Story and photos by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
Ayden Alger tossed seven scoreless innings and Nick Henry went 4-for-4 to push the Cougars past visiting Victor Valley College 6-1 on Thursday.
Canyons (10-10, 2-2) used the win over VVC (9-11, 0-4) to bounce back from consecutive conference losses and get back to .500 on the season.
Alger (3-2) allowed four hits, walked four and struck out five to earn the win. The freshman southpaw allowed a single to the Rams’ leadoff batter Angel Cano, but ended the first frame with two swinging strikeouts.
The Cougars then went out and promptly secured two runs for their starter. An RBI fielder’s choice from freshman Tyler Grodell plated Tyler Erne. Later, an RBI single from Felix Brandt scored Luke Chung.
Brandt finished the game with three hits, good for his second three-hit outting of the conference season.
COC freshman Andy Vierra added a run in the sixth with an RBI sac-fly to score Brandt. Henry was next with a run-scoring single in the seventh that brought Erne around for the second time on the day. Erne finished 1-for-3 with a pair of walks at the plate.
Brendan Henry, who earlier this month earned CCCBCA Pitcher of the Week honors, knocked in two more runs in the seventh. He ended the game 1-for-3 with a walk from the DH spot.
Victor Valley pushed an unearned run across in the ninth with COC reliever Oskar Syren on the mound. But that rally was short-lived and Syren was able to close things out for good. He walked two and struck out one in the inning. Nik White also pitched a scoreless eighth inning walking two and recording two punchouts.
VVC starter Ryan Peck (2-2) took the loss. He struck out six batters, walked four and was charged with three earned runs.
Here’s the box score and a link to more game photos.
COC is currently tied with Barstow (12-10, 2-2) and Antelope Valley College (7-11, 2-2) for third place in a wide-open Western State Conference (WSC), East Division.
The Cougars next face Barstow College at 1 p.m. Saturday at Cougar Field, before beginning a three-game, home-and-away series vs. AVC on March 19.
Stay up to date on all this season’s action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.