Rancho Santiago, the top-seeded Southern California team in the State baseball playoffs, was thrown a curve Wednesday when Palomar was named as its first-round opponent.
Rancho Santiago was supposed to play the No. 2 team from the Pacific Coast Conference, Southwestern College--which defeated Palomar on Sunday to earn that right. But Palomar appealed to the Southern Section of the Commission of Athletics and argued that games were not supposed to be played beyond last Saturday, and the Southern Section agreed.
Palomar had the advantage in head-to-head competition and replaced Southwestern in the playoffs. The Comets play Rancho Santiago (32-8), the Orange Empire Conference champion, Saturday at 1 p.m. to open a best-of-three series.
"We thought we were playing one team and worked on getting a scouting report, and now we're playing another team," Rancho Santiago Coach Don Sneddon said.