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Off-Season News ...
Hoyt signs with Braves; 19 alums in pro ball
GA (10-31-2012) --
Former Palomar pitcher Jimmy Hoyt, a 6-foot-6
right-hander, has signed with the Atlanta Braves.
Hoyt, who moved on to
Centenary College of Louisiana after Palomar, has
spent the last two seasons in Independent pro ball,
compiling a 2.61 ERA for the Wichita Wingnuts in the
American Association of Independent Professional
Baseball Clubs in 2012.
recently named him as
No. 9 on its Top 20 list of top prospects from all
teams in Independent baseball. He previously pitched
for Edinburg and Yuma in the North American League
and for Tebasco in the Mexican League.
Hoyt is one of 19 former
Comets in pro baseball, a list that includes Major
League pitcher Nick Vincent of the San Diego Padres.
PALOMAR PRO ALUMS UPDATED OCT. 31, 2012
Organization / Team
Padres Major League Team
Cubs / Iowa (AAA)
White Sox / Charlotte (AAA)
Braves (signed on Oct. 27)
Padres / San Antonio (AA)
Orioles / Frederick (A - Advanced)
Mariners / Clinton (A)
Padres / Eugene (A)
Diamondbacks / Missoula (R - Advanced)
Reds / AZL (R)
Reds / GCL (R)
Twins / GCL (R)
Padres / AZL (R)
Independent / Lincoln
Independent / Somerset
Independent / Hilo
Independent / Grand Prarie
Independent / Rockland
Austrian Baseball League / Vienna
4-Year College Teams for Players in Pro Baseball --
Nick Vincent, Long Beach State / Tyler Saladino, Oral Roberts /
Jimmy Hoyt, Centenary College of Louisiana / Jeff
Ibarra, Lee University / Bobby Shore, Oklahoma / Patrick
Smith (Cal Baptist) / B.K. Santy (Washington) / Anthony
Renteria (Cal State San Marcos) / Joe
Ramos (Chico State) / Reece Alnas, Oklahoma
Baptist / Scott Clement,
UC San Diego, Cal State San Marcos / Jeff Tezak, Nebraska
Carmichael helps prime Tigers for World
Pitcher Nick Carmichael,
drafted in the 24th round and signed by the Detroit
Tigers following Palomar's 2012 season, was among a
group of Tigers instructional league players who
played a series of scrimmages to help keep the
Tigers sharp for the World Series, that starts
tonight (Wednesday) in San Francisco.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound right-hander, converted by
the Tigers from a closer to a starting pitcher, was
3-1 with a 2.22 ERA in 10 appearances, all starts,
for the Rookie Classification Gulf Coast League
Tigers over the summer. He struck out 38 batters in
44 2/3 innings.
Carmichael, a Rancho Bernardo High School product,
opted to return to Palomar for his sophomore season
instead of signing with the Baltimore Orioles, who
drafted him in the 17th round in 2011. He tied the
Comets' all-time saves record for a team that tied
for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champions.
September's 0.82 drops Vincent's ERA to 1.93
(9-27-2012) -- Palomar alumnus Nick Vincent
(left) has lowered his Major League ERA to 1.93 for
the San Diego Padres with a major surge in
September. That's major, as in an ERA of 0.82 for 12
appearances during the month.
Toiling for another former Comet, Padres pitching
coach Darren Balsley (right), Vincent has had 18
scoreless outings in his last 19 appearances out of
the bullpen, including a streak of 14 in a row from
July 4 through Sept. 16.
That includies a streak of 14 conseutive appearances
without giving up a run from July 4 through
He worked 1 1/3 shutout innings on Wednesday against
the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park.
Vincent is 2-0, allowing only 16 hits while striking
out 23 and walking six over 23 1/3 innings in his
rookie season. He's appeared in 23 games since his
June 26 MLB debut.
NICK VINCENT'S OFFICIAL PADRES STATS PAGE
Vincent: 1.93 ERA, 13 straight scoreless
(9-11-2012) -- Ex-Palomar standout Nick
Vincent continued his brilliant rookie Major League
season on Monday evening at Petco Park, lowering his
ERA to 1.93 by throwing 2/3 of an inning of shutout
relief as the San Diego Padres downed the St. Louis
Vincent, the second San Diego pitcher of the night,
came on with one out in the sixth inning to get the
Padres out of a jam. It was the 13th straight
scoreless appearance, dating back to July 4, for the
Padres' ace short reliever.
Vincent struck out one and walked none. The
right-hander from Ramona has struck out 18 batters
in 18 2/3 inings. Vincent has allowed only 13 hits
and has walked six. He has a 2-0 record.
50,506 see Vincent (2-0, 2.20 ERA) beat
ANGELES (9-05-2012) --
Vincent, the second San Diego Padres pitcher of the
night, picked up the win Wednesday as the
Padres beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 before
50,506 at Dodger Stadium.
Vincent (2-0, 2.20 ERA) came into the game with the
score tied 3-3 andh one run across, runners at first
and third and two out in the fifth inning. He got
the Padres out of the jam on a foul pop-up to the
catcher. He retired the Dodgers in order in the
sixth on a fly ball, a grounder to second and a
tapper back to the mound.
The Padres scored a run in the top of the seventh to
give Vincent, who pitched 1/3 perfect innings, his
second victory of his first Major League season.
Vincent retires all 4
batters he faces vs. Giants
Palomar alum Nick
Vincent, called back
up to the Major Leagues by the San Diego Padres,
returned to The Show by retiring all four batters he
faced against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday
Vincent, beginning his fourth stint with the Major
League Padres this season, returned from Tucson of
the Triple-A Pacific Coast League to get the final
out in the seventh inning, then retired the Giants
in order in the eighth. He finished with one
The Padres lost to the Giants 8-7.
is 1-0 for the MLB Padres with a 3.86 ERA and nine
strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings..
The Ramona High School product, Palomar's second
winningest pitchers ever, was drafted and signed by
the Padres out of Long Beach State in June 2008.
Webb moves up to Advanced-A in O's system
Palomar alum Brenden
Webb continues up the ladder in the Baltimore
Orioles farm system, moving from Class A
to the Frederick Keys of the Advanced-A Carolina
Webb, a center fielder who committed to USC after
his freshman season of 2009 at Palomar but was
drafted in the 30th round and signed by the Orioles
before he could become a Trojan, is off to a good
start for the Keys. Webb is batting .375 in his
first five games with 1 double, 1 triple, 1 home run
and 3 RBIs for 16 at-bats. He's 1-for-1 on steals.
In 100 games for Delmarva of the South Atlantic
League, the Mt. Carmel High School product was
hitting .251 with 23 doubles, 4 triples, 11 home
runs and 48 RBIs. He stole 18 bases on 21 attempts.
Shore has 0.34 ERA, 30 strikeouts in last 4
Bobby Shore was used almost exclusively as a starter
at Oceanside High School, Palomar and Oklahoma
A reliever since being drafted and signed by the
Seattle Mariners in June 2010, Shore was converted
back to a starter on July 15 -- with huge success.
Shore (3-1,1.01 ERA in his last 10 games for Clinton
in the Class A Midwest League), has an ERA of 0.34
in his last four starts for the Lumberkings.
Shore has struck out 30 batters in 25 1/3 innings in
that span. He's coming off back-to-back 10-strikeout
peformances in 7 innings vs. Peoria on Aug. 5 and 6
innings vs. Kane County on Aug. 10.
White Sox move Saladino to Triple-A
North Carolina (8-01-2012) --
The Chicago White Sox have moved up
shortstop Tyler Saladino from Class Double-A
Birmingham of the Southern League to the Charlotte
Knights of the International League. The move gives
Palomar three alumni players on the Triple-A level.
Saladino, a product of University City High School
in San Diego, starred for the Comets for two seasons
and, in Division I, was the Summit League Player of
the Year at Oral Roberts University in 2010.
He's been ranked as high as the No. 3 minor league
prospect in the White Sox organization and spent
part of spring training both last season and this
season playing for the Sox' Major League club.
1,000th hit for Nettles; Cubs' Hatley to
New Jersey / DES MOINES, Iowa (7-29-2012) --
third baseman Jeff Nettles (left) became the first
player in the history of the Independent Atlantic
League to reach 1,000 career hits in his first
at-bat in the first game of a couble-header Friday
evening at Bridgewater, NJ.
Nettles' milestown hit came against the Southern
Maryland Blue Crabs at T.D. Bank Ballpark.
Nettles, son of all-time great New York Yankees and
San Diego Padres third baseman Graig Nettles, is the
Atlantic League's all-time leader in games played,
at-bats, hits, doubles and RBIs. He's in line to
break the league's career home run record this
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Nettles, an eight-time
All-Star in the Atlantic League, was drafted by the
Yankees after his freshman season at Palomar in
1996. He made it to the Triple-A level in the
Yankees organization and also played in the Kansas
City Royals and Baltimore Orioles organizations.
His brother, center fielder Tim Nettles, played for
the Comets in 1995 and 1996, when he and Jeff
Nettles were teammates. Tim Nettles also signed with
the Yankees, after two seasons at Division I
University of North Carolina-Asheville, and spent
two seasons in the Yankees farm system.
Palomar relief pitcher Marcus Hatley (right),
meanwhile, has been promoted by the Chicago Cubs
from their Tennessee Smokies farm club in the
Double-A Southern League to the Iowa Cubs of the
Triple-A Pacific Coast League.
Hatley has struck out six batters in his first
two innings in Triple-A.
Drafted by the Cubs after his freshman season at
Palomar in 2006, was 3-1 with a 3.40 ERA and four
saves at Tennessee.
Nettles came to Palomar from Torrey Pines High
School. Hatley was from Mission Hills High School.
Cheek takes scholarship to Loyola Marymount
SAN MARCOS (7-24-2012) --
Tommy Cheek, who started all 36 games for
Palomar's 2012 baseball team at third base and was
the Comets' third-leading hitter, has accepted a
scholarship offer from Loyola Marymount University.
Cheek becomes the 13th member of the 2012 squad to
move on to the four-year college level and the
eighth to Division I.
Cheek, a Cathedral High School product who
transferred to Palomar from the University of San
Diego after playing a season atter playing for the
University of San Diego in 2011.
He batted .314 with 10 doubles, a home run and 16
RBIs for Palomar's Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference champions. He reached bases 10 times on
walks and five times as a hit batter, and was second
on the club with a .409 slugging percentage.
Loyola Marymount finished in a tie for third place
with Gonzaga and the University of San Francisco in
the West Coast Conference this past season, behind
champion Pepperdine and runner-up USD.
"They told me they have some infielders returning,
but it's wide open and I'll be fighting for a
(starting) spot," Cheek said. "That's what I'm
hoping to do, start.
Cheek will check in to school at the end of August
and will major in accounting.
Above left Photo by Hugh Cox
TRANSFERS AS OF JULY 24
San Diego State
C / 1B
San Francisco State
Cal Poly Pomona
Cal State San Marcos
Vincent (1 K per inning), Saladino crank it
DIEGO / BIRMINGHAM, Alabama / LAKELAND, Florida (7-17-2012) --
While Palomar alumnus
and reliever Nick Vincent is averaging an even
1.0 strikeout per inning out of the bullpen for the
Major League San Diego Padres, ex-Comets in minor
league baseball also are stepping their games up.
Vincent (left), who is
being shipped back and forth between the big-league
club and Triple-A Tucson at a dizzying pace and was
sent back down to Tucson on Saturday remains 1-0 and
owns a 4.50 ERA out of the bullpen for the Major
League Padres. He threw 1 1/3 shutout innings in
relief against the Colorado Rockies last Wednesday
at Petco Park.
Highlights for the former Comets in minor-league
TYLER SALADINO, Shortstop (Chicago White Sox
/ Birmingham - Class AA) --
Saladino (right) is batting .306
for his last 10 games for the Barons of the Southern
League. The slick-fielding shortstop has brought his
season batting average up to .257 with 15 doubles, 4
triples, 4 home runs and 35 RBIs. He has 34 stolen
bases for 41 attempts.
Right-Handed Pitcher (Detroit Tigers / GCL Tigers -
The 6-foot-6 Carmichael has been on fire since being
converted from closer to starter after the Tigers
drafted and signed him after the 2012 Palomar
season. Carmichael is 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA, and 24
strikeouts and 6 walks over 27.2 innings. He pitched
five shutout innings with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk
vs. the Braves GSL team in his most recent start
late last week in Orlando, Florida.
Right-Handed Pitcher (Chicago Cubs / Tennessee -
Class AA) --
Hatley is 3-1 with 4
saves, a 3.40 ERA, and 46 strikeouts compared with
20 walks for 45 innings pitched for the Smokies of
the Southern League.
Right-Handed Pitcher (Arizona Diamondbacks /
Missoula, Advanced Rookie) --
Pitching for the Osprey
in the Frontier League, Smith has struck out 20
batters and walked 7 in his first 19 1/3 innings
pitched. He's 4-0 with a 5.59 ERA.
Right-Handed Pitcher (Seattle Mariners / Clinton,
Class A) --
Pitching in Iowa in the Midwest League, the former
Oklahoma University Sooner is 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA
over 23 1/3 innings. He's struck out 23 and walked
Centerfielder (Baltimore Orioles / Delmarva, Class
Webb is batting .253 with 18 doubles,4 triples, 10
home runs, 42 RBIs and 17 steals for 20 attempts
playing in the South Atlantic League.
Right-Handed Pitcher (Cincinnati Reds / Rookie) --
Muehring, who was drafted and signed by the Reds
after Palomar's 2012 season, has a 2.08 ERA in his
last four appearances for the AZL Reds.
Vincent returns to MLB with strong showing
DIEGO (7-17-2012) --
alum and right-handed pitcher Nick Vincent, called
up from Triple-A Tucson earlier in the day, began
his third stint with the Major League San Diego
Padres this season in a big way on Monday.
Vincent came in to get the Padres out of a
bases-loaded, one-out jam with a strikeout and
groundout in the sixth inning and woiund up working
1 2/3 shutout, hitless innings in the Padres' 2-0
ooss to the Houston Astros.
Vincent struck out two batters and walked one. He
remains 1-0 in the Major League. He had a had a 1-1
win-lo9ss recordduring his Triple-A stint at Tucson,
where he turned in three straight scoreless relief
appearances before getting re-called by the Padres.
Sabourin to Alabama; Montanez to CSUSM
Alabama / SAN MARCOS (7-12-2012) --
Four additional members
of Palomar's 2012 baseball team are on their way to
the four-year college level, bringing the total to
Oufielder Josh Sabourin, a sophomore outfielder from
High School, is on his way to the University of
Rich Montanez (right), a sophomore catcher from
Rancho Buena Vista High School, has committed to Cal
State San Marcos.
Sabourin led Palomar's
2011 team in hitting with a .358 average before
seeing his 2012 season limited due to health issues.
He's the second Comet baseball player to move on to
Alabama. Todd Poelstra, a left-handed pitcher, went
on from Palomar to play for the Crimson Tide in
Montanez, who played in the outfield during his
freshman season, split catching duties with Audie
Afenir, who landed a scholarship to Oral Roberts, as
a 2012 sophomore. Montanez had only one error, threw
out nine runners trying to steal.and Had only three
PHOTOS: Left -- Josh Sabourin is
lifted into the air by teammate Mitch Tybroski after
Sabourin's two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom
of the 11th inning clinched the 2011 Pacific Coast
Athletic Conference championship with a
come-from-behind, 8-6 victory over San Diego City
College. Right -- Rich Montanez
Audie Afenir drives a pitch into right-cener for one
of two doubles he hit in a 4-1 victory over
Southwestern on April 10. Afenir, who led the 2012
Comets in batting wth a .343 average, has accepted a
Division I scholarship to Oral Roberts University. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
Afenir 10th Comet to move on, to Oral
SAN MARCOS (7-05-2012) --
Catcher / first
baseman Audie Afenir became the 10th 2012 Palomar
baseball player to move on to the four-year level on
Thursday, accepting a scholarship offer from
traditional Division I power Oral Roberts
He's the sixth 2012 Comet to commit to a D-I school.
