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Comets win on a walkoff to complete comeback

Palomar baseball was victorious in their home opener, winning on a walk off home run by sophomore pitcher Cameron Haskell in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Comets defeated the Golden West College Rustlers 8-7, sweeping the two game series against the 2016 state-runner up college. The team won the previous day’s game by a score of 8-1.

Gabe Willes (1) high fives his teammates after they scored back to back runs during the Jan. 28 game vs. Golden West. Palomar won 8-7.Tracy Grassel/The Telescope
Gabe Willes (1) high fives his teammates after they scored back to back runs during the Jan. 28 game vs. Golden West. Palomar won 8-7.Tracy Grassel/The Telescope

“After that first game when we pretty much destroyed them we knew we were something special,” Haskell said.

The confidence from beating the Rustlers in the first game on their turf spurred the Comets on to duplicate the same success in their home opener.

The Rustlers offense came alive early in the game, scoring six runs in the second inning compared to the Comet’s four. They grabbed an additional run in the third inning and held off the Comets for four straight innings leading with a score of 7-4.

Haskell knew that the Rustlers beginning lead wasn’t anything they couldn’t come back from. “I think the energy really brought us together,” he said.

The Comets comeback was completed when Haskell hit a walk-off two-run home run with Eric Charles on third base.

“I don’t plan on winning games in the ninth like that, but it was good to see,” Head Coach Buck Taylor said.

Haskell said that in a situation where you have a winning run at the plate, the idea is to drive the ball and give your team a chance to win; something that the Comets needed in order to come from behind.

“It was almost like I had to do something at that moment to get us kind of going,” Haskell said.

Palomar's Cameron Haskell (31) shows his excitement after hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Jan. 28 home game. Palomar defeated Golden West 8-7. Tracy Grassel/The Telescope
Palomar’s Cameron Haskell (31) shows his excitement after hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Jan. 28 home game. Palomar defeated Golden West 8-7. Tracy Grassel/The Telescope

Coach Taylor had told Haskell before he went to bat to hit a home run, and believes the play was the perfect way to end a tough series against one of the most competitive colleges on their schedule.

“The kids battled back, we were down early, and they did a good job battling back so that’s a good sign of resiliency with this group and staying in the game for nine innings,” Taylor said.

 

The team of 37 players consists heavily of freshman players and is still working together to defining roles and gel as a team.

“We’re still kind of an open book,” Coach Taylor said. “We’re not sure what we have, we’re still trying to get different kids in the game and see what some kids can do.”

The team currently sits at a record of 4-1 and plays against three of the top 10 teams in the state in the coming weeks: Orange Coast College, Sacramento City College and Riverside City College. Their next home game is against Glendale College at 2 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Palomar College Ballpark.

 

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