Rain delay helps squad with needed rest


By Joel Umanzor, Sports Editor

Everybody loves a day off.

The Comets (5-27 overall and 5-13 in the Bay Valley Conference) found themselves in the midst of one due to rain on Monday after rescheduling a non-conference makeup game with Cañada College (14-17-2 overall and 7-8 in the Coast Pacific Conference).

For coach Brian Guinn, it’s an opportunity for the Comet baseball team to catch its collective breath before approaching the final stretch of their 2019 campaign.
Guinn said, “I think the kids need a day off. We played four games last week. I think another day off with practice might help them.

“The rain might be in our favor,” he said.

The Comets resume conference play Thursday against Mendocino College (13-15 overall, 8-9 BVC) in Ukiah.

Monday’s day off follows a week in which the Comets played four games in five days and split the contests 2-2. The team fell 13-2 against Santa Rosa Junior College (26-8 overall, 13-5 Big 8 Conference) on Friday but earned their first consecutive wins in BVC play since the first week of March. The Comets took back-to-back wins against Napa Valley College (7-17 overall, 6-11 BVC) 8-6 and 13-5.

Outfielder Darius Foster said the day off after a busy week on the diamond benefits everyone on the squad.

Foster said, “Honestly, we played four games last week. It’s not just me, but the whole team was really tired after the Saturday game following our week back from Spring break.”

The Comets took the first two games of the series in dominating fashion outscoring the Storm 21-11 and racking up 27 hits for their biggest offensive output in a series this season.

Looking for the series sweep against Napa on Saturday, the Comets fell behind 7-2 before scoring two runs each in the seventh and ninth innings in hopes of completing a comeback.

The deficit was due to a six-run fifth inning by the Storm in which starting CCC pitcher Dean Jones (0-7, 11.95 ERA) gave up four runs before being pulled for reliever Karon Casey (0-0, 14.54 ERA).

Casey gave up two more runs before escaping the inning.

The damage was done, but the Comets fought back from the batters box.

Led by the offensive production of outfielders Mychael Jamison and Darius Foster, who were a combined 4 for 10 with 3 RBIs in the game, the Comets came back from a 5-run hole.

Foster was especially successful at the plate in previous games against the Storm and totaled an average of .384 against Napa Valley pitching.

The duo was able to put three of the four runs on the board in the later innings and breathed life into a CCC team fighting to come back.

However, the Comets fell one run short losing to the Storm 7-6 in the series finale.

According to Foster, the Comets weren’t looking to do too much individually, but rather focused on situations.

Foster said, “Honestly just staying with our approach not trying to do too much. All last week we were focused on situations and it translates over to the game.”

At this point in the Comet season, some players have sought ways to work on their craft on offense while creating competition among themselves.

Jamison said, “I have 30 hits right now (on the season), and he (Foster) has 26.”

“It’s me, Darius (Foster), Perez (infielder Brian Perez) and Shaw (infielder Andruw Shaw) right now for who’s going to end up with the most hits.”

The friendly competition is an aspect of team sports that coach Guinn says can be the driving force during the dog days late in a season.

Guinn said, “It (team competition) is something that goes on in every team — guys competing among each other, which keeps them motivated throughout the year.”

The Comets see it as a way to keep themselves on top of each other in a way that creates accountability among teammates.

Foster said, “The competition definitely does keep us a lot more competitive.

“It even just keeps us working because when you see one guy get a hit you say, ‘I have to step it up too.’”