Rams fall to Gladiators

Gilroy
– Facing defending conference champion Chabot, the Gavilan men’s
baseball team fought hard but dropped a 4-3 thriller to open league
play Thursday.
Gilroy – Facing defending conference champion Chabot, the Gavilan men’s baseball team fought hard but dropped a 4-3 thriller to open league play Thursday.

“We lost a tough, close game,” said head coach Neal Andrade. “The entire game went back and fourth. We had base runners in every inning, we just couldn’t capitalize on our opportunities.”

The loss drops the Rams to 3-5 overall.

Gavilan struck first in the bottom of the third when Joe Lopez singled to score Brian Bueno from second base.

Starter Eric Groner pitched well through three scoreless innings.

But the Glads knocked him around in the fourth, scoring three runs on two hits and two walks.

Brett Mardesich came on to relieve Groner in the fifth. The left-handed Gilroy High product kept the Rams in the game for three innings, holding the conference champs scoreless going into the ninth.

Gavilan had opportunities throughout the game to regain the lead, but were unable to put a dent on the scoreboard until the sixth inning, when Manuel Gonzalez scored B.J. Collom from first on a double.

In the ninth, Chabot tacked on an insurance run, setting the stage for Gavilan to try to recover from a 4-2 deficit.

The Rams’ Justin Baker led off the ninth with a single, but the next two batters failed to move him over. Bueno came through with a double, which scored Baker and made it a one-run game.

But that was as close as the Rams would get as the Glads retired the next batter and Gavilan fell 4-3.

Despite the loss, coach Andrade was encouraged with how well his team played.

“It’s tough to start the conference on a losing note, but we were playing the conference champions,” the second-year coach said. “It was good that we did not just fold up shop and quit.”

Gavilan’s travels to Monterey for another conference game Saturday.

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