Pitching was a dominant trend in for the No. 3 Riverside City College baseball team in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern Regional playoffs against the No. 14 Cuesta College Cougars. Sophomore starter Alexander Salazar carried the Tigers to the promise land by tossing an unscathed, complete-game shutout leading to a 3-0 victory and a series sweep.
Riverside advances to round two of the CCCAA Southern Regionals for the second-consecutive season. They are set to host with the opponent yet to be determined.
It was another masterful performance by a Riverside starter. Salazar climbed the bump for his 11th start of the season and displayed his best stuff yet. Salazar's dominant arsenal haunted the Cougar's offense, which was blanked by sophomore southpaw Garrett Irvin in the first game of the series.
Salazar allowed just three baserunners in the first three innings and followed by retiring six in a row through the fifth inning. Through that span, he struck out six batters with most falling victim to a deadly 12-6 bender. Freshman catcher Angel Mendoza and sophomore first baseman Andrew Talkington were responsible for recording the putouts.
The Tigers granted Salazar a one-run lead in the top of the first inning as freshman designated hitter Steve Ramirez laced a two-out RBI double down the left field line, plating sophomore center fielder Junior Coleman.
A small offensive surge came in the top of the sixth inning as Mendoza blasted a towering two-run bomb over the left-center wall, scoring Ramirez, to hand the Tigers a three-run advantage.
From then on, it was all Salazar as he cruised through the final three frames capping his complete game shutout with a strikeout.
Riverside will await their second-round opponent and likely host a three-game series beginning Friday, May 10. Opponent and game times are TBD. Please stay tuned to www.rccathletics. Com for further details.