The Fresno City College baseball team got a big lift from pitcher Kobe Portillo and third baseman Sal Esparza.
Portillo pitched a five-hitter and Esparza hit a grand slam in the top of the third inning, giving the Rams a 5-2 victory over Taft in a Central Valley Conference game on Saturday.
The win puts Fresno City at 8-7 in the CVC, tied with West Hills Coalinga in fourth place after the Falcons defeated conference leader Merced, 4-2.
Reedley College is in third place at 8-6 and will play Cerro Coso at 2 p.m. Sunday.
College of the Sequoias sits in second place at 10-5, while the Blue Devils lead the CVC at 13-2.
The Rams dropped the first two games against the Cougars and needed a must-win situation before taking a conference break next week.
Portillo ran into a little trouble in the seventh inning when Taft had the bases loaded with no outs. But Fresno City escaped with no damage on a double play and a ground out to end the inning.
The Rams will resume CVC play in two weeks against COS. The first game is set for 3 p.m. April 18 at John Euless Ballpark.
CENTRAL VALLEY CONFERENCE BASEBALL STANDINGS
West Hils Coalinga