Baseball Opens Season With Road Victory over Cougars

Photo by Bill Hood
Photo by Bill Hood

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -  Last year's state runner-up, the El Camino College Warriors defeated College of the Canyons 13-11 to open up the 2020 season with a victory on the road. 

The Warriors (1-0) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and led for the rest of the game.  The Cougars (0-1) made things interesting at the end, but couldn't overcome a 13-4 deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning. 

The Warriors walloped the Cougars pitching staff with 17 hits. Every Warrior in the starting lineup had at least one hit.   Six Warriors had multi-hit games for the day. Diego Alarcon led the team with three hits a piece. Benny Casillas went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.  Chris Villavicencio was 2-for-6 with two RBIs and two runs. Neil Feist was 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs and one run. Julian Diaz was 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs. And Aaron Orozco was 2-for-5 with 1 RBI and three runs.  Alarcon and Orozco each hit a home run.

The Cougars pounded out 16 hits as well with DJ Kougher leading the team with a perfect 4-for-4 day.  They hit two home runs in the 9th inning.

Jimmy Galicia picked up his first win of the season.  Galicia tossed five innings allowing three runs on nine hits, zero walks, and fanned seven batters.  Garrett Spicuzza tossed two innings allowing one run off two hits. Kyle Hatai tossed a scoreless inning allowing one hit, one walk, and struck out one batter.  Nathan Newmeyer and Ian Brady labored through a tough final inning allowing seven runs combined off four hits and three walks.

The Warriors scored first in the game in the 1st inning.  Chris Villavicencio hit a knock to LF and Diego Alarcon doubled in the next at-bat to put runners in scoring position.  Neil Feist hit a sacrifice fly to make it a 1-0 game.

In the second inning, the Warriors added two runs.  Aaron Orozco led the inning off with a base hit and the Warriors loaded the bases on a walk and an error.  Julian Diaz singled to bring in one run and Benny Casillas hit a sacrifice fly to bring in another run to make it 3-0. Aaron Orozco hit a solo bomb in the third inning to make it 4-0.

The floodgates opened in the 5th inning after Canyons replaced their starting pitcher.  Diego Alarcon led the inning off with a solo blast to CF. Neil Feist hit a base hit and Aaron Orozco walked.  Feist scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-2. The Warriors loaded the bases with one out via base on balls. Julian Diaz hit a base hit to make it 7-2.  Benny Casillas walked to bring in a run to make it 8-2. Chris Villavicencio made it a 9-2 game on a fielder's choice.

The Warriors added three more runs in the 7th inning.  Juan Carlos Camarena led the inning off with a walk. Benny Casillas scored Camarena on a single and an error to RF.  Chris Villavicencio made it a 11-4 game on a double to right field. Neil Feist smacked a double to CF to make it a 12-4 game. 

The Warriors added one more run in the 9th inning.  Casillas and Alarcon both hit singles. Joey Acosta had a pinch-hit single to CF to bring in a run to make it a 13-4 game.

The Warriors struggled to kill off the game in the 9th inning.  Nathan Newmeyer struggled with control and walked three batters and gave up four runs on a two-run homer and a 2-RBI base hit. Ian Brady gave up three runs on a base hit and a 2-run homer.  However, the Cougars luck ran out after batting through the lineup once and the Warriors held on to a 13-11 win to open the season.

The Warriors will return home on Saturday for the conclusion of the home and away game with College of the Canyons.  The designated start time is at 12:00 PM. Warrior fans are encouraged to come to the game early as the Warriors will honor their fallen teammate Sladen Mohl with the retirement of his jersey at 11:30 AM.  Sophomore Logan Young who in December was involved in a bad car accident will throw out the first pitch.