Long Ball Lifts Riverside over Irvine Valley

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

The long ball played a huge factor for the Riverside City College baseball team in an Orange Empire Conference (OEC) contest against the Irvine Valley College Lasers in game two of a three-game series. The Tigers were able to hold on to an early lead to snap a three-game skid en route to a 5-3 victory.

Freshman starter Ethan Sachs graced the mound in his third start of the season and got off to a strong start by allowing just one base hit through the first five innings of action. After allowing two base runners in the first two innings of work, he retired the side in the following three innings to provide Riverside with a strong foundation.

Riverside jumped on the board in the bottom of the first inning as freshman designated hitter Angel Mendoza launched a towering two-run homerun over the left field wall, plating sophomore right fielder Ulises Caballero, leading to an early two-run lead.

Freshman second baseman kept the RBI train chugging in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out base knock to center field to score sophomore left fielder Joseph Hodapp. The long ball bug was in full effect as the game continued as freshman catcher Steven Ramirez powered a solo shot over the left-center wall to push the score to 4-0 after three full innings.

Despite the four-run lead, the Lasers worked to bring the score to 4-3 after the top half of the eighth inning. However, an insurance run for the Tigers in the bottom of the eighth provided further cushion. Ramirez struck again with a two-out RBI double to right-center field, scoring Caballeros, thus leading to a 5-3 win.

Sophomore Lawrence Castadena was clutch out of the bullpen as he chuck3.2 innings leading to his sixth save of the season. He struck out four batters in the process.

Ramirez paced the offense by going 2-for-3 with a homerun, double, two RBI and a run scored. Mendoza launched a two-run jack for his lone hit of the day, while Moreno and Hodapp barreled two hits.

Riverside (23-8, 10-4 OEC) will look to take the series against the Lasers (18-21-1, 4-10) on Saturday, April 6 on the road at 12 p.m.