Tigers’ offense erupts for 72 runs in four wins, softball goes 1-4 during rain-plagued week
REEDLEY – The Reedley College Tiger baseball team took an eight-game winning streak into Central Valley Conference action on March 14.
In the last four wins, the Tigers have exploded for 72 runs compared to 18 for the opposition. The latest win came on March 9 when Reedley rolled to a 16-5 victory over Modesto Junior College.
By sweeping Taft, Fresno City College moved into a tie with the Tigers for first place in the Central Valley Conference. This week, weather permitting, the Tigers are scheduled to play a three-game series with Taft College with a home game on Thursday, March 16, at 2 PM. Fresno City is scheduled to face Merced College.
The Tigers have recorded most of the wins without injured Ryan Tiger and Orin Hirschkorn. Tiger appears to be the closest to return from a serious ankle injury. Tiger is walking without crutches but cannot cut, according to head coach Steve Pearce.
“Hopefully, he will be back soon,” Pearse said.
Hirschkorn, out with a hamstring injury, is a different story. His uncle, Oscar, is head coach at Fresno Pacific University. He has cousins at Kingsburg High that have been injured; one who is returning from Tommy John surgery, according to Pearce. “There are better days ahead for the Hirschkorns,” said the coach.
Reedley has developed some depth because of the injuries, as the play of Dusty Vela and Trevin Paulson has improved.
The wild week for the Tigers began with a 22-8 win over Modesto on March 7. MJC came into the week with an 11-3 record. Trailing 2-0, Reedley quickly erased the deficit with eight runs with the go ahead run scoring as Vela was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Jakson Bucher followed with a two-run double. Garrett Garfield later had a two- run single in the sixth.
Daniel Parker got the win in relief of Ryan Garza, who struck out eight in four innings.
The next night, Reedley recovered a 16-5 win over Carrillo in a game called in the eighth inning by mutual consent. Vela drove in six runs with two doubles and a grand slam home run in the first inning. Leo Arrequin added three hits and scored three times.
Using his effective fastball, Will Gagnon (Reedley High) improved to 3-0 by allowing two unearned runs and two hits in seven innings. Gagnon now leads the CVC in strikeouts with 45.
The Tigers went on the road about 10 hours after the Cabrillo win and came home with a 16-5 win over Modesto. Lee Trevino went six for six at the plate to raise his conference leading .460 batting average. He also leads in runs batted in with 26.
Softball squeezes five makeup, scheduled games in three-day span
The Reedley College softball team got five games in before the rains came in last week, but the Tigers only won one of them. The four losses moved Reedley into last place in Central Valley Conference play at 1-3 and 4-9 overall.
Coach Stephanie Nomura’s squad defeated West Hills Coalinga 5-3 in the first game of a makeup conference doubleheader on March 7 before losing the second game by the same score.
The next day, the Tigers dropped both ends of another makeup twinbill with Feather River by scores of 10-2 and 9-5 before returning to Central Valley Conference action on March 9 with a 6-4 loss to the College of the Sequoias Giants.
Abigelle Buchanan drove in two runs in the West Hills opener with an inside the park that was originally scored as a triple and a throwing error. The blow opened up the scoring. A sacrifice bunt by Jordynn Acevedo extended the lead to 5-0 in the third. Alexis Parras had two singles for the winners.
Parras singled, stole second and scored on an Acevedo single. The Falcons broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the fifth. Hailee Zapien, Alyssa Hernandez and Acevedo (all Dinuba graduates) all finished with two hits for the Tigers.
In the first game, the Tigers found themselves trailing 10-0 in the second inning. The highlight of a six-run first inning was a grand slam home run by winning pitcher Caitlyn James.
Reedley finally got on the scoreboard after a Precious Hawkins single scored Ja Ja Camaquin (Orange Cove). Hawkins, a Reedley High grad who has been bothered by injuries throughout her career, is limited to pinch hitting duties because of a shoulder injury. The Tigers lost catcher Acevedo in the second inning when she re-aggravated a sprained ACL, suffered in a forfeit win over Chabot.
In the second game with Feather River, the Eagles scored three runs in the first, fourth and seventh innings to win. The Tigers started a comeback but James came to record the save, retiring the four batters she faced. Camaquin had two hits and drove in two Reedley runs.
Sanger’s Salas enter Fresno Pacific’s record books in 800
Just like the first six weeks of the season, the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds track and field team made some significant changes to the program’s record book March 11 at the Occidental Distance Carnival.
While it was just the distance runners heading to Los Angeles, the Sunbirds delivered three more additions to top-10 lists at the event while also posting more than a handful of personal bests.
Bo Olsen (Clovis) led the way in the 800-meters, winning the event, beating his time last year at Occidental and just missing his personal best and remaining 2nd in program history. Junior Maribel Aguilar’s second place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase also made her the 3rd fastest Sunbird in the event, ever. Aguilar (Victorville) posted an 11:43.05 in her first steeplechase of the year.
Freshman Emanuel Salas (Sanger High) came in 3rd place in the event adding his name to the FPU record books with the 8th fastest time in the 800-meters. In the 5k, Jake Resendez improved his personal record by 20 seconds with a time of 14:27.53 rocketing four places up the top-10 list to 5th all-time in Fresno Pacific history.
The Sunbirds had five compete on the women’s side with four of them delivering lifetime bests.
Fresno Pacific will be back with the full squad next at the Cardinal Invite in Palo Alto on Saturday, March 18.
Sunbirds’ bats sputter in loss at Biola
In La Mirada, home runs hurt Fresno Pacific (7-11 overall, 1-2 PacWest) for the second consecutive baseball game against the Biola Eagles (7-14 overall, 2-6 PacWest), as the Sunbirds lost 8-0 in the lone contest played on March 11.
Weather messed with the series before it even started with games originally scheduled for March 10, shifted to Thursday, March 9. That created an off-day in the middle of what was scheduled to be a four-game series. But the rain on Friday created soggy conditions that pushed the 11 a.m. start all the way back to 2 p.m. and forced the teams into a single game for the rubber-match of the series.
Once it did get started, Biola used the long ball, with back-to-back homers sparking a three-run first. The Eagles added runs in the second, third, and fourth innings with solo homers in the even-numbered innings pushing the difference to 6-0.
Biola added two more runs in the 7th inning on a fielder’s choice in which the double-play attempt was thrown away after a collision at second base.
Koutarou Matsumaru, Andrew Valdez, and Miguel Ortiz each delivered two-hit games but FPU’s offense struggled to break through with runners on. Peyton McNair (Clovis, Reedley College) went 1 for 3 while Jordan Smith was hitless in three at bats.
Fresno Pacific’s bullpen stretched out with Cam Gallardo coming on at the end of the first inning and pitching multiple innings. Derek McNary threw three innings of relief for Fresno Pacific.
The Sunbirds will be back in action at home against the Academy of Art, hosting a four-game series at the FPU Diamond beginning on Thursday, March 16.