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Palomar Comets Advance After Sweeping Compton Tartars 2-12

By   /  May 8, 2024  /  No Comments

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David A. Willauer-Contributing Writer- Palomar College overcame an early deficit with its second big second-inning rally is as many days and the Comets went on to post a 12-2 win Saturday over Compton College, completing a two-game sweep of their first-round series for the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regionals.

Palomar, seeded No. 3 for the Regionals, improved to 37-4 on the season and will host a second-round playoff series against No. 6 seed Long Beach City beginning May 10 at the Comets’ new on-campus venue.

“If the other team is going to take the lead, you want it to be early so you can see how your team is going to respond,” said Palomar coach Lacey Craft, whose club trailed 2-0 after the 14th-seeded Tartars scored a pair of runs on three hits in the top of the first inning. “I liked how we battled back.”

The Comets cut Compton’s lead in half by scoring one run in the bottom of the first on a double to right-center field by freshman first baseman Breanna Lutz, a single to left by sophomore center fielder Maddie Scott and a sacrifice fly to right by sophomore third baseman Itzell De Los Rios.

In the series opener on Friday, Palomar batted around in the second inning and scored five runs en route to a 13-0 Game 1 victory. The Comets batted around in the second again in Game 2, sending 12 batters to the plate and scoring eight runs, all after the first two batters of the inning were retired.

A two-out single to left by sophomore shortstop Tess Altevers-Harris started the rally, which was kept alive by three Compton errors and six Palomar hits. The crushing blow was a bases-clearing, three-run double to center by freshman designated player Isabella De Filippis which capped the outburst and gave the hosts an insurmountable 9-2 advantage.

Palomar’s first five batters reached base in the bottom of the fourth inning on four hits and a walk, leading to three additional runs and enough of a margin for the mercy-run rule to take effect. Sophomore left fielder Mariah Diaz drove in one run with a single to right field, and a two-run single to left by Altevers-Harris closed out the scoring.

The Comets finished with 13 hits, including two doubles by Lutz and two singles each by Scott, Altevers-Harris and winning pitcher Guilianna “Gigi” Clavel.

Clavel started in the pitching circle and worked three innings. After yielding the two Compton runs in the first inning, the sophomore right-hander pitched two scoreless innings with four strikeouts to improve her record to 25-4.

Craft was able to use three pitchers again for the second straight day. Freshman right-hander Nevaeh Haywood spun a perfect fourth inning with one strikeout, and freshman left-hander Maddie Bedolla pitched a scoreless fifth while allowing a pair of singles.

“All three pitchers were consistent again, and that’s a good sign,” Craft said. “And we had to make adjustments at the plate against the three pitchers Compton used, so that worked out well.”

The loss ended Compton’s season at 21-18, the first winning campaign for the Tartars since the 2015 season.

Palomar will face another South Coast Conference team in the second round of the SoCal Regionals when Long Beach City comes calling. The Vikings, seeded No. 6, swept No. 11 seed Citrus with a 7-2 win on Friday and a 5-0 victory on Saturday. Game 1 of the best-of-3 series is scheduled for May 10 at 2 p.m., with Game 2 and Game 3 if needed slated for May 11.

The winner of that series will advance to the eight-team state tournament being held May 16-19 at West Valley College.

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