2B Tyler Pugmire grabs a line out to end the inning. (Shannon Patrick)
Saddleback College baseball team broke its two-game losing streak last Thursday, defeating the Palomar Comets 11-5.
Sophomore pitcher Jordan Helmkamp proved to be a vital asset in Saddleback’s victory. He pitched seven innings, struck out seven players, and allowed only eight hits.
The first three innings got off to a slow start with Saddleback gaining one run during the first inning.
At the bottom of the first, Macauley Anderson hit a double down the left field line. He scored following fourth batter Spencer Kuehn’s RBI for the first run of the game.
The game heated up when Saddleback was up at the bottom of the fourth inning. Palomar pulled pitcher Justin Bellez, putting in Jarrod Casterjon, then the Comets’ fielders got sloppy. The combination of three RBIs and three errors from the defense, Saddleback’s Tyler Pugmire, Matt Paradise and Cole Shidaki all scored. (Sample based on play-by-play report/MShults)
During the sixth inning, Spencer Kuehn managed to get a home run in the time span as well as Cole Shidaki and Tanner Gore. The inning proved to be a great success for the Gauchos, as they raised the score to 9-1.
The top of the eighth inning proved to be a challenge for the Gauchos as the Comets scored four runs in the span of the inning. Four of Palomar’s players showed strong batting skills, making the score jump to 9-5. In spite of Palomar’s sudden gain, the Gauchos seized two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, bringing the final score to 11-5.
Coach Jack Hodges said that Palomar College was one of their strongest rivals, but he was glad that the team improved.
“I told the players, we’ve gotta play better,” Hodges said. “We’ve got to play better defense, and the rest will take care of itself. You can’t think about past performances. Today’s a new game.”