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Cougars turn it around

College of the Canyons rallies by Citrus College

Posted: March 27, 2009 1:32 a.m.
Updated: March 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.
The College of the Canyons baseball team found itself in a familiar situation Thursday.

Down two runs after the first inning, the Cougars turned things around for the second straight game by beating Citrus College 10-3 at College of the Canyons.

COC (15-10-1, 12-4) got six strong innings from freshman right-hander Trevor McDonald and found its stroke at the plate midway through the contest.

“I just had to loosen up the arm,” McDonald said.

Scoring three runs in the fourth and fifth inning, the Cougars took control and scored another two runs in the sixth and eight, highlighted by right-fielder Trevor Bloom’s two-run home run.

“I don’t know how I hit the ball like that in this wind,” Bloom said of the sixth-inning change-up he sent over the right-field wall.

Bloom was 1-for-2 on the day with three runs scored and two RBIs.

But the win was also reflective of the season the Cougars have had so far.

After a tough seven-game skid early in the season, COC responded by winning 11 of its next 12 games.

“I’d say that when we were on our seven-game losing streak, the team really bonded,” McDonald said. “When you are losing like that, you have to come together.”

Thursday was no different.

The Owls (17-8, 10-6) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after first baseman Scott Vincent’s two-run double. Vincent finished 3-for-4.

COC took a 3-2 lead in the fourth when first baseman Hugo Hernandez singled in Bloom, catcher Kyle Leon walked in a run, and shortstop Kirk Corrales sent a sacrifice fly to center field.

Citrus starting pitcher Matt Baudino surrendered eight walks on the day, and the Cougars made sure to capitalize.

“The pitchers that have come out (against COC) have ended up elevating their pitches in the strike zone,” said Owls head coach Steve Gomez. “They are a good team and we’ve been doing that against their better hitters.”

In the fifth inning, center fielder Brian Charnock doubled in Bloom, and later came across the plate following Citrus second baseman Angel Marti’s fielding error.

The lead expanded to 6-2 after Tyler Oldham’s RBI double later in the frame.

In the eighth inning, Charnock’s single brought in Tucker Mabee and third baseman Matt Warr drove home Charnock on a double of his own.

A far cry from their start to the season, the Cougars now find themselves at the top of the Western State Conference South Division standings.

“They didn’t give up,” said Cougars head coach Chris Cota of the team’s turnaround. “They had great character and have worked hard.”

The Owls cut the lead to 10-3 following Vincent Prado’s RBI-single.

Whether looking at a single game or the entire season, Bloom says you can never rule the Cougars out.

“We start slow sometimes but we always find a way to get it done,” he said.


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