By Jair Ramirez
It’s all over for the reigning state champions.
The season ended for the Riverside City College baseball team after being swept at home in a best-of-three series by the Grossmont College Griffins in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association Southern Regional Championships.
“We just didn’t pick up on the message,” RCC sophomore pitcher Chris Fields said. “It hurts obviously, there’s expectations everyone has on us, but also the expectations we had on ourselves.”
The No. 3 seeded Tigers were blown out in game one and were unable to bounce back when they were the road team in the second game, resulting in a swift defeat to the No. 22 Griffins.
Riverside finished the season 28-13.
“If you find a way to get to the playoffs and if you’re playing quality, competitive baseball in the end, the game allows you to make a deep run and we failed at that,” RCC head coach Rudy Arguelles said.
Grossmont freshman pitcher Ethan Heider set the tempo early, allowing no hits through the first four innings of game two.
The Griffins then opened up the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the inning with some help from the Tigers’ defense. The middle infielders both suffered errors which allowed two unearned runs to score.
The Tigers lost 4-2.
RCC did get back into the game by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by sophomore infielder Adrian Arechiga and a single by freshman catcher Dominic Dominguez.
Dominguez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and three walks.
Unfortunately for the Tigers those would be the only runs they would score the rest of the game.
“At the plate from an offensive standpoint we didn’t stick to or understand the scouting report,” Arguelles said.
Grossmont sophomore infielder Skyler Agnew got hot in the series and capped it off with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth.
Agnew finished the first round batting 4-for-8 with a home run, a double and five RBI’s.
The Griffins offense was too much to handle for RCC. It outscored The Tigers 18-5 in the two games against Grossmont.
“We could have obviously executed with runners in scoring position but at the end of the day we gave it our all,” Riverside sophomore first baseman Jordan Ruiz said.
The Tigers finished with a 20-win season for the seventh consecutive season excluding the shortened 2020 COVID season.