A complete-game shutout from sophomore starting pitcher Garret Irvin handed the third seeded Riverside City College baseball squad a game-one victory over the 14th seeded Cuesta College Cougars in the first round of the California Community College Athletics Association (CCCAA). Irvin's dominant outing mixed with quality hitting and strong defense handed the Tigers a 5-0 victory.
Irvin graced the mound for his first-career playoff start and found himself in early trouble as Cuesta loaded the bases in the top of the first inning. Despite the early hole, he wiggled out of the jam by forcing an inning ending ground out to freshman third baseman Matthew Ivancich.
Riverside capitalized off the Cougars defensive miscues to plate two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After a leadoff double down the left field line from sophomore center fielder Junior Coleman, he came around to score on an error by the Cougars' first baseman. Freshman second baseman Alex Moreno, who reached on the error, came around to score on a passed ball leading to a 2-0 advantage.
Two runs was all Irvin needed as he settled in and set himself to cruise control. He allowed just four hits throughout the following eight innings. He struck out a season-low two strikeouts, but he utilized a defense that only made one error.
Freshman catcher Steve Ramirez remained scorching hot at the dish by driving in a run in the bottom of the third inning with a single to center field. The left side of the infield struck in the bottom of the sixth inning as sophomore shortstop Matthew Happ squared up an RBI double in the left-center gap, backed by a RBI single up the middle by Ivancich.
Irvin followed by retiring the side in the seventh and the ninth inning leading to a 5-0 win.
Happ paced the offense with a 2-for-4 day at the plate with a double, two RBI and a run scored. Ivancich recorded two hits, while Moreno touched home twice.
Riverside (31-10, 15-6 OEC, 1-0) will look to take the series as they host Cuesta in game two of the CCCAA Southern Regionals at home at 12 p.m. Follow live stats at www.rccathletics.com