Grossmont edges Ohlone, 4-3, to set up semifinal between regions' top seeds

Grossmont edges Ohlone, 4-3, to set up semifinal between regions' top seeds

Tournament Central

FRESNO, Calif. - Grossmont College starter Tim Holdgrafer settled down after a rough first inning to keep Ohlone College in check through eight innings, and center fielder David Maldonado had two hits and knocked in a run, as the Griffins advanced at the 2017 California Collegiate Athletic Association Baseball State Championship at Fresno City College with a 4-3 win over the Renegades on Saturday evening.

The Griffins' (36-7-1) win sets a matchup with Santa Rosa Junior College (36-9) - the North's top seed - in the championship semifinals on Sunday afternoon at 2. Grossmont entered the weekend as the South's top-seeded club.

Ohlone (42-6) will play an elimination game against El Camino (39-10) at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The winner of that game will face the loser of the Grossmont-Santa Rosa matchup in an elimination game 45 minutes after the second game.

Holdgrafer (11-0) went eight innings and threw 130 pitches, despite a rocky first inning when Ohlone got to him for four hits, including a two-run monster home run to left-center field by catcher Thaddeus Phillips.  

But, despite the early runs, Holdgrafer was effective the rest of his game, striking out a dozen batters while giving up just one walk. He set down 14 of 15 batters at one point from the second through sixth innings, including putting Ohlone down in order four, fifth and sixth innings.

Grossmont evened up the game for him in the second inning with a couple of runs. Trevor Beard singled and moved to second after an outfield error, and then came home when left-fielder Eric De la Rosa tripled to deep center. De la Rosa came in to score himself on the same play after Ohlone's throw to third went out of play. 

The Renegades had a great chance to tie the game in the seventh after Jonny Damon, who led off with a single before advancing on an error, scored on Naeem Knox's single through the left side. Knox went to second on a passed ball and was sacrificed to third by Miguel Cazares. Holdgrafer, though, came up clutch by striking out the next two batters to keep the lead, 4-3. Hayden Shenefield pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his third save this season. 

Carlos Jimenez pitched well for Ohlone, allowing just five hits in 5-1/3 innings while striking out five and walking one. First baseman A.J. Curtis had two hits while six other Renegades had one each.