BASEBALL: Gavilan gets it done in one-run win

Gavilan's Steve Cabral catches a pop-up during their game Thursday against Monterey Peninsula College.

Twenty games into the year, the Gavilan College baseball team hasn’t suffered two consecutive defeats this season – a streak at stake entering action Thursday afternoon.
However, an eight-inning gem from left-hander Chris Bradley and just enough offense enabled that statistic to remain relevant, as the Rams hung on to beat Coast Conference Pacific Division counterpart Monterey Peninsula College 4-3 in Gilroy.
Bradley scattered five hits and an unearned run over his eight innings of work, striking out 12 Lobos along the way. With a 4-1 lead in the ninth, Bradley handed the ball over to Steve Cabral, who, despite a bit of drama, worked through a tense final frame to preserve the one-run victory.
The Rams (13-8 overall, 6-3 conference) have grown accustom to tight ball games, involving themselves in 11 one-run contests and posting victories in seven of those.
“We are finding ways to win a lot of those types of games, whereas in the past we didn’t,” Gavilan manager Neal Andrade said.
Five of Gavilan’s six conference wins have been of the one-run variety. Its three conference losses are by a combined four runs, including a 3-2 setback at West Valley on Thursday – a game Andrade considered one of his team’s better executed performances of the season.
Speaking of a single run, using an error to its advantage, MPC jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the first.
Lobos starting pitcher Robert Kovach kept the Rams, who had their chances early, bats quiet for a majority of the first four frames.
The tide changed in the fifth. Tim Andrade singled, Julio Cortez walked and Kenny Hall, who tops the conference with a .434 batting average, singled to load the bases. Johnny Cox’s two-RBI double to the right-centerfield gap plated Andrade and Cortez. Hall trotted home on Tyler Oertle’s sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 Gavilan.
The Rams added another in the sixth. Shea Adams belted a stand-up triple and Lyell Marks pushed him the rest of the way with a sacrifice fly to right.
Some trouble greeted Bradley in the eighth, but Cortez helped bail the lefty out of a bases-loaded predicament with a hustle play at third – fielding a ground ball and diving to beat the runner to the bag -for the final out of the inning.
Bradley worked out of two bases-loaded situations in the game.
“He keeps his composure,” Andrade said. “When there are runners on, he has that extra thing. He’s a competitor.”
An unfavorable sequence for the Rams – an error, a wild pitch, a walk and a single and a RBI-groundout – to start the ninth, ultimately left the Lobos with a runner 90-feet from tying matters with one out. But Cabral induced a ground out to shortstop, and two batters later struck out Geoff MacDonald to end the threat.
Gavilan had a few opportunities early, leaving the bases loaded in the second and stranding six runners through the first four innings. The Rams left 10 runners on the basepaths in the game.
“Offensively we need to widen that gap once we have a lead,” Andrade said. “But, on a positive note, we rebounded from a loss in a today. That’s how this conference is though. Everybody is kind of close. They are all exciting.”
• With rain looming this weekend, Saturday’s game against Mission College has been moved to today at 2:30 p.m. at Gavilan.

Leave your comments