The No. 17 Riverside City College baseball team hosted the Fullerton College Hornets in Orange Empire Conference (OEC) action at home on Tuesday for the first game of a crucial three-game series. The Tigers came out swinging and outhit the Hornets while displaying strong pitching leading to a 10-2 victory.
The Tigers did not let up on the gas pedal in the bottom of the third inning as they etched a four spot. Freshman first baseman Dylan Kanoho kicked off the rally with an infield single, backed by an RBI base knock from freshman second baseman Jacob Rodriguez. Fullerton kicked the ball around the following inning to allow the Tigers to score two runs, leading to a 5-0 advantage.
Sophomore starting pitcher Daniel Martinez was handed the pearl for the start and did not disappoint. In his first two innings, he retired five out of the seven batters in order while only allowing one hit. He then retired the side in the fourth inning while working his way out of trouble in the fifth inning which included a strikeout looking.
The offense continued to roll highlighted by another four spot in the bottom of the eighth inning. After the Hornets allowed sophomore catcher Andrew Jurado to reach base via error, the flood gates opened once more. Rayford recorded his second RBI knock of the game – this one going for a two bagger. Freshman left fielder Joey Hodapp followed with a line drive to center field, plating Rayford. Kanoho pushed across another run on a sacrifice groundout, backed by a double down the right field line from D. Martinez en route to the victory.
Freshman southpaw Graham Kuck took over for D. Martinez in the seventh inning and tossed 2.1 frames while striking out one. Freshman reliever Andrew Salazar came in and recorded the final out of the eighth inning, while freshman reliever Zach Filos closed the door in the ninth by retiring the side and fanning one batter.
Kanoho went 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored, while Rayford went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
The Tigers (22-13, 8-8 OEC) will look to set up a sweep scenario and leap the Hornets in the standings by facing them on the round Thursday, April 19th at 2 p.m.