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COC Insider: Softball season saved

Cougar baseball and softball both advance to Super Regionals; 4 athletes headed to SoCal track final

Posted: May 5, 2013 9:52 p.m.
Updated: May 5, 2013 9:52 p.m.

College of the Canyons' Savannah Gutierrez heads to home plate during a playoff game against Saddleback College on Sunday at COC.

 

The College of the Canyons spring athletic teams started their playoff runs this weekend, and all of the teams excelled and are moving on.

Softball

After losing the first game, 14-5, in the best-of-three series against No. 12 Saddleback College on Saturday afternoon, the No. 5-seeded COC came roaring back on Sunday with two consecutive shutouts, 12-0 and 13-0, to beat the Gauchos 2-1 in the first round of the regional playoffs.

By winning the series, Canyon advances to the California Community College Athletic Association Super Regionals for the second year in a row.

In the first game on Sunday, COC (32-9-2) held Saddleback to one hit, clobbering the Gauchos in a five inning, mercy rule win. In a complete turn of events from Saturday’s game against Saddleback, Canyons was the team with the bats, as the squad notched 13 hits.

In Saturday’s game, Saddleback had 14 hits.

In the third and final game of the series, COC scored at will, notching runs in every inning other than the second. The Cougars gathered 14 hits and saw center fielder Savannah Gutierrez and right fielder Andrea Brackpool hit home runs, including a grand slam from Brackpool in the third.

Canyons will travel Riverside City College, where it will face Santiago Canyon College in the opening round of the Super Regional on May 10. COC hosted the same tournament in 2012.

Baseball

The No. 13 seed College of the Canyons baseball team defeated No. 4 San Bernardino Valley College 2-0 on Friday and Saturday in the best-of-three, first-round regional playoff series. Canyons (24-14), who came in as the underdog, handled the Wolverines 7-0 in Friday’s game and 3-2 in the second game on Saturday.

In the first game, COC’s pitcher Ryan Cruz threw a complete game, helping the Cougars beat the Wolverines 7-0 on Friday afternoon. Cruz (7-1) gave up four hits in the win and struck out 10 batters, while walking four. COC’s offense also did its part, garnering 16 hits, and had three players who turned in three hits on the day. Catcher Alex Bishop went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs, while right fielder Kamran Young went 3-for-5 with two RBIs.

In Saturday’s game, COC used a three-run sixth inning to take a one-run lead over the Wolverines, coupled with ace pitching from Icezack Flemming, to take down San Bernardino Valley. After seeing SBVC take a 2-0 lead after five innings, Canyons loaded the bases after an error and a walk.

Bishop scored on a balk, followed by two more runs coming in off a Young sacrifice and an Ivan Vela double. It was enough for COC, as Flemming held the Wolverines scoreless for the final two innings.

COC will now travel to the Super Regionals, May 10-12, at Saddleback College. COC will face host Saddleback College on Friday at 11 a.m. in the first game of the double elimination tournament. This marks the second time that College of the Canyons has advanced to the Super Regionals under 13th-year head coach Chris Cota.

Track and Field

The College of the Canyons track and field team competed in the Southern California Prelims at Antelope Valley College on Saturday afternoon. The Cougars had four athletes, one woman and three men, qualify for the Southern California finals next Saturday in Lancaster.

Freshman Tim White did not disappoint as he came in first place in the triple jump, after turning in a distance of 50 feet, 9 1/4 inches and beating the second-place finisher by more than 2 1/2 feet. Freshman javelin thrower Cody Moore earned a personal-best mark of 162 feet, 3 inches, good for 10th place. Freshman Anthony Fowler also qualified for the 400-meter final race with a time of 49.01 seconds.

On the women’s side, sophomore Jillian Hurley cleared 10-4 3/4 in the pole vault for a new personal-best and school record mark to qualify.

At the finals on Saturday, the top four finishers in the 400-meter run will advance and the top six in all field events will move on to the state championship meet on May 17-18 at San Mateo College.

Men’s Golf

The men’s golf team was idle this week as it prepared for the Southern California Finals today at Costa Mesa Country Club.

Canyons enters as the favorite after earning the program’s 19th Western State Conference championship.

COC also has four of the top-10 golfers in Southern California and are led by freshman Sidney Wolf, who is averaging 72.2 strokes per round.

Canyons will need to finish in first or second place to advance to the state championship on May 13 at the Rancho Canada Golf Club, where the two best teams from Southern California will meet the two best teams from Northern California.

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