SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – College of the Canyons freshman left hander Joseph Cloney pitched eight innings, striking out a career-high 12 batters and giving up only three hits, while catcher Justin Russell went 3-of-4 to post a 6-1 victory over LA Valley College on Thursday afternoon at Cougar Field.
With the win, the Cougars improve their record to 14-12-1 and 10-4 in conference play, while the Monarchs fall to 11-14 and 5-9 in the WSC. Canyons also keeps pace with Glendale College, as the two teams are now tied for second place.
Russell finished the day 3-of-4 with a double and Roberto Ramos had two RBIs and a walk in the win.
Jose Haros started the scoring for COC in the first, turning in a single, advancing to second on a David Oppenheim single and moving to third on a walk, before crossing the plate on Dylan Freyre's sacrifice.
The Cougars added two more runs and improved their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third. Nick Vigo and Haros garnered walks to start off the third inning and Ramos drove the two in on a two-RBI single down the left line.
COC collected two more runs to take a 5-0 advantage after four inning of play. Canyons loaded the bases and a LA Valley passed ball brought one runner home. Vigo hit a sacrifice on the following at-bat, allowing one more runner to cross the plate.
Valley posted its only run of the game in the fifth inning on a solo home run.
Oppenheim turned in one more run in the seventh, allowing the Cougars to go up 6-1 on the Monarchs. Austin Cole began the inning with a bunt, before moving to second on a sacrifice and to third on a Haros' single. Oppenheim hit a sacrifice in the next at-bat, allowing Cole to score.
The Cougars will travel to LA Valley on Saturday, April 5 for a 1 p.m. game.