Rams waste pitching gem, fall in extras at home

By Aaron Turner
The Guardsman


After pitching a complete game victory over San Jose City College in his previous start, Rams sophomore Jared Freitas took the mound April 24 against visiting San Mateo (18-4), hoping to get his third consecutive victory and help the Rams earn a late season upset.

Despite allowing only two earned runs in nine innings, a 10th inning RBI double by the Bulldogs off Eric Lara forced Freitas to take a no-decision, as the Rams fell 4-3 in 10 innings at Fairmont Field in Pacifica, dropping their record to 5-17 in the Coast Conference.

“Jared’s last three starts have been excellent,” Rams head coach John Vanoncini said. “He pitched well enough to win the game today, for sure.”

Freshman Mark Johnson got the Rams on the board early against San Mateo starting pitcher Josh Trejo, as his first inning RBI single put them up 1-0. Jeremy Pratt led off the fifth inning with a double, before being driven in by Oli Meheula for the second run of the game. Meheula would eventually come around to score on a sacrifice fly by catcher Anthony Oropeza, for the third run of the inning.

“We’ve really been playing some good baseball,” Freitas said. “Our bats are finally coming around and we’re playing as a team. There is not a lot of negativity in the dugout.”

San Mateo was able to break through against Freitas in the seventh inning. Sophomore Steven Riddle got the Bulldogs on the board with a one out RBI double, before being driven in himself the next at bat by Pat Burford.

After allowing a third consecutive hit, Freitas worked his way out of the jam with an inning-ending double play.

“I felt like I had all my stuff today, and I felt like every pitch was working,” said Freitas, who entered Saturday’s game with a 3-4 record. “I got ahead. A lot of first pitch strikes, only one walk, and that’s really good if you’re making them earn their way on the bases.”

The eighth inning turned rocky for Freitas and the Rams, as he hit the leadoff batter Jarrod Hopper, who wound up coming all the way around to score on a throwing error after he attempted to steal third base.

The Rams had their own rally thwarted in the bottom of the ninth. Mark Johnson led off with a single, and Freitas reached first safely on a throwing error off a sacrifice bunt. Vanoncini decided to have Johnson steal third, but he was called out on a disputed play. Freitas was picked off at first base and the Rams failed to score in the inning.

“We had some bad luck late in the game,” Vanoncini said. “We guessed right on a steal and their guy misses a tag but they still call him out, so we just didn’t get it done.”

The Rams will play their home finale against De Anza on April 29 at Fairmont Field in Pacifica. They will then head to Mission College on April 30 to wrap up the season.

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