Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
SANTA CLARITA —College of the Canyons picked up its second win in as many outings, pounding out 18 runs on 13 hits to take down visiting L.A. Valley College on Thursday at Cougar Field.
COC improved to 5-11-1 on the year and remains unbeaten at 2-0 in Western State Conference (WSC) competition. The Monarchs fall to 8-10 and are still looking for a conference victory at 0-2.
The Cougars hung a crooked number on the scoreboard in the opening inning, with a seven-run output which was spurred by a leadoff home run from Davis Cop, his third of the season. Jesse Parraz added two more runs on a fielder's choice to continue the onslaught. Alex Ballesteros blasted a two-out double which plated another Canyons run before Brendon Vela notched a home run of his own, this one a three-run shot, for an early 7-0 lead.
The Monarchs briefly made it a ballgame with a four-run third inning charged to COC starter Blake Littleton that cut into the Cougars' advantage at 7-4. Littleton threw four innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits.
Ballesteros took his turn leaving the yard with a solo home run in the fourth inning, his first of the year. Tyler Grodell later singled in a run and came around to score on a wild pitch. Blake Mann homered for the seventh time this season, a two-run shot to extend his conference-leading total to seven. After the Cougars batted through the order, Ballesteros chipped in with two more RBIs on a single to left field that put the game at 14-4.
COC reliever JP Caire (2-1) logged 2 and 2/3 innings of work and coasted throughout, minus a two-run effort from LAVC in the top of the seventh on an RBI sac-fly and a walk with the bases loaded.
Both teams committed two errors in the game. L.A. Valley was forced to use six pitchers in the contest. The Cougars left nine men on base compared to 12 for LAVC.
Canyons added three more in the eighth with Cop, Doyle Kane and Mann all adding to the effort.
COC has outscored L.A. Valley 26-10 acros the first two games of the series.
Alex Ballesteros finished 3-for-4 with a walk, a double and home run. His four RBIs and three runs were both team highs.
Brendon Vela went 2-for-4 with a walk and home run, recoding three RBIs and three runs in the process.
Blake Mann was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, and a home run. He touched home plate twice and drove in three runs.
Davis Cop led off the game with a home run before finishing 2-for-4 with a walk and sac-fly. He also stole a base, scored twice and recorded two RBIs.
Canyons will conclude its three-game set vs. LAVC at 1 p.m. Saturday in Van Nuys. The Cougars then continue conference play March 10-13 vs. L.A. Mission College. Tuesday's contest will be at L.A. mission with the action shifting back to Cougar Field on Thursday. The finale is scheduled for Friday at the Monarch's home field. All contests will have a scheduled 2:30 p.m. first pitch.
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.