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What a Relief: COC Wins WSC Opener

Posted: February 22, 2008 9:32 a.m.
Updated: April 24, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Plain and simple, College of the Canyons' bullpen has been struggling.

Cougars head coach Chris Cota equates it this way - a sub .500 team coming into its Western State Conference opener Thursday against Pierce, COC should be three if not five games over at this point.

But optimism showed Thursday as Valencia graduate and Cougars reliever Caleb Deville gave a shutdown performance.
His three innings of shutout relief, Cota said, was the difference in a 6-3 Cougars win.

"Our issues have been our relief pitching," Cota said. "Until then, we went up to Santa Barbara and beat them Saturday."

Cota had third starter and Saugus grad Kody Kurowski pitch 7 1/3 innings of shutout relief in the 5-4 victory Saturday.

"It kind of sent a message to our relievers if they don't get it done," Cota said. "Then Deville went in today and did a great job."

Deville entered the game in the seventh inning with the Cougars (4-6) up 6-3 and retired the first three batters he saw.

He surrendered just one hit and one walk in the game.

Deville took over for Mike McCravey who went six innings, allowing three earned runs.

COC trailed early as McCravey surrendered a run in the top of the first inning, but the Cougars came right back to tie it in the bottom of the inning as a run scored on a John Hay double play.

The Cougars proved to be opportunistic Thursday, scoring their next two runs after Pierce (8-5) mistakes.

A Julian Cruz RBI single after an error picked up a run in the third and COC added two more in the fourth after an error and wild pitch.

Cal State Los Angeles transfer Brian Hernandez topped off the scoring in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run.

Cruz was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Hernandez was 3-for-4.

Cota said he thinks things are fixed now for the Cougars.

"I think we'll be just fine as long as we can play our brand of baseball," he said.

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