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

Ohlone outslugs College of San Mateo for California Community College Athletic Association baseball title

By Staff and wire reports.

Sunday, May 23, 2010—Reprinted from Contra Costa Times.

Fresno—Ohlone College's offensive surge that has powered its way through the postseason carried the Renegades to their first California Community College Athletic Association state championship on Sunday with a 16-10 win over College of San Mateo at Fresno City College's John Euless Ballpark.

This performance was a 19-hit effort, coming on the heels of 19- and 14-hit outings in the first two games of the four-team tournament. The difference this time is that Ohlone (37-10) had to fight back from a hefty early deficit. The Bulldogs (34-10-1), who emerged from the losers bracket, scored the game's first six runs in the top of the second inning. Thomas Wood's two-run single and Andrew Suvunnachuen's two-run double were the biggest blows.

But the offense that pushed the Renegades through the postseason arrived in the bottom of the third. Jeff Johnson, who earned tournament MVP honors, blasted a three-run home run as a part of a four-run inning. Ryan Walterhouse singled home Kyle Holmstrom in the fourth to cut the margin to 6-5.

After CSM added a run in the top of the sixth, Ohlone's offense really took off.

The six-run effort in the bottom of the sixth was highlighted by Johnson's grand slam off CSM reliever Nick Franquez, Johnson's fourth home run of the tournament.

"It was just surreal," Johnson said, "tough to explain."

It was even grander for him with the performance of his twin brother, Zach, who hit over .600 for the tournament and loaded the bases for his brother's slam with a walk.

"It's pretty cool," Jeff Johnson said. "We've always pushed each other to get better and strive for excellence."

The Renegades added to their 11-7 lead with four more runs in the seventh. Steven Ramos' speed in scoring from first on a failed pickoff attempt helped spark the rally.

Ohlone freshman starting pitcher Matt Fontaine was tagged with six runs in the second inning but didn't back down.

"He's just a competitor," Ohlone manager Jordon Twohig said. "He battled early but settled down and made some pitches for us.

"He's our starter and we had to stick with him. If he could get to the fifth inning, our bullpen was kind of fresh because we didn't need them too much this weekend."

The game marked just the second meeting of two Northern California teams in the state championship game. The previous occurrence was in 1992, when Fresno City beat Sacramento City 3-2.

Notes: Last year Ohlone won the Coast Conference and Regional championships. "... As a player at Feather River, Twohig was on back-to-back Golden Valley Conference champions in 2000-01 under head coach Jedd Soto, now at Saint Mary's. "... Ramos recently accepted a partial scholarship to NCAA Division I powerhouse Cal State Fullerton. ... In three tournament games Ohlone scored 40 runs. San Mateo scored 47 runs in four games.

Correspondent Delton Lowery contributed to this story.

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