COLLEGE SPORTS; Reedley baseball builds in conference lead with two more wins


Tigers three games ahead of COS in loss column entering week, softball team falls on road to state’s third-ranked Monterey Peninsula

REEDLEY – With a little help from Merced College, the Reedley College Tiger baseball team is all alone atop the Central Valley Conference standings.
The second place College of the Sequoias Giants (8-4, 12-12 overall) are three games in the loss column behind the Tigers (7-1, 16-4-1) after the postponement of a March 19 home game with Taft. The next three scheduled Tiger games were March 21 then Thursday, March 23, in Visalia and Saturday, March 25, in Reedley. With the forecast, Tiger head coach Steve Pearse predicted that the games would be Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The four-game series with third place Fresno City College is scheduled to begin Tuesday, March 28. Reedley will be the host team in the final game of the series, scheduled for Sunday, April 2 at Chukchansi Park, starting at 2 p.m.
Reedley increased its win streak to 10 games with a thrilling 6-5 over Taft on March 18 in Taft. Dusty Vela’s two-out double scored Mike Rios (who had been hit by a pitch) and Garrett Garfield (who reached on a fielders choice after a walk to pinch hitter Will Gagnon) tied the game and put the Tigers on top. Elijah Acosta retired the side in order to record his fourth save in relief of winning pitcher Jobe Olson (now 2-0). Roman Rosales drove in a run with a single and a double.
On April 16 in Taft, the Tigers downed the Wildcats, 8-1. Most of their offense came in a five-run fourth inning breaking a 1-1 tie. Garfield had homered to tie the game before a Taft error put the Tigers on top. Leo Arreguin followed with a two-run single. Rosales and Vela added RBI singles. Mikey Ramirez finished with three hits to lead a 12-hit attack.
Ryan Garza allowing one run in seven strong innings, improved to 3-2 on the season. He leads Tiger starters with a 3.35 earned run average and is second in strikeouts with 43, two behind Gagnon. Trevino’s conference leading batting average is now at .438 while Garfield is now fourth in the conference at .400.
Tigers’ softball loss streak reaches seven games
A seven-game losing streak for the Reedley College Tiger softball team includes two 6-0 losses on March 18 in Monterey to the state’s third-ranked Lobos. Monterey Peninsula improved its overall record of 18-1, losing only to Feather River on Feb. 18.
Reedley returned home with a 4-12 overall record and a conference mark of 1-3 going into a Thursday, March 23, 2 p.m. conference game with the Merced College She Devils (1-1, 4-11). Next Tuesday, March 28, Reedley hosts second place Fresno City (4-2, 9-7) in a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
The Lady Tigers suffered an extra-inning 5-4 walkoff loss at Ohlone College in Fremont on March 17. The deciding run came on a ground out. Hailee Zapien (Dinuba) tripled on the first pitch of her at-bat while Alexa Valdez homered in the second inning to give Reedley a 4-1 lead before Ohlone tied it with three runs in the fourth and later won it in the eighth inning.
On March 18, the Tigers were held to five hits in the opener and three in the nightcap. Mia Barbosa and Abigelle Buchanan were the losing pitchers. Maryjoe “JoJo” Camaquin (Orange Cove) had two hits in the second game.
Fresno Pacific baseball wins 3 of 4 on homestand
Excellent pitching and a surging offense netted the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds (10-12 overall, 4-3 PacWest) a doubleheader sweep and a series victory over the Academy of Art Urban Knight (10-12 overall, 3-5 PacWest) on March 18 at the FPU Diamond.
Jared Aguilar’s stellar start gave Fresno Pacific the depth they needed on the mound and backed himself up with a 3-4 game at the plate (including a home run) in an 8-4 game one victory. Then, Derek McNary’s first collegiate start saw the freshman record 20 of the 21 outs needed while Shane Pursell backed him up with a three-run double as FPU took the series with a 4-1 win.
The ‘Birds would earn the series victory by winning the nightcap, but fell behind first. McNary’s first collegiate start saw the freshman work around a single in the first, striking out the final two batters of the inning. After a clean second inning, two singles and an error loaded the bases when a passed ball brought home an unearned run for ART U.
Aguilar (Clovis East) made a stellar defensive play on a short hop grounder to first, throwing home to nab the second out of the inning before McNary induced a fly out to end the threat.