By Javier Cabrera
By Javier Cabrera
The RCC men’s baseball team forestalls from losing four straight games last Saturday at the Evans Sports Complex in Riverside. The RCC Tigers faced Fullerton in a critical division match up from the Orange Empire Conference as both teams were struggling for wins in conference meets.
Prior to Saturday’s game, both the RCC Tigers and Fullerton College Hornets came into the game losing four of their last five games.
As the RCC Tigers lost three striaght against conference leauge teams that included Cypress and two against Santa Ana, one of them in a close but heartbreaking 13-12 final.
The RCC Tigers began the afternoon game scoring two runs in the first inning; freshman center fielder Edwin Mendoza started off for the tigers with a single up the middle and went to second base on an errant pickoff throw by the hornets right-handed pitcher Nick Cervantes.
Cervantes then walked Tigers catcher Brett Hambright who then advanced bases with Mendoza on a sacrifice bunt by Tigers shortstop Richie Jimenez.
Up next was second basemen Daniel Duran who was thrown a wild pitch from Cervantes who then allowed Mendoza to score the Tigers first run. Hambright was brought home to score when first baseman Billy Hamilton hit an RBI on Cervantes.
With a 2-0 lead at the top of the third by the Tigers, Fullerton filled the bases with no outs on two singles by center fielder Cory McCloskey and right fielder Tony McClendon as second basemen Erik Ornelas got hit by a pitch.
Left fielder Oscar Rondarte then popped up a deep flying ball that allowed McCloskey to tag third base and score but the Tigers end further runs when McClendon was doubled off second base for the double play.
At the bottom of the third inning, the RCC Tigers countered when Hambright, Jimenez and Duran all singled with Duran safely bringing Hambright in to put the Tigers up 3-1.
Later, in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Tigers opened up their lead on Fullerton more when Mendoza walked and then scored on a triple to left-center field by Jimenez.
Jimenez was brought home when Duran lined out down the left-field line for a sacrifice fly to put RCC up 5-1 for good.
Riverside all-star starter, freshman right-handed pitcher, Eric Young gets the win to improve to 3-0 with a earned run average of 3.03 as he pitched five innings, allowing one earned run on five hits.
As for Fullerton starter, freshman right-handed pitcher Cervantes gets the lost and goes 0-5 pitching four and two-thirds innings, allowing five earn runs on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
With a slumping start in the month of March having a current record of 3-5 including the win on Saturday, Riverside was in desperate need to rack up wins and get back up to .500 with an overall (13-11, 4-6) standing.
With a current record of 4-6 in conference leauge, RCC has an opportunity to get their record backing to a winning record with wins over sub .500 leauge teams.
Two of the next five games are against Orange Coast, with another one against Fullerton and their next game against Desert.
As long as RCC continues to rack in runs like they did against Fullerton on Saturday, then it’s easily said they can finish the month above .500 as they have two games against Golden West who has a sub .500 record of 8-14 with two ties and another game against Fullerton who also has a sub .500 season with a 7-17 record with one tie.