Story and photos by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons started the second round of conference play with an important 11-0 win over conference and regional rival Antelope Valley College on Tuesday in the first of a three-game set.
The Cougars drew first blood with a two-run home run from freshman Nate Duarte in the fourth inning. Duarte brought home two more runs in the fifth on an RBI single that put Canyons ahead 5-0. He finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs.
Chung's 4-for-5 performance led the Cougars and helped the freshman from Valencia High School stay in the hunt for the Western State Conference (WSC) batting title. Chung is currently batting .393 to sit four points back of the conference leader, Adrian Campos of L.A. Valley at .397.
Mehlbaum finished the game with three RBIs after an RBI double in the seventh and a final-dagger RBI single in the eighth to put the game at 11-0. He was 3-for-5 with a walk and three RBIs.
Cougars starter Brendan Henry (2-3) picked up his second win in his last three starts with six innings of shutout work vs. the Marauders. The sophomore scattered six hits and struck out four batters to lower his team-best ERA to 3.63. His 44 and 2/3 innings of work also lead the club.
Canyons (11-11, 3-3) continues to flirt with the .500 mark, having alternated wins and losses over the last four games.
COC and AVC (8-12, 3-3) continue their series Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in Lancaster. The finale is slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Cougar Field.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.