Mustangs swing into action

LMC pitchers shut out Rams


Brendan Cross

Mustang’s starting pitcher Ryan Petrangelo pitched a solid six innings and allowed no runs on only five hits.

After being knocked out in the first round of the playoffs in 2013, Los Medanos College Mustangs baseball entered the 2014 season with something to prove, and they started off by winning their first two games with a combined score of 14-1.

The ‘Stangs opened up the second game of the season at home against the San Francisco City College Rams.

After all the fanfare and the National Anthem, the team huddled up in front of their home dugout and began to chant and cheer similar to Drew Brees of the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. Cheers like these aren’t normal in baseball, and this caused a player of the Rams to say “This isn’t football.”

The cheer may have been just what the team needed to get their adrenaline pumping, because the team came out ready to play.

Sophomore pitcher Ryan Petrangelo started on the mound for the Mustangs with a quick first inning, inducing two groundouts and a strike out, while giving up one hit to Rams third baseman Kyle McGraw.

The offense came out just as pumped as Petrangelo appeared to be and did most of the damage in the first inning.

Second baseman and leadoff hitter Chaz Meadows started off the game the way coaches hope a leadoff guy will, with a long at-bat, working the count full before drawing a walk.

“I’m just trying to get on-base in any way I can,” said Meadows.

Meadows’s walk was followed up with a single by Ryan Lacy that grazed off the glove of the Rams leaping shortstop.

Jacobson came up to bat with Meadows and Lacey on first and third and quickly got a pitch to hit, lining the ball over the head of the Rams right fielder for a two-run triple.

Jacobson’s big hit was all the ‘Stangs would need as both pitchers settled in and the teams traded zeros on the scoreboard for most of the game.

For the ‘Stangs, the zeros came at the hands of Petrangelo, but for the Rams it was stellar defense highlighted by centerfielder Bruce Jones.

Jones made multiple running grabs on hard hit balls by ‘Stangs batters, highlighted in the third inning in which he caught all three balls hit by LMC batters. His defense caught the eye of LMC Head Coach Anthony D’Albora.

“Their centerfielder did a great job today,” said D’Albora. “That centerfielder is a very athletic kid that runs well and makes it tough. It’s hard when you hit a ball hard and he takes a hit away from you.”

Petrangelo didn’t let up, though, and pitched six innings while giving up only five hits and allowing no runs.  Reliever John Mead came in and pitched the seventh inning, giving up one hit while striking out one.

The final pitcher of the day, and possibly the most impressive, was Meadows as they moved him from second base to the mound. He got the two-inning save without allowing a hit, striking out four batters, and striking out the side in the ninth.

Meadows finished his day at the plate going 0-2 with two walks and a run scored.

“It felt good,” Meadows said about getting the final out. “Got the win obviously, and that’s what it’s about, getting the team win.”

The final two runs for the ‘Stangs came on a hit-by-pitch and a walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth, but the game was pretty much over after the first.

Head coach of the Rams John Vanoncini was disappointed with the loss, but he will work with his team to turn it around.

“We’ve gotta knock guys in,” said Vanoncini. “We worked on it yesterday in practice. A man on second base with two outs, man on third base with one out, and just try to knock guys in.”

D’Albora was obviously a little happier about how his team performed.

“Obviously our challenge every day is to win, so we got that done,” he said. “Two games in a row we’ve came out with pretty good tempo and scored early and that’s a challenge and hard to do.”

The ‘Stangs have two home games coming up on Saturday, Feb. 8 and 15 against SFCC and DVC.