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Canyons Powers Past Rio Hondo 3-1

By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director 

College of the Canyons plated runs in each of the first three innings behind five strong innings from starter Kyle Cop to down visiting Rio Hondo College 3-1 on Saturday at Cougar field. 

The win was the second in the last three outings for Canyons (2-6) which had dropped the first five out of the gate. 

COC shortstop Mikey Kane helped set the tone early on Saturday when he teed off on the first offering he saw for a solo home run in the first. Kane finished the game 2-for-2 and is now batting .421 on the season. His seven RBIs are second on the squad.

Later it was Steven Gonzalez getting in on the action with a solo shot of his own, his first of the year, to extend the Cougar lead at 2-0. He was 1-for-3 in the game with a walk.

DJ Kougher brought home the Cougars' final run in the third with a deep fly ball to center field that allowed Ryan Camacho to score. 

Camacho was 2-for-4 in the game and leads Canyons with eight runs scored while batting .357. 

Cop (2-1) was in control throughout his five innings of work with the freshman scattering five hits and issuing a lone walk to get the win. He struck out two of the 24 batters he faced and hit a man.

Rio Hondo (7-2) didn't get on the board until the eighth inning on a home run by catcher Rafael Flores to put the game at 3-1. The Roadrunners threatened again in the ninth with an RBI double from DH Dylan Schumacher. Both Rio Hondo runs came off COC reliever Josh Yosfan.

Yosfan had taken over for Cop and worked his way into the ninth inning before getting into a jam. With no outs in the ninth the Cougars then turned to reliever Xavier Stoker

Stoker was able to induce a ground ball for the first out, which moved the Rio Hondo tying run to third base. He then struck out the next batter but followed with a walk to give Rio Hondo runners on the corners and two away.

The freshman held strong, however, with the next batter grounding out to end the game and giving Stoker his first save of the year.

Rio Hondo starter Joseph Russo took the loss after allowing all three COC runs in two and 2/3 innings of work. Christian Tinnin and Blake Johnson handled the rest of the game out of the Roadrunner bullpen.

Canyons will next play road games this week at Ventura and Santa Ana College before returning home to host that same Ventura squad at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18.

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 TwitterInstagramFacebook and YouTube

—Mari Kneisel/COC Sports Information