May 17, 2011 > Making a statement
Making a statement
Renegades survive shootout in Solano to advance to second straight State tournament
By Jeff Weisinger
And in the end, the program from the school on top of the hill was the last one standing after all the dust cleared. Then again, it's what should be expected of a defending State Champion. Right?
Ohlone's 4-2 win over Sacramento City College in the decisive second game of the Super Regional baseball final was nothing short of everyday business for the defending state champion. Besides, in order to get to the Super Regional final against Sac City, Ohlone had to fight back twice against San Mateo and Solano College with Ohlone winning both games by a combined two runs.
The Renegades opened the Super Regionals on Friday, May 13, against the College of San Mateo in a rematch of the 2010 State title game. And it was played as similar as the title game was in Fresno last year with Ohlone squeaking away with a 16-15 win in 11 innings.
Friday's opener saw a combined 35 hits, 31 runs and Ohlone surprisingly surrendering a 13-3 lead before the Bulldogs clawed back into the game with a seven-run sixth inning as CSM simply rocked reliever Jordan Camacho for five-runs as he lasted just one out in the sixth.
Down 15-12, the Bulldogs tied the game in the eighth with a three-run inning off of reliever Cody Honea. However, with the game tied at 15, Ohlone scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th inning off of Matt Owen's RBI double, scoring Ryan Tella who drew four-walks on the day.
CSM rallied back in the bottom of the inning, getting the game-tying and game-winning runs on third and second respectively, however Ryan Devencenzi got the last two batters to fly out to end the game. Ohlone found themselves in a similar situation the next day against Solano College in their narrow 7-6 win.
Sophomore ace Matt Fontaine pitched what may have been his second straight clutch complete game in the victory despite allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits, but did strand runners in scoring position in five of the nine innings he pitched.
Solano drew the opening blow off of Trevor Matern's RBI single in the first. Ohlone tied the game at one in the bottom half of the inning off of an RBI single of their own by Kainoa Crowell. The Renegades took charge in the third, scoring three runs to take a 4-1 lead but Solano would answer back to come within one after scoring twice in the fifth inning.
Ohlone would score two of their own to take a 7-3 lead after seven innings, but Fontaine pitched clutch in the eighth and ninth inning, despite Solano scoring two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth. With two outs and a runner on second, Fontaine got Patrick Johnson to tap a soft grounder to him as Fontaine threw Johnson out at first to end the game.
The Renegades suffered a slight setback in the Super Regional final, falling 12-10 to Sacramento City before their clutch 4-2 Super Regional win. The Panthers handled starter Alika Pruitt for seven runs on 10 hits through six innings.
The Renegades held onto a tight 6-5 lead until Sac City scored twice in the seventh, driving in the go-ahead run off of reliever Francis Leon to go up 7-5. The Panthers outscored Ohlone a combined 7-4 in the final three frames, although Ohlone nearly performed another classic comeback, scoring twice in the bottom of the ninth.
However, after Sunday's big win, the Renegades have a chance to do something in Bakersfield that hasn't been done in a decade: win back-to-back State titles. They would be the first back-to-back champion since Riverside City won three-straight from 2000-2002. They would also be just the sixth school to have back-to-back titles as the programs first two state championships.
To keep track of the Renegades pursuit of back-to-back titles, log onto the Tri-City Voice Sports website, http://sports.tricityvoice.com.