Fresno City College ace Dominic Topoozian wasn't quite at his dominating best, but a balanced Rams offense provided plenty of support Wednesday afternoon as the visiting Rams beat West Hills 8-3 in the Central Valley Conference opener for both teams.
Topoozian improved to 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA, scattering eight hits and two walks while allowing three runs (two earned) in seven innings.
Five players drove in runs for the Rams (5-6 overall), who did all their scoring in the fourth through the sixth -- the last of those a four-run inning featuring a two-run single by Logan Carter and a two-run double by Daniel Gardner.
Jon Molina went 2 for 4 with an RBI for West Hills (7-3), which was hurt by an error and two passed balls that led to three of Fresno City's eight runs being unearned.
Anthony Hawkins, Justin Flores and Preston Scott also had RBIs for the Rams, who were ranked No. 1 in the North Region preseason poll but scuffled through a nonconference schedule against teams all ranked from Nos. 3 through 16 in the North or South.
Fresno City, however, always has a level of comfort in the CVC, as the Rams chase their 19th CVC title in the reign of 26-year coach Ron Scott.
The Falcons are working to build a tradition under first-year coach Stefan McGovern, who came aboard from NAIA school Menlo College in the offseason and has West Hills playing winning ball early on in part due to an offense that leads the state in runs scored despite hitting only one homer through 10 games.
The series continues at 6 p.m. Thursday in Fresno, then concludes at 1 p.m. Saturday in Coalinga.