The Escondido High School product
was a two-time All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference
first-team selection and led the Palomar's 2012 PCAC
co-champions in hitting, batting .343 with
eight doubles and two home runs. Afenir started 35
of the Comets' 36 games at either catcher or
designated hitter, missing the other game with a
Afenir had, a .445 slugging percantage and a .400
He hit .324 with 17 RBIs and had a 1.000 fielding
position as the Comets' starting first baseman in
2011, as a freshman.
Audie Afenir becomes the sixth member of his family
to move on from Palomar to the Division I and / or
His father, current Comet assistant coach Troy
Afenir, signed out of Palomar after being drafted
three times in the first or second rounds and was a
catcher in the Major Leagues for the Houston Astros,
Oakland A's and Cincinnati Reds.
Steve Afenir (uncle) went on from Palomar to play in
the outfield for the University of Wyoming. Rick
Afenir (uncle) went on to play third base for BYU.
Tom "Bit" Afenir (uncle) went on to play
catcher for the University of Mississippi and in the
Cleveland Indians organization. Ty Afenir (cousin)
accepted a scholarship after his freshman season for
the Comets in 2010 and just completed his second
season as the starting shortstop at the University
A seventh member of the family, cousin Buck Afenir,
was a catcher for the University of Kansas and
played in the New York Yankees organization.
Alex Cox delivers a pitch in Palomar's 4-1 victory
over Southwestern on April 10 at Myers Field. Cox,
who picked up the win in relief, is returning
to the University of Kansas, where he began his
college career. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
Cox returns to Kansas to resume Big 12
Kansas (7-02-2012) ---
Palomar sohomore reliever Alex Cox has transferred
back to the University of Kansas, where he'll resume
his pitching career in the Big 12 Conference during
the 2013 season.
He becomes the ninth player to move on to the
four-year level from coach Buck Taylor's 2012 team,
and the fifth to Division I.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander, who transferred from
Kansas to Palomar prior to the 2012 season, went 1-1
with one sav e and a 2.19 earned run-average coming
out of the bullpen for the Comets. He appeared in 11
games, all in relief, and pitched 24 2/3 innings,
After spending most of the con-conference season
being converted from a starting role as a freshman
at Kansas to a reliever, Cox played a key role in
Palomar's run to a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference
co-championship. He threw 23 2/3 innings in
conference play, primarily as the Comets' set-up
As a freshman for the Jayhawks in 2011, Cox appeared
in 15 games and was coach Ritch Price's primary
Sunday starter. He went 4-4 with a 4.53 ERA for 59
He struck out a career-high six batters againswt
Oklahoma State on March 20 and notched his first
collegiate victory over Nebraska on April 10.
Cox pitched three seasons of varsity baseball for
Corona Santiago High School, where he went 6-4 with
a 2.29 ERA as a senior in 2010. He was selected by
the 38th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2010
Vincent gets 1st MLB win as
Padres down Astros
HOUSTON, Texas (6-28-2012) ---
the third of four San Diego pitchers, recorded his
first Major League pitching win on Thursday night as
the Padres rallied to down the Houston Astros 7-3.
Vincent threw the eighth inning, allowing one run on
one hit, before the Padres rallied for six runs in
the top of the ninth to overcome a 3-1 deficit.
Huston Street came in to pitch the ninth
The four San Diego pitchers combined on a
Vincent had thrown two hitless, scoreless innings on
Tiuesday against the Astros in his Major League
debut (see below).
Vincent (2 IP, 0 R, 0 H) wows fellow PC alum
HOUSTON, Texas (6-27-2012) ---
(left) became the first Palomar player since Troy
Afenir in his final game for the Cincinnati Reds on
July 10, 1992 to appear in a regular-season Major
League game on Tuesday night.
The right-handed relieverer, who was called up late
Monday from Double-A San Antonio, couldn't
have had a more impressive.Major League debut -- 2
innings, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 strikeouts -- in the San
Diego Padres' 5-3 loss to the Houston Astros.
"He threw very well, obviously," Padres pitching
coach Darren Balsley (right), like Vincent a former
Palomar pitcher, said via cell phone from Houston.
Vincent blew down the Astros in the sixth and
"Most of our relievers are not throwing strikes,"
Balsley added. "He came in and threw strikes. He
went after people. He located his fastball and he
located his cutter. We were only going to throw him
one inning, but he was so effective -- he only threw
10 pitches -- that we sent him back out there."
Coming in to begin the bottom of the sixth, Vincent
retired Jordan Lyles who lined out to second on a
cutter. He struck out Brian Binder on three pitches
with a called strike on a four-seam fastball, a
swinging strike on a cutter and a swiminging strike
three with a slider. Vincent completed a 1-2-3
inning by getting Jed Lowrie to fly out to right,
coming back with another cutter.
In the seventh, Vincent got Carlos Lee to hit a soft
liner to right on a four-seam fastball for out No.
1. Brian Bogumevic walked on a 3-1 count, becoming
the only baserunner for Houston in Vincent's two
innings. Vincent went 1-0 on Chris Johnson, then
struck him out with a slider, a four-seam fastball
and a cutter when Johnson swung and missed.. Vincent
got the final out of the inning, leaving Bogumevic
stranded at first, as he got Jason Castro to loft a
routine fly ball to right on yet another cutter.
"Most pitchers consider their hard sliders cutters.
Nick throws a true cutter, which is a big
advantage," Balsley said.
Vincent was a 20-game career winner for the Comets
in 2005-2007 and was drafted and signed by the
Padres out of Long Beach State after the 2008
season. He developed the cutter in the Padres farm
"(Vincent) showed great poise. That's a lot easeir
to do when you're throwing strikes," Balsley added.
"He made a very, very good impression."
Balsley, who pitched for the Comets in 1983 and 1984
and saw his own pro career come to a premature end
in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system due to an
injury, is in his ninth season as San Diego's'
pitching coach. The Padres have consistently been
among the National League's leaderes in ERA since
REGULAR-SEASON MLB PLAYERS
Atlanta Braves (1982-84)
San Diego Padres (1982-83)
City Royals (1984-85)
Houston Astros (1987)
Oakland A's (1990-91)
Carmichael gets first pro victory in Orlando
Florida -- Nick Carmichaelo,who was drafted
and signed out of Palomar following the 2012
season,notched his first pro pitching win on
Being converted from his closer's role at Palomar to
a starter for Detroit's Tigers GSL farm club in
Rookie classification Gulf Coast League, Carmichael
threw five innings of two-hit, shutout ball to beat
the GSL Braves 11-2 at the Disney/ESPN Wide World of
Carmichael struck out four and walked opne. After
two starts, he's 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA, striking out 8
and walking 2 in 9 innings.
Vincent is back in Major Leagues with Padres
HOUSTON, Texas (6-26-2012) ---
pitching standout Nick Vincent has been called back
up to the San Diego Padres' Major League team and
will re-join the Padres tonight (Tuesday) in
Vincent was with the big-league club for two games
of a series against the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim in mid-may at Petco Park but did not appear
in either game. His Major League pitching debut
could come during the Padres' current
series against the Astros in Houston.
Fast-forward to Monday, when the right-hander from
Ramona was called up late late in the day from the
Padres' San Antonio Missions farm club in the Class
AA Texas League.
Vincent was 1-0 with a 1.86 earned run average
for the Missions after joining the club from Class
AAA Tucson on June 6. He'd made eight straight
scoreless appearances out of the bullpen for San
Antonio and had struck out 15 and walked 0 for the
Missions in 9 2/3innings.
Vincent was 5-1 as a true freshman at Palomar during
the 2005 season, when the Comets finished second in
the state community college tournament to Santa
Rosa. His season was cut short by an injury and he
was granted an injury red-shirt.
Vincent then pitched for the Comets in the 2006 and
2007 seasons and was drafted by the Padres following
a standout 2008 season as a junior at Long Beach
His most memorable performance at Palomar came on
May 13, 2006 when he threw a five-hit shutout to
beat Rio Hondo's Bobby LaFromboise 1-0 in a classic
pitchers' duel at Myers Field in the opening round
of the Southern California community college
LaFromboise currently is pitching for the Seattle
Mariners' Tacoma farm club in the Class AAA Pacific
Coast League, where he has a 2.25 ERA and appears
primed to join Vincent in the Major Leagues.
At Palomar, Vincent pitched for head coach Bob
Vetter in 2005 and for current head coach Buck
Taylor, Vetter's pitching coach who followed Vetter
as head coach when Vetter retired, in 2006 and 2007.
Nick Vincent has made nine consecutive scoreless
relief appearances for the San Diego Padres' San
Antonio Double-A team. RIGHT:
Nick Carmichael, who
threw four shutout relief innings in his first
appearance for the Detroit Tigers' Rookie
Classification club in the Gulf Coast League.
Vincent (8 shutout outings),
ANTONIO, Texas / LAKELAND, Florida / Other Locations (6-25-2012) ---
Nick Vincent, attempting to make it back to the San
Diego Padres' Major League roster where he spent two
days in mid-May, remains on fire in Double-A.
Meanwhile, ex-Comet Greg Hatley has a similar streak
still going in Double-A in the Chicago Cus
organization. Nick Carmichael, pitching in Rookie
ball in the Detroit Tigers' organization, made a
dominant pro debut. And Patrick Smith earned in
first professional win in the Arizoina Diamondbacks
organization in Advanced Rookie.
NICK VINCENT (Ramona HS, Palomar, Long Beach
State) -- The former 20-game career winner
for the Comets is working on a streak of eight
consecutive scoreless appearances for the Padres'
San Antonio Missions club in the Texas League.
Vincent is 1-0 and owns a 1.86 ERA with 15
strikeouts and 0 walks in 9 2/3 innings since
arriving from Triple-A Tucson the first week of
In his most recent action, Vincent came out
of the bullpen on Saturday to blank Midland in a 1
1/30inning stint, allowig 1 hit while strikiing out
2 and walking 0.
NICK HATLEY (Mission Hills HS, Signed out of
Palomar) -- Hatley, pitching for the Cubs'
Tennessee Smokies farm club in the Southern League,
also has made eight consecutive scoreless relief
Hatley has a 3-1 record, 3 saves and a 2.45 ERA in
20 appearances for the Smokies. In 33 innings, he's
allowed only 24 hits while striking out 35 batters
and walking 11.
In his most recent appearance, Hatley threw 2/3 of
an innings of hitless, scoreless ball vs.
Jacksonville on Sunday.
PATRICK SMITH (Paloma Valley HS, Palomar,
Cal Baptist) --
Smith came out of the
pen to notch his first pro win on Friday night,
throwing 3 innings at Missoula , Montana. The
Diamondbacks' Missoula Osprey farm club defeated the
Great Falls Voyagers 6-5 in a Pioneer League game.
NICK CARMICHAEL (Rancho Bernardo HS,
Palomar) -- Carmichael made his pro debut
last Thursday by throwing 4 innings of 2-hit,
shutout ball in relief against the Pittsburgh
Pirates' Gulf Coast League team in a game at
Lakeland, Florida. He struck out 4 and walked 1 for
the Tigers' GCL team.
RIVER STEVENS (Mission Hills HS, Palomar) --
Stevens, the Padres' ninth-round draft
choice earlier this month, is hitting .313 for his
first eight games as the starting second baseman for
the Eugene Emeralds farm club in the Class-A
short-season Northwest League.
Gavin 8th 2012
Comet to move on to 4-year level
New York (6-25-2012) --
relief pitcher Matt Gavin has become the eighth 2012
Palomar baseball player to commit to a 4-year
program, moving on to NCAA Division I Fordham
Gavin is product of Smithtown East High School in
St. James, New York who was 7-0 with an ERA of 0.82
as a senior, making third-team all-state.
He transferred to Palomar after one season at
Division I Wagner College, where he appeared in 13
games in 2011, striking out 25 batters in 28 innings
while pitching against such national high-powered
teams as Kent State and St. John's.
At Palomar, Gavin got caught in a numbers game
on a big pitching staff for the 2012 Pacific Coast
Athletic Conference champion Comets, appearing in
only two games.
Members of Palomar's 2012 team who previously
committed and/or signed with 4-year colleges:
outfielder Casey Munoz (Santa Clara), right-handed
pitcher D.J. Zapata (Santa Clara), first baseman
Danny Hawksley (San Diego State), right-handed
pitcher Callen Dawson (San Francisco
State), right-handed pitcher R.J. Shanks (Cal Poly
Pomona), left-handed pitcher Cody Willingham
(Abilene Christian) and right-handed pitcher Julian
Shore are all hot in the minors
ANTONIO, Texas (6-19-2012) / PEORIA, Illinois
(6-17-2012) / KODAK, Tennessee (6-16-2012) ---
alums turned in notable performances in their most
recent minor league pitching appearances.
Nick Vincent (left, San Diego Padres organization),
Marcus Hatley (second from right, Chicago Cubs
organization and Bobby Shore (far right, Seattle
Mariners organization) are among 18 ex-Comets
currently playing professional baseball.
Tuesday, July 19 -- Vincent has
returned to form from an ankle injury in spring
training with the Padres' big-league club. He made
his sixth straight no-hit, scoreless relief
appearance for the San Anonio Missions on
Tuesday evening in San Antonio.
Vincent was slow coting back from the late-March
injury, when he stepped on a ball in the bullpen in
Peoria, Arizona. He threw his lastest inning of
shutout relief as the Missions, the Padres' farm
club in the Class AA Texas League, lost to the
Corpus Christi Hooks in extra innings at San
Antonio. The teams were tied 0-0 through 11 innings
before the Hooks pushed across four runs in the top
of the 12th.
Vincent, who spent two days with the Major League
club but didn't appear in a game after being
called up from Triple-A Tucson in mid-May, has put
up nothing but zeros since giving up two runs in his
first game after arriving in San Antonio on June 6.
He has a 1-0 win-loss record out of the bullpen for
the Missions, striking out 12 and walking 0 in 7 1/3
Vincent, who was drafted and signed by the Padres
out of Long Beach State in 2008 after transferring
from Palomar, has a 2.45 ERA for the Missions.
Saturday, June 16 -- Hatley is 2-0
with a 1.62 ERA in his last 10 appearances for the
Cubs' Tennessee Smokies farm club in the Class AA
On Sunday, Hatley pitched two scoreless relief
innings to pick up the win as the Smokies defeated
the Birmingham Barons 2-1 in Birmingham, Alabama.
For the 2012 season, Hatley is 3-1 for the Smokies
with 2 saves, a 2.59 ERA and 34 strikeouts in
31 1/3 innings.
He originally signed with the Cubs, who drafted him
out of Palomar in 2007.
Sunday, June 17 -- Shore made his
anticipated 2012 debut for the Mariners' Clinton
LumberKings farm club in the Class A Midwest League
by throwing blanks at the Peoria Chiefs at Peoria,
Shore pitched two shutout relief innings against the
Chiefs, allowing one hit, strikinng out 4 and
Shore, who pitched Oklahoma to the College World
Series as a junior after transferring from Palomar,
was drafted and signed by the Mariners following his
senior season in 2010.
Byron "B.K." Santy
Six Comets sign pro contracts following
SAN MARCOS (6-13-2012) --
Six current and former Palomar baseball
players have signed professional contracts in the
wake of last week's baseball draft.
Pitcher Patrick Smith, an undrafted free agent,
signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks and reported to
the Diamondbacks' Missoula (Montana) farm club of
the Class A Short Season Pioneer League on
Middle infielder River Stevens, who was drafted in
the ninth round by the San Diego Padres, is listed
on the Padres' Eugene, Oregon farm club's roster in
the Class A Short Season Northwest League.
The other ex-Comets who were
drafted last week and signed are pitcher Austin
Muehring (Cincinnati Reds), pitcher Nick Carmichael
(Detroit Tigers), catcher B.K. Santy (Minnesota
Twins) and outfielder Anthony Renteria (Padres).
