RCC baseball starts off strong

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By Glen Willett / Staff Writer

Fast pitch (Brittney Rye / Staff Photographer )

By Glen Willett / Staff Writer

After two games in the Orange Empire Conference, the Riverside City College baseball team has been nothing short of impressive winning both of its games and pushing 25 runs across the plate in the process.

The Tigers took down the Golden West Rustlers 12-7 and the Gauchos of Saddleback College 13-6.

The first game of conference play the team faced a Golden West team that was 8-5 heading into conference play and coming off of a sweep of Cerro Coso College.

The game went back and forth before both teams hit a wall in the ninth inning tied at seven runs a piece

RCC broke the game wide open however in the top of the 12th inning scoring five runs and putting the game out of reach for the Rustlers.

Tigers slugger Chad Erickson drove in two of his game high four RBIs in the critical inning while his teammates Billy Nottingham and Aaron LaFountaine would each drive in a run of their own.

RCC was also able to score on a wild pitch in the inning. Kristopher Butler shut the Rustlers down in the bottom half of the inning and collected his second win of the season.

RCC came home on March 5 to face a Saddleback team that came into the contest with a 7-5 record after having lost their first conference game of the season to Cypress College.

Tigers’ starter Matt Chabot led off the game by hitting Saddleback center fielder Dylan Christensen and that theme would hold throughout the game. A total of eight batters were hit by a pitch in the game, four by Chabot.

The three hour contest would feature a number of stoppages due in part to 13 pitching changes and a scary moment in which RCC designated hitter Frankie Torres took an 89 mile per hour fastball in the head from Saddleback reliever Lee Casas. However, the player was able to continue in the game.

Saddleback used a total of nine pitchers in the match-up in an effort to find some stability in the middle innings of the ball game.

The Gauchos allowed nine Tigers runs to cross the plate in just the fourth and fifth innings. Six of the nine pitchers used by Saddleback would make their appearance in the game during this series, some without even being able to record an out before being yanked by Gauchos manager Jack Hodges.

Aaron LaFountaine made contributions both with his bat and in the field for the Tigers, going 2-2 with two RBIs and a stolen base.

LaFountaine would also lay down two perfect sacrifice bunts for the Tigers as well as a spectacular catch in center field in the top of the seventh inning. LaFountaine robbed Gauchos left fielder Ryan Forkel of a sure base hit and was then able to make the throw to second base to catch Spencer Kuehn for the double play, ending the inning and the Gauchos final real threat of the ball game.

Tigers’ pitcher Ethan Mack won his first game of the season to bring his record to an even 1-1 while relief pitcher Tanner Clark saved his first game of the 2011 campaign.

The Tigers will face Santa Ana College on March 10.

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