Comets fail to find win in ultimate rivalry game

Season-long problems too much to overcome


Qing Huang / The Advocate

Comet second baseman Rome Watson jumps up for a catch during CCC’s 10-2 loss to the Mustangs at Los Medanos College on Friday. The Comets ended their season 6-29 overall.

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

The baseball team let go of its last chance to finish the 2015 season on a high note, leaving runners stranded on base and failing to patch defensive holes, leading to a 10-2 loss Friday against Los Medanos College in Pittsburg.

Contra Costa College (6-29 overall and 4-20 in the Bay Valley Conference) finished the season the same way it began — winning one out of 10 games.

“We committed a couple of errors early and they took advantage of them, so they had momentum early,” Comet catcher Alex Melendez said. “There were a couple of base running errors early. We got good hits late, but left a couple of runners stranded at third.”

Conference play has been difficult as of late for the squad. Since winning 6-4 at LMC (17-19 overall 11-13 in the BVC) in their first conference matchup this season on April 3, the Comets have lost nine games in a row.

CCC took the lead in the first inning and still looked to finish the season on a strong note. After losing its last matchup against Laney College the game against Los Medanos College would be the last BVC conference opponent CCC would have a chance to sweep.

Comet leadoff hitter Timmion Hughes (0 for 3 hitting), scored from third while Mustang starting pitcher Mike Alexander was distracted by an unsuccessful steal attempt by Comet outfielder Leander Carter (3 for 3 hitting).

“We got on the board early, but they were just hitting the ball and things weren’t falling in our favor,” Carter said. “We knew the stakes. We started off good; we just needed to execute.”

Base running blunders prevented CCC from getting another runner in scoring position and was the last time the team would put a run on the board until the sixth inning.

“It was good pitching on their part. They kept us swinging out of the zone,” Comet designated hitter Kevin Spence said. “It seemed like we couldn’t get any rallies going.”

The remainder of the first inning was owned by LMC.

Mustang hitters loaded the bases early and the first run was scored on a balk by CCC starter, Christian Sadler (7 hits 1 strikeout pitching).

A double and a single put two more runs on the board for LMC. The Comets got out of the inning having only given up four runs in a situation that could have been a lot worse.

Sadler made it through the second inning and seemed to be settling into his groove, until Mustang outfielder Carlos Carrillo (2 for 3 hitting) punched through a two-run single for Los Medanos.

Comet hurler Jesse Garcia (6 hits, 2 strikeouts pitching) came in to replace Sadler in the third and slowed the bleeding for the squad, giving up only one run in three innings, until CCC batters showed signs of striking back in the sixth inning.

CCC scored another run in the inning when Carter atoned for his earlier mistake by scoring on Comet third baseman Antonio Straughter’s sacrifice fly.

Signs of life and a potential shift in momentum forced the sixth place Mustangs into action in hopes of avoiding a season sweep in conference play by last place CCC.

In the bottom of the eighth inning the LMC scoring push started innocently enough, on an RBI single by catcher Etham Utler. This inspired Derek Slate to crack a double, scoring two more runs for the home team.

Slate was subsequently thrown out at third, showing his greed by trying to stretch a double into a triple.

LMC put up three runs in the eighth frame.

Those would be the final runs of the game for the game and the season for either team.