Home run ignites Mariners’ stagnant offense

Solid pitching fails to propel squad to victory

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

The baseball team squared off against the College of Marin for its second game in a row, rallying for three runs in the eighth inning but still earning a 6-4 loss Thursday in Kentfield.

Contra Costa College (5-14 overall and 3-5 in the Bay Valley Conference) jumped out to an early lead and held the Mariners (12-6-1 overall and 6-1 in the BVC) in check for the majority of the game.

Starting Comet pitcher David Gustafson (0-3) kept COM off of the board until he gave up a home run in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“The homer changed the momentum of the game,” Comet outfielder Rudy Rudolph said. “They started stringing hits together after that.”

The two-run sixth fueled a productive seventh inning for the Mariners. Three singles advanced the base runners into scoring position with the final run of the inning coming on a wild pitch.

After maintaining the lead for the first half of the game, CCC found itself facing a 5-run deficit of 6-1.

The Comets will need to find a way to capitalize on its advantages when they take on fifth place Folsom Lake College Thursday in Folsom at 2:30 p.m.

Missing their leader in batting average Timmion Hughes (.383), made the Comets work harder to manufacture runs.

Comet center fielder Leander Carter reached base on balls and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Relief pitcher Antonio Straughter also registered a hit and eventually crossed the plate.

“I fractured my finger sliding back to first base trying to beat a pickoff attempt a few games back,” Hughes said. “I’ll be back as soon as I get this cast off.”

Third baseman Loomis Russell, was driven in on right fielder Kevin Spence’s single that ended the Comet eighth inning scoring push. Ultimately the runs were not enough and the squad came up short, losing consecutive games to the Mariners.

“We got the lead early, but we lost focus,” Spence said. “We battled back but we just couldn’t get it done.”