Losing streak continues after offense falls flat


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Comet Jake Dent pitches during Contra Costa College’s 9-0 shutout loss against De Anza College Saturday on the Baseball Field.

By Dylan Collier, Assistant Scene Editor

Despite striking out just four times, the Comet baseball team lost its third game in a row, this one a 9-0 shutout to De Anza College (4-1) Saturday on the Baseball Field.

Contra Costa College (1-3) started the game with good defense and solid fielding but began to unravel halfway through the game.

In the fifth inning, Dons’ third baseman Josh Longabaugh hit a deep line drive to right-center, ricocheting off the fence and allowing him to safely slide into third base for a triple. 

Longabaugh eventually scored the first run of the game by way of a sacrifice fly hit to center off the bat of DA center fielder Andrew Coan.

Coach Brian Guinn said, “Overall, I think we have a pretty good ball club, but the players learned today that a few bad innings are all it takes for the opposing team to surge ahead and win.”

The fact that more than half of De Anza’s lineup was left-handed batters gave them an advantage going up against all right-handed Comet pitchers.

Any movement on the Comet pitches broke into the batter’s swing, rather than moving away from it.

The Comets had more than four innings where all three of their batters were retired in a row, making it hard for them to get into any sort of rhythm. While the Comet hitters only got between three and four plate appearances, the Dons got between four and five trips to the plate for almost every player on the team.    

“Our missing ingredient was executing at the plate offensively. We didn’t do that today,” starting pitcher Jake Dent said.

The Comets got a chance to improve on their execution Tuesday at Ohlone College in Fremont, after press time.

In the game Saturday, De Anza had an explosive seventh inning, where the team was able to maintain a level of consistency by stringing together multiple hits.

Dons’ third baseman Tyler Jochen and catcher TJ Solomona found the outfield grass with back-to-back singles. Later left fielder Diego Fisher drew a walk to load the bases for Longabaugh, who hit a double to the warning track.

That bases-clearing double contributed to De Anza’s four-run seventh inning, making the score 5-0 Dons.

Comet catcher Tyler Winston started off a little slow behind the plate, especially by hesitating to throw to second base to catch runners stealing.

Winston got into his groove and threw out two runners attempting to steal second later in the game.

“I had a high frame behind the plate in our first game against them on Friday, so I learned how to adjust. Coach told me to move the frame down a little and keep it low, so we wouldn’t allow any homers like we did the other day. I’m learning every day,” Winston said.

“We weren’t mentally prepared today, and while we played solid defense, we just didn’t hit the ball,” he said.

Right fielder Dylan Wilson said what it boils down to is CCC just needs to put runs on the board for their pitching staff.

Guinn said, “I like this team, because they all work hard and take instruction well. It’s a good group of kids. I’m looking forward to this year.”