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Calomeni Pitches Bells to WCCBL Playoff Victory Over Kelowna

Calomeni Pitches Bells to WCCBL Playoff Victory Over Kelowna

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly junior-to-be pitcher Justin Calomeni allowed just one run in seven innings as the Bellingham Bells defeated the Kelowna Falcons 2-1 in the opening game of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League playoffs Tuesday night.

Calomeni (pictured at right) struck out five, walked two and allowed just one hit for his fourth win of the season with the Bells. Kelowna, however, bounced back with 6-0 and 9-6 wins to advance to the WCCBL finals against Bend.

During the regular season, Calomeni posted a 3-1 record and 2.45 ERA with 29 strikeouts over 29 1/3 innings.

Also pitching for the Bells is Spencer Howard, who appeared in 14 games during the regular season and had no record, one save and a 3.17 ERA with 23 strikeouts over 17 innings.

Three Mustangs played for Corvallis, which dropped 12-1 and 5-2 decisions to the Bend Elks in the other first-round series.

Outfielder Josh George had one single for the Knights while incoming freshman pitcher Craig Colen allowed two runs and three hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief in the 12-1 setback.

For the regular season, George hit .278 with 30 hits in 34 games, including four doubles, a triple, one home run and six RBI. George stole five of seven bases. Colen was 1-1 on the mound with a 5.87 ERA, striking out 10 batters over 15 1/3 innings, all in relief over 12 appearances.

Also playing for Corvallis this season was pitcher Slater Lee, who compiled a 2-1 record and 2.56 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings. He made seven starts and relieved in two other contests.

On Sept. 22, Lee earned the Knights' Top Pitcher honor. An All-Star Game starter, Lee earned all-WCL honorable mention honors.

Outfielder Ben Polshuk finished his summer with a .295 average for the Victoria HarbourCats. Among his 28 hits were four doubles, a triple and three home runs, driving in 17 runs and stealing six of 10 bases. He had seven two-hit games over the last four weeks.

Also playing at Victoria were incoming freshman Nick Meyer (.227, 15 hits, one double, five RBI) and pitcher Austin Dondanville (13 games (eight starts), 4-3, 2.80 ERA, 1 save, 42 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings).

At Walla Walla, pitcher Jarred Zill was 1-3 with a 3.33 ERA, striking out 29 in 27 innings over eight appearances (five starts) while Andrew Bernstein was 2-5 with a 3.82 ERA at Yakima Valley, striking out 25 batters in 44 2/3 innings over eight appearaances.

Transfer Brett Binning, an infielder at Chabot College last spring, hit .219 at Klamath Falls with five doubles and four RBI.

Cal Poly sophomore-to-be catcher Austin Kron hit .478 in 19 games for the Alameda Merchants this summer with three doubles and one triple, driving in 11 runs. The Palo Alto High School graduate had seven-multiple-hit games, including a 4-for-5 performance at Humboldt on July 5, and stole nine of 13 bases this season.

Another Mustang catcher, junior-to-be Brett Barbier, hit .284 for the San Luis Obispo Blues with five doubles, 14 RBI and six steals in seven attempts. He produced six multi-hit games this season. Barbier was selected to play in the California Collegiate League All-Star Game on July 15 in Compton.

In addition to Barbier, four other Mustangs played for the San Luis Obispo Blues.

Outfielder John Schuknecht hit .200 with a double, triple and four RBI in 18 games.

Two incoming freshmen playing for the San Luis Obispo Blues this summer were Robert Ay (3-2, 2.87 ERA, 26 strikeouts over 37 2/3 innings) and Nigel Ward (1-1, 3.78 ERA). Ay, from El Toro High School, allowed three runs and struck out three over five innings for a win against the Pacific Union Financial Capitalists on July 28 while Ward, from Servite High School, allowed just two earned runs in five innings with two strikeouts for a win against the California Expos on June 21.

In addition, Cal Poly football linebacker Burt De Koning played baseball for the Blues, hitting .304 over 22 games with four doubles, two triples and 10 RBI. He was 9-for-22 (.409) in his last seven regular-season games with the Blues.

Three current Mustangs, all pitchers, and an incoming infielder, Kyle Marinconz, played for the Eau Claire Express in the Northwoods League.

Erich Uelmen was 4-1 with a 2.33 ERA, notching 34 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings. He pitched seven scoreless innings for the win against Rochester on July 23 with one walk and nine strikeouts.

Michael Gomez sported a 3-2 record and 4.32 ERA for the Express with 35 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings. He allowed one run and four hits over six innings for the win at Waterloo on July 12 with two walks and six strikeouts.

Cameron Cotton did not pitch since July 10. In five relief appearances, Cotton pitched 12 2/3 scoreless innings, including a five-inning scoreless stint, allowing two hits, in a win against Waterloo on June 24.

Marinconz hit .299 and among his 56 hits were six doubles and four home runs, The Valley Christian (San Jose) High School graduate knocked in 26 runs and stole three of three bases.

Also in the Northwoods League, infielder Michael Sanderson, an incoming transfer from Feather River College, hit .261 for the Battle Creek Bombers with three doubles, a triple, one home run, eight RBI and two steals. He went 4-for-6 with three RBI at Waterloo on July 4.

Outfielder Alex McKenna, an Alemany High School graduate, is playing in USA Baseball's 17-and-Under National Team Development Program while Mustang third baseman Alec Smith is playing for the Centennial State League champion Loveland Blue Jays in Colorado.

Infielder Dylan Doherty, a Foothill High School (Santa Ana) graduate, is on the roster of the Southern California Renegades. Other Mustang newcomers playing this summer include pitcher Michael Clark (Menlo Legends) and pitcher Thomas Triantos (Menlo Legends).

Clark has a 2-0 record and 2.81 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 16 innings. Both of his wins were against the Pacific Union Financial Capitalists. Triantos is 0-1 with a 5.00 ERA, striking out eight in nine innings.

Not playing this summer were outfielders Kevin Morgan and Connor O'Hare, pitcher Kyle Smith and catcher Jake Lesinski.

Photo of Justin Calomeni courtesy of Christian J. Stewart | Inland Sports News