Fresno City College coach Ron Scott needed a strong outing from Jorge Alvarado, with the Rams in a do-or-die showdown at the end of a long weekend of baseball.
It helps to lean on a sophomore, who wanted no part of seeing his JC pitching career come to an end.
The right-hander delivered Sunday, as Alvarado struck out six in seven strong innings, Logan Poisall drove in three and the second-seeded Rams (33-9) advanced to next weekend’s Northern California sectionals with a 7-2 victory over No. 10 Ohlone in Game 3 of a Super Regional series at John Euless Ballpark.
Fresno City on Friday will host No. 3 Feather River in the best-of-three sectional. Game time is to be determined, with Game 2 on Saturday and a third game, if needed, Sunday. Feather River was a 3-2 winner over No. 9 Cosumnes River in 11 innings to take its Super Regional series in three games.
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Four sectional winners — two each from Northern and Southern California — move on to the state championships May 23-25 at Euless.
The thought of playing his last game as a Ram was on Alvarado’s mind, but the offense took the pressure off early.
“My team came out and scored some runs for me and it worked out how we wanted it,” he said.
Fresno City scored five in the third, capped by Poisall’s two-run single to right that made it 5-0. RJ Hartman’s RBI single drove in the first run, a wild pitch brought in the second and Joe Garabedian’s groundout pushed the lead to 3-0.
Ohlone got a man aboard in each of the first three innings, but twice Alvarado induced double-play groundballs.
The Renegades (29-13) loaded the bases in the fifth with one out, but got just one run on a sacrifice fly. After closing within 5-2 with a run in the sixth, Ohlone saw the Rams get two big insurance runs in the seventh on RBI singles by Poisall and Nate Navarette.
Alvarado improved to 8-2, second to ace Connor Brogdon (10-0) for the team lead in victories. Each have made 14 starts for the Rams this season.