It was an offensive melee on Thursday afternoon in Riverside City College baseball's first game of a two game series against the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) defending state champion Grossmont College Griffiths. After Grossmont jumped out to an early lead, the Tiger stuck with their approach and worked to gain the lead in the fourth inning and never look back en route to a 12-6 victory.
Grossmont struck first in the bottom of the first inning with a pair of runs to put Riverside in tough hole. However, freshman starter Andrew Baltierra (Temecula, CA) settled in in the following two frames to blank the Griffiths and give the Tiger offense a chance to answer.
Riverside did just that in the top of the fourth inning as they blasted back-to-back homeruns to snag the lead. Sophomore catcher Andrew Jurado (Riverside, CA) launched a two-run shot to score freshman left fielder Dylan Kanoho (Honolulu, HI) backed by a solo round-tripper from freshman second baseman Jacob Rodriguez (Walnut, CA) to grab a 3-2 lead.
The Tigers followed with another three spot in the top of the fifth inning. Kanoho forced an errant throw by the Griffith's catcher when stealing second base, thus scoring sophomore first baseman Daniel Martinez (Riverside, CA) who lead off the inning with a two-bagger. Jurado followed with a sacrifice fly, backed by a single from sophomore designated hitter Diego Guerrero (Maracaibo, Venezuela) to earn a 6-2 lead.
Riverside did not let up on the gas pedal as they continued to crush the ball in the top of the sixth inning highlighted by a RBI double from sophomore third baseman Jacob Barham (Long Beach, CA). Kanoho backed him with an RBI single.
Rodriguez continued to cart a hot stick with a two-RBI knock in the eighth inning scoring freshman pinch hitter Kase Warner (Norco, CA) and Barham, eventually leading to a 12-6 win.
Baltierra earned the victory after tossing 3.2 innings and fanning four batters. Freshman reliever Michael Coppens (Fullerton, CA) strung together a nice outing by chucking 1.1 innings while not allowing a hit and striking out a batter.
Rodriguez had a great day at the dish by going 3-for-5 with three RBI and a bomb. Barham backed him with a 2-for-5 effort that featured a double, two RBI, and two runs scored. Guerrero recorded three hits as well.
The Tigers (2-1) will finish off a two-game series against Grossmont tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Evans Sports Complex.