BASEBALL: Cougars stave off Mustangs in crosstown encounter

Christopher pitcher Brian Ransom delivers a pitch during Saturday's game at Gavilan College. Ransom earned the win on the mound.

The Christopher High baseball team held off its crosstown counterpart Gilroy High 7-5 in nonleague action on a superb Saturday afternoon at Gavilan College.

CHS starter Brian Ransom carried a no-hitter and a 7-1 cushion into the top of the seventh inning. Gilroy, though, made a game of it scoring four times – three with two outs – before Brandon Irby retired Brenden Holler on a groundout to second base, stranding a pair of runners on first and third base, to earn the save.

“I was trying to pitch confident,” Ransom said. “I wasn’t thinking about (the no-hitter.) That’s taboo. They are a good team. They hit the ball well. So I wasn’t expecting to have a no-hitter.”

Prior to the seventh frame, where he yielded three hits, Ransom surrendered just one walk and beaned Holler twice, the second of which led to Holler scoring on a Bubu Garcia sacrifice fly in the fourth.

“He is working really hard right now, and it’s showing,” CHS manager Ryan Dequin said of his junior right-hander. “He can locate any pitch that he has. His change-up wasn’t really working, but his was able to spot his fastball and curveball and that was key in keeping them off balance.”

Five Gilroy errors led to six Cougars’ runs, including three of the four runs CHS boasted through the first two innings.

“We would have had a close game without those errors,” GHS head coach Jared Gamble said. “You have to hand it to them. They have a good team. But we have to find a way to get out of this rut.”

Christopher tapped for two in the first, as Bryant Cid laced a RBI-double down the left field line and later stole home.

Three Mustangs’ mistakes translated into two more CHS tallies in the second to make it 4-0. Gilroy’s run in the fourth left matters 4-1.

A Brandon Pickens’ double to lead off the bottom of the fifth followed by a Cid single made it 5-1. Cid and Ryan Fredricks scored on an error induced by a CHS double steal, increasing the advantage to the 7-1 margin.

Garcia broke up the no-hitter with triple to kick-start the seventh. Jordan Dexter’s RBI sacrifice fly allowed Garcia to cross. After a fly ball out, pinch hitter Josh Boykin kept the inning alive with an infield single. Ronnie Reed was subsequently hit by a pitch, and Sammy Aptekar reached on an error. Pinch runner Jose Betancourt scored on the play. One batter later, Bubba Lara bounced a two-RBI single to center and advanced to third on Ryan Alba’s single, but Irby left the runners there.

“That last inning was great, but I told them that I wasn’t impressed because I know that they are capable of that,” Gamble said.

Marcus Medina allowed just four hits and one earned run in six innings on the mound for the Mustangs.

The loss ended a forgettable four-game week for GHS. After starting the season with two wins, the Mustangs have now lost four straight, including three in the Tri-County Athletic League. Gilroy is back at it Tuesday at Salinas, which is the first of another four tilts this week.

Meanwhile, the Cougars will bring a 3-3 overall record into the week. They open Monterey Bay League play Friday versus Watsonville.

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