The 28-year Fresno City College baseball streak of reaching the Northern California playoffs is in danger of ending.
The Rams likely have to win their last six Central Valley Conference games to avoid missing the postseason for the first time since 1987.
Fresno City (21-13, 8-7) will face College of the Sequoias (24-10, 10-5) in a three-game series, beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday at John Euless Ballpark before wrapping up against Porterville next week. The Rams are tied with West Hills Coalinga in fourth place – two games behind the Giants for second place. Conference leader Merced is 22-12 and 13-2.
The top two teams in conference gain automatic postseason bids, with an outside shot of three or four teams advancing depending on strength-of-schedule ratings.
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Fresno City will play without starting pitchers Alec Gamboa (arm) and Donovan Bertoncini (arm) and outfielder Christian Funk (torn ACL), who are out for the season.
“I can’t really put my finger on one thing or otherwise I would obviously change it,” Rams coach Ron Scott said. “It’s a combination of for a week I thought it was bad luck or we had a black cloud over us. We lost Funky. Funky was our straw that stirred our drink.”
Freshman pitcher Kobe Portillo, who is 6-1 with one complete game and two saves, has been one of the few bright spots for the Rams this season.
Fresno City first baseman RJ Hartmann said, “There are definitely things we need to work on, but I think the main thing is just paying attention to detail.”
“We have a lot of talent,” Hartmann said. “Think it’s just a matter of getting in sync and playing how we are capable of playing.”
Scott agrees with Hartmann.
“We work hard and no one is throwing in the towel,” he said. “No one thinks we’re losers. I mean people outside may think that, but we don’t. We still believe and we’re going to keep plugging.”