No. 16 College of the Canyons finished its season sweep of conference opponent Victor Valley College, winning 4-0 and 17-5 to take both games of Friday’s home doubleheader at Cougar Field.
Canyons (14-9, 7-1) finished the weekend in sole possession of first place in the Western State Conference (WSC), East Division.
The Cougars are a perfect 4-0 vs. Victor Valley (8-18, 1-7) this season, having outscored the Rams 42-12.
Friday’s doubleheader was a result of a rain out earlier in the week. Canyons and VVC were originally scheduled to begin a three-game set on Tuesday, March 21. That game was eventually cancelled due to inclement weather, pushing the opener to Thursday in Victor Valley.
COC starter Justin Dehn (2-1) brought his A-game to the mound in game one, as the right-hander scattered seven hits and struck out 10 batters on the way to tossing a complete game shutout.
Dehn is now sporting a 3.32 ERA through 43 and 1/3 innings this season, with a team high 44 strikeouts.
COC received RBI singles from Anthony Lepre and Chris May in the first inning to give Dehn and the Cougars an early 2-0 cushion.
In the sixth inning RBIs from Kris Keach and Wes Felber doubled the Canyons advantage at 4-0.
COC showed no signs of slowing down in the second outing, recording 19 hits in a slugfest that saw four different Cougars hit home runs and the one through six spots in the lineup combine for 15 RBIs.
That offensive output was highlighted by a 4-for-5 performance by May, who finished a double shy of the cycle and recorded six RBIs, three runs and a stolen base.
May was spectacular through the entire three-game series vs. the Rams finishing a combined 7-for-13 at the plate with two home runs, 10 RBIs and five runs scored, while extending his current hitting streak to 10 games. He is leading the Cougars with a .384 batting average and has hit safely in all but three games this season.
Anthony Medina ripped a home run to right field in the second inning before Keach lifted a two-run shot in the third.
In the fifth it was Lepre’s turn to go yard, his second knock of the day, and May followed suit in the bottom of the seventh.
Lepre, Calvin Estrada and Cole Kleszcz each had three hits in the game. Estrada also added four runs and three RBIs to his stat line.
COC starter Chase Wheatcroft (6-1) earned the win for his five innings of work, allowing five runs in the process. The sophomore struck out four and walked one.
Canyons relievers Jack Kernochan, Parker Arman and Matt Boyce combined to toss four scoreless innings to keep the Rams at bay.
The Cougars will continue conference play with a three-game set vs. Barstow College beginning in Barstow at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28.