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COC baseball last ones into playoffs

Posted: April 27, 2014 10:51 p.m.
Updated: April 27, 2014 10:51 p.m.

College of Canyons pitcher Ryan Cruz delivers against L.A. Mission College on April 11. COC earned a No. 18 seed in the Southern California Regional playoffs.

All they wanted to do was get into the playoffs.

And from there, College of the Canyons baseball is taking the approach that anything is possible.

The unveiling of the California Community College Athletic Association playoff brackets on Sunday pegged COC as an 18 seed in the Southern California Regional. That’s the lowest possible seed in the 18-team bracket.

And it means the Cougars will have to travel to face the 15-seeded East Los Angeles College in a win-or-go-home play-in game into the first round.

“We go by the numbers and we just happened to fall in the 18 spot but yet you’ve got to move on,” said COC head coach Christ Cota.

The playoff seedings are determined by a computerized ratings index, which evidently saw COC as the last team in for Southern California.

The Cougars (19-6-1) finished second in the Western State Conference, South Division. This came after a 3-8 in its first 11 games of the season.

The young COC Cougars recovered well from there.

“I think we’re playing pretty well right now and it should be a good ball game,” Cota said of Tuesday’s upcoming game.

One noteworthy game from earlier this year was COC’s season opening 3-2 win over the same East L.A. team on Jan. 28.

“That’s not really too much of an indicator right there,” Cota said of the prior win over East L.A. “They’re a pretty good team and they were fighting for a conference title all the way up until last week.”

East L.A. (23-13) took second place in the South Coast Conference.

If COC wins on Tuesday, it will advance to play the bracket’s No. 1 seed Orange Coast College (27-9) beginning on Friday in a best-of-three series.

COC also took part in a play-in game two years ago, but lost to Santa Barbara 6-5 in a 16-innning battle.

On Tuesday, COC’s game will begin at 2 p.m.


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