Riverside Defeats LA Pierce by Committee

Junior Coleman recorded a three-RBI triple in the top of the second inning and swiped his 22nd bag of the season in a victory over LA Pierce on Thursday. (Photo by Bobby R. Hester)
Junior Coleman recorded a three-RBI triple in the top of the second inning and swiped his 22nd bag of the season in a victory over LA Pierce on Thursday. (Photo by Bobby R. Hester)

The Riverside City College baseball team played host to its second-consecutive non-conference opponents on Thursday afternoon as they faced off against Los Angeles Pierce College. The Tigers worked towards a 6-1 victory behind a grip of pitchers and an offense that barreled 12 hits.

Sophomore ace Garrett Irvin graced the mound for his 12th start of the season. Despite allowing LA Pierce to score their lone run, it was an unearned run and he fanned three batters in two innings of work. Sophomore Alexander Salazar entered in the top of the third inning and dominated by punching out a batter and not allowing a single base knock.

Riverside plated three runs in the bottom of the second inning prior to Salazar entering to grant Irvin the victory. Sophomore center fielder Junior Coleman launched a bases-clearing triple to deep right field to hand Riverside the lead.

A two run lead was all the Tigers needed, but they tacked on three more insurance runs in the third, fifth and seventh innings. Sophomore Matt Happ sent a sacrifice fly out to right field in the third, plating sophomore right fielder Ulises Caballero. He then struck again in the bottom of the fifth inning with an RBI single sending freshman first baseman Dylan Morace home.

Happ scored the final run of the game on an error by LA Pierce's shortstop, thus leading to a 6-1 triumph.

Seven pitchers climbed the mound for the Tigers. Sophomore Ethan Sachs, freshman Matthew Henry and freshman Marquise Johnson threw an inning each and did not allow a hit. Freshman Kenny Kim allowed one hit, but struck out two batters. Sophomore closer Lawrence Castaneda picked up his seventh save of the year despite early struggles. He settled in and wiggled out of a bases load jam by punching out three-straight batters.

Happ paced the offense with a 3-for-3 day leading to two RBI and two runs scored. Freshman third baseman Matthew Ivancich followed with two hits.

Riverside (28-9, 13-4 OEC) will enter into their final Orange Empire Conference (OEC) series at home on Friday, April 23 against the Cypress College Chargers at 2 p.m.