Article, 2010 Season - Ohlone College Renegades Men's Baseball

Michael Ussery savors Ohlone's trip to state title game

By Matt Schwab, Oakland Tribune.

Saturday, May 22, 2010—Reprinted from Inside Bay Area.

Michael Ussery, the captain and shortstop, will carry many memories from the Ohlone College baseball team's march to this weekend's California Community College Athletic Association State Championships in Fresno.

The fondest of them will be about the grind.

"Actually, the best moments are practicing and being with the team," Ussery said last week. "All the hard work and sweat every day."

The Newark Memorial High graduate said he enjoyed running up the steep Mission Peak behind the college, the inspirational speeches, rallying late to stun College of San Mateo 10-9 on Feb. 24 ... stuff like that.

Ohlone coach Jordon Twohig raves of Ussery's comportment and his production.

"He's a kid that wasn't even going to go to college," said Twohig, a second-year head coach. "The kid has been our spark all year. He plays unreal defense and has hit close to .600 in the playoffs."

Ohlone advanced to the four-team state championships with four wins in the NorCal Super Regional, battling through the losers bracket. At the state championships, which opened Friday at Fresno City, Ohlone beat El Camino-Torrance 13-0 on Friday, then Rio Hondo-Whittier 11-2 on Saturday, moving into today's title game.

Ussery was one of eight Ohlone first-team all-Coast Conference selections, along with conference Pitcher of the Year Roberto Padilla, pitcher Justin Kuks, outfielder Steven Ramos, infielders Zach Johnson and Kyle Holmstrom, designate hitter Jeff Johnson, and utility Mark Mercer, the only freshman.

Ramos signed on May 17 with Cal State Fullerton, and pitcher Jon Sa signed on May 3 with University of Texas-Pan America. Padillo has inked with San Jose State.

"The chemistry is the most special part of the team," Ussery said. "We've been together for a long time, training 10 months out of the year, so we don't have anybody but ourselves to rely on."

Ussery said he's undecided about his future college.

He is certain about one thing: "As long as I'm playing baseball I'm happy," he said.

Contact Matt Schwab at mschwab@bayareanewsgroup.com

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