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May 28, 2008 > Renegades just miss playoffs

Renegades just miss playoffs

Several players received all-star recognition

By Jordan Twohig and Biff Jones

On Thursday, May 1, in the final regular season game of Coast Conference South (CCS) league play, Ohlone Renegades of Fremont upset first place and conference undefeated, West Valley of Saratoga, by the score of 7-6. Ohlone Starter David Luna, with a 4-1 record on the year, went seven strong innings for the win while striking out three West Valley batters. West Valley's David Meals, 7-1, was given his first loss of the season.

Ohlone outfielders Andrew Ham and Zack Townsend led the way for the Renegades. Ham went three for four with a triple, double, single and two RBI's. Townsend also was three for four with three singles, including a squeeze bunt in the sixth inning, to take the lead for good over the Vikings. West Valley was led by first baseman, Tyler Derby, who had another three for four performance with a double, two singles and an RBI.

West Valley finished the season in first place in conference play despite the loss. The Renegades' win was their third in a row having defeated CCS rival, Gavilan of Gilroy, 31-11, and Skyline of San Bruno, the first place team in Coast Conference North play, by a score of 10-9. The victory put the Renegades in a three way tie for third place in CCS. With the win, it meant the late addition of a game against Santa Rosa the following day, May 2, on the Ohlone Campus, would be huge in deciding if either Ohlone or Santa Rosa would be added to the eighteen team, NorCal regional post season state tournament.

In the game against Santa Rosa, the visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two run home run in the top of the first off Ohlone starting pitching ace, sophomore Shane Murchison. The Renegades answered in the bottom of the first with back-to-back solo home runs by sophomore Justin Lunday and freshman David Luna to tie the score at 2-2. The game went scoreless over the next two innings until Santa Rosa came up with four runs on four consecutive hits to lead off the top of the fourth after which Murchison was relieved by sophomore Joe Gardner. Gardner gave up a run on a squeeze bunt to the first batter he faced which made the score 5-2, Santa Rosa. He then shut out the Bear Cubs over the next five innings before being relieved by freshman, Ian Hoff, who pitched a one, two, three top of the ninth.

Meanwhile, Ohlone went scoreless over the middle eight innings and trailed 5-2 going into the bottom of the ninth. After a strike-out, the Renegades came storming back on a solo home run by freshman catcher, Braxton Miller, to cut the lead to 5-3, followed by a walk, a single, a strike-out, another walk and another single. When the second single of the ninth was hit over the pitchers mound and misplayed by the Santa Rosa second baseman, it allowed another Ohlone runner to cross home plate and reduce the deficit to 5-4. However, during the same play, the Renegades runner on second base rounded third, and when he tried to get back to third base, he slipped and fell. This was enough for the Santa Rosa defense to tag him for the third out of the bottom of the ninth thus ending the inning, the game and the 2008 season for the baseball team from Ohlone.

Santa Rosa went on to get a number sixteen seed in the NorCal Regional while the Renegades finished just out of the money and ended the season with a record of 13-13 in conference play and 21-22 overall.

The 2008 season saw Ohlone players, sophomore Matt Langseth and freshman David Luna make first team all Coast Conference South; Langseth as an infielder (second baseman) and Luna as a utility player (pitcher, catcher and designated hitter). Second team all-conference selection went to sophomore pitcher Shane Murchison while honorable mention was given to sophomores Andrew Ham (outfielder), Joe Gardner (pitcher), Justin Lunday (first baseman), Rich McDowell (shortstop) and freshman Braxton Miller (catcher). In addition, Langseth was named to the 2008 Northern California All-America Team as an infielder as was Chabot College of Hayward sophomore, Justin Trejo, as an outfielder.

In post season play, West Valley won two, double elimination tournaments to advance to the state final four, double elimination tournament in Fresno over Memorial Day week-end. The final four included the two winners of the NorCal and SoCal regional tournaments. West Valley was defeated in the first two games they played and finished the season as the fourth place team in the state for 2008.

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