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May 4, 2010 > Chabot, Ohlone prepare for playoffs

Chabot, Ohlone prepare for playoffs

By Gary van den Heuvel

Chabot College's baseball team finished the season strongly, including a win over San Mateo College which propelled the Gladiators into first place by a half-game over San Mateo - briefly. As it turned out; San Mateo, who had won the season series against Chabot, so therefore controlled their own destiny, beat West Valley in their next game to clinch the Coast Conference Golden Gate division.

The Gladiators began their week on a low note, falling 9-3 to De Anza, but their potent bats were awakened against San Mateo in an 18-16 slugfest win which put Chabot atop the division for one day. Early on, it looked to be an easy win for Chabot, who raced out to an 8-1 lead after a six-run fourth inning. But the Bulldogs came roaring back with six runs in the fifth, and four more in the sixth, and they led 11-10.

However, Chabot had another six-run explosion, this time in the seventh, to retake the lead, 16-12, and the Gladiators were able to stave off the Bulldogs' rallies for the win. Johnny Petros hit a three-run homerun in the seventh, and he also doubled and scored twice. Miguel Flores and Jake Whitney also homered for Chabot. Kyle Gallegos had a flawless day at the plate, going 4-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs, as well as a walk and a hit-by-pitch, and Drew Helenihi had three hits, scored three times, and drove in two.

Chabot's 10-8 season-ending win over West Valley was ultimately anti-climactic, as San Mateo clinched the division title with wins in their final two games against De Anza and West Valley. However, the season isn't over yet for the Gladiators. They will go into the California Community College state playoffs as a number-four seed in the 16-team tournament (the first round taking place Saturday and Sunday, May 8-9, in a best-of-three format), playing 12th-seeded Skyline.

Ohlone College will also be taking part in the post-season festivities, as a number-three seed, and taking on 14th-seeded Modesto. More importantly, the Renegades will be coming into the tourney with a ton of momentum, currently riding a nine-game winning streak. Last week, Ohlone chalked up wins over Hartnell (by a score of 11-8), Monterey (6-4) and Gavilan (14-5).

The Renegades honored their departing sophomores before their final game, each of whom will be leaving for a four-year college. Ohlone's 2010 class included Tanner Laran, Steven Ramos, Ryan Walterhouse, Jeff Johnson, Cody Foster, Jon Fragulia, Zach Johnson, Roberto Padilla, Michael Ussery, Dan Buffington, Justin Kuks, Jon Sa, Kyle Holmstrom and Michael DiRocco.

Ohlone finished the season with a 20-5 record in the Coast Conference Pacific, 28-8 overall, finishing two games behind Canada College, who are the top seed in the playoff tournament.

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