The West Hills College Baseball Team ended their season on Friday, as they visited the 2016 Central Valley Conference Champs Fresno City College. This game ended up being a microcosm of the entire year, as the Falcons offense picked up the pitching, only to fall short in the final inning. Things did not start out well for the Falcons, as sophomore Justin Vlotho got his final start as a Falcon. After Fresno took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st, the Falcon's offense got on FCC starter Andrew Mitchel. After Torin Miller reached first with one out, sophomore SS Andrew Bladt hit a double down the left field line, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. Preston Riley hit a RBI groundout, and with two outs, Adrian Flores hit a RBI single to right. The lead didn't hold long as Fresno scored two in the bottom of the 3rd, all with two outs, pushing the score to 3-2. The Rams broke it open in the next two innings, as they added one in the 4th, and six runs in the 5th. In the 5th, the Rams were able to capitalize on two Falcon errors, and five hits in the inning.
With the score looking out of reach in the 7th at 10-2, the Falcon's offense clawed their way back into the game. The first six batters reached base in the inning, as Scotty Ingle, Adrian Flores, Alante Uribe, Evan Walter, and Torin Miller all singled. At the end of the inning, the Falcons had made the score 10-7. Reliever Mack Morford came in the game in the 5th inning to replace Vlotho and completely shutdown the Ram's offense for two innings. In the top of the 8th, Lorenzini led off with a walk and quickly stole 2nd. After the Rams struck out Uribe and Walter, Torin Miller hit a RBI single which scored Lorenzini. After a passed ball allowed Miller to advance to 2nd, Andrew Bladt hit a two out triple to right, scoring pinch runner Austin Trinidad. Preston Riley then reached 1st on an error by the Rams shortstop, scoring Bladt, tying the score 10-10. With two outs, pinch hitter Matt Siedem hit a double to left, scoring Riley and put the Falcons ahead 11-10.
With a one run lead in the bottom of the 8th, the Falcons ran into the same issue they've had all year.... throwing strikes when ahead. Morford walked the leadoff batter, then gave up back to back singles, loading the bases with nobody out. Rams DH Logan Poisall then hit a RBI single, tying the game. Morford was replaced by Jacob Evangelo, who quickly gave up a sacrifice fly, and a infield popup. With the score 12-11 in favor of Fresno and the bases loaded, Evangelo had Eddie Pena 0-2 and gave up a bases loaded two out triple, putting the game out of reach at 15-11. The Falcons scored one run in their half of the 9th, but the lead was too much to come back from, and the Falcons fell short 15-12.
The Falcons finished the year with a 6-30 overall record, and 5-19 record in conference. Despite the struggles they faced, the Falcons were led by a young core of freshman, including Scotty Ingle, Jake Lorenzini, Jacob Evangelo, Alante Uribe, Torin Miller, and Matt Siedem, all of whom will be returning next season. The future looks bright for the Falcons as they will look to get back on the winning side with a very talented and experienced group of sophomores in 2017.