It had been 687 days since the Riverside City College baseball team last played a game.
But who's counting?
The Tigers kicked off their 2022 campaign by traveling up to San Luis Obispo, CA to take on the Cuesta College Cougars in a three-game series. In game one, they came out swinging by banging out 11 runs on 17 hits leading to a commanding 11-4 win.
A total of 26 players saw time on the diamond already proving that Riverside has a deep roster loaded with talent.
Riverside jumped out to an early two-run lead in the first inning with freshman third baseman Ignacio Alvarez barreling a double to send freshman designated hitter Bryce Cermenelli in to score. I. Alvarez later scored on a two-out double from freshman catcher Maxwell Shor.
The Tigers kept pouring on the offense by etching a four-spot in the second inning. Freshman center fielder Julian Alvarez barreled his first-career hit that landed him on third base, scoring freshman shortstop Sebastian Florez and freshman left fielder Brian West. J. Alvarez later came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Cermenelli. Freshman left fielder Matthew Bardowell capped the inning with another sacrifice fly, scoring I. Alvarez, leading to a 6-0 advantage.
While the offense was pumping, the pitching staff was lights out. Freshman Giancarlo Flores toed the slab and tossed five scoreless innings and recorded four strikeouts in his first-career start. He started by forcing a double play after walking the first batter of the game and ended his outing by forcing a fly out to center field.
One run came in to score through his five innings of work, but it was unearned.
Riverside added two more runs in the fifth inning as Shor and freshman first baseman Bret Bowers hit back-to-back doubles, scoring Shor. Bowers touched home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Flores. In the sixth inning, they worked the bases loaded and Bardowell drew a walk, sending J. Alvarez home who led the inning off with a single. Shor recorded his second RBI of the game via sac fly, scoring Cemrenelli. Bowers capped the scoring with his second RBI knock of the game, scoring I. Alvarez, leading to an 11-1 advantage.
The Riverside bullpen handled business down the stretch despite a shaky eighth inning. Freshman Jordan Townley took the pearl in the sixth inning and fanned two batters, while freshman Philip Ledesma handled the seventh and struck out one.
Sophomore Ryan Hernandez finished the job by tossing a scoreless ninth inning leads to an 11-4 victory.
Flores (1-0) finished with five punch outs in five innings to earn the win.
Five players finished with two or more hits highlighted by a 3-for-3 night from I. Alvarez. He scored three times and drove in a run. J. Alvarez, Shor, Bowers and West each recorded two hits.