Rally in second inning fuels first win of season

Baseball team muffles City College of San Francisco to earn first home win

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

After a brief rain delay, the Comet baseball team earned its first win of the season in a 9-2 romp over City College of San Francisco at the Baseball Field on Saturday.

Fielding errors combined with outs instead of hits with runners in scoring position has already cost the team winnable games this season. Contra Costa College (1-3 overall) finally put together a complete performance, scoring five runs in the second inning, against a team (2-4 overall) that had beaten them on Thursday.

“It depends on the day with these two teams. We have guys that can pitch and hit so do they,” CCSF pitcher Zach Carillo said. “(In the last game played between the rivals) CCC’s pitcher had no hitter going for like six innings and came away with a no decision — neither team did anything dramatically different today.”

The Comets took control of the game in the second inning. Starting a little shaky giving up two hits and an error leading to runners in scoring position. Comet starter Jesse Garcia got out of the jam with help from a leaping stab by second baseman Antonio Nobriga.

That energy would carry over into the offensive half on the inning.

Leander Carter (two hits) made the first connection of game with a screaming drive into right field giving the Comets runners at first and second. Alex Melendez (one hit) laid down the perfect bunt and with no available throw the bases were loaded with no outs.

The Ram pitcher nervously plunked the next Comet batter, forcing in the squad’s first run.

Loomis Russell (two hits, three RBI) then hit a base-clearing double (giving the team a 4-2 advantage) and ended up on third after a CCSF fielding error. A sacrifice fly brought Russell in to score the final run of the frame.

“They had to adjust to our grass field and with the weather. It probably played slower than usual so we capitalized on our home field advantage,” Russell said. “RBIs are good, but in baseball it takes a team so it feels better to see us all get going at the same time as a team.”

After two innings, the Comets led 5-2.

With a three-layer cushion Garcia (seven innings, four strikeouts) settled into his groove, only allowing two hits in the rest of his time on the mound.

“I was ready to go for however many innings they needed me to go,” Garcia said post-game. “I threw a lot of off speed pitches so it wasn’t a major toll on my body. The first inning was a little rough but I feel like I could go some more right now.”

The fourth inning began to wear on Ram pitcher Jesse Navaro. The starter gave up a first pitch blooper to CCC center fielder Rome Watson (one hit, one RBI), who beat the throw by sliding head first into first base.

Watson was eventually caught stealing second base.

CCC’s batters battled late into the pitch count in every at bat against Navaro in the fourth inning. For the first time in the game, the Rams conferred at the mound to see how the pitcher was holding up.

Navaro kept the mound and promptly walks the bases loaded. Then the starter gave up a two-run triple to Loomis with one out before being pulled.

The Rams made it out of the inning without surrendering any more runs.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, with two outs and runners on first and third, CCC attempted to add to its lead.

The final runs were set up by another rocket off of the bat of Russell down the line to left field. Arturo Parra (two hits, four RBI) poked a shot by the infield for a single that drove in the final runs.