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The Comets defeated the Rustlers 12-7 on their opening day. Photo by Hugh Cox (photo from 2019 season).
The Comets defeated the Rustlers 12-7 on their opening day. Photo by Hugh Cox (photo from 2019 season).

Comets victorious on opening day

SAN MARCOS, CA (1/25/2020) – Palomar faced Golden West College in their home opener Saturday afternoon and won 12-7. The two teams faced off on Friday. The Rustlers took that game 13-6, which ended in eight innings due to darkness.

Golden West struck first in Saturday's matchup, scoring three runs in the first inning. The Comet defense retired the Rustlers in order in the second inning and tried to even the score in their half. Noah Hemphill had a leadoff double and things looked promising for the Comets. He then advanced to third on a balk, moving closer to their first run of the day. Brandon Luna then grounded out to the first baseman. Brady LaVoie was next up and hit a 2-run home run to make the score 3-2. Noah Koehmstedt then singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kellen McCoy struck out swinging and then Brandon Sanford closed out the inning with a groundout.

Down 6-2 going into the fifth inning, Palomar got something going and was able to score four runs to tie the game. Sanford got on base thanks to a walk. Alec Jones singled, advancing Sanford to second. Cameron Rowles then had a sacrifice bunt to move Jones and Sanford to second and third. After Evan Ianniciello walked, the bases were loaded for Noah Hemphill. He doubled to score Sanford and Jones and move Ianniciello to third. Luna then singled and was thrown out at second as Ianniciello and Hemphill scored. LaVoie ended the inning when he struck out looking.

The Comets came back in the sixth inning looking to take the lead. Koehmstedt got things going with a single. McCoy then singled advancing Koehmstedt to third. With runners on the corners, Sanford had yet another single for the Comets to bring Koehmstedt home. Same situation, Jones singled to advance Sanford to third and McCoy crossed the plate. After a new pitcher entered the game for the Rustlers, Rowles had the fifth consecutive hit for the Comets, scoring Sanford to make the score 9-6. The finished the inning on three straight strikeouts.

The scoring party continued into the seventh inning. With McCoy on first and Sanford up to bat, McCoy stole second and Sanford singled to for another RBI as McCoy ran home. Jones was up to bat next. Sanford stole second and Jones doubled for another RBI. Jones stole third and was stranded when Rowles struck out looking.

The Rustlers scored one more run in the eighth to make the score 11-7, but the Comets got it back in their half of the inning. With Hemphill on third and Alex Blaszyk on second, LaVoie grounded out to the second baseman and Hemphill was able to score. Blaszyk was stranded on third base.

Sanford was 2-3 with two RBIs on the day. McCoy and Koehmstedt went 2-4 while Jones and Hemphill finished the 3-5. Palomar's starting pitcher was Jordan Goldman. He pitched 4.0 innings where he struck out five batters and gave up six runs, five of which were earned. Dane Padrnos, who was credited with the win, pitched four innings. He also struck out five batters and gave up one unearned run. Gavin Kinney closed the game for the Comets, and he struck out one batter. Combined the staff allowed seven hits, seven runs and struck out 11.

Palomar is 1-1 after the two games and will be back in action on Friday when they face Glendale Community College at home. First pitch will be at 2 p.m.