No one in the latter group had been assigned to a
minor league team as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Smith, a Paloma Valley High School (Menifee) product
who pitched for the Comets in 2009 and 2010, signed
with the Diamondbacks out of Cal Baptist University,
where he was a senior. He went 16-2 with seven saves
over two seasons for the Lancers, who were in
transition from NAIA to NCAA division II in 2012.
Smith pitched Cal Baptist to the National Christian
College Athletic Associationnational championship
during the recent season and was the national
Stevens (Mission Hills High School), who played for
the Comets in 2011, signed with the Padres
after his sophomore season at Hancock College,
where he played for his uncle, the Bulldogs' head
coach, in 2012.
Muehring (Rancho Bernardo High School),also was an
outfielder for Palomar during the 2010 and 2012
seasons. He was drafted by the Reds in the 19th
round following his recently-completed sohomore
Carmichael (Rancho Bernardo), pitched for the Comets
the past two seasons. The Tigers drafted him in the
21st round following his sophomore season of 2012,
when he tied the Palomar career saves record. He
previously was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in
the 17th round following his freshman season at
Palomar in 2011.
Santy (Rancho Bernardo), played for Palomar in 2009
and 2010 and has been the starting catcher for the
University of Washington the past two seasons. The
Twins drafted Santy in the 30th round following his
recently completed sophomore season, signing him
earlier this week.
Renteria, the son of Padres bench coach Rick
Renteria, came to the Comets from Great Oak High
School in Temecula and played for the Comets in 2008
and 2009. He red-shirted at UC San Diego in 2010 and
played for Cal State San Marcos in 2011 and 2012. He
signed with his dad's team after being drafted in
the 39th round.
BASEBALL: D-I Alumni Report
Wilkins: 5 1/3 solid innings vs. No. 1
Florida (6-10-2012) --
transfer Ryan Wilkins, who beat Vanderbilt twice
last week in helping North Carolina State to the
championship of the Raleigh Regional, pitched 5 1/3
solid innings against national No. 1 seed Florida in
the Super Regional round on Sunday.
Wilkins (5-2), a junior right-hander who played high
school baseball for Cathedral Catholic, came on for
the Wolfpack in relief.
He was out of the game by the time Florida won 9-8
in 10 innings to advance to the College World
St. John's wastes Bethea's RBI single, misses CWS
TUCSON (6-9-2012) --
Palomar alum Danny Bethea, who helped lead St.
John's to a sweep of North Carolina in the Chapel
Hill Regional last week, singled to drive in the Red
Wave's first run vs. Arizona in the Super Regionals
Bethea's RBI came in the fifth inning and cut
Arizona's lead to 4-1 in a game the Wildcats won 7-4
to advance to the College World Series.
Arizona came from behind to down the Red Wave 7-6 in
the Super Regional opener in 10 innings on Friday.
Bethea, the starting catcher for St.John's as a
junior, was on deck when the game ended.
Hawksley latest Comet to commit -- to Aztecs
DIEGO (6-11-2012) --
Palomar first baseman Danny Hawksley has
commited to play for San Diego State.
Hawksley hit .281 with 9 doubles, a home run and 34
RBIs in 31 games for the Comets as a sophomore
during the 2012 season.
The Valhalla High School product was a Division I
bounceback who spent his freshman season playing for
the University of San Diego.
Members of Palomar's 2012 team who previously
committed and/or signed with 4-year colleges:
outfielder Casey Munoz (Santa Clara), right-handed
pitcher D.J. Zapata (Santa Clara), right-handed
pitcher Callen Dawson (San Francisco
State),right-handed pitcher R.J. Shanks (Cal Poly
Pomona), left-handed pitcher Cody Willingham
(Abilene Christian) and right-handed pitcher Julian
From left: Right-handed relief pitcher
Austin Muehring, right-handed reliever Nick
Carmichael, catcher B.K. Santy, oiutfielder
Anthony Renteria and middle infielder River
Stevens, the five current and former
Pallomar players selected in the 2012 draft.
Muehring and Carmichael were sophomores on
the Comets' 2012 team. Santy, also pictured
below, was a University of Washington senior
in his second season as the Huskies'
starting catcher. Renteria was a senior
outfielder at Cal State San Marcos. Stevens
played for the Comets in 2011 and for his
uncle, Chris Stevens, at Allan Hancock as a
sophomoire during the recent season.
Five current, former Comets selected in
MARCOS (6-06-2012) --
Palomar products were selected by Major League teams
on Wednesday, giving the Comets a total of five
current and former players selected in the 2012
Wednesday's draft picks were right-handed relief
pitcher Austin Muehring (19th round by the
Cincinnati Reds), right-handedreliever Nick
Carmichael (24th round by the Detroit Tigers),
catcher B.K.Santy (30th round by the Minnesota
Twins) and outfielder Anthony Renteria (39th round
by the San Diego Padres).
Muehring and Carmichael were sophomores on the 2012
Palomar team. Carmichael, who previously was drafted
by the Baltimore Orioles in 2011, tied the Comets'
career saves record on the last day of the season.
Santy (above, courtesy photo) is a senior at the
University of Washington, where he started at
catcher for the second straight season. He was
considered as one of the Pac-12's best defensive
Renteria was a senior outfielder for Cal State San
Marcos during the recent season.
Middle infielder River Stevens, who saw his freshman
season at Palomar in 2011 cut short by an injury and
played for his uncle at Allan Hancock College during
the recent season, was taken by the Padres in the
ninth round on Monday's first day of the draft (see
Padres take former Comet Stevens in 9th
DIEGO (6-05-2012) --
who played second base for Palomar during the 2011
season, became the first ex-Comet to be selected in
the 2012 draft on Tuesday when the San Diego Padres
took him in the ninth round.
was the 295th player selected in the draft.
The Mission Hills High School product batted .267
for Palomar in 20 games during his freshman season,
which ended early because of an injury.
He played his sophomore season this
spring for his uncle Chris Stevens at Allan Hancock
Former Palomar pitcher Ryan Wilkins delivers during
North Carolina State's victory over Vanderbilt in
the championship game of the Raleigh Regional on
Monday evening. Wilkins was the winning pitcher for
the secibd strauggt dat iver Vandy. He and the
Wolfpack play Florida in the Supoer Regionals this
upcoming weekend at Gainesville, FL. -- Courtesy
Wilkins pitches NC State to regional crown
RALEIGH, North Carolina (6-04-2012) --
pitcher Ryan Wilkins came out of t he bullpen again
to beat Vanderbilt for the second straight night,
this time 9-7, to give North Carolina State the
championsip of the NCAA Division I Raleigh Regional.
This time, Wilkins threw 4 2/3 shutout relief
innings as the Wolfpack rallied for the win.
Wilkins,a junior right-hander who pitched for the
Comets in 2010 and 2011, scattered three hits and
strruck out six as he advanced to 5-2 on the season.
North Carolina State will play Florida on Saturday
in Gainesville, Florida, to begin the Super
He'll be one of two former Comets playing key roles
in the Super Regionals. St. John's catcher Danny
bethea and St. Johnson travel to Tucson to play
Arizona on Friday evening to open Super Regional
play there. Bethea helped lead the Red Wave to the
Chapel Hill Regional title with back-to-back wins
over North Carolina.
Bethea, Red Wave advance; Wilkins beats
North Carolina / RALEIGH, North Carolina (6-03-2012) --
Palomar alum Danny
Bethea (left) and St. John's advanced to the NCAA
D-I Super Regionals on Sunday, beating North
Carolina again 9-5 to sweep the national No. 6
Tarheels and win the Chapel Hill Regional.
The Red Wave went 3-0
and advanced to play Arizona in next weekend's Super
Regionals. Betheas, who singled and walked, was
named to the Chapel Hill Regional all-tournament
team. Bethea slugged a 3-run walkoff HR to beat
North Carolina on Saturday (see article below).
In the Raleigh Regional on Sunday night, winning
pitcher and ex-Comet Ryan Wilkins (right) came
out of the bullpen to throw one-hit, shutout ball
over the last two innings as North Carolina State
beat Vanderbilt 6-5 to force a deciding game
Monday.. Wilkins (4-2) struck out two and walked
North Carolina with walk-off HR
North Carolina (6-02-2012) --
Second-generation Palomar standout Danny Bethea
(courtesy photos) slugged a walk-off, 3-run home run
in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday,
giving St. John's a 5-4 upset win over North
Carolina in the NCAA Division I Chapel Hill
Bethea, who helped ignite Big East
Tournament Champion St. John's to an 11-3 victory
over East Carolina Friday (see article, below),
drove in four of the Red Storm's five runs against the
Tarheels and and five RBIs in the regional. The Red
Storm can move on to the Super Regionals with a
on Sunday night.
On Saturday, Bethea had singled to give St. John's a
1-0 lead over North Carolina in the bottom of the
The Tarheels battled back and took a 4-2 lead over
the Red Storm into the bottom of the ninth when
lightning -- in the form of Danny Bethea -- struck.
St. John's would have lose twice to avoid
advancing to the Super Regionals.
Bethea accepted a scholarship to St. John's after
helping Palomar win the Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference championship in 2011 and advance to the
Southern California Community College Super
Danny Bethea's Palomar roots run deep. His dad Pete was an impact catcher for Palomar
and for an NAIA World Series championship team at
Grand Canyon. His mom Colleen played softball for
Palomar. Brother Mike was a J.C. Grid-Wire
All-American linebacker for the Comets, was an
all-WAC selectionr at Nevada, signed with the New
Orleans Saints and is now back at Nevada as a
football graduate assistant.
2012 FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE ALUMS
NCAA DIVISION i
North Carolina State
St. John's University
C / 1B
University of San Diego
New Mexico State
New Mexico State
NCAA DIVISION II
West Texas A&M
Cal Poly Pomona
Lindsey Wilson (KY)
Cal State University San Marcos
San Diego Christian
NCAA DIVISION III
COMMITS, SIGNINGS, TRANSFERS
San Digo State
San Francisco State
Cal Poly Pomona
2nd-generation Comet helps ignite St. John's
North Carolina (6-01-2012) --
Second-generation Palomar standout Danny Bethea
(left) helped ignite Big East Tournament Champion
St. John's to an 11-3 victory over East Carolina
Friday in the Chapel Hill Regional as the NCAA
Division I baseball tournament got underway.
The Red Storm's starting catcher as a junior, Bethea
doubled, walked, was hit by a pitch, drove in a run
and gunned down the only East Carolina runner who
attempted to steal.
With the win, St. John's
advanced to a second-round match-up vs. North
Carolina, a 7-4 winner over Cornell.
Six ex-Comets to begin
NCAA D-I Regional
North Carolina / OTHER LOCATIONS (5-31-2012) --
Palomar baseball players will begin the post-season
when NCAA Division I Regional action stars Friday,
Norh Carolina State
(38-17), with ex-Comet pitcher Ryan Wilkins (left),
has the highest seed of the eams featurng former
Comets. The Wolfpack is No. 1 seed in the Raleigh
Regional it will host.
Other ex-Comets in the Division I Regional field:
Cacher Danny Bethea (right, St. John's, 37-21), No.
3 seed in the Chapel Hill Regional; catcher Kody
Sepulveda (Mississippi, 35-24, No. 3 seed in
the College Station Regional), pitcher Trevor
Bayless (University of San Diego,40-15), No. 2 seed
in the Los Angeles Regional), and twin-broother
pitchers Adam and Evan Mott (New Mexico State, 35-22
in the Tucson Regional).
Julian Esquibel has
accepted a scharship to Faulkner University in
Montgomery, Alabama. -- File photo by Hugh Cox
Esquibel headed south to NAIA power Faulkner
Alabama (5-30-2012) --
Palomar two-time All-Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference starting pitcher Julian Esquibel
has committed to NAIA power Faulkner University.
Faulkner (40-13) advanced to the NAIA national
tournament this season but was eliminated over the
weekend by the University of South Carolina -
Beaufort, short of its goal of qualifying for the
NAIA World Series.
Esquibel, a right-handed Vista High School product,
compiled back-to-back earned run averages of 1.73 as
a freshman in 2011 and 2.13 as a sophmore in 2012.
He went 7-4 as a freshman and was 6-4 as a
He signed with San Jose State after his freshman
season for the Comets, but left after his arrival to
return to Palomar of confusion over promises
made by San Jose's coaches regarding his housing
Left-hander Willingham to Abiline Christian
Texas (6-01--2012) --
Palomar left-handed pitcher Cody Willingham
has committed to NCAA Division II Abilene Christian
Willingham, a sophomore out of Ramona High School,
was 3-3 for the Comets over two seasons.
He went 1-0 last season as a freshman, then was 2-3
with a 3.98 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings
this past season as a sophomore.
Willingham went 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in the Pacific
Coast Athletic Conference during the recent season.
He struck out 10 batters in 11 1/3 conference
... And Shanks commits to Cal Poly Pomona
POMONA (6-02--2012) --
Right-hander R.J. Shanks,who pitched for
Palomar the last two seasons, has committed to NCAA
Division II Cal Poly Pomona.
Shanks appeared in five games for the Comets in
2012, compiling an ERA of 0.00 while striking out
four and walking none over 5 1/3 innings.
As a freshman in 2011, Shanks appeared in seven
games, pitching 9 1/3 innings and compiling a 3.86
Shanks came to Palomar from traditional CIF San
Diego Section prep power Cathedral Catholic High
Ex-Comet Patrick Smith, the winning pitcher
in the championship game, gives the victory
sign atop the Cal Baptist dogpile after the Lancers
won the Naional Christian College Athletic
Association title on May 19 at Mason, Ohio. Smith
was 16-2 with 7 saves in two seasons at Cal Baptist,
which holds dual membership in NCAA Division II and
the NCCAA. -- Courtesy Photo
National MVP Smith pitches Cal Baptist to
Ohio / OTHER LOCATIONS (5-26-2012)
-- Palomar baseball alumnus Patrick Smith
capped a brilliant two-year career at Cal Baptist
University on May 20, pitching the Lancers to the
National Christian College Athletic Association
Smith was named MVP of the NCCAA Natioal Tournament.
He threw a complete-game 3-1 victory over Malone
College of Canton, Ohio, on May 20, then coming back
four days later to throw three dominating shutout
innings inn relief to pick up the win in the
national championship game as Cal Baptist defeated
Oklahoma Wesleyan 6-3.
Smith, a right-hander out of Paloma Valley High
School in Menifee, went 16-2 with 7 saves for Cal
Baptist.in his two seasons with the Lancers, after
pitching for Palomar in 2009 and 2010.
Cal Bapist went 43-13 in its first season in NCAA
Division II 2012 after playing Smith's junior season
in the NAIA, missing a trip to the NAIA World Series
when the Lancers lost to eventual national champion
Concordia University of Irvine in the regional
finals. Smith had pitched Cal Baptist into the 2011
regional finals with a complete-game win the
Because it is transitioning from the NAIA to NCAA
Division II, Cal Baptist must complete three years
in D-II before becoming eligible for post-season
competition. But the Lancers hold dual membership in
the NCCAA, making them eligible for that
organization's national tournament.
Smith went 10-2 with a 3.68 ERA as a senior during
the 2012 season, allowing only 78 hits in 85 2/3
innings, striking out 74 and walking 28. In 2011, he
was 6-0 with 7 saves and a 2.08 ERA, appearing both
as a starter and reliever. He was a full-time
starter this past season.
Smith originally signed with Division I
nationally-ranked Universioty of San Diego out of
Palomar, where he was slated to pitch for Tyler
Kincaid, the Toreros' pitching coach who previously
held the same post for the Comets. But he accepted a
scholarship to Cal Baptist instead due to unexpected
financial problems which made his partial
scholarship at USD unworkable.
USD's loss was Cal Baptist's gain.
Among ex-Comets in NCAA Division I during the 2012
season, right-handed pitcher Ryan Wilkins is 3-2
with 1 save abd 37 strujeiyts ub 38 2/3 inningsfor
North Carolina State.
