By Jesse Muñoz
For The Signal
In what might be described as a case of “anything you can do, I can do better,” the College of the Canyons baseball and softball teams took turns displaying their offensive prowess this week, with the two squads combining to score 37 runs on 36 hits over a two-day span.
On Wednesday, the Cougars baseball club (9-7) knocked out 21 hits, including four home runs, and scored in every inning to put together an 18-2 thumping of visiting Golden West College (9-6).
The victory over the Rustlers represented a bounce-back of sorts for Canyons, which had previously dropped back-to-back games to Orange Coast College.
The game also featured the reemergence of the long ball for COC. After hitting just two home runs over the first 10 games to begin the season, Canyons has since gone yard 11 times in its last six games to tie with Glendale College for the Western State Conference (WSC) lead.
Sophomore Blake Doremus hit his first two home runs of the year on Wednesday as part of a 3-for-5 day that resulted in six RBIs and two runs scored.
Doremus was joined by teammates Calvin Estrada and Ryan Mendoza on the home run trot. Estrada finished 4-for-5 with four RBIs, two runs and a walk. Mendoza was 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs, three runs and walk.
Ivan Lomeli and Senituli Taufahema were both tough outs on Wednesday. Lomeli had a career-high five hits to go with four runs and two RBIs, and Taufahema finished 4-for-5 with a run and an RBI.
The offensive output overshadowed another superb start from sophomore left-hander Jacob Lopez, a Saugus grad, who improved to 3-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.75 while striking out 10 batters for the second straight game. Lopez now leads the state with 48 strikeouts.
Canyons will have a short break before WSC play gets underway vs. Barstow College on Thursday, March 8.
COC softball Cruises to 19-1 Victory
Perhaps inspired by watching baseball’s performance the previous day, Thursday’s softball showcase came in the form of a 19-1 walloping of conference rival L.A. Valley College.
That 15-hit performance allowed COC softball (9-8, 3-0) to move into the top spot in the WSC, East Division. The win is the fourth in the last five games for Canyons, while the 19 runs scored on Thursday were a season best.
The Cougars have averaged 9.8 runs per game over the last five contests and lead the WSC with 36 runs scored in three conference outings.
The Cougars scored six runs in the second inning to open up a 7-1 lead over the Monarchs, then came right back in the third for a nine-run outburst that put the game out of question at 16-1. Kayla Yamane’s three-run, pinch hit double in the fourth inning ended the assault at 19-1.
COC sophomore Sienna Vannoy crossed home plate four times and drove in four runs from the leadoff spot to help pace the Cougars. She finished the day 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk.
Heidi Ludy, Lyndra Fenald and Katie Clinkunbroomer each had three-hit games for the Cougars.
Ludy and Fenald both finished with two runs and two RBIs, while Clinkunbroomer and Rena Edwards both scored three runs. Edwards also drove home a pair of runs for COC.
Katie Taix (6-3) got the win after holding LAVC to just one run in her three innings of work. Taix allowed two hits and one walk, while striking out two. Megan Wilson and Joy Veloz pitched the final two innings for COC to officially close out L.A. Valley (9-5, 1-2).
With five games remaining on its current homestand, the Cougars are scheduled to host Santiago Canyon College for a Saturday doubleheader. Games are slated for noon and 2 p.m., weather permitting.
For more information about the Cougars’ 17 intercollegiate sports programs visit www.COCathletics.com.