RIVERSIDE -- Leaving the potential tying and winning runs on base, the host Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers baseball team lost an 8-7 Orange Empire Conference (OEC) decision to the visiting (and first-place) Cypress College Chargers Tuesday (Apr. 14) afternoon at the Evans Sports Complex.
Cypress (23-9 overall, 12-5 OEC) jumped out to leads of 4-0, 7-2, and 8-3, before the Tigers began to come back, albeit a little short.
Riverside (19-13 overall, 7-10 OEC) closed to within 7-3 when sophomore LF David Schuknecht (Palm Desert HS) socked his team-leading seventh home run of the season, a solo shot to right field.
The Tigers added a run in the eighth before the Chargers added a run in the ninth for an 8-4 margin.
In the bottom of the ninth, sophomore CF Logan Griffin (Apple Valley / Oak Hills HS)and freshman RF Michael Darr (Corona / Santiago HS) -- yes, the son of former San Diego Padres outfielder Mike Darr -- each rapped RBI singles to get RCC to within 8-6. Freshman SS Brody Weiss (Denver, CO / Regis Jesuit HS) had a RBI groundout to make it Cypress 8, Riverside 7.
With two outs and runners on the corners, Schuknecht struck out swinging to end the game. Cypress reliever John Forsythe came on to get the final out and notch his first save.
RCC sophomore starting LHP Austin Sodders (Moreno Valley / Canyon Springs HS) fell from the ranks of the unbeaten. Sodders labored for 5-1/3 innings and make 122 pitches (78 strikes). He allowed nine hits, six runs (all earned), walked four and struck out three as his record fell to 7-1.
Sodders' Cypress counterpart, starting RHP Jaret Vermillon (6-1) had a more efficient outing. Vermillon went the first 7.0 innings (93 pitches, 63 strikes) and scattered nine hits (including the home run to Schuknecht) and allowed three runs (all earned), walked none and struck out four.
Cypress 1B Tyler Gnesda went two for four with one run and three RBI -- a huge bases-loaded triple down the right-field line in the third inning -- to pace the Chargers.
Both teams continue OEC action on Saturday, Apr. 11, at 12 p.m. when Saddleback hosts the Fullerton College Hornets and RCC visits the Cypress College Chargers.