Jon Davis is Kansas State's third-leding hitter,
batting .316 with 6 doubles, t2 triples 4 home runs
15 RBIs for the Wildcats.
B.K. Santy starts at catcher for the second straight
season for the University of Washington, hitting
.269 with 5 doubles, ,1 riple,2 home runs and 14
RBIs while coming up big defensively.
Ty Afenir is the Huskies starting shortstop
for the second straight season as a junior, also
Danny Bethea, playing catcher in the Big East for
St. John's, is hitting .264 with 4 doules, 2 home
runs and 25 RBIs.
In the NAIA, Alfonso Casillas is batting .372 with
20 doubles, 10 home runs and 62 RBIs for Lewis-Clark
State, which will take a 41-13 record into the NAIA
First baseman Jose Rodriguez hit .408 with p9
doubles, a triple, 16 homers and 63 RBIs for Bethany
College of Kansas.
Charlie Gorzo batted .351 with 11 doubles, a triple,
5 homers and 26 RBIs for Northwest Nazarene.
Anthony Renteria led Cal State San Marcos with 16
Tyler Bernard hit .281 for Lindsey-Wilson College of
Kentucky.which barely missed a trip to the NAIA
In NCAA Division III, David Ring is bating l.325
with 8 doubles, 5 triples, 2 home runs and 27 RBIs
for the Univerisy of Texas-Tyler.
Vincent: big return to Triple-A; other
Ala. / TUCSON
/ OTHER LOCATIONS (5-21-2012) --
While the Chicago White
Sox have moved Tyler Saladino (left) to the
leadoff spot in the order for Double-A Birmingham,
pitchers Nick Vincent, Jeff Ibarra and Marcus
Hadley are among those also are in the news among
Palomar alums in pro baseall.
Vincent, a right-handed pitcher who was called up to
the San Diego Padres' Major League roster for two
days over the weekend, returned to Triple-A Tucson
in the Pacific Coast League on Sunday with a
hitless, scoreless relief inning against the
visiting Nashville Sounds.
Fresh off a flight from San Diego, Vincent retired
the Sounds in order in the seventh inning.
Other updates for former Conets:
Jeff Ibarra -- The left-handed
pitcher continues to impress for the Padres' San
Antonio farm club in the Class AA Texas League.
Ibarra,who pitched at NAIA national power Lee
University after two seasons at Palomar, has
an ERA of 0.67 out of the bullpen with 18 strikeouts
and only five walks in 20 2/3 innings.
Marcus Hatley -- Pitching for the
Tennessee Smokies in the Class AA Southern League in
the Chicago Cubs farm system, Hatley is 1-1 with 1
save, a 2.75 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 19 2/3
Tyler Saladino -- The ex-Summit
League Player of the Year at Oral Roberts
University, rated as one of the top prospects in the
White Sox organization, is playing both shortstop
and second base at Birmingham. He recently
cokmpleted a 10-game streak during which he batted
.361 for the Barons.
Bobby Shore -- The former Oklahoma
University alum has struck out 76 batters in 70 2/3
innings for the Seattle Mariners' Clinton
LumberKings farm club in the Class A Midwest League.
Shore has a 3.96 ERA in two seasons in the Mariners
PRO ALUMS UPDATED MAY 21, 2012
Organization / Team
Padres / Tucson (AAA)
Cubs / Tennessee (AA)
White Sox / Birmingham (AA))
Padres / San Antonio (AA)
Mariners / Clinton (A)
Orioles / Delmarva (A)
Independent / Lincoln
Independent / Somerset
Independent / Hilo
Independent / Grand Prarie
Independent / Rockland
Austrian Baseball League / Vienna
4-Year College Teams for Players in Pro Baseball --
Nick Vincent, Long Beach State / Tyler Saladino, Oral Roberts / Jeff
Ibarra, Lee University / Bobby Shore, Oklahoma / Joe
Ramos (Chico State) / Reece Alnas, Oklahoma
Baptist / Scott Clement,
UC San Diego, Cal State San Marcos / Jeff Tezak, Nebraska
Comets' Dawson will pitch at San Francisco
(5-21-2012) -- Palomar relief pitcher
Callan Dawson (left, photo by Hugh Cox) will move on
to the NCAA Division II level at San Francisco
Among 2012 sophomores, both outfielder Casey Munoz
and starting pitcher D.J. Zapata previously signed
with Division I Santa Cl;ara.
In two seasons for the Comets, Dawson, a
right-handed side-armer, was 1-0 in 19 appearances
out of the bullpen, throwing 19 1/3 innings with a
Dawson pitched for Carlsbad High School.
Padres call up ex-Comet Nick Vincent to
The San Diego Padres have called up former Palomar
pitcher Nick Vincent. The 26-year-old right-hander
will be in uniform when the Padres host the Los
Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday evening.
He was on the club's
40-man roster in spring training and appeared primed
to make the opening-day roster whee he stepped on a
loose ball in the bullpen and injured an ankle.
Vincent returned to
action this past week, making three appearances in a
re-hab stint for Tucson of the Pacific Coast
The Padres' Major League pitching coach is another
former Comet, Darren Balsley.
Vincent, a Ramona High School product, pitched two
full seasons and part of another at Palomar,
receiving a medical redshirt due to an arm injury as
a true freshman in 2005, when he began the year 5-1.
He pitched one season for Long Beach State in 2008
before being drafted and signed by the Padres.
Vincent compiled a Palomar career ERA of 2.11 from
2005-07, second best on the Comets' all-time list.
He holds the Palomar record for single-season
conference ERA (0.81 in 2005), is second all-time in
career wins (20) and second all-time in career
After two days, Vincent is back at Tucson
-- After spending two games in the San
Diego Padres bullpen, Palomar aluym was sent back
down to Triple-A Tucson on Sunday. He warned up in
the sixth inning Friday night in the
Padres'game with the Angels, but didn't get into the
Ex-PC and Astro pitcher killed in
PEARL, MS (5-3-2012) --
Former Palomar baseball star Mike Walter, who
pitched for seven seasons in the Houston Astros
organization and was elevated to the Astros' 40-man
Major League roster in 2000, has been killed in the
line of duty in Mississipi, where he was a police
Walter came to Palomar from Rancho Bernardo High
where he pitched for former Comet Sam Blalock, the
winningest high school baseball coach in San Diego
County history. He was shot to death as he and two
other officers were attempting to serve a warrent on
convicted felon and sexual battery suspect Carnell
Gaines Jr. Gaines pulled a gun and shot all three
officers, killing Walter and wounding the other two.
One of the other olfficers was able to return fire,
Walter, 37, who joined the Pearl Police Dept. in
2008 and was promoted to investigator in 2010, is
surved by his wife Jeanne, and 11-year-old daughter
2012 Season ...
ABOVE: Palomar pitcher Julian
Esqjuibel has repeated a an All-Pacific Coast
Athletic Conference first-team selection. -- Photo
by Hugh Cox.
BELOW LEFT: Nick Carmichael.
BELOW RIGHT: Audie Afenir. Both also
repeated as first-team selections. Carmichael was
named as a relief pitcher, Afenir at designated
Five Comets, Taylor are honored by
DIEGO (5-03-2012) -- Palomar's Buck Taylor
shares Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Coach of
the Year honors in baseball with Southwestern's
Jerry Barow and San Diego Mesa's Kevin Hazlett. Five
Comet players were named to the all-conference first
The first-team selections for the PCAC co-champion
Comets were sophomore Julian Esquibel at a starting
pitcher,sophomore Nick Carmichael at relief pitcher,
sophomore Audie Afenir at designasted hitter,
sophomore Tommy Cheek at third base and freshman
Nico Carbella in the outfield.
Afenir, Carmichael and Esquibel were also first-team
picks, as voted by conference coaches, a year ago.
Afenir made last season's team as a first aseman.
Esqjuibel (Vista High School), Carmichael (Rancho
Bernardo), Afenir (Escondido), Cheek (Cathedral
Catholic) and Garbella (Cathedral Catholic) all
local high school products. Cheek was a transfer
from the University of San Diego.
Palomor's honorable mention selections were Danny
Hawksley, Casey Munoz, Alex Cox, Chris Sanders, D.J.
Zapata,, Reggie Jones and Kyle Montiel.
After false alarm, Palomar left out of
Less than 48 hours
after they were mistakenly notified that they were
the conference's automatic No. 1 playoff seed
and would host a best-of-3 first-round series next
weekend, Palomar's Pacific Coast Athletic Conference
baseball co-champions found themselves out of the
playoffs on Sunday.
The conference tie-breaker
for three teams tying for the championship, when
none of them has a season series advantage over the
other two, turned out to be best overall season
record as opposed to run differential in games
played between the three co-ahmpionship teams.
Southwestern goes in as the PCAC's top and San
Diego Mesa, the third co-champion, goes in as the
conference's second seed. Palomar, which had the
worst overall record of the three of 18-18, does not
even get a play-in game and the Comets' seaon is
Southwestern is seeded No. 8 in SoCal and will host
No. 9 El Camino in a best-of-3 series next weekend.
Mesa is seeded 12th and will visit No. 5 seed
Glendale in a best-of-3 series. Orange Coast
a team the Comets lost to by one run on the road,
will host a series against the winner of a play-in
game Tuesday betweeen Los Angeles Valley,another foe
Palomar lost to by one run, and Bakersfield.
ABOVE: Chris Sanders singles to
left field to drive in Tommy Cheek in the second
inning, extending Palomar's lead to 3-0. Sanders
added another RBI single in the fourth inning to
give the Comets their fifth run of the afternoon.
BELOW RIGHT: University of Kansas
transfer Alex Cox, who has become the Comets' key
set-up man after being the Jayhawks' Sunday starter
last season, delivers a pitch in the eighth inning.
-- Photos by Hugh Cox.
LOWER LEFT: Starter and winning
pitcher Julian Esquibel. LOWER RIGHT:
who had three hits in the game.
Comets tie for title, cap improbable late
(UPDATED 4-28) --
capped an improbable late-season run Friday by
beating Soiuthwestern 5-1 in a rain make-up to tie
for the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball
The Comets, pronounced dead on multiple occasions
during a season which saw them struggling at seven
games under .500 on March 28, share the title with
the Jaguars and San Diego Mesa. The Olympians lost
3-1 at Grossmont on Friday.
Palomar is hoping to advance to the Southern
California playoffs as an at-large team, as the
conference's No. 3 representative (the tie-breaker
for a three co-champions is overall winning
percentage). It was incorrectly reported on the
conference level on Friday that the tie-breaker was
run-differential among the co-champions.
The Comets, who won 7 of their last 8 regular-season
games and 10 of their last 12, got outstanding
pitching from winner Julian Esquibel, who
.threw seven innings of one-run, six-hit ball, and
relievers Alex Cox and closer Nick Carmichael.
Carmichael, appearing in a non-save situation, came
on to to get the last three outs of the afternoon on
two groundouts and a strikeout, the latter when
Southwestern's Sammy Montalvo looked at a called
Reggie Jones led Palolmar at the plate by going
3-for-5. Chris Sanders went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Tommy Cheek was 2-for-3 with a sacrifrice bunt and
also reached base as a hit-batter. Danny Hawksley
went 2-for-5 and drove in a run. Audie Afenir and
Casey Munoz also hit safely.
Palomar won the season series from Southwestern,
which won the tie-breaker for the conference's No
1 playoff seed, 5 games to 0.
ABOVE: Winning pitcher Cody
Willingham, who threw four shutout relief innings to
close out the game, deals agaionst San Diego City
College on Tuesday. -- Photo by Hugh Cox.
BELOW LEFT: Brett Clark, who drove in the
winning run. BELOW RIGHT: Casey
Munoz, whowse RBI single tied the game at 1-1 in the
eighth and sent it to extra innings.
PC wins another one in 14th, retains title
(4-24-2012) -- For the second straight
game, the Palomar baseball team won on a walk-off
hit in the 14th inning at Myers Field on Tuesday,
this time 2-1 over San Diego City College on a
single by Brett Clark.
Clark's hit went to right field and drove in Austin
Muehring, in the game as a pinch-runner for Audie
Afenir, who had singled to right with one out.
That gave Cody Willingham, Palomar's fourth
pitcher of the game, the win and keeps the Comets
alive in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference race
with one game to play, on Thursday at Southwestern.
The Jaguars, a 14-3 winner over Grossmont and San
Diego Mesa, a 14-2 winner over Impeial Valley, are
tied for the conference lead, one game ahead of the
A Palomar win over Southwestern and a Grossmont
upset over Mesa on Thursday, with ace pitcher Jack
Disbro going for the Griffins, would create a
three-way tie for the championship. A Palomar win
and a Mesa win would hand the title to the Olympians
and leave the Comets and Jaguars tied for second.
Disbro (6-2, 1.67 ERA) beat the Olympians 14-1 last
A Southwestern win and a Mesa loss would give the
championship to the Jaguars, with the Olympians
finishing second and the Comets finishing third.
City took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the top
of the first inning, but starter D.J. Zapata and
relievers Alex Cox, Nick Cunningham and Willingham
shut out the Knights over the next 13 innings.
Willingham came on with a runner at first and none
out in the 11th and blanked City College the rest of
Palomar tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the
eighth on Nico Garbella's double to lead off the
inning, Reggie Jones' single to right and Casey
Munoz' single to left which scored Garbella.
Afenir's hit led off the bottom of the 14th. With
Daniel Lack, who normally would pinch-run for the
Comets in that situation, in surgery at Sharp
Hospital in San Diego after severing a tendfinal outon in a
finger on his right hand in a non-baseball accident,
Muehring ran for Afenir.
Tommy Cheek grounded back to the pitcher, who threw
wildly to second trying to get Muehring. The play
went as a fielder's choice and an error, and Clark
followed with his walk-off hit.
Hawksley went 2-for-3 with a walk in the game, and
Garbella was part of back-to-back big defensive
plays which defused a possible San Diego rally in
the top of the fourth.
Garbella fielded a well-hit single by Kevn Garcia
and, as Garcia tried to stretch his hit into a
double,rifled the ball to the cutoff man,
second-baseman Jones, who relayed the ball to
Johnson at short. Johnson tagged out Garcia.
Garbella then ran up the foot of the right-field
bank to rob the next batter, Slater Putland, of an
And Cox, the Comets' second pitcher of the day,
picked off the Knights Alex Wick at first base on a
first-and-third situation for the final out in
the top of the sixth.
ABOVE: Reggie Jones (2) heads home
with the winning run on a walk-off single by Tommy
Cheek (4) in the bottom of the 14th innings Saturday
BELOW: The Comets celebrate the
victory, which keeps them alive in the PCAC
championship race wtih two games to play. -- Photos
by Deb Hellman. BELOW LEFT: Rusty
Edwards, who pitched 4 1/3 hitless, scoreless
innings to finish the game and record the win.
BELOW RIGHT: Nico Garbella, who
went 5-for-7 for the Comets.
Cheek's 14th-inning hit keeps PC alive in
(4-21-2012) -- Nico Garbella went 5-for-7
and drove in two runs, Casey Munoz was 3-for-6 with
a key double and a hit-by-pitch and Chris Sanders
was 3-for-5 and also was hit by a pitch, Along the
way, Palomar stayed alive in the Pacific Coast
Athletic Conference baseball race Saturday.
Tommy Cheek singled to center with the bases loaded
and one out in the bottom of the 14th inning,
driving in Reggie Jones with the winning run as the
Comets rallied from an early 5-1 deficit at Myers
Field to beat
Freshman left-hander Rusty Edwards pitched 4 1/3
innings of two-hit, shutout relief to record the
victory. Edwasrd's dominance -- he struck out five
and walked none -- capped a huge day by the Palomar bullpen that
also included big performances from Kyle Montiel,
Alex Cox and Nick Carmichael.
