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There’s still time for improvement

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By Kevin Casteneda

By Kevin Casteneda

The bat is stronger than the arm. So was the case for the RCC men’s baseball team, who pounded Fullerton College 15-10 in it’s latest Orange Empire Conference game. The win put the Tigers at an even .500 for the season, a 5-5 record, in conference play. The Tigers overall record for the season is 19-8, and looking to improve.

“We know we couldn’t hold the great start we began with. But we must start playing how we did in those first few games,” said coach Dennis Rogers.

The Tigers have lacked offense as of late, and have had trouble scoring runs. They started the season averaging seven runs per game, and were only allowing opponents to score 3.5 runs per game. Which brings up the question of what happened to the Tigers great winning ways?

This team has all the talent to come out as the top team of the conference.

The Tigers proved that with their aggressive style of play and clutch hitting, which in turn lead to big victories. Victories which seemed to be leading them to the playoffs in amazing fashion.

The Tigers started the season with two separate winning streaks. The first was a six game winning streak, and the second, their longest of the season, was a seven game winning streak. All these things further prove the point that the Tigers have the ability to be a great baseball team.

By baseball standards, the baseball team really hasn’t been in a huge slump. The Tigers haven’t even lost more than two games in a row. But in a conference as competitive as the OEC, they must prove their dominant ability to other teams. Letting games slip by, or allowing too many runs is not going to help the Tigers create a winning vibe around the team.

The only team that has really had RCC’s number is the Santa Ana College Dons, who have already defeated the Tigers three times this season. But even in those games the average loss margin has only been a run, games that could have gone any way for either team.

The Tigers came out and demonstrated that fire they had in the beginning of the season by lighting up the Fullerton pitchers. The freshmen bats of Anthony Morel and Levi Garrett led the way for the Tigers. Morel, recently moved from the eighth spot to the second spot, had three hits in the game. Garrett, probably the best performance by any player in the game, had two hits which drove in six runs. One of his hits was a three-run home run in the seventh inning to expand the Tiger lead to 14-5.

The Tigers still lacked pitching in this game to fully call it a dominate win. The Tigers used six different pitchers, who gave up a total of 10 runs and in 13 hits. The victory went to starting pitcher Reyes Dorado, who pitched five innings. Dorado gave up five runs in six hits, while also striking out three.

But the problem really hasn’t been pitching as of late. The rotation has only let double digit runs twice this season. After that, the highest point total has been five runs. The pitching staff has been able to keep the games close so the offense can do its job. The offense finally stepped up, and the defense didn’t let up so much damage so as to drop this victory.

If the Tigers can get these important components, hitting and pitching, working together, then the RCC baseball team will be a force to be reckoned with. After all, they may have been on a little slide, but they are still at a 19-8 record. With 11 games left, the Tigers will have the opportunity to show the rest of the OEC what kind of competition they are up against.

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