Making their debut in the South Coast Conference, the Rio Hondo baseball team made an early name for themselves by winning their first game against the Cerritos College Falcons by a score of 4-1.
After losing a game where the Roadrunners led going into the top of the ninth against Oxnard College Feb. 24, a six day rest proved to be beneficial for the team heading into the game against the Falcons.
Playing the first game of the series at home in The Jungle Mar. 2, the Falcons struck early in the second inning, as Roadrunner centerfielder Nick Ybarra committed an error, allowing Rolando Nichols to score for a 1-0 lead for Cerritos.
Despite the error, Ybarra helped lead the Roadrunners to victory going two for four with three RBI’s improving Rio Hondo’s overall record to 9-4 and 1-0 in conference while Cerritos College fell to an overall record of 5-11 and 0-1 in conference.
Rio would respond in the fifth inning with Alex Rodriguez getting an RBI single that brought home Tony Rosario to make it a 1-1 game.
Ybarra would redeem his earlier mistake with a two-run single that brought in Rodriguez and Marcos Rivas to make it a 3-1 game at the bottom of the fifth inning.
Cerritos nearly had a chance to respond in the following inning with a series of plays that had the bases loaded and a pitching change by Rio Hondo with one out to go. The Falcons could not capitalize on Rio’s relief pitcher and left three players on bases with hopes of a comeback fading.
The Roadrunners added one more run to their total in the seventh inning, when Ybarra had an RBI double that brought home Christian Valdez to make it a 4-1 game.
The pitching unit for Rio did its job as starting pitcher Brady Carlson only allowed one run and four hits in five innings and relief pitchers Jake Gaudet and Anthony Franco finished the rest of the game without any runs securing the Roadrunners opener against the Falcons.
Rio Hondo continued their two-game series on the road at Cerritos College Mar. 4, with the Roadrunners opening the scoring in the top of the third inning as Danny Marquez reached on an error by third basemen.
Gabe Chavez then advanced to second base then to third on another error by second baseman and made it home safely to open the scoreboard for the Roadrunners.
Cerritos College didn’t respond until the bottom of the seventh inning, with Nichols singling down right field getting an RBI as Dominic Bravo scored to equalize the game. Cerritos then overtook Rio Hondo when Jesus Mercado grounded out to the pitcher but managed to get an RBI as Nichols made it home safely to make it a 2-1 game for the Falcons.
The Roadrunners now dropped their overall record to 9-5 and a conference record of 1-1 as they next look to host L.A. Harbor Mar. 7 followed by an away game Mar. 9.