Rams Drop Game One Against Conference Rival Giants


Photo by: Ben Hensley

Rams' pitching coach Eric Solberg meets with Giovanni Saavedra and the rest of the infield on the mound during the Rams' 9-3 loss to COS on Tuesday, March 26 2019 at John Euless Park.

Story By: Ben Hensley, Sports Editor

The Fresno City College Baseball team came into their series opener against College of the Sequoias on an eight game win streak following series sweeps over Porterville College and Reedley College.

The streak ended at eight, after the Rams dropped the opener of their three game set against the Giants by a score of 9-3.

The night opened up on a high note for the Rams, scoring one run in each of the first three innings. Chet Allison continued on his torrid streak, blasting the first pitch of the game deep over the left field fence for a home run. It was his third home run of the season and his 27th RBI.

“He’s just really good,” Rams’ head coach Ron Scott said of his star outfielder. “Right now he’s seeing the ball like a volleyball.”

Adrian Gutierrez also went deep to lead off the second inning, belting his first home run of the year.

Chet Allison led off the third inning with a double, and was sent home on a Chase Prieto single, extending the lead to 3-0.

After the third inning, however, the well ran dry. The Rams went scoreless for the final six frames of the game despite numerous opportunities to score more runs.

“They’re a good team, and we had a chance” a disappointed coach Scott said of the COS team following the loss.

Starting pitcher Giovanni Saavedra threw 98 pitches in seven innings of very good work until the eighth inning, when the Rams unravelled.

“Gio pitched a fabulous game,” Scott said of his starting pitcher who struck out four while walking only one and allowing seven hits.

Both teams had plenty of traffic on the basepaths throughout the first five innings, which saw the Giants record six hits in the first seven innings.

The Rams on the other hand had runners on base in each of the first seven innings, recording eight hits but failing to score in every inning following the third.

The top of the eighth inning is when the Rams unravelled. Starting with an error by third baseman Ian Ross, the Rams allowed two straight runners on singles, one of which scoring two runs.

What followed was a rare Rams pitching error, seeing Saavedra attempt a pickoff throw to first with the bases loaded. The throw sailed past first baseman Adam Munoz’s and down the right field line, scoring two runs in the process. Saavedra went on to walk the batter Jordan Rojas, leading to a pitching change, seeing Darren Jansen come in. Jansen hit the first batter he faced, loading the bases for the second time in the inning.

Following the hit-by-pitch, Giants’ Donte Valdez singled to right field, advancing each of the runners 90 feet and scoring the tying run, bringing the score to 3-3.

With still no outs, Zane Thompson singled to right and after a rare Allison error in right field scored three extra runs, pushing the Giants ahead for good 6-3.

COS was able to scratch across one more run in the eighth, ending the frame with a 7-3 lead.

“I thought the error to open up the eighth cost us the game,” coach Scott said. “He [Saavedra] tried a pickoff play with the bases loaded we’d never even done before and then it just unravelled.”

The Giants scored two more runs in the top of the ninth off relief pitcher Joel Bustos, who allowed two unearned runs on two hits and one walk.

“All we can do is just play like we did today,” Scott said, explaining that the Rams just had a bad inning.

The loss propelled COS to 9-1 in the Central Valley Conference. They now lead by one full game over the Rams, who are tied with Taft in the conference standings at 8-2.

The Rams look to start freshman pitcher Alec Gamboa in their next matchup against the Giants. They will try and bounce back from their loss when they play in Visalia on Friday.

The Rams will be back in action to wrap up the three game series in Fresno on Saturday at 1 p.m. at John Euless Park.