By Meyer Gorelick and Joel Wagner
On a perfect Saturday afternoon in the wine country, the City College Rams beat the Napa Valley College Storm 9-4, improving their record to 3-5.
The win was a step forward in what players and coaches hope will be the teams first winning season in years.
After jumping out to a 5-0 second inning lead, the Rams experienced a middle inning lull and found themselves locked in a 5-4 scrap at the end of six innings.
But they finished strong, shutting out the Storm over the final three frames thanks largely to workhorse freshman closer Luke Mar, and the bats woke up, providing four more runs.
Sophomore first baseman Alec White led the Rams with three RBIs.
“I’ve been trying to relax and hit the ball hard and this game everything fell into place for me,” White said.
Morale hasn’t wavered this season despite losses and the players are working hard for each other and for their coach. White sees better chemistry and attitudes within the squad this season compared to last year.
This team feels different to White, who sees strong pitching, live bats, and is excited to see the team put those together consistently.
“The scoreboard was on our side,” Assistant Coach Dom Sebastiani said. “Nine to four ballgame, besides that, our pitchers all threw strikes well, attacked the zone, and our defense was making plays behind them.”
Sebastiani was serving as manager for this game, since Head Coach Mario Mendoza had been suspended for berating the umpire over what White said was a botched call at home plate.
The team failed to pick up a win over their next four games, including a 12 inning heart-breaker against Compton College during a 3-game Southern California road trip.
The Rams travel to Gavilan College for a 2 p.m. game on Thursday, Feb. 20.