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April 29, 2009 > Community college baseball roundup

Community college baseball roundup

By Giovanni Albanese Jr.

Community college baseball's Coast Conference - both the Pacific and Golden Gate divisions - season is winding down. Both the Ohlone Renegades and Chabot Gladiators, each who had a trio of games this past week, are lobbying for position in the forthcoming regional tournament - with success.

Chabot, in the midst of a logjam atop the Golden Gate Division with San Mateo, San Jose City and West Valley, began its week at home versus Golden Gate's second-to-last De Anza on Tuesday, April 21.

De Anza walked into a buzz saw that is the Chabot Gladiators offense. Over the past several weeks, it has been the norm for the Gladiators to put up double digits in runs. This game was no different, as the Gladiators pounced on the struggling De Anza for 13 runs in a nine-run blowout, 13-4.

Meanwhile, Ohlone, the fourth-ranked team in the nation, tops in NorCal among community colleges, is running away with the Pacific Division of Coast Conference. They also began their week on Tuesday, April 21, at home against Hartnell.

As if clinching the Pacific Division (first since 1991) wasn't enough incentive, Ohlone is chasing after the all-time, single-season win mark. Entering the week with 32 wins, the Renegades needed two wins to reach the record.

Hartnell could not stand in the way of the Renegades winning number 33 on the season. Freshman Roberto Padilla upped his record to 4-4 with a complete-game effort, giving up one run on five hits, and striking out five.

Zack Johnson cracked his sixth homer of the year, while knocking in three to lead the Renegades' bats; Brad Reeves also plated three as Ohlone cruised to victory, 16-1.

Thursday, April 23, both teams hit the road to keep up their winning ways: Chabot to San Mateo; Ohlone to Monterey Peninsula. Neither team had success.

Chabot was holding onto a 6-3 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning before San Mateo erupted for five runs - one in the seventh; four in the eighth - to take an 8-6 lead, which they would hold onto for the victory.

Ohlone, in a pitchers' duel, was denied their record-tying 34th victory, as Monterey managed to shut down one of the nation's top-hitting teams, en route to a 3-2 win. And, they got to Sean Martin, giving him his first loss of the year, dropping him to 8-1 on the season.

Rebound was on the mind of both Chabot and Ohlone. Chabot returned home to take on West Valley, while Ohlone remained on the road, traveling to Gavilan, still looking to tie the single season record for wins in a season by the college's baseball program.

Chabot dropped its second in a row, as their offense has come back to earth, losing by three, 7-4. Ohlone, behind David Luna's eighth win of the season, ran away with their record-tying win, 18-6. Zach Johnson (3-5, 2 RBIs) and Steven Ramos (3-5, 4 RBIs) led the offensive charge for Ohlone; and freshman Tanner Laran hit his first college homer in the winning cause.

Chabot is now 23-16 on the season, 13-10 in conference. They end their season on Thursday, April 30, at Mission, at 2 p.m. Ohlone, now 34-8, 19-4 in conference, will also conclude its season on April 30, at home versus Skyline at 2 p.m.

Both Ohlone and Chabot were on the diamond on Tuesday, April 28: Ohlone at West Valley; Chabot at City College of San Francisco. Log onto www.tricityvoice.com/sports to see how each team fared.

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