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No. 3 Canyons to Host No. 14 Santa Ana College in CCCAA SoCal Regionals

No. 3 Canyons to Host No. 14 Santa Ana College in CCCAA SoCal Regionals

No. 3 seed College of the Canyons will host No. 14 Santa Ana College in a best-of-three series during the opening round of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional Playoffs May 5-6 at Cougar Field.

Canyons (27-12, 17-3) won the Western State Conference (WSC), East Division championship in dramatic fashion with a walk-off home run by Calvin Estrada that beat second place Glendale College 10-8 on Thursday.

The title was the program's first since 2009, and the fifth for COC head coach Chris Cota. COC has now advanced to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

The Cougars closed out the regular season by winning 10 of their final 12 games down the stretch, paced by combination of power hitting and pitching depth.

The Canyons pitching staff has combined for a 3.57 team ERA, with COC starters Justin Dehn (5-2), Jacob Lopez (4-2) and Chase Wheatcroft (8-2) all playing a key role in the Cougars' success. 

Same for freshman center fielder Cole Kleszcz who led the state with 18 home runs in the regular season while leading the team with a .417 batting average and 45 RBIs.

Sophomore catcher Anthony Lepre has also been swinging a hot bat, ending the regular season with 12 home runs to register the third best total in the state.

As a team, COC's 52 home runs led the state this season. The Cougars batted .313 on the year to rank sixth. 

Canyons was 14-7 at Cougar Field this season, dropping just two home WSC contests. 

Santa Ana (26-14, 10-11) finished fifth in the Orange Empire Conference, one game back of the third place mark. The Dons won six of their final eight games to close out the regular season.

SAC batted .279 as a team while hitting eight home runs. On the mound, the Dons posted a 3.35 team ERA. Santa Ana went 13-9 on the road this season. 

The Cougars and Dons played a two-game set earlier in the season, with SAC winning the first game 6-5 on the road and returning home for the 13-9 victory in game two. 

Canyons and Santa Ana will begin its series at 2 p.m. Friday, May 5, at Cougar Field.

Action will resume the following day at 11 a.m. with a potential third and final game scheduled to follow at approximately 2 p.m. 

Entry to CCCAA playoff contests is $12 for general admission and $8 for students and staff with ID, senior citizens and children under 12 years old. Free parking will be available in Lot 8, adjacent to Cougar Stadium.

A full schedule of CCCAA SoCal Regional matchups can be found here.

Team Information