By Aaron Turner
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
Looking to get their third win of the preseason, City College went into San Bruno ready to face All-American Skyline pitcher Greg Gonzales. The Rams were able to rally back from a 2-1 deficit in a game that was close up until the very last pitch on Tuesday, Feb. 3.
Juan Ortega went 2-4, with two RBIs and scored a run, including the go ahead RBI that gave them the lead in the 8th inning.
Catcher John Cavanaugh got the Rams on the board early with a home run in the top of the 2nd inning. After not allowing a runner on base in the first two innings, Rams starting pitcher Jared Freitas gave up a lead-off single, then walked a runner allowing Skyline to tie the game at 1-1.
Nolan Lees relieved Freitas in the bottom of the 3rd, and wound up going one inning, giving up one run, two hits, and a walk.
In the top of the 4th, the Rams wasted a perfect opportunity when they had runners on first and third with no outs. However, two strikeouts and a weak groundout ended the threat.
The Skyline Trojans were able to go ahead by a run scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 4th. The Rams remained down by one run until the top of the 7th, when Marrk Kosta connected with a two-out RBI double to bring in Ortega. Trojans starting pitcher Greg Gonzales, who went 7 1/3 innings, was then pulled after giving up the lead.
In the top of the 8th inning, Ortega once again came up big as he connected for a two-out RBI double, his second of the game, to give the Rams a one run lead, 3-2.
Rams closer Irvin Huerta was able to work the 9th for the save. Despite walking 2 runners to load the bases, he was able to work out of the jam, and struck out the last Trojan batter to give the exuberant Rams the hard earned victory.
After the game, Kosta, who also pitched a scoreless 8th inning in relief, was very happy with the way his team played against a talented Skyline squad.
“We had to use everybody to win this game,” Kosta said. “This is a good team we played. They have a bunch of All-Americans, and are ranked [eighth] NorCal, and we put it on them for nine innings.”
Kosta also stressed the importance of this game in terms of setting the pace for the rest of the preseason.
“We got a big weekend ahead of us, so this game was huge. It gives a lot of momentum going in, since we just beat the top team in the conference,” he said.
The Rams’ first home game of the season will be Thursday, Feb. 12, at 2pm against Napa Valley at Balboa Park. (168)