By Jorge Campos
Sophomore third baseman Daniel Martinez roped a walk-off single into right field that capped a three-run-ninth-inning comeback 6-5 victory against the visiting Palomar College Comets Tuesday at Don Sneddon Field.
“In that at bat I was just trying to choke up and put the ball in play,” Martinez said.
Dons sophomore Tyler Sloan was pulled in the top of the fourth after three and a third innings of work. Sloan beaned two batters and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits, striking out and walking none.
Freshman right hander Daniel Ferrel bailed the Dons out with four innings of one-run ball, allowing three hits while striking out three in the process. Ferrel’s lone run allowed came in the seventh inning, when Comets infielder Matt Matlock singled to right field to score second baseman Chris Stratton.
“Danny pitched well,” Co-Head Coach Bryan Harris said.
The Dons bats went silent most of the game, failing to register a run from the third thru the seventh inning.
Palomar freshman lefty Jake Barnett threw seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
“I felt good… I established the fastball early throwing strikes, I let the off speed do its work,” Barnett said.
But the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead, walking five batters and hitting one.
“We threw great for seven innings, then gave it away late. Couldn’t throw strikes, throwing the ball out of the zone, and [Santa Ana College] did a good job staying patient at the end,” Palomar Head Coach Buck Taylor said.
Pinch Hitter Cameron Baranek lead off in the ninth inning with a walk. He then advanced to second on catcher Frankie Nogales’ ground out to the short stop. Baranek would go on to score off a single from Dons second baseman Phillip Anderson. A walk and a hit-by-pitch later, the bases were loaded for Martinez with two outs and the score tied at 5-5. Martinez finished the contest with a line drive to right field, his first hit of the game.
“We were down to the last out, I was happy to see that, happy to see the teamwork,” Harris said.
Dons next play Thursday Feb. 12 at home against L.A. Pierce College.