Mesa and Southwestern off to quick start

Mesa and Southwestern off to quick start

The Pacific Coast Athletic Conference started conference play in baseball last week and some of the squads have gotten off to a quick start.  San Diego Mesa College and Southwestern College are both 4-0 after mixed results during the pre-conference schedule.

San Diego Mesa has won its first four games in PCAC play and five in a row, sweeping past College of the Desert to open conference play and then recording a win over Grossmont College on Tuesday.  The Olympians have found their stride both at the plate and in the field, recording two shutouts and outscoring opponents 44-14 over the past five outings.  Mesa has the two best hitters in the conference through the first 16 games of the season, with Dominick Buso batting .433 and Raymundo Gutierrez .389.  The Olympians have also found some consistency on the mound, with Jacob Casson (3-0, 2.17 ERA) and Kobby Lopez (2-0, 0.00 ERA) leading the way.  The last time Mesa won a PCAC title was in 2012 when they shared the title with Southwestern.

Southwestern has also started PCAC play with four straight wins after sweeping San Diego City College in the opening week and shutting out Mt. San Jacinto College on Tuesday.  The Jaguars had a rugged start by going just 2-11 out of the gate, but have outscored opponents 24-9 to start conference play.  Part of the turnaround has been winning close games, as Southwestern lost three games by one run early in the season and are 2-0 in one-run games ever since.  Jorge Martinez has been a rock on offense, leading the team in hits (21), runs-scored (14), doubles (5), home runs (2), RBI (11), bases-on-balls (12) and average (.356).  The Jaguars have also gotten some decent starts from Ricardo Yoquigua, Josef Becher and Justin Zamora on the hill in recent games as they try to win their first PCAC title since sharing the title with Mesa in 2012. 

Another team off to a quick start is Mt. San Jacinto, who swept past Imperial Valley College during opening week before falling to Southwestern on Tuesday.  The Eagles were 6-5 during the non-conference part of the schedule, playing arguably one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the PCAC.  Mt. San Jacinto struggled at the plate during the first half of the season but have gotten things turned around, winning three straight over Imperial Valley by a combined 26-5.  The most consistent player on offense has been Craig Venable, who leads the team with a .322 average through 59 at-bats.  Steven Silvas (2-2, 1.41 ERA) has been the workhorse on the mound for the Eagles, pitching through the fifth inning in all six of his starts. 

The season started with the conference SID's picking Palomar College and Grossmont College to finish 1-2 in the standings.  Despite the high praise, Palomar has started 0-2 while Grossmont is 2-1 after beating Palomar twice last week and falling to Mesa on Tuesday.  Palomar and Grossmont will resume the three-game series with the final game on Wednesday.  The Comets are desperate for a win in conference play and have a couple of non-conference games with Los Angeles Pierce College to finish the week.  Grossmont will resume the three-game series with Mesa on Thursday, weather permitting.


PCAC Record
San Diego Mesa 4-0
Southwestern 4-0
San Bernardino Valley 1-0
Mt. San Jacinto 3-1
Grossmont 2-1
San Diego City 1-3
Palomar 0-2
Imperial Valley 0-4
Desert 0-4