Pesky Offense Pushes Baseball past Fullerton

Photo by Bobby R. Hester
Photo by Bobby R. Hester

After winning their first Orange Empire Conference (OEC) series of the season, the Riverside City College baseball team kicked of a three-game series against the Fullerton College Hornets on the road Tuesday afternoon. Riverside was all business from the get go by barreling 11 hits leading to 10 runs aiding a 10-4 win.

The bats were hot and the arms were dominant for the Tigers. Sophomore southpaw Garrett Irvin climbed the bump for the seventh time this season and got off to a strong start by blanking Fullerton through the opening four frames. He struck out at least one batter in three of the four frames highlighted by fanning two-consecutive Hornets. The two strikeouts helped him wiggle out of a second-inning bases loaded jam.

Riverside displayed some consistent offense beginning in the top of the second inning. Sophomore shortstop Matthew Happ put the Tigers on the board by hitting a single up the middle, scoring freshman catcher Angel Mendoza and sophomore first baseman Andrew Talkington.

It was déjà vu for Happ in the top of the third inning as he connected for another two-RBI single up the middle, scoring the same duo in Mendoza and Talkington. Freshman pinch hitter Dylan Morace followed the ensuing inning with an RBI knock, scoring sophomore right fielder Ulises Caballero, to grab a 5-0 lead.

The Tigers put up back-to-back two spots in the fifth and sixth innings. Freshman third baseman Matthew Ivancich chipped in on the scoring action by uncorking an RBI knock, backed by an RBI ground out from freshman second baseman Alex Moreno. Morace followed the ensuing inning with a successful suicide squeeze, scoring Talkington. Happ came around to score three batters later on an advancement by a throw from the catcher who failed to catch sophomore left fielder Joseph Hodapp stealing second base.

Riverside capped their scoring day with a sacrifice fly from sophomore center fielder Junior Coleman, leading to a 10-4 victory.

Irvin (5-1) earned the victory after throwing six innings and striking out seven batters. Sophomore reliever Ethan Sachs was untouchable out of the bullpen after tossing three shutout innings while allowing no hits and striking out one batter.

Happ paced the offense by going 2-for-4 with four RBI and a runs scored. In the past four games, Happ has notched six hits, drove in six runs and scored three times.

Mendoza went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Hodapp went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two walks.

Riverside (16-5, 3-1 OEC) will host Fullerton for game two of the three game series on Thursday, March 14 at 2 p.m. Follow live stats at www.rccathletics.com