A stunning comet streaks through the skies of the Southern Hemisphere. Meanwhile, Southwestern College’s streaking Jaguars have their eyes on the earthly comets of Palomar College.
After sweeping a three-game series against Imperial Valley, the Jags (15-7) lost two of three against league-leading Palomar. SWC is hanging just one game back as it awaits an April 16th showdown with its long time rivals.
SWC feasted against IVC, winning 6-0, 8-6 and 3-0 with three quality starts and a timely save by reliever Matt DeRosier.
“It’s tough right now because we can’t afford to lose any ground in the standings, but this team just keeps finding ways to win,” said DeRosier.
In the first matchup Kiki Medina threw eight innings and allowed just one earned run, but the Jags almost let a 8-3 lead get away in the 9th until DeRosier closed it out, 8-6. In game two Agustin Lopez dominated, striking out six and throwing a complete game shutout. Not to be outdone, Juwan McCray threw a shutout eight innings and allowed just one hit as the Jags cruised to a 6-0 victory to sweep the series.
The Jags entered the Palomar series with both teams holding a 4-1 Pacific Coast Athletic Conference record. Palomar’s only conference loss came at the hands of SWC in a 9-8 thriller back in February.
Palomar took two straight one-run victories, but the Jags grabbed the third with a crucial 2-1 victory that evened the season series at 2-2.
Jaguar’s shortstop Sheldon Gabriels came up big with a two out single that scored catcher Cody Sos and gave SWC the lead for good. McCray had a huge outing, throwing eight and one thirds innings, allowing just one run on five hits. DeRosier closed out the 9th and head coach Jerry Bartow could finally breathe a sign of relief.
“We have all the talent, we just haven’t been getting clutch hits,” he said. “We’ll get better, though. If we caught a break or two we might have won the last three.”
The Jags lost a nail-biter in the second game at Palomar, 1-0. SWC had 10 hits, but left 12 runners on base. Lopez pitched eight great innings, allowing just one run on six hits, but it wasn’t enough.
Bartow was frustrated with the lack of offense after the game.
“What can you do when a guy only gives up one run all game and we can’t even score one?” he said.
In the series opener, the Jags let one slip away at home. SWC took an early 3-0 advantage in the 2nd inning following RBI from Montes, Sos and outfielder Justin DiStefano, but the Jags did not score again. Medina held the Comets to one run through seven innings, but they rallied to score two in the 8th to tie it up, 3-3. Palomar scored again in the top of the 9th and held on for the comeback win, leaving the Jags frustrated.
With one more game looming against Palomar on April 16th, Bartow is keeping his guys focused on the present.
“We still have to go beat San Diego City and then three against Grossmont,” he said. “If we don’t win those we won’t catch Palomar.”