The Riverside City College Tigers were locked in a pitcher's duel through the five innings in a non-conference action on Tuesday evening against the Palomar College Comets. The bats awoke in the bottom of the sixth inning to provide the Tigers with a four-run cushion. They continued on to rely on strong pitching and solid defense leading to a 4-3 win.
The Tigers utilized a pitcher by committee tactic against Palomar with strong outings from each pitcher that graced the mound. Sophomore right hander Zach Filos (Murrieta, CA) was handed the pearl for the start and tossed two scoreless innings while allowing just one hit. Sophomore southpaw J.C. Hatch (Corona, CA) relieved him in the top of the third inning and tossed one scoreless inning backed by another scoreless frame from freshman right hander Alexander Salazar (Ohmi, Japan) in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore left hander Gary Fayard (Corona, CA) continued the trend by blanking the Comets in the fifth inning to preserve a scoreless ballgame.
After struggling to get anything going offensively through the first five frames, Riverside broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning with four runs. Freshman right fielder Joseph Hodapp (Murrieta, CA) snapped the scoreless tie with an RBI-single to right field, scoring freshman second baseman Jacob Rodriguez (Montclair, CA). Sophomore tandem Shane Martinez (Riverside, CA) and Andrew Jurado (Riverside, CA) followed with consecutive RBI-doubles leading to a 4-0 advantage.
Freshman reliever Michael Coppens (Fullerton, CA), who entered in the fifth inning, pitched a scoreless sixth inning to set himself up for the win. He later cashed in the victory after freshman reliever Steven Cardey (Riverside, CA) slammed the door in the ninth en route to a 4-3 win.
Coppens (2-0) earned the win after allowing one run off three hits. Cardey earned his first save of the season after facing four batters and throwing just seven pitches. He stranded the tying run on third base for his final out as well. Furthermore, Filos, Salazar, and Hatch each fanned two batters.
Jurado recorded the big two-RBI double on a 1-for-3 day. Martinez barreled a RBI two-bagger leading to a 1-for-4 day at the dish.
The Tigers (8-1) look to keep their seven-game winning streak alive on Thursday, February 15th in the first game of a three-game series against Cuesta College at home at 5 p.m.
Riverside split a two-game series with Cuesta to kick off the season in January.
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