By Jair Ramirez
Dominance on the mound has propelled the Riverside City College Tigers baseball team to the next round of the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regional playoffs.
“Pitching, pitching, pitching, you know that’s what you ask for when you get down at this point,” said head coach Rudy Arguelles. “It’s going to come down to pitching, play solid defense, make the routine plays, don’t give extra outs, create extra pitches for your guy.”
RCC swept the Cuesta College Cougars in a best of three series in the first round of the SoCal Regionals.
Both games took place May 4 and 5 at home.
Sophomore and Orange Empire Conference Pitcher of the Year Garrett Irvin had a complete game shutout in the first game victory, 5-0.
“Honestly I didn’t have my best stuff today, but the defense was really working behind me, so I threw strikes the best I could and let the defense do its thing,” Irvin said. “It was nice getting five runs early to support the defense behind me.”
Infielders Matthew Happ and Mathew Ivancich both landed two hits and one RBI in the game.
The team closed out the series in the second game with another shutout, this time by sophomore pitcher Alexander Salazar, 3-0.
Freshman catcher Angel Mendoza added some support with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning.
“The work ethic and chemistry, it all flows in one, like a well oiled machine,” said sophomore outfielder Brandon Galindo. “Work ethic and chemistry has been key for the Tigers success. It’s come a long way and we knew this team was special from the start, we just needed a few minor adjustments.”
Up next for the Tigers is the Super Regional round of the CCCAA SoCal Regionals on May 10. RCC will play against Mt. San Antonio College in a best of three series at a loction that has yet be determined as of press time.
“Everything is going to be built around pitching and defense and if we do the same thing like we did, I like our chances,” Arguelles said. “We will go as far as our pitching allows us to. We’ve been consistent with the routine plays and we’ll take anything beyond routine as icing on the cake, so to speak.” nemincitdrthserhsergaergtaertaertaertserg