It took just two wins for the Riverside City College baseball team to advance to the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Super Regional Round as they whipped out the brooms and took down the Bakersfield College Renegades with ease in the opening regional bout. Riverside will head coastal to take on the Orange Coast College Pirates, an Orange Empire Conference (OEC) foe, in a best-of-three series beginning on Friday, May 11th at 2 p.m.
The Pirates, who were crowned OEC Champions, won the series against Riverside during the regular season by taking two-out-of-three games. Riverside dropped the first game of the series by the final score of 8-7 in 11 innings. They rebounded to earn a 2-1 victory the next contest on the Pirate's home turf, but dropped the rubber match at home by final score of 12-5.
The Tigers could simply not be tamed in the opening regional round. The pitching staff was downright filthy by allowing just one Bakersfield run throughout the entire series. Additionally, they forced Bakersfield to strand 21 runners on base.
In the opening contest, sophomore Daniel Martinez pitched lights out by chucking eight innings of scoreless baseball. He allowed a mere two hits and fanned five batters. Sophomore David Barela followed in game two by dicing up the Renegades through 7.1 innings while allowing just one run off nine hits. He fanned six hitters in the process.
And to add to the concoction, a bullpen combination of sophomore Graham Kuck and freshman Alexander Salazar was a nightmare for Bakersfield. Kuck tossed the final frame in game one and fanned two while allowing just one hit. Salazar nearly mimicked his outing in game two by going 1.1 innings and fanning three.
Great offense settles pitchers into a rhythm and that formula was evident for the Tigers. Throughout the two games, the Tigers connected for 28 hits with each starter recording at least one base knock in game two. Discalimer - do not sleep on Riverside from top to bottom.
Sophomore shortstop Shane Martinez caught fire in the two games by going a combined 3-for-8 with three RBI, two runs scored, and a solo homerun coming in the first game. He has reached base safely in seven of the last eight games. Freshman first baseman Dylan Kanoho has been electric at the dish by going 4-for-9 with two RBI and three runs scored in the series. He has recorded two or more hits in five of the last eight games.
The outfield for the Tigers has been swinging the stick with strength higlighted by sophomore center fielder Erick Rayford and freshman right fielder Junior Coleman. They have gone a combined 8-for-16 with three runs scored, three RBI, and two doubles.
Orange Coast hauled in a pair of one-run victories against Cuesta College in the first round - a team who was receiving votes in the California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) in late April.
Orange Coast is led by numerous weapons. They have 10 players with double-digit RBI totals to go along with eight players recording 30 or more hits (minimum 100 at-bats). Freshman Skylar Limonchi paces the team with 50 hits to go along with a .311 batting average. He has stolen 12 bases and has been only caught a pair of times. Sophomore Ramiro Velasco leads the team with 32 RBI and five round trippers.
Sophomore Cameron Jabara leads the pitching staff with a flawless 6-0 record in 10 starts. He has recorded 52 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched. Sophomore Michael Glacone leads the team in strikeouts with 73 while boasting a 10.89 strikeouts-per-nine innings ratio and a 2.39 ERA. Sophomore Josh Berman leads the squad with five saves, while sophomore Doug Magee follows with three.