eight of nine innings, Palomar shut out Fullerton on Friday in the Comets' home baseball opener.

But an ill-timed error did in the Comets, who surrendered five runs in the top of the sixth and dropped a 5-2 non-conference decision to Fullerton at Myers Field to fall to 1-1 on what has been a rain-plagued season.

Four of the Hornets' runs were unearned.

Palomar wasted strong pitching performances by starter Andrew Larson, Scott Myers, Shane Phillips (above left), who retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings, and Evan Mott.

Alfonso Casillas went 2-for-5 for the Comets, driving in both their runs with singles in the first and fifth innings.

Palomar loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the ninth when Mitch Tybroski drew a walk, Anthony Meza was hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Rich Montanez singled to left field in his first community college at-bat.

But the Comets were unable to score as the Hornets held on for the win.

Catcher B.K. Santy (above right) gunned down both Fullerton runners who tried to steal on throws to shortstop Ty Afenir, who had a big day defensively for the Comets.

BOX


Smith out-duels U of A transfer in 3-1 win

MISSION VIEJO (2-3-10) -- Sophomore right-hander Patrick Smith won a pitching duel from University of Arizona transfer Cody Lewis and Victor Martinez went 3-for-3 on Wednesday as Palomar downed host Saddleback 3-1 in its 2010 baseball opener.

Smith (left), who signed early with the University of San Diego, worked his way out of a first-inning jam and wound up stopping the Gauchos on two hits over five innings.

The Comets also got outstanding relief pitching from Adam Mott, Tim Hill and Ryan Wilkins, who struck out three batters in the bottom of the ninth to pick up the save. The Palomar pitchers scattered six hits.

Martinez (right) doubled twice, singled to drive in two runs to break a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning and reached base at a hit batter. B.K. Santy singled in a run to tie the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning.

Jeremy Cline, Terrence Buchanan, Derek Baum and Zach Gage added singles as the Comets got to Lewis, who pitched for Arizona last season as a true freshman, for six hits over five innings. Palomar finished with eight hits off five Saddleback pitchers.

Palomar benefited by being able to execute -- Buchanan with a bunt single and Ty Afenir and Gage contributing successful sacrifice bunts.

Along with shutout innings by Mott and Wilkens, Hill allowed back--to-back baserunners to open both the seventh and eighth innings, then worked his way out of trouble both times. He used a variety of effective pitches to strike out three batters.

For Saddleback, Lewis struck out eight batters in the first 3 1/3 innings before the Comets started to get to him.

Palomar is slated to play Allan Hancock on Friday at 10 a.m. at Santa Ana College in a game that has been moved up a day from  Saturday to attempt to beat an expected storm. Weather permitting, Palomar also will play Santa Ana at 2 p.m. in another game that originally was scheduled for Saturday.

BOX  | SEASON


Coach Buck Taylor (10) has one of the nation's best community college baseball programs. The nationally-ranked Comets open the season Wednesday at Saddleback. -- Photo by Hugh Gerhardt

Nationally-ranked Comets open at Gauchos

MISSION VIEJO / CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (2-2-10) -- Palomar, which previously was ranked No. 4 in Southern California and No. 9 on the West Coast in the pre-season, will enter Wednesday's 2 p.m. season opener at Saddleback ranked No.30 in the nation.

PG Crosschecker.com of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has positioned the Comets as the fourth-ranked California team in its national rankings entering the season.

Southern Nevada and San Jacinto (Texas) are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the nation, respectively. The top-ranked California team is No. 6 Cypress. A year ago, Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champion Palomar was ranked No. 5 in the nation at the conclusion of the regular season and No. 11 after the post-season.

Four Comets signed early with Division I teams, including right-handed pitcher Patrick Smith, who is expected to start today's game, with the University of San Diego. Left-handed pitcher Scott Myers signed early with the University of Oklahoma, third baseman Alfonso Casillas with UOP and catcher B.K. Santy with the University of Washington.

