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May 11, 2010 > Ohlone baseball back in Super Regionals

Ohlone baseball back in Super Regionals

By Jeff Weisinger

What nearly seemed to be a cakewalk for the three-seed Ohlone baseball team in Friday's (May 7) regional opener nearly ended in an upset against the 14-seed Modesto Pirates in Fremont on Saturday, May 8.

After the Renegades easily handled the Pirates, 9-0, in Friday's playoff opener, Modesto came back Saturday, May 8, with a shutout of their own, defeating Ohlone, 6-0, to push the series to a game three.

Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year, Ohlone lefty Roberto Padilla, hurled a complete-game, two-hit shutout in Friday's game against Modesto. Padilla received early run support from the Renegades lineup as shortstop Michael Ussery opened the scoring with a two-RBI double to right to give Ohlone the early 2-0 lead. Ussery scored off Ryan Walterhouse's RBI single to cap Ohlone's three-run, second inning.

The Renegades took advantage of mistake pitches by Pirates starter Vince Roberts who took the loss.

Roberts went just five innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits with three strikeouts.

Ohlone struck for three more runs in the fifth inning off Jeff Johnson's towering three-run homer to left to give Ohlone the commanding 6-0 lead. The Renegades would strike for three more runs in the sixth inning to go up 9-0.

Game two was different in every sense.

Coming off a two-hit loss, Modesto sent out their ace right-hander Terrance Marin and, this time around, it was the Pirates who shut down the Renegades, holding them to just five hits all game.

Modesto took an early 3-0 lead after the third inning, highlighted by Austin Keaton's two-run home run in the third inning.

Sophomore right-hander Justin Kuks struggled in hit playoff debut, pitching just four and a third, allowing five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and walks.

Modesto tagged Kuks for another home run in the fifth inning as Blake Barber led off the inning with a solo homer to left to put the Pirates up 4-0. And then came game three.

The best way to describe the third and final game of the series would be, a battle.

Both Ohlone and Modesto battled through all nine innings for a spot in next weekend's Super Regionals.

Modesto continued their momentum from game two in the third game, scoring two runs in the opening frame off Barber's two-run home run.

Ohlone fought back in the bottom of the first off Zach Johnson's sacrifice fly, and in the fourth inning, they would tie the game when Kyle Holmstrom hit a sac fly to score Zach Johnson and took a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning off Michael Di Rocco's RBI double and Ryan Walterhouse's RBI sacrifice bunt.

However, in the seventh inning, the Pirates would go to work on Fontaine.

After Fontaine retired seven of the last nine batters entering the seventh inning, Modesto tagged Fontaine for three runs, taking a 5-4 lead off Michael Cerda's three-run homer to left.

Fontaine went six and a third in the no decision, allowing five runs on seven hits with five strikeouts.

Modesto would go up 6-4 after seven as Eddie McGrath scored off a passed ball from reliever Geroge Asmus.

Down, but not out, Ohlone rocked Pirates starter Ryan Stice for four runs in the eighth to take an 8-7 lead. Ussery's two-RBI triple brought in Holmstrom and Tanner Laran. Walterhouse followed Ussery's RBI hit with an RBI single of his own to tie the game at seven, then Cody Foster capped the eighth-inning, four-run rally with a sacrifice fly, scoring Steven Zanders.

Padilla came in the game in the ninth innings and allowed one hit in his first playoff save.

With the series win, the Renegades will host Merced in the Super Regionals next weekend. Merced swept Feather River in two games in the regional, winning 9-4 on Friday and 7-5 on Saturday.

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