Palomar remains one game behind co-leaders
Southwestern, a 6-2 winner over Imperial Valley, and
San Diego Mesa, which beat San Diego City College
7-6 in11 innings. with two games remaining. The
Comets host City College on Tuesday and close the
regular season at Southwestern on Thursday, both at
With one out in the bottomj of the 14th, Jones singled to left-center. Munoz banged an
-opposite-field double to righ,t and Grossmont
walked Audie Afenir intentionally to set up Cheek's
Palomar also got big performance from catcher Rich
Montanez, who threw out three runners tryng to
steal, picked off a runner at first for the final
out in the fourth inning and went 2-for-6
at the plate with a double and an RBI.
Ditto for Afenir, who was 2-for-5 with a
hit-by-pitch and the intentional walk.
Jones also got down a pair of sacrifice bunts and,
Christian Johnson got down one and, even though the Comets were hurt by three early
errors in the first seven innings, they got some
spectacular defensive plays from Johnson at
shortstop and Sanders in center field.
Palomar banged out 16 hits.
The Comets overcame five hit-batters, four of them in
the first four innings when the Griffins took their
early 5-1 lead.
PC's collective backs at wall after loss to
(4-19-2012) -- Palomar's destiny in the
Pacific Coast Athletic Conference baseball race is
no longer in its own hands -- at least against San
The Olympians defeated the visiting Comets 4-1 on
Thursday, one day after Palomar had beaten
Southwestern to move into a three-way tie for first.
Chris Sanders (left) made two outstanding catches in
center field, one racing back towards the fence in
dead center and one coming in just in back of second
base. But the Comets played perhaps their worst game
of the season defensively except for that.with four
errors coming at the worst possible times, coupled
with some non-plays..
Palomar, trailing 4-0, finally got on the board in
the top of the ninth. Sanders led off with a
sharp single to leftadvanced to second when Casey
Munoz was hit by a pitch, moved to third on Audie
Afenir's fielder's choice and scored on Tommy
Cheek's sacrifice fly.
Afenir singled in the first inning and Cheek singled
in the fourth for the Comets' only other its off two
Starter Julian Esquibel, Callen Dawson and Rusty
Edwards (right) all pitched effectively for Palomar,
but defense and lack of hitting did the Comets in.
The Comets now trail Southwestern, a 3-2 winner over
San Diego City College, and Mesa by one game with
three to play.
The Comets don't play Mesa again and lost the teams'
season series four games to one.
Palomar leads its season series with the Jaguars
4-0, with one game between the two teams remaining.
Head-to-head tie-breakers to determine ppost-season
regionaol pairings aredetermined by
ABOVE: Winning pitcher Cody
Willingham fires to the plate in Wednesday's 4-3
victory over Southwestern. -- Photo by Deb Hellman.
BELOW LEFT: Chris Sanders, who went 2-for-3
and contributed a sacririce bunt.
BELOW RIGHT: Closer Nick
Carmichael, who notched his sixth save
Comets rally to
move into tie for PCAC lead
(4-18-2012) -- Palomar,
given up for dead late in the season, won again on
Wednesday, coming from behind to beat Southwestern
4-3 in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference make-up
game at Myers field.
Tommy Cheek sparked the comeback with the biggest
hit of the afternoon, Chris Sanders broke out of a
slump by going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt. And
Nick Carmichael notched save No. 6 with
another dominating closing performance. in relief of
winning pitcher Cody Willingham.
It was the Comets' fourth straight win and seventh
victory in their last nine games. And, coupled with
Grossmont's 14-1 upset of San Diego Mesa, the win
puts Palomar into a three-way tie for the Pacific
Coast Athletic Conference lead with Southwestern and
Mesa with four games to play.
That sets up a huge game at Mesa on Thursday at 2
p.m., in which the Comets have an opportunity to
knock the Olympians out of their tie for first.
The Comets had their share of heros as they came
back from a 3-0 deficit entering the sixth.Palomar,
trailing 1-0, tied the game in the bottom of the sixth as Nick
Carbella singled to left with one out, moved up on Chris
Sanders' ground-ball single through a huge gap on the right side
of the infield and scored on Casey Munoz' RBI fielders choice
ground-ball to third.
wesern errors and back-to-back singles by Reggie
Jones and Christian Johnson, allowed the Comets to
score three times in the inning as they wenrt in
Palomar made the lead stand up for the victory as
Willingham threw three scoreless, hitless innings to
record the pitching win, battling his way through
four walks. Carmichael came on to record his second
1-2-3 ninth inning in two days for the save,
retiring the top of the Jaguars' order on a ground
out, a called third strike and another ground out.
Montanez also had a single for Palomar.
Palomar pinch-runner Matt Silberman steals third
base in the sixth inning. -- Photo by Hugh Cox.
BELOW LEFT: Nico Garbella, who had two
doubles, a single and two RBIs for the Comets.
BELOW RIGHT: Nick Carmichael, who struck
out the side in the ninth for his fifth save -- and
third in the last week
Palomar moves to within 1 game of PCAC lead
(4-17-2012) -- Palomar's
late-charging baseball team moved to within one game
of first place in the Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference with five games to play on Tuesday,
eating visiting Imperial Valley 6-3 at Myers Field.
The Comets have closed to a game behind Southwestern
and San Diego Mesa, who are tied for the conference
lead for the conference lead after the Jaguars
defeated the Olympians 1-0. Palomar hosts
Southwestern in a rain make-up on Wednesday and will
play a regularly-sched game against Mesa on Thursday
in San Diego,
Right fielder Nico Garbella was the offensive
star for Palomar, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and
two RBIs. Casey Munoz and Christian Johnson both
were 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Clayton Voechting, the first of five Palomar
pitchers, threw seven-plus innings to pick up the
victory, while Nick Carmichael, who is coming on
strong at the end of the season, struck out the side
in the ninth for his fifth save.
Danny Hawksley, Brett Clark, Tommy Cheek and Reggie
Jones also hit safely for the Clomets.
Palomar's execution in the sixth allowed the Comets
to score three times in the inning and break open a
The Comets bunted successfully four times in the
inning, including consecutive squeeze bunts by
Jones, Johnson and Garbella that drove in the three
runs. Jones' and Johnson's squeeze's both went for
singles when IVC failed to cover first base on
Munoz and Cheek both singled iln the fourth inning,
when the Comets tied the game at 1-1 after trailing
And Palomar added its final run in the bottom of
lthe eighthon an error, another sacrifice bunt by
Jones, a ground out and an RBI double by Garbella
that drove in pinch-runner Daniel Lack.
Audie Afenir also got down a straight sacrifice unt
furing the sixth-inning rally, giving the Comets six
succesful sacrifrices for the afternoon.
within 1 game of 2nd, 2 of 1st
(4-12-2012) -- Palomar, which came on late
in the season to win the Pacific Coast Athletic
Association baseball championship last season, may
be getting hot at the right time again.
The Comets, who have lost 10 one-run games and have
encountered frustration at almost every turn
all season long, defeated Southwestern for the
second time in three days, 3-2 on Thursday
Tommy Cheek (left) drove in pinch-runner Daniel Lack
from second with the winning run with one out in the
top of the ninth. That gave reliever Austin
Muehring, who faced two batters, the pitching
win and Nick Carmichael (right), who retired the
side in the bottom of the inning, his fourth save.
Lack was running for Audie Afenir, who had singled
and alertly advanced to second when Southwestern's
right fielder bobbled the ball. Afenir went 2-for-4
and so did Casey Munoz, who drove in Nick Garbella,
who doubled on the first pitch of the game to give
Palomar an early 1-0 lead.
Starter Julian Esquibel pitched seven strong innings
to put the Comets in a position to win the game.
Clayton Voechting relieved him to begin the eighth.
Voechting surrendered the tying run before being
relieved by Muehring later in the inning -- but
picked Southwestern's James Bilburg off second base
in what turned out to be one of the biggest plays of
It was only Palomar's third road win of the year,
but it moved the Comets to within one game of the
second-place Jaguars and two games of first-place
San Diego Mesa, a 6-1 loser at Grossmont, in the
PCAC race with six games remaining.
The Comets lead their five-game series with the
Jaguars three games to none, which clinches the
teams' season series and gives Palomar the
tie-breaker entering the post-season if the teams
finish in a tie in the standings.
With another game
remaining Saturday at Myers Field, weather
permitting, it's been a good week for Palomar and a
bad week for Southwestern.
On Wednesday, the Comets
beat the Jaguars 4-1.
University of Kansas transfer Alex Cox, who earned
the win by throwing 2 1/3 no-hit, scoreless relief
innings, delivers a pitch.in the top of the seventh.
BELOW LEFT: Center fielder Chris Sanders
comes all the way in to catch a pop-up by the
Jaguars' Andres Enriquez in the second inning. --
Photos by Hugh Cox. BELOW RIGHT: Danny
Hawksley, who matched Southwestern's hit total for
the game by going 3-for-4.
Pitchers, Afenir help PC knock Jags out of
Starter D.J. Zapata, Alex Cox, Rusty Edwards,
Austin Muehring and closer Nck Carmichael pitched a
combined three-hitter on Tuesday at Myers Field as
Palomar's baseball team knocked off Southwestern
The loss bounced the Jaguars out of a tie for
first-place in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference
with San Diego Mesa, which leads Southwestern
by a game after defeating Grossmont 3-2. Palomar is
now alone in third, two games behind the Jaguars and
three behind the Olympians with seven games
remaining. The two teams are scheduled to play again
on Thursday at Southwestern and on Saturday back at
On a day Danny Hawksley matched the Jaguars' hit
total by going 3-for-4, Audie Afenir
returned to the line-up and was the Comets' hitting
star for the afteroon. He went 2-for-3 with two
doubles to right-center, the first one to break a
1-1 tiei in the sixth inning. Hawksley, who had
singled, scored on the play.
Sidlined for a game after being hit in the head with
a pitch last week, Afenir also reached base as a hit
batter -- and played a big defensive role as he
gunned down Southwestern's Stephen Johnson trying to
steal in the second inning.
Palomar, geating up for a stretch run, played
perhaps its best all-around game of the season.
Zapata, Cox and Carmichael made a series of big
defensive plays on the mound. The Comets got two
huge extra-base hits late in the game that helped
put Southwestern away -- Afenir's seventh-inning
double to drive in Hawksley, aboard on his third
single, and another booming double by Christian
Johnson to right-center in the seventh.
Johnson advanced to third and then scored on key
back-to-back sacrifice bunts by Nico Garbella and
Chris Sanders. Sanders got down a perfect push bunt
to the right side of the infield on a suicide
squeeze that drove in the Conets' fourth run.
Zapata sarted and breezed through the first five
innings, allowing only one hit. Southwestern got the
first two runners on in the sixth on a single and an
infield error. Palomar coach Buck Taylor went to his
bullpen for transfer reliever Alex Cox.
The Jaguars scored an unearned run to tie the game
in the inning. But Cox, who was the University of
Kansas' Sunday starter a year ago, threw 2 1/3
dominant no-hit, shutout innings to record the
Cox, Edwards, Muehring and Carmichael, who notched
the save with a 1-2-3 ninth,combined on four
hitless, scoreless innings.
Garbella, Tommy Cheek and Reggie Jones also hit
safely for Palomar.
with 10th one-run loss of year
Palomar, which has made repeated unsuccesful efforts
to jump-start a stretch run, still remains unable to
string together more than two straight
victories as the wild Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference race winds down.
On Friday at Morley Field, right-handed pitcher
Clayton Voechting (left) handcuffed San Diego City
College for almost the entire afternoon only to lose
a 2-1 heartbreaker to the Knights.
It was Palomar's 10th one-run loss of the season as
the Comets again find themselves a game under .500
in conference and back in a tie for Grossmont, a 5-1
winner over Southwestern, in third place.
The Jaguars and San Diego Mesa, which avenged a
Thursday toss bvy holding off Imperial Valley 4-3,
are again tied for first place, with the Comets and
Griffins three games back with just eight ames to
San Diego put together three of its six hits off
Voeching and Nick Carmichael to score both of its
runs in the second inning.,
Playing without leading season hitter Audie Afenir,
who was hit in the head by a pitch in Thursday's win
over the Knights, Palomar managed only four hits
Friday off two City College pitchers.
Reggie Jones (right) got the Comets their only run
when he doubled in the fifth inning to drive in Nico
Garbella, who had walked.
Tommy Cheek had two of the four Palomar hits,
singling in the seventh inning and doubling in
Chris Sanders doubled in the sixth for the other
Carmichael relieved Voechting with one out and one
runner on in the eighth inning. The first batter he
faced got on via an infield lthrowing error, putting
runners at first and third.
Carmichael got Justin Atterbury to hit a ground ball
back to the mlound for a double-play that gave the
Comets an opportunity to win or tie the game in the
top of the ninth, still trailing by only one run.
Cheek doubled to left with one out, but San Diego
reliever Cole Chandler got Garbella to fly out to
right and Jones to ground out to short, stranding
pinch-runner Brett Clark at third.
The Comets will play co-leader Southwestern in a
three-game series next week, beginning on Tuesday at
2 p.m. at Myers Field.
ABOVE: Starter and winner Julian
Esquibel pitches against San Diego City College in
Palomar's 8-4 victory on Thursday at Myers Field. --
Photo by Hugh Gerhardt.
BELOW LEFT: Nico Garbella, who
had two hits, drove in two runs and made a
spectacular catch in right field. BELOW
RIGHT: Alex Cox, who finished the game with
four shutout relief innings.
Cox' 4 relief innings, Garbella's catch lead
Nico Garbella left his
feet to make a spectacular catch in right field and
Alex Cox threw four shutout relief innings to record
his first save at Myers Field on Thursiday as
Palomar held off San Diego City College 8-4.
The win,coupled with Imperial Valley's 7-5 upset of
San Diego Mesa and Southwestern's 6-0 victory over
Grossmont, puts the Comets alone in third place in
the PCAC, two games behind second-place Mesa.
Garbella's catch for the final out of the fifth
inning robbed City College's Slater Putland of an
extra-base hit and prevented the Knights, who had
battled back from 5-0 and 6-1 deficits to close to
6-4, from tying the game.
Danny Hawksley (2-for-3, two doubles, hit-by-pitch,
RBI), Rich Martinez (2-for-4, double, RBI), Garbella
(2-for-4, 2 RBIs, steal) and Casey Munoz (2-for-5,
hit-by-pitch) led an 11-hit attack for the Comets
off three City pitchers. Reggie Jones and Tommy
Cheek each doubled and drove in two runs.
Christian Johnson added a single and made two
360-degree fielding plays. On the first play, he
threw to first base to get an out. On the second
one, he stepped on second for an out, then threw to
first to complete a double play.
Chris Sanders was robbed of a line-driver single to
right when the Knights' Alex Wick, taking advantage
of how quickly the hard-hit ball got to him, threw
the ball to first to get Sanders by a step.
Starter Julian Esquibel picked up the pitching win
for Palomar, advancing to 5-3 on the season.
The Comets and Knights will play the rubber game of
their three game series on Friday at Morley Field in
Balboa Park, beginning at 2 p.m.
Afenir 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs but PC can't hold
DIEGO (4-3-2012) --
Palomar couldn't keep a
good thing going on Tuesday as the Comets
surrendered a three-run seventh inning to lose both
the lead and the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference
baseball game to San Diego City College 5-4 at
It was Palomar's ninth one-run loss of the season.
Audie Afenir (left) went 3-for-5 and drove in two
runs in the loss, while Austin Muehring (rifght)
threw 1 1/3 hitless innings to finish the game for
the Comets. But, by the time Muehring came into the
game, the damage had been done.
The Comets made a futile effort to come back in the
top of the ninth, when Chris Sandersdoubled
with one out and Danny Hawksley doubled with two out
to drive him in. But Daniel Lack, pinch-running for
Hawksley, was left stranded at second.
Palomar wasted an 11-hit attack off three City
College pitchers and was unable to hold starter D.J.
Zapata's 3-2 lead through five innings.
