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Rams Offense Strong in Series Opener Against Merced

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Rams Offense Strong in Series Opener Against Merced

Sophomore pitcher Giovanni Saavedra fires a pitch toward the plate during the Rams' 11-4 win over Merced College on April 9, 2019.

Sophomore pitcher Giovanni Saavedra fires a pitch toward the plate during the Rams' 11-4 win over Merced College on April 9, 2019.

Photo by: Derek Bullis

Sophomore pitcher Giovanni Saavedra fires a pitch toward the plate during the Rams' 11-4 win over Merced College on April 9, 2019.

Photo by: Derek Bullis

Photo by: Derek Bullis

Sophomore pitcher Giovanni Saavedra fires a pitch toward the plate during the Rams' 11-4 win over Merced College on April 9, 2019.

Story By: Derek Bullis, Reporter

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The Fresno City College Rams put up another win on Tuesday, April 9 against Merced College, winning 11-4 at home to open up their final conference series of the season.

Tuesday night’s win puts FCC just one win behind COS who is holding the lead in the Central Valley Conference with a 14-2 record this season.

“We pitched well, played well, it was a big win for us,” Rams’ coach Ron Scott said following the win.

This game was Jiovianni Saavedra’s eighth starting pitching appearance this season. Earning himself another victory on Tuesday, Saavedra pitched for a total of 5⅔ innings, facing 25 batters and only giving up two earned runs off four hits. Saavedra struck out five, but also walked five.

The Rams took an early lead in the first inning following a walk, and two hit batsmen. Kohl Simas singled off the first pitch in his opening at bat, scoring two runs. Ian Ross scored the third run for the Rams off a passed ball. Adam Munoz then singled on a line drive into left field to send home Simas. Munoz ended the inning gaining a run off a sacrifice fly by Josh May.

After surrendering a run to the Blue Devils in the second inning, the Rams scored two more runs off doubles hit by Simas and May, putting the Rams up 8-1 heading into the third.

The Rams would pick up their ninth run in the third inning when, with the bases loaded, Ian Ross was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. The rams lead ballooned to 9-1.

Throughout the middle innings of the game, both teams had regular traffic on the basepaths, but neither was able to push across a single run until Merced came to bat in the sixth inning. Saavedra surrendered a single and a double with one out in the inning. Both runners would eventually score on a sacrifice fly, and Saavedra’s final walk of the game, driving in the Blue Devils’ third run.

Saavedra’s day ended after 5⅔ innings, giving way to freshman pitcher Darren Jansen. Jansen came in to slam the door on the sixth by striking out the first batter he faced.

Jansen racked up the strikeouts in his second frame, striking out the side while allowing a single.

Merced got one run back in the top of the eighth inning, but the Rams added two more in the bottom of the eighth to seal the deal and put the Rams up 11-4.

Jansen stayed in to close out the game, pitching for 3⅓ innings. Jansen threw 50 recorded seven strikeouts, surrendering one earned run on three hits.

“I thought we did great,” coach Scott said. “We came out to play we had eight runs in the first two innings, we made no errors. My favorite number is that big zero on the bottom right,” Scott said, referring to the Rams’ errorless ballgame.

Scott had high praise for Jansen, who was “throwing 90 miles an hour. It was tough to hit off that.”

The Rams remain one game behind COS in the Central Valley Conference standings, following their victory earlier in the day over Reedley College 17-9.

The bright spots in the Rams’ lineup on Tuesday night were first baseman Simas and designated hitter Munos, who combined for five of the Rams’ 12 hits, and four of the rams 11 runs.

Merced hosts the second game of the series on Thursday.

The Rams will host their conference finale on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Euless Park at 1 p.m.

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Rams Offense Strong in Series Opener Against Merced