Tigers Sweep Bakersfield in First Round of SoCal Playoffs, Advances to Super Regionals

Photo by Bobby R. Hester
Photo by Bobby R. Hester

The Riverside City College baseball team looked to end a best-of-three game series early against the Bakersfield College Renegades in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern Regionals. Riverside continued to fire on all cylinders as displayed with dominant pitching and consistent hitting leading to an 8-1 victory and a series sweep.

The story of the game mirrored yesterday's outcome – domination on the bump mixed with a strong offensive attack. It started on the mound with sophomore southpaw David Barela setting the tone.

Barela cruised through the opening five innings without allowing a single run. He allowed a mere five base runners scattered throughout the opening five frames, but he stranded them all due to his clutching pitching with runners in scoring position. He also punched out five batters in the process – three looking.

Along with the formidable pitching, the Tigers were gas pedal to the floor form the opening pitch by barreling 17 hits.

The Tigers struck first in the bottom of the second inning with a sacrifice fly from sophomore catcher Andrew Jurado, scoring sophomore center fielder Erick Rayford, to snag a one-run lead.

After Barela blanked the Renegades in the top of the fourth inning, Riverside followed by etching a four spot in the bottom half of the frame by stringing together three-consecutive RBI knocks. Jurado struck again by notching a single to right field, plating sophomore designated hitter Jacob Barham. Freshman right fielder Junior Coleman backed him with a double to left-center field, followed by a base knock to center field from freshman first baseman Dylan Kanoho, scoring Jurado, leading to a 5-0 advantage.

The offense did not slow up by any means with sophomore shortstop Shane Martinez and Rayford recording back-to-back RBI base hits in the sixth inning.

Sophomore Alexander Salazar entered into the contest in the top of the eighth inning and continued to shut down the Renegades with 1.1 innings of lights-out pitching leading to an 8-1 win.

Every starter connected for at least one hit. Coleman led the way by going 4-for-5 with a double, RBI, and two runs scored. Rayford followed by going 2-for-4 with two RBI, while Kanoho and Jurado each cashed in two RBIs.

Barela earned the win after going 7.2 innings and allowing just one run while fanning six batters. Salazar was lights out from the bullpen by recording three strikeouts.

Riverside advances to the CCCAA Super Regional round with the first-round sweep and will compete on Friday, May 11th. The team and destination is to be determined. Stay tuned to www.rccathletics.com for further information.