By Jesus Coronel
Offense was the name of the game as the Riverside City College baseball team played its first game in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) playoffs against Grossmont College on May 6.
The Griffins started the game with an RBI double from catcher Kaleb Tekodon to give Grossmont an early lead. That was followed up with another RBI from designated hitter Brodie Romero.
“We got a little shaky at first,” left fielder Adrian Archega said.
RCC struck back with an offensive show of their own. Third baseman Ignacio Alvarez hit a 2 RBI triple to right field, tying the game. The next batter, right fielder Matthew Bardowell, hit a two-run home run that put the Tigers up 4-2.
Two more runs followed, with first baseman Daniel Garcia’s home run and catcher Daniel Briones’s RBI double, giving the Tigers a 6-2 lead after the first inning.
“We just continued to make good swings at the baseball,” Alvarez said. “Doesn’t matter what the defense does, as long as we keep playing sticks and do what we do, we’ll be fine.”
Grossmont wouldn’t go down easily as they responded with back-to-back RBI doubles from third baseman Skyler Agnew and center fielder Ethan Caschetta. Followed by a run off a wild pitch from pitcher David Butler to bring the score to 6-5.
In the third inning, the Tigers added two more runs to its score with an RBI single from first baseman Daniel Garcia and a run from an error made by the Griffins.
The Griffins struck back in the fourth with RBIs from second baseman Sean McGrew and a 2 RBI Triple from left fielder Luke Denos. Then a wild pitch by RCC’s Jordan Townley scored a runner to put Grossmont up 9-8.
But the Tigers kept their cool and responded.
At the bottom of the fourth, Bret Bowers brought two runs home to put the Tigers up 10-9 going into the fifth inning.
“The biggest thing was that we didn’t show any panic,” head coach Rudy Arguelles said. “We know who we are and we were able to come out on top.”
RCC’s defense held down the opposition to zero runs from the sixth inning onward. The Tigers would win game one by a final score of 12-9.
“Of course, it’s nice to have a strong offense,” Bardowell said. “But if we want to make a good playoff run, the defense has to tighten up.”