Chris Pedretti said that given his time at Buhach Colony and Kansas State, Brock Floro has pitched in more big games than most people his age.
The Merced College baseball team is hoping that experience gives it an edge heading into its fourth and final meeting with Central Valley Conference leader Fresno City on Thursday.
After going 0-3 in the first three matchups, the Blue Devils (14-4 CVC, 27-8) trail Fresno (16-2 CVC, 30-8) by two games, making Thursday’s game a virtual must win.
The stage should be big with the 7 p.m. start time likely drawing several hundred fans.
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“Hopefully (my experience) makes me a little less nervous out there, but you’re always going to be nervous,” Floro said. “We need to treat every game like its a championship game from here on out, so I don’t know that this one is any bigger than the others.”
MC’s best chance against Fresno came in its March 4 meeting.
The teams were deadlocked at 3 after nine innings, when the Blue Devils doubled their total in the 10th.
Elation quickly turned to despair for MC as Fresno responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to steal a 7-6 victory.
Floro was tagged for six of the Rams’ runs in the loss.
“We’ve shown we can hang with them, hopefully this will be the game we get a win,” Floro said. “Right now we’re just worried about getting a better playoff position.”
Even with a victory MC knows it’s going to need assistance in its CVC-title pursuit.
Both teams have six conference games remaining on their schedule.
“For us to win the title, we’re going to need some help along the way,” Pedretti said. “That’s all out of our control.
“But this game is in our control and hopefully we’ll take advantage of it.”
Sean Lynch is a Sun-Star sports writer. He can be reached at 385-2476 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.