RIVERSIDE – The Riverside City College (RCC) Tigers baseball team scored a sixth-inning run and sophomore starting LHP Blake Tuthill made it stand as the Tigers shaded the visiting Saddleback College Gauchos, 1-0, in the opener of a three-game Orange Empire Conference (OEC) series at Samuel C. Evans Park Tuesday afternoon (Apr. 18).
Riverside City (27-8 overall, 13-3 OEC) took the lead for good when sophomore 1B John Gonzalez (Corona – Corona HS '15) doubled down the left-field line to open the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore CF Jack Bailey then was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced when red-shirt freshman SS Peter McEvoy (Colorado Springs, CO – Pine Creek HS '15) bunted and the ensuing pop up fell untouched in front of the home plate circle to load the bases with none out.
Sophomore RF Dean Miller (Riverside – Ramona HS '15) -- who is pictured -- lofted a sacrifice fly to right field and Gonzalez scored the game's only run.
Saddleback (22-13, 8-8 OEC) threatened in the top of the first inning when it had runners at the corners with one out, but RCC starting sophomore LHP Blake Tuthill (Redlands – Redlands East Valley HS '14) was more than equal to the task.
Tuthill pitched 8-2/3 innings and scattered five hits (all singles), walked none and struck out one as his record improved to 9-1. Sophomore DH/RHP Ryan Mota (Fontana – Kaiser HS '14) came on in the ninth and allowed a single before notching a strikeout to end the game and pick up his fourth save.
Saddleback starting RHP Daniel Harris went the first 6-1/3 innings and allowed five hits, one run (earned) with two walks and three strikeouts as his record fell to 4-5. Freshman CF Tyler Clark went two for three and was hit by a pitch to pace the Gauchos.
The game lasted 2:01, the third-fastest game of the season for Riverside.
Next, both teams will continue on to the middle game of a three-game OEC series on Thursday, Apr. 20, when RCC visits Saddleback. First pitch is at 2 p.m. (PDT).