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College baseball: Canyons takes it right back

After blowing lead, COC scores five runs in seventh to defeat Citrus

Posted: April 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.

College of the Canyons outfielder James Bonds, left, and first baseman Jake Jelmini celebrate after Bonds hit a two-run home run in the third inning against Citrus on Tuesday at COC.


College of the Canyons found itself up by eight runs after four innings. An inning and a half later, the lead was gone.

So the Cougars seized it back.

Highlighted by a bases-clearing double by Connor Garelick, the Cougars put together a five-run seventh inning and beat Citrus 16-10 on Tuesday at College of the Canyons.

It was quite the turnaround for Canyons (17-14-1 overall, 9-8 Western State Conference, South Division), which built a 10-2 lead through four innings and watched it evaporate as Citrus’ offense came to life.

“Being the home team, you’ve got to let your team know there’s a lot of game left,” said COC head coach Chris Cota. “We’ve already scored a lot of runs, so keep the same approach.”

With the score tied 10-10 in the bottom of the sixth, COC’s Kevin Lenik hit a sacrifice fly to score Jake Jelmini, who had reached earlier on a single.

After holding Citrus (8-9, 13-19) scoreless in the top of the eighth, Canyons put the game away. Jelmini singled home Chad DeLaGuerra, and after a James Bonds walk loaded the bases, Garelick smacked his double to deep left-center to drive in three more runs.

“I knew I had to see ball, hit ball,” Garelick said. “I was just trying to put it in play and see what happens.”

Lenik followed with a single to plate Garelick.

After giving up the first run of the game in the first inning, the Cougars scored one run apiece in the first and second innings before a seven-run third. Bonds hit a two-run home run as part of the rally — which may have led to his walk in the eighth — and DeLaGuerra, Lenik, Drew Sandler, Michael Browne and Ornelas each had an RBI in the inning.

The two teams traded runs in the fourth. That’s when things went south for COC.

“We got kind of lazy, complacent,” Garelick said.

Second baseman Shane Fraijo and catcher Nick Oddo each hit two-run home runs to help Citrus score eight times over the next two innings and tie the game.

John Salas started on the mound for COC and went 4 2/3 innings before things fell apart, giving up eight runs on 13 hits. Reliever Winston Lavendier pitched 2 2/3 innings and gave up just one hit to pick up the win.

Allende Esquivel, the fifth of six pitchers used by Citrus, took the loss. He gave up five runs on six hits over two innings.

Canyons is currently fifth in the WSC, South Division with four more games left, starting with a home date against Valley at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.



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