COMETS BELIEVE IN SANTY -- (North County Times)


Palomar No. 4 in SoCal, No. 9 on West Coast

SAN MARCOS (12-20-09) -- Palomar will open the 2010 season on Feb. 1 at Saddleback ranked No. 4 in Southern California by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association and No. 9 on the West Coast by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

The Comets play the three teams ranked ahead of them in the SoCal poll (No. 1 and defending state champion Orange Coast, co-No. 2 Cypress twice and co-No. 2 Santa Ana), plus No. 6 Southwestern five times, No. 13 Saddleback twice, No. 16 Grossmont five times and No. 17 Allan Hancock,

The Top 10 teams in the ABCA Pacific Divisions poll are No. 1 Orange Coast, No. 2 San Joaquin Delta, co-No. 3 Lower Columbia (Washington), co-No. 3 Mt. Hood (Oregon), No. 5 Cypress, No. 6 Fresno City College, No. 7 Santa Ana, No. 8 Columbia Basin, the No.9 Comets and No. 10 Feather River.

2010 Schedule  


Ex-Comet McLeod new Padres Assistant GM

SAN DIEGO (12-3-09) -- Former Palomar pitcher Robert "Jason" McLeod is leaving the Boston Red Sox, where he has been Director of Amateur Scouting since 2004, to become the new Assistant General Manager of the San Diego Padres.

After his career at Rancho Buena Vista High School and Palomar, McLeod pitched professionally in the Houston Astros organization. He's a former Padres scout. Another ex-Comet and former minor league pitcher, Darren Balsley, is the Padres' pitching coach.


Smith 4th 2010 Comet to commit to D-I, to USD

SAN MARCOS (11-9-09) -- Right-handed pitcher Patrick Smith (left) has become the fourth 2010 Palomar College baseball player to commit early to a Division I program. Smith has selected the University of San Diego, where ex-Palomar pitching coach Tyler Kincaid is the pitching coach.

All four (the list also includes right-handed pitcher Scott Myers to Oklahoma, first baseman Alfonso Casillas to UOP and catcher B.K. Santy to Washington) are all expected to sign during the one-week early period that begins Wednesday.

Smith (above), a sophomore from Paloma Valley High School in Menifee, had a 2.00 ERA for the Comets as a freshman last spring. He had a big summer for the Wenatchee (Washington) Applesox in wood-bat ball and also was recruited, among others, by UC Irvine and Gonzaga.

BASEBALL TRANSFERS,  COMMITS

Player

Pos.

4-Year College

2010 SOPHOMORES -- EARLY COMMITS
Scott Myers RHP University of Oklahoma
Alfonso Casillas 1B University of the Pacific
B.K. Santy C University of Washington
Patrick Smith RHP University of San Diego
2009 PLAYERS TRANSFERRING IN JANUARY 2010
Aaron Edwards RHP Culver-Stockton College

2009 PLAYERS SIGNED PRO AFTER SIGNING LETTER OF INTENT

Brenden Webb

OF

USC -- x

2009 PLAYERS WHO HAVE ALREADY TRANSFERRED

Bobby Shore

RHP

University of Oklahoma

Tyler Saladino

SS

Oral Roberts University

Matt Carvutto

OF

University of the Pacific

Sam Jew

RHP

Arkansas State University

Shawn Sanford

LHP

San Diego State University

Casey Edelbrock

RHP

Chico State University

Matt Hubbard

INF

UC San Diego

Anthony Renteria

OF

UC San Diego

Matt Strom

LHP

Cal State Los Angeles

Leland Sisco 1B Cal State San Bernardino
Reece Alnas OF Oklahoma Baptist University

Mitch Ferguson

INF/RHP

Cal State San Marcos

x -- Webb signed with the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 2


Santy commits to University of Washington

SAN MARCOS (11-2-09) -- Returning starting catcher B.K. Santy has become the third baseball player from Palomar's 2010 team to make an early commitment to a Division I school.

Santy (left), heading home after a home run against Mt. SAC, selected the University of Washington.

Santy (Rancho Bernardo High) batted .291 with nine doubles, a home run and 22 RBIs last spring as a true freshman as the Comets won the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship and made it to the finals of one of two Southern California Super Regional tournaments.

That Palomar team was ranked No. 11 in the nation (No. 6 in the nation after the regular seaso) and No. 1 in Southern California and in California / Oregon / Washington.

Earlier, pitcher Scott Myers committed to the University of Oklahoma, first baseman Alfonso Casillas  to the University of the Pacific.


 

 

 

 

 

ABOVE PHOTOS: First baseman Alfonso Casillas will move on to the University of the Pacific after the 2010 season. -- Photos by Hugh Gearhardt. BELOW LEFT: Scott Myers, a transfer who will pitch for the Comets this spring, will then transfer to the University of Oklahoma.

