Ramirez struck out four on the day, walked none and got to a three-ball count just three times, as he got the Vaqueros to swing early in the count and relied on phenomenally steady defense behind him.
"It was dynamic," Citrus Coach Steve Gomez said of the performance of Ramirez (5-1). "It wasn't until the seventh that he had a three-ball count. That just shows you the kind of command he had."
The loss dropped first-place GCC to 14-6 overall and 5-2 in the South, with a half-game lead over Citrus (10-11, 5-3 in conference) and Bakersfield (14-6, 5-3) with the Vaqueros set to play a make-up game today against Mission before finishing the home-and-home against Citrus on Thursday and then capping the week Saturday at L.A. Valley. All three games are on the road.
Still, in the quest to repeat as conference champs, Cicuto's well-aware that one game isn't going to determine a season.
"I didn't think we were gonna go through conference with one loss," said Cicuto, whose team won the WSC South last year at 13-8. "It's a matter of how we bounce back. It could be a huge week for us."
GCC, which has lost two of its last three after a six-game winning streak, got a solid start from lefty David Lira (3-1), who battled control problems but settled down and used three terrific outfield plays to keep the game close. He pitched seven innings, allowing one unearned run and two hits, while walking six, striking out two and hitting a batter.
Citrus took a 1-0 lead with a two-out walk and a subsequent single that saw a throwing error allow the lead runner to score.