Huntington Beach, Calif. – Golden West's baseball team showed promise in its 2018 season opener against visiting Palomar College. The Rustlers showed patience at the plate, speed on the bases and stalwart pitching.
However, errors and a late-inning letdown by the bullpen led to a 6-4 loss Friday at Hoover Field.
Golden West (1-0) got five solid innings from starter Troy Bethel. The sophomore allowed two runs and scattered seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts, leaving the game with a lead and an opportunity to earn his first victory of the season.
The Rustlers broke open a scoreless game in the bottom of the fourth inning with a three-run output. Kamalu Simeona led off the inning with a double down the line in left and scored the first run of the game when he was plated by a double by Ezele Wicks. Michael Santorelli followed with an RBI-single. Golden West got its third run of the game when Wicks scored on a double play groundout by Nick Dayton.
The Rustlers extended its lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI-single to right-center that was deep enough to allow Jeremiah Vison to show his speed and score from first.
Freshman Johnny Kuhn (St. John Bosco) relieved Bethel and pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings, giving up a run and pitching out of trouble in the eighth. He ran in to trouble with one out in the ninth inning when he gave up consecutive hits, coupled with a defensive error, which allowed two runs to score and knot the score at 4-4.
Freshman Micah Wallette (Long Beach Poly High) relieved Kuhn, but was unable to hold the tie, giving up a based-loaded single that allowed two runs to score.
Simeona led the Rustlers at the plate, batting 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Wicks went 1-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Anthony Marquez went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Golden West finishes it home-and-away series with the Comets at 1 p.m. today at Palomar. The Rustlers return to Hoover Field to host Cerritos on Friday, Feb, 9 at 2 p.m.