College of the Canyons continues to hold the top spot in the Western State Conference (WSC), East Division standings, having pushed its win streak to five games by downing visiting Barstow College 10-0 on Thursday.
Canyons (16-9, 9-1) received another stellar start from sophomore pitcher Justin Dehn (3-1) who has now won back-to-back starts while not allowing a run in his last 17 innings of work.
On Thursday, Dehn limited the Vikings (7-18, 3-7) to just three hits and two walks, striking out four batters in his eight scoreless innings. In the process he lowered his ERA to 2.81, tops among the COC starters, in 51 and 1/3 innings of work.
Dehn also had the luxury of taking the mound in the top of the second inning with a 5-0 lead after the hot-hitting Cougars scored five runs in the home half of the first.
Calvin Estrada doubled home a run to get the scoring started. Three batters later, Wes Felber roped a bases-loaded double to deep right center that plated three more runs. Ivan Lomelli then brought Felber home with an RBI single to cap the inning at 5-0.
In the second, it was sophomore catcher Anthony Lepre coming up with a two-run single that put Dehn and the Cougars in front 7-0.
As a team, the Cougars are hitting at a .312 clip to rank No. 7 in the state. COC has outscored its opponents 46-8 during the five-game win streak, while posting three shutouts.
COC chased Barstow pitcher David Hodge after four innings, then forced the Vikings back to the bullpen twice more before, while scoring three more runs.
Chris May hit his fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth to finish the game 2-for-5 with a pair of runs.
Lepre finished 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs and Cole Kleszcz was 2-for-5 with a pair of runs.
Heading into the weekend, Canyons holds a half game lead over conference rival Glendale College.
COC is currently the No. 16 ranked team in SoCal according to the most recent California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) poll released March 21.
The Cougars also rank No. 15 in the state in the current California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) poll released on Thursday.
COC will conclude its three-game series with the Vikings at 1 p.m. Saturday, in Barstow.
Chris May Named CCCBCA Player of the Week
COC right fielder Chris May has been named the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association (CCCBCA) Southern California Player of the Week for his three-game performance vs. Victor Valley College March 23-24.
May finished a combined 7-for-13 at the plate with two home runs, 10 RBIs and five runs scored, while extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
May’s offensive output was highlighted by a 4-for-5 performance vs. the Rams in game two of last Friday’s doubleheader, in which the sophomore finished a double shy of the cycle while recording six RBIs, three runs and a stolen base.
Entering this week’s series vs. Barstow College, May had hit safely in all but three games this season.
COC men’s golf
COC moved back into first place in the Western State Conference (WSC) standings this week with the Cougars posting a low score of 382 at Alisal Ranch Golf Course in Solvang on Monday.
COC finished ahead of host Santa Barbara City College (399) and third place Ventura (401) on a cold and windy day on the links. Canyons is now a point up on Ventura in the conference standings.
Once again, COC was led by sophomore Ben Campbell who completed his round for an even par score of 72.
Campbell now ranks fifth in the conference standings one stroke behind freshman teammate Daniel Taplin who is tied for third place. Taplin shot a 76 on Monday to rank second for the Cougars.
Sophomore Jaeyeol Kim, freshman Michael Lindgren and freshman Alexander Laendin all had similar success, with each turning in a score of 78. Kim is currently seventh in the WSC individual standings.
The Cougars will next host a conference tournament at TPC Valencia on Monday, April 3. Action is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
Former Cougar Named to CCCAA Scholar Athlete Honor Roll
Former College of the Canyons student-athlete Griffin Scott has been named to the 2015-16 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Scholar Athlete Honor Roll. Scott joins a select list of 18 student-athletes across the state to earn recognition as a member of the Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll.
Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll award winners are selected for excelling both academically and athletically. Honorees must have participated in two seasons of sport, maintain at least a 3.5 GPA and display strong characteristics of citizenship, while representing the positive outcome of dedication, hard work and service.
In the classroom, Scott maintained a 3.85 transferable GPA while double majoring in communications studies and geography. He earned an associate degree in both subjects while fulfilling all requirements of the COC Honors Program to graduate with magna cum laude honors.
Scott is currently attending UCLA where he is majoring in geography with a minor in geographic systems and competing on the men’s rugby club team.
“The entire COC swim and dive program could not be more proud of Griffin and we congratulate him on this accomplishment,” said COC swim and dive head coach Sean Kakumu.
“Griffin represents the very best of this program and is a role model for all COC student-athletes. Though extremely talented, what makes Griffin truly stand out is how hard he works towards his goals. He has always strived for excellence academically and athletically, and this award proves it’s possible to achieve both.”