Christian Johnson and Reggie Jones each went 2-for-4
for the Comets, who again dipped under .500 in the
PCAC race at 7-8 with 10 conference games to play.
Nico Garbella and Casey Munoz each contributed an
The same two teams will play again on Thursday at
Myers Field and on Friday back at Morley Field, both
days at 2 p.m.
Voechting stops Grossmont with a 6-hitter
Voechting (left) pitched a complete-game six-hitter
and Tommy Cheek (right) homered, giving Palomar its
second win in three days over Grossmont on Saturday
Voechting dominated the Griffins from beginning to
end, and finished with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom
of the ninth. The sophomore from Chaparral High
School in Temecula retired Grossmont's batters in
the inning with a strikeout, pop-up and another
Cheek (2-for-5, two RBIs), Nico Garbella (2-for-4,
two RBIs) and Audie Afenir (2-for-4, RBI) also had
multiple hits as Palomar got to three Grossmnt
pitchers for seven hits to even its conference
record at 7-7.
Dan Hawksley contributed a double and an RBI. Chris
Sanders had a single and an RBI. Rich Montanez and
Reggie Jones also singled.
The Comets, still tied for third place and two games
behind conference co-leaders Southwestern and San
Diego Mesa, have a three-game series with San Diego
College coming up this week.
They'll face City at Morley Field in Balboa Park on
Tuesday and Friday, sandwiched
around a home game with the Knights on Thursday, all
at 2 p.m.
Zapata will become 3rd Comet at Santa Clara
Right-handed pitcher D.J. Zapata has
committed to Santa Clara University and will become the third
Palomar baseball product on scholarship on next year's Broncos
Zapata, who also was recruited by Virginia Tech, will join
ex-Comets Casey Husband,, who his currently at Santa Clara, and
current Palomar teammate Casey Munoz, who signed early with the
Broncos, on the 2013 Santa Clara team.
Zapata, who spent two seasons as a football quarterback at the
University of Montana, one as a red-shirt, and this past Fall as
a QB at Palomar, is pitching this season for the first time
since his senior season at Mission Hills High School in
2009. He has a 2.25 ERA on the season (1.37 with a 1-1 record in
the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference).
Esquibel halts PC slide, beats G-House 7-2
Julian Esquibel (left) pitched a
complete-game victory and Rich Montanez (right) led the way
offensively by going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk as
Palomar rebounded into the baseball victory column on Thursday,
beating Grossmont 7-2 at Myers Field.
The victory ended two weeks of frustration for the Comets, who
suffered their eighth one-run loss of the season on Wednesday at
Grossmont, 5-4 in 10 innings. Palomar hadn't won since it downed
Imperial Valley 10-4 at Myers Field on March 13.
Esquibel overcame one bad inning, when the Griffins scored both
their runs in a two-run, three-hit fourth, in the complete-game
win as he advanced to 4-3 on the year.
Montanez, the Comets' catcher, ended the Griffins' rally when he
gunned down Grossmont's Lauren Greenwood attmpting to steal
second base with two outs.
Danny Hawksley doubled in a run and walked, Reggie Jones doubled
and walked, Bico Garbella had a single and sacrifice fly, Chris
Sanders singled and walked, and Audie Afenir singled as the
Comets made the most of a seven-hit attack off four G-Housae
The Comets remain two games behind PCAC co-leaders Southwestern,
a 9-1 winner of Imperial Valley, and San Diego Mesa, which held
off San Diego City College 3-2.
Palomar will travel to Grossmont for the rubber game of this
week's three-game series on Saturday at noon.
Palomar falls in 10 despite Zapata's
got an outstanding starting pitching performance from D.J.
Zapata (left) on Wednesday but he was long gone by the 10th
inning, when the Comets lost another Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference baseball decision, this one 5-4 to Grossmont.
Zapata threw two-hit, shutout ball over the first five innings
and departed at that point with the Comets on top of the
Palomar would eventually
make five errors, still take a 4-3 lead in the top of the 10th
but see Grossmont score the tying and winning runs in the bottom
of the inning.
Alex Cox eventually took
the loss, allowing one earned run in 4 1/3 relief innings.
The Comets managed only five hits, all singles. Christian
Johnson (right) went 2-for-4 Audie Afenir, Danny Hawksley
and Tommy Cheek also hit safely.
Palomar's eighth one-run loss of what has been a frustrating
The two teams will play again on
Thursday at 2 p.m. at Palomar.
Palomar freshman center fielder Chris Sanders is the
PCAC Men's Athlete of the Week for all sports. --
Photos by Hugh Cox
Athlete of Week for all sports
MARCOS (3-26-2012) --
Chris Sanders, Palomar's baseball center fielder,
has been honored as the Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference Men's Athlete of the Week for all sports.
Sanders, a freshman from
Murrieta Valley High School, is hitting .536 for his
last 28 at bats through the weekend, with 15 hits,
three walks, a hit-by-pitch, five steals on five
attempts and a sacrifice bunt.
In going 11-for-15 in a four-game span culminating
with a game last Thursday, Sanders went 2-for-4 with
a walk and two stolen bases on two attempts in the
first game of a doubleheader vs. Imperial Valley.
In the second game against IVC, Sanders went 3-for-5
and was 3-for-3 in stolen bases.
He went 2-for-2, was hit y a pitch and had a
sacrifice bunt againsst San Diego Mesa.
And he went 4-for-4 the following day in another
game with Mesa.
Although he's recently caught fire at the plate,
Sanders has been outstanding defensively all season,
with one error on 40 attempts. He's thrown out two
runners at the plate and has made multiple diving
catches to prevent hits and run.
He's batting .378 in the Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference, which ranks him third among conference
A year ago, in his senior season for the Murrieta
Valley Nighthawks, Sanders batted .387 with
a .505 slugging percentage.
BASEBALL: Olympians 10,
7-run 2nd dooms Comets, but they stay one
MARCOS (3-24-2012) --
Palomar played its best overall baseball game in
recent weeks on Saturday, but couldnn't overcome San
Diego Mesa's seven-run second inning and lost 10-8
at Myers Field.
This was despite mounting a 14-hit attack against
six Mesa pitchers, led by Audie Afenir (left,
2-for-5, solo home run, double), Reggie Jones 3-run
homer), Josh Sabourin (right, 3-for-4), Casey Munoz
(3-for-4, 2 RBIs) and Danny Hawksley (2-for-4).
The loss was the bad news. The good news is that the
Comets, despite dropping their fiftth game in a row,
remain only one game out in the topsy-turvy Pacific
Coast Athletic Conference race.
With Imperial Valley knocking off Grossmont 3-2 and
San Diego City College beating Southwestern 4-0, all
six teams are now within one game of each other 11
games into a 25-game conference season.
Grossmont, Southwestern and Mesa are all 6-5 in
conference. Palomar, Impeial Valley and San Diego
City are 5-6. Palomar will play a three-game series
against Grossmont, on the road on Wednesday, at home Thursday and back on the road
Saturday. Wednesday's game
was switched from Tuesday due to wet conditions at
Grossmont's field and now will e played at 3 p.m.
The Comets took a 1-0 lead on Afenir's home
run over the leftfield fence in the bottom half of
the first, but that just set the stage for Mesa's
seven-run second inning.
Christian Johnson added an RBI single and Chris
Sanders also singled for the Comets against the
Kyle Hansen, a former Comet, had an RBI double and a
two-run triple to highlight Mesa's second
Christian Johnson added an RBI single and Chris
Sanders also singled for the Comets against the
Kyle Hansen, a former Comet, had an RBI double and a
two-run triple to highlight Mesa's seven-run second
ABOVE: Palomar's Chris Sanders
singles to center in the fifth inning for his third
of four hits against San Diego Mesa on Thursday in
BELOW: Reliever Callan Dawson
delivers a pitch in the bottom of the eighth.
He retired the Olympians 1-2-3 in the inning. --
Photos by Hugh Cox
Sanders (4-for-4) still on fire, but Comets
MARCOS (3-22-2012) --
Center fielder Chris Sanders remained on fire
on Thursday, going 4-for-4, but Palomar's baseball
team stayed as cold as Sanders is hot.
The Comets, leading 1-0 in
the bottom of the sixth, lost to San Diego Mesa for
the second straight day, this time 4-1. The
Olympians scored three runs in the sixth and one in
the seventh with the big blow a two-run,
sixth-inning double by former Comet
Kyle Hansen..Hansen then scored the Olympians' third
run from second base on a bunt-and-run play.
Sanders, a freshman from Murrieta Valley High
School, is 6-for-6 for Palomar's two games so far
this week and has hit safely 14 times in his last 18
Palomar, which fell to 8-13 on the season and 5-5 in
the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, took a 1-0
lead in the third inning as Sanders singled to
right, went to second on Reggie Jones' bunt single
back to the pitcher, moved to third on Casey Munoz'
sacrifice bunt and scored on Audie Afenir's
grounball to the right side.
But the Comets only got a runner in scoring position
once the rest of the day, in the seventh when Rich
Montanez singled and went to second on Christian
Johnson's grounder to the first baseman.
But Montanez was thrown out at the plate trying to
score on Sanders' single to centter.
Danny Hawksley singled twice, while Afenir and Jones also singled
for the other Palomar hits.
Julian Esqjuibel, the first of three Palomar
pitchers, took a one-hitter into the sixth but left
the game during the inning. He struck out seven
batters and walked one through 5 1/3 innings.
Callan Dawson, the final Palomar pitcher of
the day, retired the Olympians in order in the
bottom of the eighth.
The Comets will try again to get back on the right
track when the two teams meet again on Saturday at
noon at Myers Field.
ABOVE: Kyle Hansen, who spent
two seasons at Palomar as a red-shirt and then as an
outfielder on the 2011 team, slides in safely at
home in the fifth inning. Palomar pitcher Rusty
Edwards attempts to apply the tag on a throw from
catcher Audie Afenir. -- Photo by Hugh Cox.
BELOW LEFT: Chris Sanders, who went 2-for-2
and stole a base for the Comets. BELOW
RIGHT: University of Kansas transfer Alex
Cox, who pitched three one-hit relief innings but
was tagged with the loss on an unearned run in the
Comets holding onto tie for first after 3-2
MARCOS (3-21-2012) --
Palomar gets a chance to get a bad taste out of its
mouth when it gets a rematch with San Diego Mesa on
Thursday at 2 p.m. in San Diego
The Olympians scored an unearned run in the seventh
inning to down the Comets 3-2 on Wednenesday at
This, after Palomar had taken over undisputed
first place on Tuesdsday when Imperial Valley upset
Grossmont 11-10 in 10 innings at Imperial. The
Comets and Griffins are now tied for first in a wild
conference race in which five of the six teams are
seperated by just one game.
Chris Sanders led the Comets at the
plate, going 2-for-2 and also reaching base on a
sacrifice / error and as a hit batter . Sanders has
hit safely in 10 of his last 14 at-bats and has
reached base safely on 17 of his last 21 plate
Palomar, trailing 2-0, tied the game in the bottom
of the sixth. Alex Cox, the fourth pitcher
of the day, then came on to begin the seventh
inning for the Comets and threw three strong one-hit
innings -- but was the unfortunate victim of the
unearned run in the seventh and took the loss.
It was the Comets' sixth one-run loss of the season.
Sanders is 5-for-9 with 4 steals but IVC
IMPERIAL (3-15-2012) -- Thursday
was a good day indeed for Palomar baseball right
fielder Chris Sanders (left). But for his team, not
The freshman from Murrieta Valley High School went
5-for-9 and stole four bases for the Comets, but
host Imperial Valley swept the teams' Pacific Coast
Athletic Conference double-header 4-1 and 5-4.
Palomar, which fell only a half-game out of first
place when San Diego City College knocked off
Grossmont 10-6, led the second game 4-2 entering the
bottom of the ninth inning. This, after eight strong
innings from sophomore right-hander Clayton
Voechting (right) and with ace closer Nick
Carmichael coming into the game.
But the Comets fell apart in the inning, committing
three errors. The Arabs put the errors together with
a single and two walks, one of them intentional, to
win the game.
Sanders, the Comets' leadoff hitter who has been
outstanding at the field asnd now is coming on at
the plate as well, went 2-for-4 in the first game
with a walk and three steals. He was 3-for-5 in the
second game with an RBI and a steal.
Brett Clark drove in a run with a single in the
first game.Munoz doubled. Tommy Cheek singled,
walked and was hit by a pitch. Christian Johnson and
Austin Muehring each added a single.
Kyle Montiel pitched two scoreless relief innings.
Reggie Jones doubled and got down a sacrifice bunt
in the second game. Audie Afenir drove in two runs
with a single and a sacrifice fly. Rich
Montanez and Johnson also had singles, and Casey
Munoz drove in a run.
Palomar, which was tied with Grossmnt for first
place entering the game and now is alone in second,
one-half game behind the Griffins, will be off until
Wednesday when the Comets host San Diego Mesa at 3
p.m. to begin
a three-game series. The game was postponed from
Tuesday due to wet grounds.
Zapata (5 shutout innings) gets win; Cheek
MARCOS (3-13-2012) -- D.J. Zapata, who spent
his first two years of college as a football player
at the University of Montana and is pitching for the
first time in three years, reported late to the
Palomar baseball team after playing football for the
Comets in the Fall..
The quarterback / right-handed pitcher spent the
first part of the season coming out of the bullpen,
developing interest from professional scouts and
Division I coaches, extending a little more with
every outing. It began paying off for the Comets on
Tuesday vs. Imperial Valley.
Zapata finally extended to five innings, allowing
only one hit and no runs, as Palomar remained in a
tie with Grossmont for first place in the Pacific
Coast Athletic Conference with a 10-4 victoryat
The Mission Hills High School product, making his
third start, picked up his first college pitching
win and is firmly entrenched in coach Buck Taylor's
pitching rotation along with Julian Esquibel and
On a day Audie Afenir blasted a three-run home run
into the wind over the leftfield fence in the first
inning and Tommy Cheek (above right) went 3-for-5
with an RBI, the Comets took a 10-0 lead into the
ninth. At that point, Zapata, Austin Cox and R.J.
Shanks were pitching a combined one-hitter as the
Comets dug deeper into their bullpen.
The Arabs put together a hit batter, their
second hit of the afternoon, a walk and their third
hit -- a grand-slam homer by Erick Ochoa -- to put
four runs on the board in the inning.
But the Comets still won convincingly and advanced
to 5-1 in conference going into a rematch with IVC
on Thursday at Imperial. the two teams are slated to
play again Saturday at Myers Field, weather
Nico Garbella doubled, walked twice and stole a base
for Palomar. Austin Muehring doubled and walked.
Reggie Jones singled and was hit by a pitch. Casey
Munoz singled and walked twice.
Sanders and Danny Hawksley each singled and walked.
David Lack also singled.
With storm on way, Comets set double-header
SAN MARCOS (3-14-2012) -- With an expected storm projected to dump at least 2
inches of rain on the area over the weekend, Palomar
and Imperial Valley have moved Saturday's scheduled
game at Myers Field to Thursday at Imperial.
The Comets, originally
slated to play the Arabs in a single game at 2 p.m.,
now will play a double-header at IVC, starting at
To prevent an inbalance in the teams' home and away
games, the Tuesday, April 17 game with the Arabs,
scheduled to be played at IVC, now will be played at
Vincent records first save for Padres vs.
GOODYEAR, Atizona (3-10-2012) --
Former Palomar all-state pitcher Nick Vincent
still has yet to allow either a run or a hit in Major League
spring training after picking up his first save on Saturday
against the Cleveland Indians.
The right-handed Vincent, elevated to the Padres' 40-man roster
in the off-season, threw a hitless, scoreless ninth inning as
the Padres won 5-2.
Arizona, ex-Comet Tyler Saladino came into the game at shortstop
against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Saladeino went 0-for-1.
Shortstop Reggie Jones throws to
second to begin a double play that got the Comets out of the
eighth inning. The play went to Nico Garbella at second to get
Southwestern's lead runner Justin DiStefano, then to first
baseman Danny Hawksley to get the batter, Stephen Johnson.
-- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Winning
pitcher Julian Esquibel. BELOW RIGHT: Nick Carmichael, who got
Esquibel wins, Carmichael K's three for save
MARCOS (3-08-2012) --
Palomar, the defending Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference baseball champion, downed last year's
second-place finisher, Southwestern, 4-1 on Thursday
at Myers Field with more dominant pitcing.
Julian Esquibel allowed a lone unearned run,
scattering six hits in 7 1/3 innings to run his
win-loss record to 3-1.
Clayton Voechting then came on to get the Comets out
of the eighth inning with a double-play grounder.
And Nick Carmichael, after a leadoff walk in the
ninth, struck out the final three batters to record
his second save.
That moved Palomar, which has won four of its last
five games, to 4-1 in the conference. The Comets
remain in a tie for first place with Grossmont, an
11-2 winner over San Diego Mesa, while Southwestern
drops out of a three-way deadlock atop the PCAC.
Esquibel lost a bid for a second straight
complete-game shutout after he struck out the
leadoff batter in the top of the eighth. The
Jaguars' next batter was safe on a two-base error
when his grounder went under the second baseman's
glove into right field. Francisco Gonzalez and
Justin DiStafano followed with back-to-back singles.
DiStafano's hit drove in the only Southwestern run.
That's when Voechting came in to get Sephen Jones to
hit into the double play, which went from shortstop
Reggie Jones to second baseman Nico Garbella to
first baseman Danny Hawksley.
Third baseman Tommy Cheek had an outstanding
defensive play to get Stephen Jones in the fourth
inning when he hit the dirt to stop Jones' ground
ball and threw it across the infield to get him at
Audie Afenir went 2-for-4 with a double and Chris
Sanders was 2-for-4 with a walk to lead a Palomar
offense that banged out ninet hits off
Southwestern's ace pitcher, Kiki Medina (3-1), and
reliever Justin Kruse.
Afenir's double, to right-center field, drove in
Casey Munoz, aboard on a single, to break a
scoreless tie in the fourth inning. Afenir went to
third on a wild pitch and scored to make it 2-0 on
Hawksley's sacrifice fly.
Up 2-1, the Comets scored two insurance runs in the
eighth on an error, Hawkesley's hit-by-pitch, Austin
Muehring's single, Rich Montanez' RBI single and a
Jones, Garbella and Hawksley also hit safely for
The Comets,who have climbed back w 7-9 overall after
a horrific start, get Saturday off and will play a
three-game series with Imperial Valley next week.
They'll host the Arabs on Tuesday and Saturday at
Myers Field, sanchwiched around a Thursday game at
Esquibel is named PCAC's Athlete of the Week
DIEGO (3-07-2012) --
Palomar College baseball player Julian Esquibel, a
sophomore right-hander out of Vista High School who
pitched a complete-game, four-hit 3-1 victory over
San Diego Mesa last week, has been honored as
Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Men's Athlete of
Esquibel, a returning first-team all-conference
selection, retired 18 staraight Mesa batters at one
point in the game.
Esquibel's brother is former Palomar,
University of Kansas and Seattle Mariners farm
system pitching standout Andres Esquibell.
Comets blank Knights on road, in tie for 1st
DIEGO (3-06-2012) --
Starter D.J. Zapata (left) pitched four innings of
two-hit baseball, Kyle Montiel (right) threw four
innings of one-hit relief and they teamed with Cody
Willingham on a four-hit shutout Tuesday at Morley
Field, giving Palomar a 7-0 win over San Diego City
Montiel (left) got the win as the victory moved the
Comets into a tie for first place in the Pacific
Coast Athletic Conference with Southwestern, a 4-2
winner over previous undisputed leader Grossmont,
and the Griffins, all at 3-1..
Nico Garbella slugged a two-run homer over the
leftfield fence in the seventh inning for Palomar
and wound up 2-for-4 with three RBIs.He also had a
Reggie Jones went 2-for-5 with a double and
hit-by-pitch. Audie Afenir was 2-for-5 with a
double. Tommy Cheek was 2-for-3, walked and reached
base on a sacrifice bunt / error. Josh Sabourin went
2-for-3 and walked.
Danny Hawksley doubled and walked, and Austin
Muehring singled and walked. Chris Sanders added a
single. Christian Johnson drove in two runs with a
pair of sacrifice flies.
Muehring gunned down the Knights' Alex Wick trying
to score on Kevin Garcia's sixth-inning single.
Jones, the Comets' shortstop, made a big defensive
play to throw out Stanton Putland later in the
inning. Cheek made a series of outstanding plays at
third base. And Afenir, playing catcher, threw out a
runner trying to steal.
The win was Palomrar's first of the season on
the road, where the Comets have lost three one-run
games. They'renow 1-8 away from home.
Palomar is 5-1 at Myers Field will host Southwestern
in a battle of two of the early co-leaders on
Thursdayat 2 p.m.
Vincent: 1 inning, 0 hits, 2 strikeouts for
Arizona (3-05-2012) --
Nick Vincent, who has the third-lowest career ERA
(2.11) and second-most career pitching wins (20) in
Palomar history, made his debut on the San Diego
Padres' 40-man spring training roster a successful
one on Monday.
Vincent pitched a hitless, scoreless relief inning,
striking out two and walking none, against the
Seattle Mariners. Vincentt, who appeared in spring
training games the last two seasons as a non-roster
pitcher for the Padres, has been successful on every
level he has pitched at, from Ramona High School to
Palomar to Long Beach State to every level he's been
at in the Padres organization.
Last season, he was a finalist for Minor League
Baseball's Double-A Reliever of the Year award for
the Padres' San Anontio farm club, which won the
Texas League championship had the best win-loss
record of any Minor League team in baseball on any
Comets fall, miss chance to take over 1st
CAJON (3-03-2012) --
victories at home to open its Pacific Coast Athletic
Confrence season at 2-0, Palomar's defending
conference champions had a chance to take over
unndisputed first place on the road Saturday.
Instead, the Comets fell to Grossmont 9-5, losing an
early lead, And, with Imperial Valley's 10-4 upset
of Southwestern, the Griffins took over first place
by themselves instead of the Comets.
After the first three games of a 25-game conference
schedule, Grossmont is 3-0, Palomar 2-1,
Southwestern 2-1, IVC 1-2, San Diego City College
1-2 and San Diego Mesa 0-3. City College beat Mesa
3-2 in Saturday's other PCAC game.
Audie Afenir went 2-for-3 for Palomar with a walk.
Tommy Cheek was 2-frr-4. Reggie Jones contributed a
triple. Casey Munoz, Nico Garbella and Danny
Hawksley also hit safely.
Clayton Voechting started for the Comets and pitched
four one-hit, shutout innings, after which Palomar
led 1-0. He eventually left the game in the sixth
and took the loss.
Palomar wound up using seven pitchers. But the
Comets got effective stints from Austin Guzzon
(above left), who retired two straight batters and
struck out one, Rex Clemons, who got the only batter
he faced and Matt Gavin (above right), who retired
Grossmont's last two batters in the eighth, one on a
Palomar will play San Diego Ciy on Tuesday
at 2 p.m. at Morley Field in San Diego.
Palomar's Julian Esquibel, who beat Mesa on a complee-game
four-hitter, strikes out Kevin Meriwether, the Olympians'
leadoff batter in the ninth, on this pitch. Esquibel finished
the game by retiring Mesa in order.
BELOW LEFT: Second baseman
Nico Garbella throws out Tyler Timmer for out No. 2 in
the seventh inning. Timmer was the 15th of 18 straight batters
Esquibel retired. -- Photos by Hugh Cox.
BELOW RIGHT: Chris
Sanders, who made a key diving catch in right field
Esquibel beats Mesa in 1-hour, 50-minutes
MARCOS (3-01-2012) --
Julian Esquibel is back,
and so are Palomar's defending Pacific Coast
Athletic Conference baseball champions.
The Comets, who broke a four-game losing streak by
beating Imperial Valley on Wednesday, downed San
Diego Mesa 3-1 to advance to 2-0 in conference
Thursday at Myers Field as Esquibel pitched a
The sophomore right-hander out of Vista High School
-- whose brother Andres pitched for the Comets, for
the University of Kansas and in the Seattle Mariners
farm system -- took just 1-hour, 50-minutes to
dispose of the Olympians.
Esquibel, a first-team All-PCAC selection last year
as a freshman, returned to the form he'd
demonstrated in beating state No. 1-ranked Santa Ana
7-0 in the Comets' opener, then pitching 7 2/3
shuutout innings vs. College of the Desert in his
Esquibel, helped by a spectacular diving catch by
right fielder Chris Sanders, gave up
three straight hits in the top of the third after
Sanders' inning-opening catch.
He got out of the inning when Mesa's Garrett
Gallaher lined out to first baseman Danny Hawksley,
who was playing in with the bases full but got back
to the bag to double off the runner for the third
out of the inning.
Beginning with Gallaher, Esquibel retired 18
straight batters before he walked Gallaher on a 3-2
count with two out in the eighth. Patrick De La
Garza doubled to right center to drive in Gallaher,
but Esquibel struck out pinch-hitter A.C. Herrera
looking to end the inning. He then retired the
Olympians in order in the top of the ninth.
Esquibel (2-0) got 15 ground-ball outs.
The Comets took a 2-0 lead in the second, after
Audie Afenir drew a four-pitch walk, Tommy Cheek got
down a sacrifice bunt that the Mesa pitcher
mishandled for an error and Hawksley singled to
That loaded the bases with none out, With one down,
Rich Montanez singled to right to drive in Afenir
and Austin Muehring scored Cheek with a sacrifice
fly to center.
Palomar added an insurance run in the fifth when
Reggie Jones led off the inning with a walk and,
with two out, Cheek drove him in by singling up the
Muehring beat out an infield single to short in the
foiurth inning and bith Sanders and Casey Munoz
singled in the seventh for the Comets' other hits.
Palomar will try to advance to 6-8 overall, 3-0 in
conference when the Comets visit Grossmont on
Saturday, beginning at noon. Mesa is 5-7, 0-2 in
Palomar's Tommy Cheek bunts for a
base hit to load the bases with none out in what turned out to
be a three-run fiourth inning. -- Photo by Hugh Cox.
Reggie Jones, who went 3-for-4 and made a big defensive play at
Carmichael, who notched a save --Photo by Hugh Cox
Jones goes 3-for-4; Comets win
MARCOS (2-29-2012) --
Reggie Jones went 3-for-4 and made one of two huge
defensive plays for Palomar at Myers Field on
Wednesday as the Comets opened their Pacific Coast
Athletic Conference baseball lseason with a 7-5 win
over Imperial Valley.
Taylor's Comets, trailing 5-4, scored three runs off
IVC ace pitcher and current PCAC Athlete of the Week
Esau Madrigal in the bottom of the fifth inning to
Jones, a transfer from the University of
Washington, singled with one out to get the rally
untracked. After Casey Munoz was safe on an error by
the shortstop, Audie Afenir tied the game with a
sacrifice fly to center.
Tommy Cheek worked Madrigal for a walk, and
Danny Hawksley and Nico Grabella followed with
back-to-back RBI singles.
D.J. Zapata, who came out late after
football season and is just now trying to extend,
started and pitched 2 2/3 strong innings, striking
out three, beforel suddenly tiring.
Rusty Edwards and Kyle Montiel both were
effective in relief, with Edwards picking up the
win, Palomar's ace closer Nick Carmichael, the Baltimore Orioles' 17th-round pick in
the June draft, threw 1 2/3 shutout innings to
record the save.
Right fielder Chris Sanders made the first
huge defensive play with two out in the fourth
inning after he fielded a fly ball that dropped in
for an apparent hit. Sanders alertly rifled the ball
to Hawksley at first to get IVC's Bobby Moreno who
let up getting down the line.
defensive gem came in the top of the seventh when
Jacinto Garcia, hit a slow ground ball in his
direction at shortstop. Jones fielded the ball
bare-handed and threw the ball to first go get
Garcia by a step.
Garbella and Mooney each went 2-for-4 for
the Comets, while Afenir drove in two runs with a
fourth-inning double and the sacrifice fly.
Cheek also singled for the Comets, rounding
out a 10-hit attack, and Austin Muehring also
contributed a sacrifice fly.
Much-improved Imperial Valley brought a 5-4
record, its best start since a
conference-championship season in the 1990s, into
Palomar will try to go 2-0 in the PCAC when the
Comets host San Diego Mesa on Thursday at 2 p.m. at
Myers Field. The Olympians dropped their conference
opener to Southwestern 9-2 on Wednesday. In the
other PCAC game, Grossmont defeated San Diego City
PC remains so-near, so-far with 4th 1-run
NUYS (2-25-2012) --
Palomar lost its fourth one-run decision of the 2012
baseball season on Saturday, dropping a 2-1
non-conference decision to host Los Angeles Valley
despite a bvrilliant pitching effort by sophomore
left-hander Clayton Voechting (left).
The defending Pacific Coast Athletic Conference
champions, who entered the season ranked No. 8
in the nation and started the year with a 7-0
victory over state No. 1-ranked Santa Ana, remained
so-near but yet so-far from reaching their soaring
When the Comets have gotten excellent pitching, as
they did on Saturday, they've been unable to score
runs. When they've banged the ball around
offensively, they've encountered pitching problems.
Consequently, they'll take a 3-8 record into their
conference opener, against Imperial Valley on
Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Myers Field.
Voeching (2-2) threw a five-hitter at the
Monarchs, striking out seven and walking none in
eight innings, but lost a pitching duel to L.A.
Valley's Travis Cassidy, a freshman left-hander who
pitched a six-hitter who continued to coax the
Comets into putting the ball into play early in the
count, usually in the air and, although continually
itting the ball hard -- usually right at people.
The Monarchs tallied an unearned run in the bottom
of the first inning to lead 1-0. The Comets tied the
game in the top of the second when Tommy Cheek
singled with one out and Danny Hawksley doubled to
left-center field to drive him in.
L.A. Valley tallied the deciding run in the third,
after Travis Soto hit a bloop single to short left
to lead off the inning. Casey Ryan, who went 2-for-3
with a hit-by-pitch and scored both of the Monarch's
runs, got on via a fielder's choice when Voeching
fielded a tapper back to the mound and threw out
Soto at second.
Ryan, who had five stolen bases on the afternoon,
then stole second and third and scored on a wild
Hawksley went 2-for-4 with two doubles and the RBI.
Audie Afenir had a third straight multiple-hit day
when he also went 2-for-4. Austin Muehring singled
for the other Palomar hit.
ABOVE: Palomar second baseman
Christian Johnson steps on the second-base bag after
making a diving stop in the seventh inning. He
easily got the batter on a 4-3 double play.
BELOW LEFT: Josh Sabourin doubles to left
field to lead off the Palomar fifth. -- Photos by
Hugh Cox. BELOW RIGHT: Audie
Afenir, who went 5-for-5.
Afenir goes 5-for-5 but Dons avenge early
ANA (2-23-2012) --
Palomar stunned state No. 1-ranked Santa Ana 7-0 in
the opening game of the season three weeks ago,
but Thursday's rematch between the two teams was a
The Dons (8-2), this time playing at home at Don
Snedden Field, overcame a 5-for-5 performance at the
plate by Audie Afenir and avenged the Feb. 3
loss, beating the Comets 11-6.
Afenir singled in the first, third, fourth, sixth
and eighth innings, drove in a run and scored a run
as the Comets banged out 15 hits off three Santa Ana
Reggie Jones (2-for-3, double, run scored,
hit-by-pitch, walk, stolen base), Josh Sabourin
(2-for-5, double) and Casey Munoz (2-for-6, run
scored, two RBIs) also had multiple-it performances
for Palomar (3-7).
But Santa Ana, led by Konnor Armijo's 4-for-5 day,
got to six Palomar pitchers for 17 hits.
