MISSION VIEJO, CA (5/21/2022) -- No. 5 Palomar College swept No. 1 Saddleback College (8-5, 10-5) in the best-of-three series to advance to the CCCAA Final Four for the first time since 2015.
Down 5-0 in game two and playing as the home team, starting pitcher Logan Parker began to settle in and held the Bobcats. The top half of the fifth inning had the Bobcats threatening to score yet again. After a hit by pitch who then stole second, the next batter reached on an error. With only one out the runner on second stole third to get runners one the corners. In another jam, Parker got the next batter swinging and the final batter of the inning fly out to Jack Sanders in right.
In their half of the inning, the Comets began to show patience at the plate and scored their first run of the game in the third inning.In the fifth inning, Jack Sanders got things started with a walk. Bryson Hashimoto then singled to get runners on the corners. Quincy Scott then doubled down the leftfield line to score Sanders and Hashimoto. Tanner Lappin then doubled to left center to bring Scott home to get the Comets within one run of the Bobcats.
The Comets were lights out from there. Relief pitcher Jack Kelley came in the sixth and allowed just one hit and recorded two key strikeouts in two innings pitched. Kelley picked up his first decision to go 1-0 on the season. On offense, the Comets reminded everyone why they have the best offense in the state. They scored six runs on one ground out, three singles, a walk and a sac fly. Blake Ignaciak and Austin Schroeder sealed the deal for the Comets in the eighth and ninth innings, allowing one hit and recording a strikeout. After recording six hits in the first five innings, the Comet pitching staff shutdown them down by allowing just two hits the remainder of the game.
Palomar (37-11) will head back to the Final Four this weekend at Folsom Lake College. The Comets will face top-seeded Ohlone College (44-4) from the North in the first game of the tournament on Saturday. All games will be livestreamed by BAOSN. The tournament central, including the bracket, stats, and recaps can be found on the CCCAA website.