Forecast Calls For Sunflower Seed Showers, Rams’ Walk it Off


Photo by: Moises Buitrago

On Tuesday March 3, the Rams completed a comeback against the Taft College Cougars in a 6-5 victory.

As the winter days are dwindling down and spring comes knocking, baseball season comes rolling in. On the crisp afternoon of March 3, the electrifying Fresno City College Rams defeated the Taft College Cougars in walk-off fashion by a score of 6-5.

The Cougars entered the match up heading in the opposite direction of the Rams, Taft tallying up only three wins compared to FCC’s 13.

Early on in the second inning, Taft was able to take advantage of some defensive miscues, including an error by third baseman Evan Rocha and a dropped ball in the outfield by freshman J.D Ortiz that led to two more unearned runs in the second inning.

Moving on to the bottom half of the second inning the Rams could not get the offense going after Cougars’ pitcher Michael Selleck struck out the side.

Tacking on another run to the lead in the top of the third inning, Taft looked like they would be running away with the game. Starting pitcher Alec Flores would leave the game after facing 15 batters in the first two innings. With two outs in the top of the third, sophomore Darren Jansen came out of the bullpen and stranded runners at first and second to end the inning.

The Rams struggled to get runners across the plate early until Ortiz stepped up to the plate and hit a triple to right-center.

Ortiz would come in on a sacrifice fly from sophomore outfielder Chase Prieto, making the score 4-1.

After a quick inning from Jansen, the Rams scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, courtesy of a bases-loaded walk and a RBI single.

Jansen continued to dominate the next inning and displayed his athleticism by fielding a weak fly ball hit between first and the pitcher’s mound. Jansen gathered the ball and slid straight into first base for the unassisted putout.

A new sense of hope radiated throughout the dugout as players lined up to high five Jansen.

Riding on the new energy the Rams took the lead for the first time in the game after two more runs came in to score off the bat of sophomore first baseman Bronson Chamberlin due to some costly errors by Taft.

Jansen would go onto pitch four more scoreless innings until being pulled after loading the bases up. Sophomore Mikell Chavez would come and get a fly out to end the eighth. FCC went down quietly after a three up, three down eighth inning.

“We needed Darren Jansen to do what he did. We told him when he came in, if he shut him out the rest of the game, we’d win, and he did until the last inning,” said head coach Ron Scott.

With the Rams looking to put an end to the game, Taft had other plans and got the first batter on base courtesy of an error. Despite recording two ground ball outs the runner advanced to third and scored on a two-out single.

Photo by: Moises Buitrago
Darren Jansen pitched five shoutout innings out of the bullpen in relief of Alec Flores. Jansen played a key role by shutting down the Cougars offense in route to a comeback victory for the Rams.

Playing a brand new ball game with the score tied 5-5, sophomore catcher James Bell went to work and roped a double to put the winning run on second. The next batter reached on a fielder’s choice, and then an intentional walk loaded up the bases.

FCC brought in freshman Ryan Naranjo to pinch hit for freshman designated hitter Cole Brincefield. With his teammates pressed on the dugout fence and the crowd cheering, Naranjo wasted no time and sent the first pitch fastball straight into right-center, to send the Rams home.

Naranjo noticed that the pitcher wasn’t coming inside on any batters and says his coaches told him to take an opposite-field approach.  

As Naranjo rounded first base his teammates mobbed him in shallow center field and baptized him in sunflower and Gatorade to send the Rams home with a 6-5 victory.