Barela Chucks Gem, Tigers Take Rubber Match over Golden West

Photo by Michael Leone
Photo by Michael Leone

The Riverside City College baseball team entered into the rubber match of a three-game series against the Golden West College Rustlers on Friday evening on their home diamond. Behind a strong start from sophomore southpaw David Barela, the Tigers worked towards a 6-0 victory on 12 hits which included errorless baseball.

Barela was tossed the pearl for the start and experienced rocky beginnings that included walking the first three batters he faced. Despite his early woes, he minimized his troubles by picking off the first base runner he allowed with a nice step-off move and a quick tag from freshman first baseman Dylan Kanoho. He then worked out of the inning by forcing a fly out and capping the inning with a strikeout.

The Tigers jumped on the board in the bottom of the second inning with a RBI single from freshman left fielder Joseph Hodapp, scoring freshman designated hitter Diego Guerrero who reach via walk. Freshman left fielder Junior Coleman followed with a base hit through the left side, plating sophomore catcher Andrew Jurado to snag a 2-0 lead.

Riverside followed two frames later with a three spot beginning with a RBI base knock from Kanoho, allowing Hodapp to cross home. Sophomore third baseman Daniel Martinez mirrored Kanoho's at-bat with a dying single to left field scoring Coleman. Freshman second baseman Jacob Rodriguez capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly to allow Kanoho to scurry home, pushing their lead to 5-0.

Barela began to settle in and quickly became impossible to solve. He retired the side in the fourth and the sixth inning. In the sixth inning he struck out the side in order – all swinging.

Coleman added an insurance run in the fifth inning with a RBI double to score sophomore center fielder Erick Rayford leading to a 6-0 victory.

Barela was one inning shy of a complete game shutout. He tossed eight scoreless innings while fanning eight batters.  Freshman closer Graham Kuck tossed the final frame and recorded one strikeout.

Coleman went 2-for-5 with two RBI and scored a run to push his hitting streak to three games. He has gone 5-for-11 in the past three games with six RBI and two runs scored.

The top of the order combined for eight hits with Coleman, Kanoho, D. Martinez, and Rodriguez recording two knocks each. Hodapp also went 3-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored in the nine-hole.

The Tigers (21-13, 7-8 OEC) will continue action on Tuesday, April 17th against the Fullerton College Hornets at 2 p.m. at home.