Article, 2011 Season - Ohlone College Renegades Men's Baseball

Renegades fall in state final

By Jeff Weisinger.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011—Reprinted from Tri-City Voice.

This time, the comeback kids were outdone by another group of comeback kids. And with that said, the ride that was the 2011 Ohlone baseball season has come to its conclusion.

However, it's still not too shabby for a team that nobody would've placed anywhere near the postseason when the 2011 calendar year began.

After losing a main core of the 2010 State Championship team to graduation, transferring and the MLB draft, then having coach Jordon Twohig head out to Washington to accept a job with the Huskies, Ohlone is anything but a bridesmaid.

"It was an overall experience that I'll never forget this year and last," said pitcher Jordan Camacho who was a member of the 2010 squad and pitched in the ninth in Sunday's loss.

"Beginning of the year no one would have placed us in the playoffs, let alone the final four. But it feels great to do something special."

The 2011 Ohlone Renegades were a team that has more comeback wins than anyone in the state of California, Sunday's heartbreaking 4-1 loss to San Joaquin Delta in the second game of the CCCAA State Championship comes to most as somewhat of a surprise.

Ohlone entered last weekend's state tournament on a roll, winning four of their last six playoff games, including a May 15 extra-inning duel against Sacramento City to earn the trip to Bakersfield.

The Renegades went in full-steam ahead, easily taking care of Santa Ana 8-0 in the opening game of the tournament, as ace Matt Fontaine pitched a complete-game, six-hit, 11-strikeout shutout. Ohlone took full command of the game in their six-run fifth inning highlighted by a pair of two-RBI singles by Matt Owen and Joel Thys.

Ohlone's run to a repeat continued Saturday, as they defeated San Joaquin Delta 3-2 behind a clutch comeback performance by pitcher George Asmus, who tossed another complete game, allowing two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts. He struggled early in the first, as Delta knocked the righty around for two runs on two hits, however he fought back through the eight innings after allowing just three hits from the second inning on and retired the final 12 batters to end the game.

And then came Sunday.

Delta made sure that the comeback kids out of Fremont had no shot at a comeback, rocking Ohlone starter Alika Pruitt for five runs in the second inning as Delta took a clutch 5-3 win to force a second, winner-take-all game.

Ohlone's offense was shutdown by Delta starter Aaron Gillis as he held Ohlone to just five hits in his 7 1/3 innings of work on the mound. He held Ohlone to just one hit between the fourth and seventh inning.

"Delta just made great plays and pitches to stop our momentum with runners in scoring position," pitcher Sheldon Shishido explained. "We just could not manufacture the hits we needed."

Delta's momentum continued in the second and final game as they opened the scoring in the third inning against Renegades starter Michael Rogers as Erik Kozel scored on a double play to give Delta the initial 1-0 lead. Rogers put up a strong fight on the mound, allowing three runs despite giving up 11 hits and striking out just one batter.

Ohlone clawed back in the fifth inning, cutting the lead to just 2-1 after Joel Thys' RBI single, scoring Christian Weeber. However, solid pitching by Delta starter Jeff McKenzie and timely hits in the seventh and ninth by Delta put Ohlone in the 4-1 hole that they could never get out of as McKenzie struck out Cody DeMara swinging to end the 2011 baseball year.

San Joaquin's title comes just two years after they were the bridesmaid to Orange Coast College who won it all in 2009.

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