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Rams bust loose: Fresno City College launches 4 HRs, takes Game 1 of series

Logan Todd isn't going to take many happy memories away from Tuesday night's game against Fresno City.

One pitch, however, may linger a little longer on the Merced College sophomore's mind than the rest.

The changeup that got away.

With the bases loaded and no one out in the fifth inning, Todd uncorked a belt-high changeup to the Rams' Zach Sullivan.

Sullivan launched the ball into the night, helping break open a 13-6 Fresno City victory with a grand slam.

"It was just a changeup that stayed up and he turned on it," Todd said. "Nothing really felt different, but all of a sudden they started putting the good part of the bat on the ball and I couldn't get anybody out."

Fresno City displayed why its the two-time defending Central Valley Conference champs, banging four home runs out of Blue Devil Diamond and handing MC (6-1 CVC, 16-6) its first conference loss of the season.

The three-game series shifts to Fresno on Thursday for a 3 p.m. game.

"Now we'll see how we react," MC coach Chris Pedretti said. "We get the chance to get right back after it.

"Hopefully we'll come ready to play and we can get one on their home field."

Things started well for the Blue Devils on Tuesday.

Fresno pushed across a run in the first inning, but MC responded in the second.

First baseman Joe Buckley tied the game up with a run-scoring double and Anthony Jakosa managed to give MC the lead -- scoring from first on the play when the Rams' right fielder missed his cut-off man.

Todd quickly got his team back to the plate, striking out the side on 10 pitches in the third.

His team rewarded him by pushing the lead to 3-1 in the bottom half of the inning.

That's when things came undone for Todd.

Fresno (4-0 CVC, 14-7) struck for four runs in the fourth and added six more in the fifth.

"That's how baseball goes," Todd said. "Sometimes things go your way.

"Tonight it didn't."

The Blue Devils mustered a mini rally in the seventh with Jason Hague and Brooks Beatty picking up run-scoring singles.

MC finished with six runs on eight hits.

"That was a quality starter we went up against," Pedretti said of Fresno City's Robert Alcala. "Getting six runs off of him is an accomplishment.

"I have no complaints about the offense tonight."

Buckley, Hague and Kory Vitato all had two hits for the Blue Devils in the loss.

"The nice thing is we don't have to wait," Buckley said. "We can put this behind us and get right back out on the field.

"This series isn't going to make or break our season.

"We just have to play some better baseball the next time out."



At Merced College

Fresno 100 460 002 -- 13 13 3

Merced 021 000 300 -- 6 8 2

Robert Alcala, Brian Bordagaray (7) and Zach Sullivan. Logan Todd, Sean Fasig (5), Nick Bernardi (6), Shawn Stuart (8), Brian Carveo (9) and Anthony Jakosa. WP -- Alcala 3-1. LP -- Todd 4-2.

FRESNO -- Anthony Martinez 2-4 (2B, 3B), Garrett Weber 3-6 (HR, 2 RBI), Brett Jones HR (RBI), Sullivan 2-5 (HR, 4 RBI), Paul Anaya 2-5, Mike Bakula 2-4 (HR, 4 RBI).

MERCED COLLEGE -- Jason Hague 2-4 (R), Kory Vitato 2-3, Joe Buckley 2-4 (2 2B, RBI).

Records: Fresno City 4-0 CVC, 14-7; Merced College 6-1 CVC, 16-6.