•Infielder Scott Silva drives in three runs for the No. 2 Rams
• Connor Brogdon becomes Fresno City’s first 10-game winner since 2008
• Rams can finish off series with a victory Saturday
The Fresno City College baseball team was looking for a quick start to its Super Regional opener Friday against Ohlone.
The NorCal’s second-seeded Rams certainly got just that against No. 10 Ohlone.
The Rams (32-8) scored three times in the bottom of the fourth inning on their way to a 7-2 victory over the Renegades (28-11) and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three Super Regional series at John Euless Ballpark. Game 2 is set for 1 p.m. Saturday. A third game, if necessary, would be at noon Sunday.
“The first three innings we had to play strong because that’s what hurt us the last couple games,” said Fresno City’s Scott Silva, who drove in three runs. “We put up zero errors and we didn’t let them score any runs, and that’s what helped us a lot.”
It also helped having Connor Brogdon on the mound.
The sophomore right-hander out of Liberty-Madera Ranchos pitched 7 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts to earn his 10th win — the first pitcher to hit double-digit wins since Ben Whitmore went 11-2 in 2008.
“This is a prestigious program and for me to able to say I was a first 10-game winner in seven years ... it’s pretty special and an honor,” Brogdon said.
Brogdon (10-0) did run into a jam in the fifth, loading the bases, and Ohlone capitalized to cut the Rams’ lead to 3-2.
“I came out and kind of struggled a little bit,” he said. “Walked the first guy on four pitchers and ended up loading the bases, but (pitching) coach (Eric) Solberg called a lot of great pitchers and I was able to get out of it, still with the lead.”
After Fresno City had to rally last weekend to defeat Skyline in the first round of the playoffs, coach Ron Scott said he was looking for his Rams to jump on Ohlone quickly.
“It was important for us to get ahead because we’ve been chasing, like last week all three games. Getting ahead made us more relaxed,” he said. “To their credit, they came back and got two. We kind of pitched ourselves in trouble with walks. They’re a good team, and we played pretty well. We had some timely hits and good bunts.”
Like Ryan Soares’ squeeze-bunt on a 3-2 count in the fourth inning that put the Rams up 3-0.
First baseman RJ Hartmann, who drove in a run and scored three times, said the Rams need to come back to the field Saturday with the same mindset.
“Just focus on us,” Hartmann said. “We’ve got to come out strong again tomorrow and swing the bats.”