FRESNO, Calif. – Right-hander Cassius Hamm was masterful on the mound for El Camino College, tossing a complete game en route to a 6-1 Warriors victory over Ohlone Sunday afternoon in an elimination game at the California Community College Baseball State Championships at John Euless Field at Fresno City College.
Hamm dominated on the mound, keeping the Renegades (42-7) off the scoreboard for eight and 2/3 innings. He would allow just one run on seven hits and two walks. He struck out nine and, more importantly, tossed his second complete game of the season to help the Warriors (40-10) conserve their bullpen.
The Warriors advance to tonight's semifinal elimination game to face the loser of the Santa Rosa-Grossmont CCCAA State Championship semifinal.
Offensively, the Warriors smacked nine hits and got great production from the lower half of the order. The No. 6 through No. 9 spots in the lineup combined to go 6-for-15 with a double, four RBIs and six runs scored.
The game was a pitcher's duel through the first four innings as both teams combined for just five hits in that span. But the Warriors put an end to the string of zeroes in the fifth as Noah Barba was hit by a pitch with one out to get the rally started.
Wissler followed with a singled to right field, advancing Barba to third and putting the first run on the board in scoring position. Lewis stepped up and decided to clear the bases, smashing a double to the left-center field gap off Renegades pitcher Kawena Alo-Kaonohi to put the Warriors up 2-0.
The Warriors padded the lead in the seventh inning as Barba once again got the rally going with a leadoff single up the middle. Wissler again followed with a single to right and then Lewis singled to load the bases with no outs.
Darian Sylvester collected the fourth straight single off reliever Brian Martinez to score two runs and make it 4-0, sticking a fork in Martinez's day.
New pitcher Joseph Jennison came in and got two outs but the Warriors capitalized on a miscue as a wild pitch allowed Lewis to score from third and then Sylvester scored on a throwing error by catcher Thaddeus Phillips, putting the Warriors up 6-0 at the stretch.
The Renegades had a chance to chip into the lead in the bottom half of the inning, getting the first two runners on thanks to a hit and an error. But Hamm struck out Miguel Cazares for the first out and then got a flyout and a groundout to end the frame without any damage.
Hamm finished off his first complete game since his no-hitter at Bakersfield on Feb. 9 by getting the first two outs in the ninth rather quickly. Cazares and Naeem Knox hit back-to-back doubles to break up the shutout but Hamm froze Isaac Cruz for his ninth strikeout of the game to seal the victory.
Stay tuned to ECCWarriors.com and follow @ECCWarriors on twitter for updates on an exact game time and opponent for tonight's elimination game.