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Riverside City College’s baseball team defeats potential playoff opponent Saddleback College in high scoring game

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By Jesus Coronel

The Riverside City College’s baseball team had been slumping, but a back and forth game showed it can still compete with any top team.

With the playoffs quickly approaching, RCC looked to end a three game losing streak against Saddleback April 27 at Evans Sports Complex.

It looked like the woes would continue early on when the Bobcats took a 4-0 lead after two innings, with both leadoff hitters drawing walks. 

“We gave a lot of free bases today,” Riverside head coach Rudy Arguelles said. “It’s not anything to sustain success with.”

The Tigers bounced back with four runs in the third inning, capped off by a two RBI single from sophomore left fielder Adrian Arechiga.

Saddleback retook the lead in the top of the fourth inning after a fielding error from the Tigers allowed a run to score.

RCC erupted in the bottom of the inning with the offense clicking for four more runs, highlighted by a two-run home run from sophomore right fielder Matthew Bardowell.

The Bobcats would not go down silently in the sixth inning, cutting the Tigers lead to one after a two RBI single. 

RCC quickly countered with a two run sixth of its own, with freshman first baseman Bryce Cermenelli hitting a two-run home run to push the lead to three.

The two teams traded runs heading into the ninth inning but the Tigers quickly got two outs. However, Saddleback rallied with a double, a walk and a wild pitch advancing the baserunners to second and third base to set up a potential comeback.

Sophomore relief pitcher Albert Roblez came in and shut the doors on the Bobcats, striking out the last batter to end the Tigers losing streak with an 11-8 victory.

“It was a hard fought win,” Bardowell said. “The last couple of games we have failed to respond with our backs against the wall so responding today was something I’m happy about.”

Even though there were plenty of mistakes made throughout the game, improvements were seen with clutch hits and pitching being the keys to victory.

“We picked it up offensively and that gave us momentum which carried us through,” Arechiga said.

Coach Arguelles knows that the team has the ability to go far in the playoffs but improvements need to be made quickly.

“(We) do have the ability to repeat as champions,” he said. “If we can clean up our mistakes, we can beat anybody.”

The Tigers head into the final game of the regular season at 28-10. They finish at Saddleback College on April 28.

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