Palomar College Baseball recorded their 30th win of the season in the regular season home finale with a 5-0 shutout win against Southwestern College.
The second-place Comets hosted the third-place Jaguars on Thursday April 27 in a highly defensive game where Palomar’s pitching was able to hold Southwestern to only five hits.
Lefthanded pitcher Nathan Stilinovich was the star man for the Comets’ impressive defensive display, recording a win shutout with four strikeouts in seven innings.
“I feel great. It was probably my best pitching outing of the year so far.” Stilinovich said about the performance.
Stilinovich came in with a game plan and he stuck to it. “Just keeping the ball low at their knees. Throwing curve ball and changeup. Locating fastball early in the count.”
Stilinovich had help from his teammates like outfielder Jordan Gardner who made a diving catch in right field in the top of the sixth inning.
Infielder Jared Montoya made the defensive play of the game by fielding a ground ball, forcing an out at second base, before relaying the ball to first base to create a double play to finish the off the top of the third inning.
The game didn’t start off too great for the Comets with Southwestern’s righthanded pitcher Marco Bautista striking out the first three at bats for Palomar.
“Coming out of the bullpen I felt good, I felt confident with my stuff. And once I got on the mound I was just flushed in … against Palomar, a good team like this, you just got to hit your spots.” Bautista said.
Bautista’s hot start started to cool in the third inning after a single by outfielder Joey Cooper. Bautista was eventually pulled off the mound in the fourth inning after giving up five runs.
“My confidence started going down, because I kept throwing balls.” Bautista said. “I kept getting tired and opening up.”
Infielder Gabe Willes opened the scoring for Palomar in the bottom of the second with a homerun.
“I felt like I was getting a fastball and I had a hitters count … I just put a good swing on it.” Willes said.
Southwestern managed to limit Willes to a single hit in the game by walking him in the fourth and being hit by pitches in the fifth and eighth innings.
“They kept throwing the inside hoping to beat me but it keeping hitting me.” Willes chuckled.
Palomar then scored again in the third inning before going on to score the game’s final three runs in the fourth inning.
Outfielder Jordan Gardner and catcher Tristan King both recorded RBI singles in the win.
Palomar won again at Southwestern on Friday April 28 in the season finale to finish second in Pacific Coast Athletic Conference and are seeded ninth for the playoffs beginning Friday May 5.
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