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Firebirds Fall to Wildcats in Tough-Luck Loss 

The Fremont Firebirds fell 8-2 to the Los Gatos Wildcats on Monday, but the final score is rather misleading. Firebirds starting pitcher Jiyah Caban was far and away the Firebirds’ player of the game as one could make the case that none of the Wildcats’ first five runs should have scored.

The first two runs in the bottom of the first were both unearned. And with some cleaner defense behind her, Caban arguably should have had a shutout going after four innings of work. Yet instead, the Fremont found itself down 5-0 despite Caban allowing just one extra-base hit.

“She’s an amazing pitcher and also a really great teammate,” chimed first baseman Kira Adams, who led the Firebirds offense with a pair of singles. “She’s there to always lift you up. She’s probably the most energetic on the team. I love when she pitches, it’s beautiful.”


“Jiyah has just been lights out,” praised Fremont Manager Hector Zuno on his starting pitcher. “She’s taken on the role of being the horse on the team. Hopefully, in the second half, we will be able to make those plays behind her.”

While there were some hiccups defensively for the Firebirds, there were also a number of impressive plays made behind Caban. Shortstop Natalie Kim threw out multiple runners by less than a step with Adams stretching out just enough to ensure getting the out call from the first-base umpire. In center field, the Firebirds had multiple nice running catches from freshman Tehya Williamson.

“She’s doing really great this season; she puts in a lot of effort,” praised senior and starting catcher Katie Grant. “It’s been a while since I have seen a freshman come in and put in as much effort as she possibly can to get to where she needs to be.”

While Williamson was the defensive star, the flip side of the game is where the team struggled to string hits together against a tough Wildcats starter. While Adams had the two-hit game and both Caban and Deni Wurfer added singles of their own, the hits were spread out over the first four innings. Fremont would manage to get a couple of runs only after it was too late, scoring twice in the sixth inning after falling behind 8-0.

“She did have a lot of spin on her ball,” acknowledged Adams on the challenge facing the Wildcats starter who shut them out in her four innings of work. “And we were probably a bit rusty not having our games over the weekend. Plus, we had the hour-long delay not having an umpire. A lot could have been better during our warmups and throughout the game. We could have seen the ball better.”

Fremont will look to bounce back this week with multiple home games, including a Wednesday game against Mountain View, before hosting Homestead on Friday afternoon.

Currently 0-4 in league play, the Firebirds don’t look far off from putting multiple Ws in the win column. A few better bounces their way and Fremont could find themselves right back in the thick of the race in the De Anza league.

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