Relievers Kyle Montiel, Jake Brosemer, R.J. Shanks
and Ashton Schaffer allowed on one run in four
innings of relief for the Comets.
Palomar will play at Los Angeles Valley on Saturday
at 1 p.m. as the Comets try to get back in to the
win column prior to Tuesday's PCAC opener againt
Imperial Valley at 2 p.m. at Myers Field.
Comets waste 10 hits as OCC stays unbeaten
MARCOS (2-21-2012) --
Christian Johnson (left) went 4-for-4 and Nico
Garbella's drove in Palomar's only run with
aneighth-innng single on Tuesday as the Comets
dropped a 6-1 non-conference baseball decision to
undefeated Orange Coast at Myers Field.
Casey Munopz (right) was 2-for 4 with a hit-by-pitch
and scored the run. Reggie Jones, Audie Afenir and
Tommy Cheeks aoso hit safely.
Austin Guzzon and Rusty Edward each pitched two
scoreless relief innings for the Comets (3-6).
Ashton Ashaffer also threw a scoreless inning.
The Pirates advanced to 9-0-1,
ABOVE: Austin Muehring delivers a piitch in
the ninth inning in Saturday's 5-3 victory over Fullerton at
Myers Field. He recorded a save. -- Photo by Deb Hellman.
BELOW LEFT: Reggie Jones, who went 2-for-4 and
drove in the game's first run.
Comets back in
business after 5-run first inning
MARCOS (2-18-2012) --
After three recent agonizing one-run losses, Palomar
is back in business -- and the in column -- after
scoring five runs in the first inning Saturday which
resulted in a 5-3 non-conference victory over
Fullerton at Myers Field.
Doubles by Reggie Jones (2-for-4), who drove
in the game's first run, and Audie Afenir sparked
the first-inning outburst.Tommy Cheek (2-for-4) had
an RBI single and Danny Hawksley also contributed a
single in the inning.
Clayton Vechting pitched the first five innings to pick up the
win. He was followed to the mound by R.J. Shanks, Alex Cox and
Austin Muehring, who threw a hitless top of the ninth to
record the save.
Munoz is 4-for-5 but Comets lose slugfest in
FULLERTON (2-17-2012) --
Casey Munoz (left) went 4-for-5 with a
and an intentional walk and both Danny Hawksley
Audie Afenir also had multiple hits but Palomar
dropped a 12-11 decision at Fullerton in 10 innings
The two teams combined for 38 hits.
Hawkesley was 3-for-5 with a three-run homer, four
RBIs and a walk. Afenir was 3-for-6 and drove in two
runs, one of them with a single which capped a
four-run ninth and sent the game to extra innings.
Reggie Jones singled in two runs earlier inn the
inningand Brett Clark had a sacrifice fly.
Josh Sabourin (2-for-4, walk, hit by pitch, RBI,
stolen base), Chris Sanders (2-for-5, walk), and
Nico Garbella (2-for-6) also had multiple hits.
Christian Johnson also had a single.
It was the third one-ross loss of the early season
for Palomar, which has a rematch with Hornets on
Saturday at noon at Myers Field.
1st triple play since '95 in loss to
COSTA MESA (2-14-2012) --
Palomar dropped another pitchers' dual, 3-2 on the road
to unbeaten (7-0-1) Orange Coast, on Tuesday.
Comets turned their first triple play since 1995 in
the bottom of the first with runners on first and
second, two outs, a full count and the runners
The batter hit a liner to shortstop Reggie Jones,
who threw to second baseman Christian Johnson to double off
the lead runner. Johnson relayed the ball to first
baseman Brad Clark before the other runner could get
back to first, compleing the triple play..
Casey Munoz stayed hot at the plate for Palomar,
going 2-for-4 with a double. Chris Sanders (above
in both of the Comets' runs in the fifth inning and
made a diving catch in center.
Jones and Tommy Cheek also had singles.
Austin Muehring, D.J. Zapata (above right) and Alex Cox stopped
Coast on one run and one hit over the last five
innings. Zapata retired the side in order in the
sixth and seventh, striking out two.
ABOVE: Palomar's Casey Munoz looks
toward home plate after sliding in at second base on
one of his three doubles in Saturday's 8-3 victory
over COD. -- Photo by Deb Hellman.
BELOW LEFT: Winning pitcher Clayton
Munoz (4-4, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs) leads PC 8-3
MARCOS (2-11-2012) --
Sophomore right-hander Clayton Voechting (left)
threw five-hit ball over the first seven innings and
sophomore left fielder Casey Munoz sparked a
big offensive performance on Saturday as Palomar
avenged Thursday's non-conference loss at College of
Munoz went 4-4 with three doubles, two RBIs and a
walk and the Comets pounded the Roadrunners 8-3 at
Voechting, meanwhile, was
setting the tone with a dominating pitching outing.
He was followed to the mound by Austin Guzzon, Rusty
Edwards (who got the Comets out of an eighth-inning
jam) and Nick Carmichael. Carmichael, the Comets'
ace closer who was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles
in the 17th round in June 2010, capped the win with
a 1-2-3 ninth.
On Thursday, COD had scored a run in the last half
of the ninth inning under the lights in Palm Desert
to upset Palomar 1-0 despite outstanding pitching
performances by Comet starter Julian Esquibel and
reliever D.J. Zapata.
The Comets wasted no time taking command in
Saturday's game, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the
first inning Coach Buck Taylor's squad put
together a COD error, a sacrifice bunt by Reggie
Jones, Munoz' RBI double, another error, Tommy
Cheek's RBI double, Danny Hawksley's run scoring
single and a sacrifice fly by Josh Sabourin.
Palomar made it 6-0 with two runs in the bottom of
the second on a Christian Johnson single, Austin
Muehring's sacrifice bunt, a walk to Jones, and
Munoz' two-run double to left.
After COD pushed across two runs in the top of the
fourth, the Comets got the runs right back in the
bottom of the inning when Munoz doubled again with
one out, Audie Afenir singled, Cheek doubled to
drive in Munoz and Hawkesley scored Afenir with a
Voechting faced only three batters in the second,
third, fifth and sixth innings. Voechting also
picked off the Roadrunners' Bryce McKee in the
second, and benefited from Sabourin's diving catch
to take a hit away from COD's Jesse Reyes for the
second out in the third.
The Comets will try to even their record at 3-3 when
they travel to Orange Coast for a 2 p.m. game
The flag in centerfield at Myers Field flew at
halfr-mast on Saturday after the death of Ray Gomez
from Downey on Friday as the Comets and Cerritos
were preparing to take the field for a
non-conference softball game. That game was
cancelled. (See story that appears on the first page
of the athletic web site and the softball page.
Esquibel, Zapata lights out but Comets fall
DESERT (2-09-2012) -- Palomar pitchers
Julian Esquibel shut down College of the Desert with
strong relief help from D.J. Zapata on Thursday
But the host Roadrunners scored the winning run on a
wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth innings to
hand the viciting Comets a 1-0 non-conference loss
in a pitchers duel that featured a three-hit shutout
by COD pitchers Josh Ferrill and Josh Garcia.
Esqubel blanked the Roadrunners on three hits in a
dominant performance over the game's first 7 2/3
innings. COD managed two hits over the first seven
Esquibel retired 13 batters in a row from the the
Roadrunners' final out in the third inning through
the last out in the seventh.
Zapata came in with the bases loaded and two outs in
the bottom of the eighth and got Desert's Dyan
Lauers looking at a called third strike. He also
pitched effectively in the bottom of the ninth but
COD put together the winning rally with scratch
hits and the final wild pitch that catcher Audie
Afenir almost blocked.
It appeared as if Palomar was going to take an early
lead when the Comets put runners at first and third
with two out in the top of the first on back-to-ack
singles by Casey Munoz and Afenir. But the
Roadrunners' Ferrell, a freshman left-hander, got
the final out on a fielder's choice. The Comets also got a runners either to second or
third base in the second, fourth, fifth, seventh and
The teams will play a rematch on Saturday
at Myers Field at 1 p.m.
Munoz slugs HR but Cypress holds on to win
CYPRESS (2-08-2012) --
Nationally 24th-ranked Cypress took advantage of four Palomar
errors and overcame a nine-hit attack by No. 8-ranked Palomar on
theway to a 6-3 non-conference victory on Thursday.Casey
Munoz (left) went 2-for-4 for Palomar and slugged the Comets'
first home run of the 2012 season, a solo shot over the
leftfield fence with one out in the sixth inning.
went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Audie Afenir was 2-for-3
Johnson doubled for the Comets. Josh Sabourin and Danny
Hawksley each singled.
Chargers, playying their home opener in a rain make-up from
Tuesday, ran their record to 4-0 on the season. The Comets are
1-2 and will try to even their record on Thursday at College of
the Desert at 5 p.m.
Reggie Jones (2) heads to first afs he beats out a
perfecty-placed suicide squeeze bunt in the fifth
innking,scoring Christian Johnson (3) from third and
givilng Palomar a 2-0 lead. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT:
Catcher Audie Afeni, who had a big day both at the plate and
defensively for the Comets. BELOW RIGHT: Casey
Munoz, who doubled and singled
Comets rock Santa Ana 7-0 to open season
MARCOS (2-03-2012) -- Palomar, ranked No. 8 among
the nation's community colleges by PerfectGame.org, got
six shutout innings from starter Julian Esquibel and three hits
from Nico Garella on Friday as the Comets opened their baseball
season with a 7-0 victory over Santa Ana.
The Dons came to town
ranked No. 1 in California and on the Pacific Coast
by the American Baseball Coaches Association and No.
1 in Southern California by the California Community
College Baseball Coaches Association.
Esquibel, a sophomore right-hander out of Vista High
School, who was the Comets' ace starter a year ago,
scattered four hits in his six innings, getting nine
ground-ball outs and getting strong defensive
support. Freshman left-handers Kyle Montiel and Matt
Silberman came on in relief to preserve the shutout.
Gabrella, a red-shirt freshman shortstop from
Cathedral Catholic High School by way of UC Santa
Barbara, led a 14-hit attack, going 3-for-4 with a
double and a run scored as the Comets' leadoff
Audie Afenir (2-for-4, double, two runs scored),
Casey Munoz (2-for 2-for--4, double, RBI) and
Christian Johnson (2-for-3, run scored) also had
Danny Hanksley doubled in two runs, .and Tommy Cheek
and Austin Muehring each doubled in a run. Reggie
Jones beat out a suicide squeeze bunt for an RBI
single. Cheek and Josh Sabourin also got down
crucial bunts as the Comets forced the Dons into
erros with nearly-flawless execution.
Palomar played errorlerss ball in back of its
pitchers, and second-generation Comet catcher Audie
Afenir had a big day defensively. He picked off a
runner, threw out a runner trying to steal and made
a good play to get another runner trying to score on
a throw from Munoz in left to complee a game-ending
Johnson, playing second base, handled seven chances
in the field and turned a double play, taking a
throw from Cheek at short and relaying the ball to
Hawksley at first.
Sabourin also hit safely.
PC pounds ball but early mound meltdown fatal
VENTURA (2-04-2012) -- Palomar continued to pound
the ball at lthe plate on Saturday, but early-game pitching
problems proved deadly as the Comets dropped a 13-8
non-conference decision to Ventura.
The Comets, coming off a 7-0 victory over highly-regarded Santa
Ana to open the season Friday, knocked out 14 more hits against
the Pirates, led by Reggie Jones (3-for-4, double, 4 RBIs,
sacrifice bunt), Tommy Cheek (3-for-5, double, RBI) and Casey
Munoz (3-for-5, double).
Palomar (1-1) couldn't hold early leads of 3-0 after a
half-inning and 4-3 after 1 1/2 innings as Ventura (1-0) pushed
10 runs (8 earned) on 9 hits over the first four innings.
The Comets did get a superb relief inning from D.J. Zapata, who
spent three seasons as a quarterback in the football programs at
the University of Montana and Palomar since last pitching for
Mission Hills as a high school senior. Zapata threw a scoreless
seventh inning, recording two strikeouts and getting a weak
ground out to first base.
Austin Muehring had a double and two walks for the Comets. Audie
Afenir singled and drove in two runs. Josh Sabourin singled and
walked. Nico Garbella contributed a single.
Comets 4th in SoCal, 6th in
state, 8th on Coast
MARCOS (1-10-2012) --
Palomar is ranked No. 4 in the pre-season among
Southern California community college baseball teams
sixth in the state and No. 8 on the West Coast as
the Comets await their 2012 opener Feb. 3 at Myers
Field against Santa Ana.
Dons are No. 1 in all three polls.
Southern Cal poll was released by the California
Community College Baseball Coaches Association. The
American Baseball Coaches Association sponsors the
state and Pacific Divisions (California, Oregon,
Among teams ranked in
the Top 20 in the Southern Cal poll, coach Buck
Taylor's Comets will play No. 1 Santa Ana twice, No.
2 Orange Coast twice, No. 5 Cypress once, No. 14
Southwestern five times and No. 17 San Diego Mesa
five times during the regular season.
1 Santa Ana, 2 Orange Coast, 3 Rio Hondo, 4 Palomar, 5 Cypress,. 6
Glendale, 7 Cuesta, 8 Chaffey, 9 Riverside CC, 10 Hancock. ...
STATE: 1 Santa Ana, 2
San Joaquin Delta, 3 Orange Coast, 4 Rio Hondo, 5 Cypress, 6 Palomar,
7 Ohlone, 8 Cypress, 9 Sierra, 10 Glendale. ... PACIFIC
DIVISIONS (CALIFORNIA, OREGON, WASHINGTON): 1 Santa Ana, 2 San
Joaquin Delta, 3 Bellevue (WA), 4 Orange Coast, 5 San Mateo, 6
Rio Hondo, 7 Lower Columbia
(WA), 8 Palomar, 9 Ohlone, 10 Cypress
Saladino 3rd-best prospect
in Sox system
Palomar shortstop Tyler Saladino will head to Major League
spring training with the Chicago White Sox for the second
straight season ranked as one of the top prospects in the Sox'
Two web sites, Baseball Instinct.com and
Bullpen Banter.com, both rank the former Comet and 2010
Summit League Player of the Year at Oral Roberts University as
the third-best prospect at all positions in the White Sox
Saladino sustained a fractured
hand in a Major League spring training game for the White Sox a
year ago and missed more than a month to begin the season before
slugging 16 home runs with 26 doubles, nine triples and a .501
slugging percentage at Double-A Winston-Salem.
He'll report to White Sox Major
League spring training camp at Glendale, AZ for the second year
in a row as a non-roster player. The other ex-Comet reporting to
Major League spring training, pitcher Nick Vincent, is on the
San Diego Padres' 40-man roster.
Saladino dominated for the Comets
during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, then also dominated Division I
pitching during his junior season at Oral Roberts in 2010 before
being drafted by the White Sox in the seventh round.
He'd been a 36th-round selection
of the Houston Astros coming out of University City High School
Saladino credits his two seasons
with the Comets so much for his development as a baseball player
that he lists "Palomar" instead of "Oral Roberts" as his college
on all of his Major League and Minor League bios.
On the fast track to making the
Sox' Major League roster, Saladino was one of three ex-Comets
who spent the past off-season in the prestigious Arizona
Padres elevate Vincent to their 40-man roster
Right-hander Nick Vincent, who made a quantum jump
in his baseball career while pitching at Palomar,
was elevated by the San Diego Padres to their 40-man
Major League roster on Friday.
Vincent, 25, a Ramona
High School product, came into his own as a Comet
with 20 career victories, second-best in Palomar
After an outstanding
junior season at Long Beach State, he was drafted
and signed by the Padres in 2008.
Vincent was a
finalist for Outstanding Double-A Reliever in Minor
League Baseball in 2011, when he was
8-2 with 3 saves, a 2.27 ERA
and 54 hits, 89 strikeouts, and 20 walks in 79 1/3
in helping lead San Antonio to the Texas League
championship and the best record of any minor league
team on any level..
The Padres' pitching
coach is another former Comet, Darren Balsley.