By Nick Escalera
The Riverside City College baseball team was able to come away with two nonconference wins over Santa Barbara City College and Taft College following a five game losing streak to start conference play.
Taking a break from play in the Orange Empire Conference, RCC pulled out a 5-3 win over Santa Barbara on March 23 and a 10-7 win over Taft on March 24 thanks to performances by Sean Smith and Garrison Cole.
It was also a valiant effort from the bullpen as well with 10 different Tigers being called upon to secure a victory in both games going 18 innings, striking out 13, and only giving up nine runs.
Smith went 4 for 9 in those two games coming up with clutch at bats against Santa Barbara and Taft driving in a pair of runs.
“We had our confidence back and we knew who we were, playing as ourselves how we can and we finally put some at bat bats together,” Smith said.
Cole didn’t see much action in the Santa Barbara game but also had two hits against Taft driving in a pair of his own with a RBI single in the fourth and an RBI double in the eighth-inning.
“Try not to do too much and stay within yourself,” Cole said. “Hitting is contagious, every guy sees the guy in front of them having success and they know they can do the same thing.”
It was also a Johnny wholestaff kind of week in which both starters Brandt Baker and Angel Delgado saw limited innings giving way to eight different pitchers including Cole Young who recorded his second save of the season against Santa Barbara.
“It’s always good to get the (win), which was the whole objective, the goal going into the week,” Coach Arguelles said. “We had set that up, it was limited innings for three guys Delgado and Ramirez and it happened to work out exactly how we wanted it.”
RCC was 11-3 in non conference and won their conference opener against Saddleback City College before the losing streak began.
RCC continued conference play with a three game series against Santa Ana taking two of three with final scores of 8-2, 1-6, and 7-2. The Tigers are now 15-9 overall and 3-6 in conference.
They follow up the series with games against Golden West on April 5-8 and Fullerton on April 12-16.