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College baseball: Starting to find a formula

Cougars get first WSC-South conference win of the year

Posted: March 9, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 9, 2011 1:55 a.m.

COC shortstop Juan Perez, right, heads toward first base after hitting a double in the fifth inning against L.A. Mission College Tuesday at COC. The Cougars won 7-5.

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According to head coach Chris Cota, College of the Canyons baseball isn't where it needs to be this season.

It is starting to figure out different ways to win games though.

In Tuesday's Western State Conference, South Division home opener, the Cougars did it by taking advantage of errors and remaining patient at the plate to win 7-5 over Los Angeles Mission College at COC.

It was the fourth win in the past five games for the Cougars, which had to overcome four errors and an eighth-inning deficit to earn the victory.

"We don't let errors bring us down," said COC left fielder Kamran Young. "We make an error and we just have to make the best of it and play our game."

The Cougars (9-6, 1-1) were coming off a conference-opening 3-2 loss at West L.A. on Saturday, which Cota said came as the result of mistakes in key situations.

"We need to get better at the little things," Cota said. "We're making a few errors and not doing the little things right at the plate."

Those little things helped COC on Tuesday, though.

Most of the action began in the seventh inning, where COC broke a tie to take a 4-2 lead after RBI singles by Cal Vogelsang and Robbie Mousselli pushed two runs across the plate.
L.A. Mission (10-5, 1-1) responded quickly.

After retiring the first batter of the inning, COC starting pitcher John Salas gave up two base hits before exiting the game in favor of reliever Andy Arriaga.

The Eagles capitalized on a wild pitch and scored all three runs off Arriaga to take a temporary 5-4 lead.

In 7 1/3 innings, Salas was credited with three earned runs, eight hits and six strikeouts.

Arriaga got the win in 1 2/3 innings of work thanks to COC's three-run eighth.

Cougar hitters drew three walks from L.A. Mission pitcher Chris Mott and took advantage of two fielding errors in the inning to retake the lead in the frame.

This time it was for good.

"It's nice to be able to bounce back after making a few errors," Cota said. "They put up three in the eighth and we came right back and put up three."

Mott, who also played left field and was the leadoff batter for the Eagles for most of the game, was given the loss.

Before entering the game in the eighth, a visibly frustrated Mott struck out swinging to end the threat for the Eagles in the top half of the inning.

"He was rattled before he even came in, and we just played off that," said Young, whose two-RBI double got things going for the Cougars in the second inning.

Mousselli also had two RBIs on the day, with his second coming in the eighth inning when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

COC second baseman Kasey Toven knocked in a run in the eighth on a single up the middle.

Eagles shortstop Niko Garcia hit the game's only home run, a shot to right field in the first inning.



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