Myers commits to Oklahoma, Casillas to UOP

SAN MARCOS (10-19-09) -- Palomar baseball players Alfonso Casillas and Scott Myers have made early commitments to the University of the Pacific and the University of Oklahoma, respectively, for the 2011 season.

Casillas, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound sophomore first baseman from Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, led Palomar with a .442 average during the 2009 season, when the 36-13-1 Comets won the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship, advanced to the Super Regional finals and were ranked No. 11 in the nation.

Casillas finished with 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 35 RBIs as a freshman and was a first-team all-conference selection, a first-team CCCAA all-state pick, and a first-team community college All-American.

Myers, a 5-foot-8, 160-pound right-handed pitcher, is a transfer from Saddleback College where he was 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings as a freshman last season. He was an All-CIF Southern Section Division III selection two years ago at Beckman High School in Irvine, where he was 7-3 with six complete games, a 1.51 ERA and 82 strikeouts as a senior.

Myers transferred to Beckman High at the semester of his senior year from New Jersey when his father was transferred to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Also, right-handed pitcher Aaron Edwards (1-0 with two saves and a 3.04 ERA for the Comets last spring) has accepted a scholarship to NAIA power Culver-Stockton  College and will transfer there in January.


All-time Comet great added to Palomar staff

Troy Afenir Autograph on a 1992 Score (#407)SAN MARCOS (9-21-09) -- Troy Afenir, who came out of Palomar to play catcher in the Major Leagues with the Houston Astros, Oakland A's and Cincinnati Reds, has joined coach Buck Taylor's Palomar coaching staff as bullpen coach.

Afenir broke into MLB on Sept. 21, 1987 with the Astros and played his final Major League game for the Reds on July 10, 1992. An outstanding defensive catcher, he made only one error in 192 chances in limited action in the Major Leagues and had a .992 career fielding percentage.

He was one of four brothers who played baseball for the Comets and then went on to play either NCAA Division I baseball, professional baseball or both.

Older brother Steve Afenir, an outfielder for the Comets and now head coach at Escondido High School, was Troy Afenir's teammate on Palomar's 1992 team and went on to play for the University of Wyoming.

Younger brother Ricky Afenir, father of current Palomar freshman infielder Tye Afenir, played third base for the Comets and for BYU.

Younger brother Tom Afenir caught for both Palomar and for the University of Mississippi and later played in the Cleveland Indians farm system.

Troy Afenir was the second player taken in the nation in the old Winter draft (by the Astros) in January, 1982, prior to his freshman season at Palomar. He later was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and then for a second time by the Astros, in the first round of the June 1983 draft following his sophomore season. He turned down a scholarship from Oklahoma State, his No. 1 four-year college choice, to sign a professional contract.

Afenir was a California Community College all-state selection and a community college All-American under coach Bob Vetter for the Comets as a sophomore in 1983. He still ranks fourth in home runs on Palomar's all-time single-season list (13 in 1983), is tied for first on the Palomar list for home runs in conference games (10, also in 1983) and is fifth on Palomar's career home run list (16, in an injury-shortened freshman season in 1982, and his sophomore season of 1983).

Afenir is married to the former Kim Carter, who played softball at Palomar under coach Mark Eldridge. Their son, Austin, is a junior catcher at Escondido High. Afenir's nephew Buck Afenir, the son of older brother Steve, caught for the University of Kansas and is currently playing in the New York Yankees farm system.


-------

2010 Baseball Schedule and Results

DAY DATE OPPONENT AIRW TIME / SCORE BOX STATS ALL PCaC

Wed

Feb 3

Saddleback

Away

WON 3-1 BOX   1-0  
Fri Feb 12 Fullerton Home Lost 2-5 BOX   1-1  
Sat Feb 13 Fullerton Away WON 8-6 BOX   2-1  

Mon

Feb 16

College of the Desert

Home

Lost 8-9 BOX   2-2  
   

College of the Desert

Home

Lost 3-5 (10) BOX   2-3  
Mon Feb 22 Saddleback Away WON 4-1 BOX   3-3  

Tue

Feb 23

Cypress

Away

WON 7-3 BOX   4-3   

Fri

Feb 26

Ventura

Home

Lost 4-5 BOX   4-4  
Tue March 2 San Diego City College (PCAC) Away Lost 3-5. BOX   4-5 0-1
Wed March 3 Southwestern (PCAC) Home Lost 4-5 BOX   4-6 0-2
Thu March 4 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Home Lost 2-6. BOX   4-7 0-3

