Fresno City College made a run at another comeback win against a Southern California top-five team, but ultimately fell short in losing 5-3 to No. 5 Santa Barbara City College in a nonconference game Thursday afternoon.
The NorCal No. 2 Rams (25-5), coming off a 4-3 victory Wednesday over Southern No. 4 Oxnard in which they scored twice in the ninth to take the lead, trailed 5-1 heading into the ninth but loaded the bases with no outs as Daniel Gardner singled and Zak Taylor and RJ Hartmann walked. But cleanup hitter Christian Funk, the club’s home run and RBI leader, popped out to short.
Scott Silva’s flyball and an infield single by Harley Glines each brought in a run by Aaron Simms struck out to end it as the Vaqueros improved to 23-6. Santa Barbara trails Oxnard by a game for the lead in the Western State Conference’s North Division.
• Sequoias, ahead of a Tuesday home game with frontrunning Fresno City, kept rolling in Central Valley Conference play with a 6-2 win at West Hills. Matt Cota, Treshon Holly, Tyler Morgan and Blake Edmonson had RBIs as the Giants (15-13, 10-6) scored in each of the first four innings. Thomas Dunehew (4-0) allowed four hits and three walks but just two runs in five innings against the Falcons (6-21, 3-13). The Rams, on a bye week in the seven-team league, are running away in the CVC race at 17-1.
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• Reedley (11-17, 8-8) squared its CVC ledger with a 5-2 win at Porterville (5-22, 2-14).
Bulldogs look to stay close in softball race
Fresno State looks for a third straight series victory in the Mountain West Conference softball race as it visits Utah State for three games beginning Friday.
First pitch is 2 p.m., with the teams playing at 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field.
The Bulldogs (28-13, 9-3) have won 5 of 6, including a home sweep of New Mexico and before that a 2-of-3 weekend at frontrunning San Diego State. There is little margin for error for Fresno State, which trails the Aztecs (27-14, 10-2) by a game.
Fresno State does have a ratings percentage index score of 39, with the Aztecs at 36, giving the conference some hope of landing two NCAA Tournament bids.
The Bulldogs are second in the conference in hitting (.344) and runs scored and lead in ERA (2.64). Utah State (15-24, 7-5) is fifth in hitting but ninth and last in ERA at 6.10.
War Angels set to fly
The Central Cal War Angels opens their Women’s Football Alliance season Saturday against the West Coast Lightning at Cesar Chavez High in Delano.
Kickoff is 5 p.m. for the first of eight games, split evenly home and away, for the defending Pacific West champions.
Casey Quinn — a veteran central Valley high school coach — is the head coach and Raheem Love the offensive coordinator.
Ex-head coach Jeff King, who led the team to three division crowns and one regional title while going 32-8 overall, remains on the staff.