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COC baseball: Cougars left wanting in final tune-up

Errors persist as WSC play looms

Posted: March 5, 2010 10:55 p.m.
Updated: March 6, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The College of the Canyons baseball team may have unlimited potential with its swing.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, they proved there is still work to be done with the glove in a six-error, 9-4 loss to Allan Hancock on Friday at COC.

Hancock loaded the bases with a four-run lead in the top of the eighth, and three Cougar errors brought in four runners to put the game out of reach for COC.

The Cougars' young season has already seen a grand slam and an eight-run inning, both in wins over Cerritos College and defending state champions Orange Coast College, respectively.

But COC's second straight loss attributable to errors is what has head coach Chris Cota troubled after the team's final preparation for Western State Conference, South Division play.

The conference season opens today at 2 p.m. when the Cougars head to Los Angeles Valley College.

"It's always a concern," Cota said. "Especially the last two games, where every time we've made an error, it cost us."

The Bulldogs (6-5) went up 2-0 shortly after Hancock third baseman Chris Mallory singled to center field and stole second at the top of the third.

Bulldog shortstop Peter Straka managed a double and advanced on an error by COC pitcher Steven Messner, which scored Mallory.

Straka crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly one batter later.

The Cougars (6-4) found themselves trailing by four runs in the bottom of the fourth after COC pitcher Trevor McDonald relieved

Messner, and quickly got in trouble, giving up two runs in the frame.

COC designated hitter Jeremy Weber finally got his team on the board when he followed a Hugo Hernandez single with a two-run home run over the center field wall, cutting the lead to 4-2.

But Weber's fourth home run of the year wasn't enough to rally his teammates' bats, and Nico Moreno flied out to right to end the inning.

"We just made too many mistakes today," Weber said. "But it was also about guys not waiting for enough pitches and getting the hits that we need to."

Another Cougar error loaded the bases for Hancock in the top of the eighth, with its lead now stretched to 5-2, before the defensive collapse iced the game for the Bulldogs.

COC's Kenny Shanahan's two-run shot brought the final tally to 9-4.

"Canyons helped us out, they kicked the ball a little bit and it helped us get some runners on," said Allan Hancock head coach Chris Stevens. "It helps, especially on the road against a quality program."

Cota said defensive problems were something that needs to be shored up immediately for conference play.

"I thought they did a good job early, but mentally, when you make errors like that, it's hard to get back into it," Cota said.

The Cougars fought back from a four-run deficit on Thursday against Hancock, but still came up short in a 6-5 loss.


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