Fri

March 5

Grossmont (PCAC)

Away

WON 9-3 BOX   5-7 1-3

Tue

March 9

Imperial Valley (PCAC)

Home

WON 10-0 BOX   6-7 2-3

Thu

March 11

Southwestern (PCAC)

Away

WON 5-3 BOX   7-7 3-3
Tue March 16 Southwestern (PCAC) Home WON 5-1 BOX   8-7 4-3
Thu March 18 San Diego City College (PCAC) Away Lost 4-11. BOX   8-8 4-4
Sat March 20 San Diego City (College (PCAC) Home Lost 2-16 BOX   8-9 4-5
Tue March 23 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Away WON 6-1 BOX   9-9 5-5
Thu March 25 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Home WON 16-4 BOX   10-9 6-5
Sat March 27 Grossmont (PCAC) Home WON 18-1 BOX   11-9 7-5
Tue March 30 Grossmont (PCAC) Away Lost 3-7 BOX   11-10 7-6
Wed March 31 Imperial Valley (PCAC) Home WON 9-5 BOX   12-10 8-6
Fri April 2 Orange Coast Away WON 11-7 BOX   13-10  
Sat April 3 Santa Ana Away Lost 1-8 BOX   13-11  
Mon April 5 Orange Coast Home Rained out        
Tue April 6 Imperial Valley (PCAC) Away WON 28-6 BOX   14-11 9-6
Thu April 8 Southwestern (PCAC) Home WON 8-7 (13) BOX   15-11 10-6
Sat April 10 Southwestern (PCAC) Away WON 5-4 BOX   16-11 11-6
Tue April 13 San Diego City College (PCAC) Home Lost 2-6 BOX   16-12 11-7
Thu April 15 San Diego City College (PCAC) Away WON 9-6 BOX   17-12 12-7
Sat April 17 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Away Lost 9-10 BOX   17-13 12-8
Tue April 20 San Diego Mesa (PCAC) Home WON 4-3 BOX   18-13 13-8
Fri April 23 Grossmont (PCAC) Home WON 10-5 BOX   19-13 14-8
Sat April 24 Grossmont (PCAC) Away WON 6-3 BOX   20-13 15-8
Tue April 27 Imperial Valley (PCAC) Home WON 11-2 BOX   21-13 16-8
Thu April 29 Imperial Valley (PCAC) Away WON 36-8 BOX   22-13 17-8
Fri- May 7 Oxnard (SoCal Playoffs Round 1, Game 1) Away WON 17-5 BOX   23-13  
Sat May 8 Oxnard (SoCal Playoffs Round 1, Game 2) Away WON 11-10 BOX   24-13  
Frit May 14 El Camino (Southern Cal Torrance Super Regional) El Camino Lost 5-12 BOX   24-14  
Sat May 15 Cypress (Southern Cal Torrance Super Regional) L.A. Harbor Lost 5-6 BOX SEASON 24-15  

