Comets beat Yuba in shutout

Pitching, defense fuel team’s winning effort

Comet infielder
Elijah Smith awaits teammate JohnVelasco (right) as he steps on home plate during CCC’s 6-0 win against the Yuba College 49ers at the Baseball Field on Saturday.

Cody Casares / The Advocate

Comet infielder Elijah Smith awaits teammate JohnVelasco (right) as he steps on home plate during CCC’s 6-0 win against the Yuba College 49ers at the Baseball Field on Saturday.

By Dylan Collier, Assistant Scene Editor

Although the Comets’ (5-13) record is beneath the team’s expectations, they began to show some improvement by  claiming a 6-0 win over Yuba College (5-11) on Saturday on the Baseball Field.

CCC starting pitcher Jayson Summers only allowed one base runner in the first three innings of play and that came on a walk to 49er third baseman Alec Garret.

In the contest, Summers pitched six innings allowing two hits with four strikeouts.

The freshman allowed three batters to reach base on walks.

“We just keep working hard to get better,” coach Brian Guinn said. “This win gives us a little momentum going into (Bay Valley) conference play. It’s a confidence boost.”

The Comets get a chance to build on their success, Thursday at 2:30 p.m. when they open BVC play against the College of Marin in Kentfield.

CCC scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning on hits by sophomores John Velasco and Eric Whitfield followed by a two-RBI single by freshman Elijah Smith.

Smith’s no-out RBI single scored center fielder Jonathan Dunn and left fielder Wesley Galloway. Galloway reached first on a lead off walk and advanced to second when Dunn was advanced to first on a fielder’s choice.

Errors were a big concern for the 49ers in the contest.

Comet batters took advantage of Yuba’s sloppy play, scoring runs in both of the innings that Yuba committed errors.

After scoring four runs in the first inning, CCC scored two runs in the eighth.

“Our first four runs were in the first inning. We had a dry spell through six and then came back later,” Chris Brue said.

After the four-run outburst in the first inning, both teams exchanged six innings of shutout ball.

Yuba’s starting pitcher Darrell Doll was pulled after the third inning after surrendering four runs on five hits.

Reliever Kevin Baranowski didn’t fair much better. He surrendered five hits  in five innings on the mound, allowing two runs to score for the Comets in the process.

Starter Summers said, “We just had to get our jitters out of the way. When my defense made plays behind me, that built up my confidence.”

After seven innings, the Comets led the 49ers 4-0.

It was a dominant performance on the mound for Comet pitchers.

The staff only allowed three hits in the game.

Summers threw for six innings, followed by Justin Nehring, Justin Tonge, Brandon Owens.

Nehring made his impact defensively for the Comets in the bottom of the seventh inning, after allowing a base-hit single to Yuba second baseman Eddy Cruz.

The Comets responded with defense, with Nehring picking off a 49er runner attempting to steal second, for the second out of the inning.

The pitcher forced the following batter to pop out to end the inning.

Tonge started the ninth inning for CCC. After giving up a walk and a pop fly, Guinn made the decision to substitute Owens for Tonge, who continued the nine inning shutout.

Guinn gave his team extra incentive to build on the squad’s improved play over the last three games.

In many games this season pitching and defense has doomed CCC’s chances of building on any of the opportunities that the team had for success.

In the team’s previous two matchups against Napa Valley and Mendocino colleges, the Comets held both teams to five or fewer runs before finally posting the 6-0 shutout against Yuba on Saturday.

“Before the game, our coach put up a goal. He said that if we pitched a shutout, he would buy us all food and then the pitchers would get to hit during batting practice on the field,” Summers said.