Rams Defeat Yuba College – Halt Two Game Losing Streak


Photo by: Ben Hensley

Travis Moore slides in safely to score a run for the Rams in their 5-3 win over Yuba College on Feb. 26, 2019.

Story By: Ben Hensley, Sports Editor

Ian Ross homered, Chase Prieto doubled and the Fresno City College Rams baseball team got back to their winning ways against Yuba College in an impromptu afternoon matchup on Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The Rams came into the game scuffling, having dropped their last two games, 4-2 on Friday against Santa Rosa, and 8-4 on Saturday against Cabrillo College.

“We needed a win. We scheduled them to get a win,” Rams’ head coach Ron Scott said following his team’s 5-3 victory over Yuba College on Tuesday afternoon.

Neither team had a game scheduled for Tuesday, however with rain the forecast both in Fresno and in Yuba City, the squads decided to square off on the diamond.

Freshman pitcher Eddie Rios started the game off strong with five of the first nine outs being recorded via strikeout.

Rios pitched into a bit of trouble in the top of the fifth, with a leadoff walk to Yuba’s first baseman Tareeq Hardin. Yuba catcher Austin Locke then sacrificed Hardin to second, who scored when the next batter, center fielder Aidan Gums singled to center.

It appeared the cycle would continue when the next Yuba batter advanced Gums to second with another sacrifice, but Rios was able to strike out Keith Walker to end the inning.

The Rams kept fans on the edge of their seats until the bottom of the sixth inning, when with two outs Rams’ catcher Noel Bustos singled on a weak ground ball to the shortstop. Chase Prieto then doubled to left on a ball that kept carrying and carrying. By the time Yuba left fielder Blake Estabrook chased it down, Bustos had rounded third and slid home on a close play at the plate, tying the game 1-1.

The two-out scoring continued when the following four Rams’ batters all singled, three of which drove in one run each, pushing the Rams in front 4-1.

The seventh inning started shaky for the Rams as Rios hit the leadoff batter Daniel Hale with a pitch. Two batters later, Yuba’s Aidan Gums doubled home Hale. Designated hitter Keith Walker was the final batter Rios faced, allowing a double which drove home Gums.

Rios was replaced by freshman pitcher Mikell Chavez who struck out the final batter to end the inning.

Ian Ross led off the bottom of the seventh inning by belting the first pitch he saw high over the left field fence, extending the Rams’ lead to two runs.

“I was just looking [for a] fastball,” Ross explained. “I was a little late on the first two at bats, so I just decided to get the head out and make something happen.”

Mikell Chavez started the eighth inning the same way Rios began the seventh – by hitting the first batter he faced. This time however the Rams would stifle the scoring threat, retiring the side without a major scoring threat.

The final inning was unique, as coach Scott utilized the bullpen, calling in a new pitcher to face each of the final three batters for Yuba.

“Tried to get them an inning, get them on the mound ‘cause it’s supposed to rain all weekend,” Scott said of his ninth inning bullpen management. “Saavedra needed to feel good about himself, and then [Darren] Jansen is like a closer for us.”

With the win, the Rams improve to 11-5 on the season, snapping a two game losing streak over the past weekend.

“We’re a good team,” Ross said of the Rams. “Our pitching usually keeps us in the game, and as long as we start hitting, we’ll be fine the rest of the season.”

The Rams will now go on the road for one final non-conference game against Contra Costa on Feb. 28, before opening up conference play on the road against Taft College on March 5.

The next home game will be against Taft College on March 7, 2019 at 3 p.m. at Euless Park.