Streaking Giants headed to Bakersfield, host Cosumnes River in weekend series

Streaking Giants headed to Bakersfield, host Cosumnes River in weekend series

By Nick Giannandrea

COS Athletics

College of the Sequoias won a pair of wild games over the weekend to extend one of the hottest starts in all of California Community College baseball.

The Giants (9-0) overcame a four-run deficit then survived a ninth-inning grand slam to hold off Golden West for a 10-9 win on Feb. 7, then rallied for two runs without getting a hit for an 8-7 walk-off win over Mission on Feb. 8 to remain undefeated.

Among the state's 88 community college baseball programs, COS is one of only five teams without a loss. The others are Ohlone (10-0), Santa Rosa (*-0), Folsom Lake (7-0) and Sacramento City (7-0).

A two-run double by Elijah Munoz (Redwood High) and a two-run single by Donte Valdez (Redwood) highlighted a six-run seventh-inning that saw the Giants turn a 5-4 deficit into a 10-5 lead against Golden West (3-6). 

But the Rustlers made it close in the top of the ninth when pinch-hitter Jeff Smith connected for a two-out grand slam.

Golden West's Vinny Tosti followed with a single to put the tying run on base, but COS closer JT Friesen (Immanuel) got Ely Stuart to ground to second for the final out while earning his fourth save.

Despite allowing five runs (four earned) on 11 hits, Cade Sakamoto (Highland-Bakersfield) picked up his third win of the season.

Valdez, Munoz, Isaac Gonzalez (Redwood), Payton Allen (Golden West) and Derek Harris (Porterville) collected two hits apiece to lead the Giants' 12-hit attack.

COS had to rally from a 6-1 deficit to defeat Mission (1-6).

Maverick Souza (El Diamante) singled in a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 6-2; Allen had an RBI groundout and Munoz scored on a wild pitch as the Giants closed to 7-4 in the seventh; and Munoz' two-run double in the eighth cut COS deficit to 7-6.

In the bottom of the ninth, Valdez drew a one-out walk and Michael McKernan (Mt. Whitney) got hit by a pitch. 

A double steal put the runners at second and third, and a wild pitch on ball four to Flavio Perez Jr. (Hanford) allowed Valdez to score.

Mission reliever Jaren Washington got the second out on a strikeout, but a wild pitch to pinch-hitter Sakamoto gave McKernan the chance to sprint home with the game-winner.

Friesen (1-0) earned the win by pitching a scoreless ninth.

Offensively, Munoz led the way, going 3 for 4. Jordan Hammer (Fowler) and Andrew Valdez (El Diamante) each doubled and scored a run for the Giants.

COS returns to action at 3 p.m. Feb. 11 with a non-conference game at Bakersfield (3-6).

The Giants will host Cosumnes River (4-4) this weekend with games scheduled for 2 p.m. Feb. 14 , 1 p.m. Feb. 15 and 1 p.m. Feb. 16.

COS opens Central Valley Conference play at 2 p.m. Feb. 18 at home against Merced (4-3).