By Jesus Coronel
Freshman third baseman Ignacio Alvarez has been a big reason why the Riverside City College baseball team has been performing well this year
His determination and work ethic has helped the team push forward and contend for a playoff spot.
“I’m just a grinder,” he said. “I’m one of the first people to arrive on the field and I’m one of the last ones to leave. People see the hard work I put out and the grind hasn’t stopped.”
His love for the game has shown on the field, especially in practice.
“He’s diligent with his work and he loves to have fun,” right fielder Matthew Bardowell said. “During games, he is one of the most serious people out there.”
Since he started playing for the Tigers this season he has formed a great bond with Bardowell and his teammates. Their chemistry helps them perform better on the field.
“Me and Nacho don’t live far from each other,” Bardowell said. “We practice in a batting cage in my backyard, so we practice every day.”
The extra practice has paid off significantly this season, with the team being in contention for a conference title.
“What makes him special is that he doesn’t understand that he is,” head coach Rudy Arguelles said. “His passion and love for baseball are always displayed on the field. He is a hard worker, relentless, and talented.”
For Alvarez, he feels that his bond with his teammates has played a big role in the team’s success this season.
“It’s special,” he said. “The way we clicked since day one, we have great chemistry, the team pushes me to great limits and I love these guys. I feel I’ve bonded really well with my teammates.”
Alvarez is currently batting .328 with 27 RBIs.
His defense has been a focal point throughout the season, with 26 putouts, 77 assists, and a .963 fielding percentage.
“The things that he does on defense and on the plate are incredible,” Arguelles said. “He has a chance to make an impact for the team and the college as a whole.”
Bardowell praises Alvarez for the impact that he has had on the season.
“Without a doubt, he has had a big impact on the season,” Bardowell said. “Having a good third baseman has kept us in a lot of games and the team sees him fight for wins.”
As to whether or not he will be transferring soon, Arguelles is certain that he can succeed no matter where his journey takes him.
“He still has a lot to learn, but he will go as far as his ceiling will go,” he said. “I can see him doing well at the collegiate level. He has a good chance to play at a high level and the only person that can stop that is himself.”
Alvarez is looking into the transfer portal but has not yet made a decision on whether or not he will be transferring.
“It’s up in the air,” he said. “I’m still thinking about it.”
The Tigers are in second place in the Orange Empire Conference (OEC) with a 29-11 record and 15-6 in conference play.