The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College rallies in the ninth, lose in extra innings

Brandon Langan, City College, freshman utility/pitcher, hits a sacrafice fly deep left field to allow a run to score and tie the game in the bottom of the 9th in game against Fresno City College at Union Stadium on Jan. 31st. Dianne Rose/[email protected]

Stephen Ruderman | Staff Writer | [email protected]

Panthers split two-game series with Fresno City College

City College dropped a 10-inning thriller Jan. 31 to the Fresno City Rams 10-7 in the second game of a two-game series.

Despite the momentum City College had from a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth that sent the game into extra innings, Fresno responded with three runs of its own in the top of the 10th.

“It was more lack of communication,” said Coach Derek Sullivan. “You don’t want it to happen, but you expect it. We have a decent amount of freshmen, guys new to the program. We use these as learning experiences. On Monday, we’ll go back to work on all that stuff.”

Zach Smart took the mound for City College, and despite control issues, he worked his way out of a rally in the first inning. Smart eventually settled in, as he retired nine straight Fresno City batters.

City College struck first in the bottom of the third. The rally started when designated hitter Brian Ingram reached on a bobbled groundball by Fresno City shortstop Christian Funk. Center fielder Auston Chastain then reached on a fielder’s choice, and then scored on a double by left fielder Alex Muzzi. Muzzi scored on a groundball back to the pitcher, and City College led 2-0.

Smart continued to pitch effectively, sitting down 13 out of 15 batters he had faced from the end of the first. City College tacked on another pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it 4-0.

In the sixth, Fresno City’s center fielder Daniel Gardner led off with a home run down the right-field line to put the Rams on the board. With two runners in scoring position, Joe Garabedian doubled into the left-centerfield gap, scoring a pair of runs.
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Smart finally retired the first batter of the inning, when he struck out Nate Navarrete, but the previous four hitters had all made solid contact, and Panthers’ coach Sullivan pulled Smart for Gabriel Meza.

Meza didn’t fare well in the sixth, allowing the tying run to score in the inning. After a throwing error by Panthers’ second baseman Boston Romero, the Rams’ Zak Taylor advanced to second after he singled to second. Pinch-hitter Aaron Simms lined a base hit, which scored the go-ahead run and capped off a five-run inning for Fresno City.

Fresno tacked on a run in the seventh and another in the ninth, and then sent pitcher Justin Heskett out to the mound to try to complete a nine-out save. However, Heskett unraveled as he walked Riley Simmons on four straight pitches to start off the bottom of the ninth.

The next batter, Chastain, reached on a fielder’s choice, and then scored on a double by Muzzi. One batter later, Muzzi scored on a base hit by Brandon Langan, who eventually advanced to second on a wild pitch. Jordan Zazulak pinch-ran for Langan, and advanced to a third on a wild pitch by Heskett, who really started to labor. Zazulak scored the tying run on an error by Taylor, and Heskett got out of any further damage, which sent the game to extra innings.

City College did not respond after the Rams scored three runs in the top of the 10th and went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, Fresno City held on to win 10-7.

Despite his struggles, Heskett got the win for Fresno City. Branden Nunn took the loss for City College, and Deandre Howard got the save for the Rams.

The Panthers split the series with Fresno City, and are 1-1 to start the season.

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