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WSC baseball: Cougar bats not enough

Cougars rally from four-run deficit in eighth, fall in ninth

Posted: April 24, 2010 10:39 p.m.
Updated: April 25, 2010 4:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons shortstop Sean Sweeney (6) flips the ball to second baseman Nico Moreno for the out against Glendale College on Saturday at COC. The Cougars lost 12-11.

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If the College of the Canyons baseball team wants to three-peat as the Western State Conference, South Division champs, it will have to find a way to rise above the other teams in the conference.

With not much time left in the season, the Cougars have been struggling to win key games and are making it harder on themselves to get that third championship.

After tying the game with four runs in the eighth inning, COC gave up one in the ninth to lose 12-11 to Glendale College on Saturday at Cougar Field.

"Both teams played hard, but we came up a run short," said COC head coach Chris Cota. "They got big hits when they needed them."

Trailing 11-7 in the eighth, COC first baseman Hugo Hernandez came up with a big hit to get his team back in the game. After Joe Perez singled and later scored on an error to narrow the Vaqueros' lead to 11-8, Hernandez stepped up and hit a three-run home run to tie the game 11-11.

"I was just trying to drive it the other way and get runs across," Hernandez said. "It's hard to lose after that."

In the top of the ninth, Glendale designated hitter Ryan Daniels singled up the middle, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Erik Suarez, giving the Vaqueros the 12-11 edge.

The Cougars (17-14, 11-7) had a chance to come back in the ninth when pinch hitter Travis McBride walked, took second on a passed ball, then advanced to third on a fly ball by John Schwer. But Perez struck out to end the game.

"For us to get a win like that is huge for our program," said Glendale head coach Chris Cicuto. "They are a class ball club and it's a big deal to beat COC."

Glendale (15-19, 7-12) got the early lead on COC, scoring three runs on two hits against Cougars starter Chris Antariksa in the first inning.

COC tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the frame when Hernandez and Cal Vogelsang scored on Tyler Pugmire's two-RBI double. Pugmire eventually scored on an error.

The Cougars took a 6-3 lead in the second inning on hits by Nico Moreno, Robert Vickers, Hernandez and a double by Pugmire, before tacking on another run in the third when Sean Sweeney's sacrifice fly scored Schwer.

The Vaqueros rallied for an 8-7 lead after a big fifth inning in which Nash Hutter hit a three-run home run to right-center field, followed by a two-RBI single by Daniels with the bases loaded.

COC was forced to go to the bullpen three times in the game after Antariksa pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up five hits for eight runs. Devon Ramirez, Jason Kane and Sean Gavin all came on in relief. Kane took the loss on after a two-inning outing in which he gave up a run on two hits and walked three batters.

"We swung our bats well," Cota said. "We hit too much in the air, but we scored 11 runs and that's usually enough to win a game."

Hernandez was 4-for-5 in the game with three singles and a home run.

"It's a very disappointing, tough loss, but we have to bounce back," Hernandez said.

COC will travel to Woodland Hills to play Pierce College on Tuesday.


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