RIVERSIDE -- The Cypress College Chargers scored three runs in each of the first two innings and cruised to an 8-3 Orange Empire Conference (OEC) victory over the host Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers baseball team Saturday (Mar. 7) afternoon at the Evans Sports Complex.
With nary a cloud in the sky to help the outfielders, several balls were lost in the sun on this summerlike day in the winter.
Cypress (13-4, 3-2 OEC) parlayed a walk, a line drive single that apparentky was lost in the sun, a sacrifice fly, a RBI double (which caromed off the left shoulder of RCC starting RHP Tyler Tungate and through the right side of the infield), and a run-scoring single in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. In the second, a sacrifice fly and a two-run double accounted for the other three-run frame.
Riverside (14-4 overall, 2-3 OEC) got on the scoreboard in the fourth on a RBI single by sophomore SS Anthony Ayala (Fontana / Fontana HS). In the sixth, with RCC trailing, 7-1, sophomore LF David Schuknecht (Palm Desert / Palm Desert HS), who is pictured, drilled the first pitch he saw deep down the right-field line for his fourth home run of the season to get the Tigers to within 7-2. In the eighth, freshman 1B Israel Fuentes (Chino Hills HS) socked a RBI single to get RCC to within 7-3.
Cypress starting sophomore RHP Jaret Vermillon went the first six innings to earn the victory and improve his record to 3-0. He allowed six hits, two runs (both earned), walked one and struck out three. Sophomore RHP Payton Smith pitched the last three innings and allowed three hits, one run (earned), and struck out three to notch his second save.
Freshman catcher John Santospago went three for five with two doubles to pace the Chargers. Sophomore OF Justin Donovan, who hit the double which ricocheted off of Tungate, also was credited with an inside-the-park home run in the seventh when his medium-depth fly ball down the right-field line barely eluded a diving RF Roosevelt "R.J." Bates (Victorville / Oak Hills HS) and bounced into foul territory. Sophomore 2B Jack Flansburg walked four times for Cypress.
For Riverside, Schuknecht went two for four with the aforementioned home run and a leg double down the RF line in the fourth inning. Fuentes went two for four for RCC. Freshman catcher Tommy Pincin went two for three for the Tigers.
Both teams continue OEC action on Tuesday, Mar. 10, at 2 p.m. when RCC visits the Fullerton College Hornets and Cypress visits the Santa Ana College Dons.