MISSION VIEJO, Calif. – The No. 7 College of the Canyons baseball team dropped two games on Friday and Saturday to Saddleback College and Cypress College in the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Super Regional Baseball double elimination playoffs. Canyons fell to Saddleback 7-0 in Friday's game and 5-4 in the second game on Saturday against Cypress.
In the first game, COC was held hitless until the ninth inning as Saddleback's pitcher Evan Manarino tossed a one-hitter, helping beat the Cougars 7-0, and pushing the Cougars into the losers bracket. COC got into a hole after six innings as the host Gauchos turned in seven runs and the Cougars could not get anything going offensively. Relief pitchers Chad Bennett and Winston Lavendier each threw one inning of scoreless innings, but it was too late for Canyons. Ivan Vela was the lone player to notch a hit and went 1-of-2 with a double on Friday. Ryan Cruz (7-2) was tagged with the loss after giving up 14 hits and seven earned runs. Canyons had five errors in the loss.
In Saturday's game, COC entered the bottom of the ninth inning with a 4-2 advantage, but allowed three Cypress runners to score and gave up a walk-off walk to allow Cypress to win 5-4. After a tough offensive game against Saddleback College the day before, Canyons had no trouble putting up 13 hits, including a two-run homer from Trey Williams in the top of the third. Cypress scored in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Chargers momentum going into the eighth inning, where the team scored one more run. Starting COC pitcher Steven Farnworth was taken out of the game in the seventh inning, allowing relief pitcher Icezack Flemming to close out the matchup. Flemming got the Cougars out of the eighth by only giving up one run, allowing Cypress to trail COC 4-2. It was the bottom of the ninth inning that COC fell apart. Cypress hit a double that scored one run and left one runner on third base. Flemming then hit the next batter, walked the following Charger and walked in the tying run. The very next batter, drew a walk as well, and the Chargers went on to win the game.
Catcher Alex Bishop was 5-for-5 with a double and Vela went 2-for-3 with a double. Pitcher Farnworth gave up eight hits and two earned runs, while striking out one.
The two losses ended COC's season with a 24-16 record.