By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyon starting pitcher Jacob Lopez struck out a career-high 14 batters and the Cougars clubbed 17 hits to clip conference rival Citrus College 10-0 on Thursday.
The win was the fourth in a row for Canyons (21-11, 10-3) and came on a cold and blustery day at Cougar Field, with high winds swirling throughout the contest.
That didn't seem to bother Lopez, however, as the lefty began the game by striking out eight Citrus (19-4, 8-5) batters over the first three innings.
Lopez (7-2) allowed just three hits and two walks. He exited the contest with the game well in hand after seven innings of work.
Trace Eldridge put the Cougars on the board in the first with a two-run home run that sailed over the right field wall. Five batters later, Ivan Lomeli roped a double down the right field line that scored two more runs for a 4-0 lead. Eldridge finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
COC sophomore outfielder Calvin Estrada continued his season-long tear by going 4-for-5 with a double, triple, stolen base and three runs. His double to right field in the seventh also drove home a run and helped spark a three-run rally that sealed the Owls fate at 10-0.
The Cougars are currently two games back of conference leading Glendale College (23-10, 12-1) with just eight regular season games remaining on the schedule. The two teams will begin a three-game series on Tuesday, which could ultimately decide the conference championship.
Up next, Canyons will hit the road to conclude its three-game set with the Citrus at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
—Photo by Jayme Thomas/COC Sports Information