The article below originally appeared in the San Mateo Daily Journal and is being reprinted with permission.

College of San Mateo baseball (4-0) won its fourth straight to start the year, and sophomore pitcher Noel Valdez picked up his first victory as the Bulldogs rolled to a 5-3 final Saturday at Merced College.

Valdez worked four solid innings, allowing one run on three hits. He departed with a 3-1 lead, and the Bulldogs added two runs in the sixth on RBI singles by Karl Peters and AJ Carter. Louie Zulaica fired two scoreless innings to close it out.

CSM staked its starter to a 3-0 lead in the fourth. Marcus Aranda scored on a wild pitch to get the Bulldogs on the board, and Aidan Taclas dashed home on a passed ball. Keoni Coloma capped the rally with an RBI single. Coloma was 2 for 4 with a walk, and RBI and a run scored. The sophomore leadoff hitter is now 6 for 15 on the season.

Coloma and Aranda, batting .571 (8 for 14), have each batted safely in all four games this season.

Valdez (El Camino) has now posted two solid starts. The right-hander was the opening day starter in CSM’s 20-4 win Jan. 27 over Laney. He now owns a 1.13 ERA through eight innings and has struck out nine.

The Bulldogs will host Merced (3-2) Tuesday on the Hilltop. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Skyline walks off vs. Butte

Skyline College (4-1) won its second straight in exciting fashion, claiming a 5-4 walk-off win over Butte College Friday at Trojan Diamond. With the score deadlocked at 4-4, Cam Grant delivered a sacrifice fly to score pinch-runner Gino Lopiccolo with the game-winner. Grant (Aragon) is currently tied for the Coast Conference North lead with seven RBIs.

The Trojans jumped out to a 4-0 lead, scoring two in the first and two more in the third. Butte rallied back against starting pitcher Cristian Padilla with three in the fourth, and one in the fifth to tie it. It was the first collegiate start for Padilla (South City). The freshman left-hander allowed four runs (three earned) through five innings of work.

The win was Skyline’s second straight against Butte (5-2). A scheduled third game between the two teams was rained out Saturday.

Cañada falls to 2-2

Santa Barbara Community College swung through town Friday to wallop Cañada College 15-2 in Redwood City. Sophomore catcher Mario Duran was 2 for 3 with a home run, his first of the year for the Colts.

Lady Bulldogs sweep Saturday doubleheader

Defending state champion College of San Mateo softball (5-1) rolled to two big wins Saturday on the Hilltop, shutting out Santa Rosa Junior College 9-0 before hammering Shasta College 17-1 after a three-hour rain delay in the nightcap.

Sophomore leadoff hitter Lafu Malepeai (South City) had two hits in each game and enjoyed hitting for an unofficial cycle on the day. The 2022 California Community College Atheltic Association State Athlete of the Year recorded a double and triple in the opening game against Santa Rosa and had a single and a home run against Shasta. She is now batting .667 (12 for 18) with two homers on the year.

Megan Barstad (Woodside) and Hailey Meisenbach (South City) each homered against Shasta as well. Barstad’s first collegiate homer was a grand slam to fuel an 11-run first inning.

The Bulldogs are now leading Northern California with a .420 team batting average, and their .642 slugging percentage is tops in the state.

Freshman right-hander Siona Halwani fired five shutout innings against Santa Rosa (3-1) to improve her record to 3-0. Freshman right-hander Lia Evans closed out the mercy-rule shutout with one inning of relief, then threw 4 1/3 shutout innings against Shasta (0-3) to earn her first collegiate win.