Things weren’t certainly easy for the Fresno City College baseball team this weekend.
First, the No. 2 seed Rams dropped game one of the best-of-three series Friday to No. 15 Skyline, 5-3.
Facing elimination and down 6-0 in game two Saturday morning, it seemed Fresno City didn’t have anything left.
No so fast.
The Rams (31-8) scored eight runs in the seventh inning to rally past the Trojans 16-6 to force a decisive game three. Again down in the final game, 3-0, the Rams answered with three runs in the fifth for a 5-3 lead and never looked back in an 11-8 victory to advance to next weekend’s Super Regionals.
Fresno City coach Ron Scott was emotional after the game at John Euless Ballpark.
“These guys are a bunch of tough guys,” Scott said. “Great team, just have to keep playing. I think we’re a tough team to beat in our ballpark. (Skyline) were a good team. They did some things to put us in trouble and got us on your heels all three games and we hung in there and battled.”
The Rams next faces No. 10 Ohlone, beginning Friday at Euless. Ohlone swept No. 7 Solano.
“We were down 6-0 early. If anything, that’s a good thing,” said the Rams’ Zak Taylor, who finished the day with six RBIs, including four in the opener. “We knew we didn’t have to get it one chunk. We just had to chip away. That’s all we had to do. Once we start chipping away, our whole dugout gets into it and all the momentum turns on us.”
Drayton Riekenberg pitched 6 2/3 on the day and won both games to improve to 7-2. Rams closer Shane Desmond recorded his eighth save in the deciding game.
“It was a little dead at first,” said Desmond, referring to being down 6-0. “We pushed hard for those runs and once we got it tied we were rolling after that. We had confidence.”
In the final game, the Rams scored six runs in the seventh inning to break it open.
“We just wanted to keep pressing on them, and we showed up big today,” Taylor said. “I don’t know about the slow starts. That’s never happened to us all year. We’re the ones getting off to an early lead. It’s a good change for us and it showed we have a lot of fight on this team.”
Fresno City outfielder Daniel Gardner drove in four runs on the day.
Desmond said he hopes the Rams can carry the momentum into next weekend.
“It’s like a learning experience,” he said. “We can’t go in thinking we can beat any team. We have to work for it, basically.”