KKSM RADIO LIVE BROADCASTS SELECTED GAMES

1320-AM

Cox Cable Channel 958

http://www.palomar.edu/kksm/live.html

2010 Roster

No

Name

Pos

B/T

Ht

Wt

Yr

High School (City) /  College

1 Victor Martinez OF L/L 5-9 185 So Vista (Vista, CA)
2 Jeremy Cline OF L/R 5-9 165 Fr Valley Center (Valley Center, CA) / U. of Sioux Falls
3 Anthony Meza INF L/R 5-8 180 Fr Vista (Vista, CA) / Northern Iowa University
4 Terrence Buchanan INF B/R 6-2 180 So Mt. Carmel (San Diego, CA) / Fresno State
7 Mitch Tybroski OF R/R 5-8 175 Fr La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, CA)
8 Ty Afenir INF R/R 6-1 170 Fr Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, CA)
9 Zach Gage INF R/R 6-1 183 Fr La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad, CA)
11 Scott Myers LHP L/L 5-8 170 So Beckman (Irvine, CA) / Saddleback CC
12 Matt Gabrielson INF R/R 5-10 170 Fr Riverside Poly (Riverside, CA) / UC Riverside
13 Leigh Stevens LHP L/L 5-10 160 Fr Grossmont (La Mesa, CA)
14 Patrick Smith RHP R/R 6-2 170 So Paloma Valley (Menifee, CA)
15 Derek Baum C R/R 5-10 180 Fr Grossmont (La Mesa, CA) / University of the Pacific
16 Alex Meza LHP L/L 5-9 180 So Great Oak (Temecula, CA) / Saddleback, CC
18 B.K. Santy C R/R 6-2 175 So Rancho Bernardo (Rancho Bernardo, CA)
20 Shane Philipps LHP L/L 6-2 180 So Temecula Valley (Temecula, CA)
21 Ryan Wilkins RHP R/R 6-0 180 Fr Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA) / College of Southern Idaho
22 Cameron Buford OF R/R 6-3 180 Fr McKinney North (McKinney, TX) / Odessa CC (Tex)
23 David Ring OF R/R 6-2 200 So Rancho Bernardo (Rancho Bernardo, CA)
25 Hayden Schrimpf 1B L/R 6-2 175 So Fallbrook (Fallbrook, CA)
26 Austin Cusack OF R/R 6-2 205 Fr Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, CA)
27 Paul DeFrancesco RHP R/R 6-2 190 So Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, CA)
28 Tim Hill LHP L/L 6-4 175 Fr Granada Hills Charter (Granada Hills, CA)
30 Austin Muehring OF R/R 6-3 185 Fr Rancho Bernardo (Rancho Bernardo, CA)
31 Trevor Bayless RHP R/R 6-3 210 Fr Great Oak (Temecula, CA)
34 Andrew Larsen RHP R/R 6-1 215 So Murrieta Valley (Murrieta, CA) / Chaffey CC
35 Chip Baumann RHP R/R 6-4 200 So M.L. King (Riverside, CA) / Cal State San Marcos
36 Jose Rodriguez INF R/R 6-1 215 Fr Rancho Buena Vista (Vista, CA)
37 Alfonso Casillas INF R/R 6-2 220 So Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, CA) / Cal State Northridge
38 Adam Mott RHP R/R 6-5 230 Fr Riverside Poly (Riverside, CA)
39 Evan Mott RHP R/R 6-5 230 Fr Riverside Poly (Riverside, CA)
  Brodie Callahan 1B R/R 6-4 200 Fr Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, CA)
  Kyle Hansen INF R/R 6-0 170 Fr Carlsbad (Carlsbad, CA)
  Chris Miller INF R/R 6-0 165 Fr Temecula Valley (Temecula, CA)
  Julian Esquibel RHP R/R 6-2 210 Fr Vista (Vista, CA)
  Rich Montanez C L/R 5-10 175 Fr Rancho Buena Vista (Vista, CA)
  Ricky Norton RHP R/R 6-3 200 So Timpangos (Orem, UT)
COACHING STAFF
10 -- Buck Taylor, Head Coach
6 -- Ben Adams, Associate Head Coach; Recruiting Coordinator, Infield Coach
24 -- Rich Graves, Outfield Coach
29 -- Sean Rees, Pitching Coach
40 -- Troy Afenir, Bullpen Coach / Bench Coach

Ex-Comets Who Played Major League Baseball (Regular Season)

NAME

4-YR COLLEGE

TEAM(S)

Randy Johnson, INF San Jose State Atlanta Braves
Troy Afenir, C None Houston Astros, Oakland A's, Cincinnati Reds
Jim Scranton, INF University of Arizona Kansas City Royals
George Hinshaw, INF Arizona State University, University of La Verne San Diego Padres

Ex-Comets Who Played Major League Baseball (Pre-Season)

NAME

4-YR COLLEGE

TEAM

Rich Zinniger, LHP Brigham Young University San Diego Padres
Dana McManus, RHP Chapman University Detroit Tigers
Scot Mitchell, C Cal State Northridge Oakland A's
Ernie Oliva, RHP None San Diego Padres, California Angels
Will Flynt, LHP Fort Hays State University Pittsburgh Pirates
Carl Grovum, LHP United States International University Cincinnati Reds
Mike Walter, RHP None Houston Astros

Everybody is a Comet fan ...

Palomar fan enjoys an afternoon at Myers Field. Photo by Hugh Gerhardt)

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