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Comets sweep Imperial Valley

The Palomar College Baseball team during practice photo taken by Taylor Leonard.

The Palomar College baseball team dominated Imperial Valley College during their two game series on Feb. 29 and March 2.

Throughout both games, the Comets offense and pitching staff was on fire defeating Imperial 13-7 and 17-0.

Head coach Ben Adams described the energy in the dugout as: “pretty good, I mean, they have been pretty engaged as far as the game goes from start, middle, and end.”

Prior to this series, the Comets have had a 15-1 record against Imperial the past couple of seasons. Adams mentioned “I think in general we’ve played good games against them and we’ve been able to do what we have wanted to do against them like throw strikes and put the ball in play and play catch.”

During the first game, the Comets struck early with Luke Matthews crushing his first home run of the season over left field. In addition, Anthony Pacino launched a two run home run in the same inning extending the lead 3-0 in the first inning. Imperial tried making a comeback by scoring 4 runs in the third inning but the Comets offense wasn’t gonna let that happen. In the bottom of the third inning, Sophomore Ian Halverson and Pacino both singled, giving Palomar back the lead over Imperial 8-4.

Freshman Erick Van Valkenburg pitched through the fifth inning for the Comets allowing eight hits and 6 runs to Imperial. For the rest of the game, the Comets bats never seemed to slow down as Pacino ended the game going 4-5 including a single in the bottom of the forth. After the game, Pacino described his mentality behind his success at the plate as being positive through the circumstances.

Pacino said “Staying consistent pretty much and just getting after it every single day and never taking a pitch off, getting in the box knowing that no matter what happens you want to try and do your best.”

When asked about his reaction to hitting the home run, Pacino said, “It was awesome, it was my first one of the year so I was clapping around the bases and was glad to get inside the dugout and celebrate with the guys.”

Throughout Pacino’s career, one of his biggest challenges has been having a clear mindset. He said, “Pushing through the mental part of the game because it is such a mental game as it is and trying to get through all the challenges and obstacles we face.”

Pacino has been able to stay motivated on the field by being confident. He said “Kinda just proving everyone wrong that has doubted me, kinda keeping on pushing through it. Every time I strike out, I kinda go through all the things of why I love baseball and keep playing because I know that I’m not gonna play forever.”

This week, Matthews committed to CSU Bakersfield describing his reaction as “It was cool, I’m happy that I’m committed so I don’t need to worry about that now.”

Matthews mentioned that his advice for his teammates that are trying to get recruited to four year schools is to continue doing your best on the field despite the challenges.

After this series, the Comets are 11-7 overall this season and ranked number one in the Pacific Coast League. Looking into this week, the Comets have a two series against Southwestern on March 14 and March 16.

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Comets sweep Imperial Valley