Roadrunners Lose Tough Fought Opener vs LBCC

Rio+Hondo+starter+Steven+Alvarez+pitched+3.2+innings+in+his+outing+against+Long+Beach+City+College%2C+keeping+the+game+level.+

Enrique Medina

Rio Hondo starter Steven Alvarez pitched 3.2 innings in his outing against Long Beach City College, keeping the game level.

The Roadrunners came up short by a score of 5-2 in a match-up against an undefeated Long Beach City College Baseball club on Tuesday afternoon, Feb.26. The match was the first of a three-game series against Long Beach City College and their second series of the SCC season. 

The pitching match-up put Rio Hondo starter Steven Alvarez to the hill up against Long Beach City College starter Noel Soto. Alvarez, despite losing his last start against Pasadena City College, was sharp and looking to continue his momentum against a deep LBCC lineup. 

After a quick and painless top of the first inning for Alvarez, the Roadrunners were able to manage pressure against a very skilled starter in Soto in the bottom half of the first inning. Following two hit batsmen in a row to right fielder Matt Hickman and catcher Jesus Maldonado, first baseman Diego Flores was able to drive in Hickman on a one-out RBI double. Next batter, designated hitter Matthew Raffety brought in Rio Hondo’s second run on an RBI groundout, giving the Roadrunners a quick 2-0 lead.  

The lead would quickly disappear in the top of the second inning after Long Beach City College second baseman Matthew Pinal brought in LBCC’s first two runs on the board via a two-run homerun crushed to right field. 

Alvarez would go on to keep the score a 2-2 ballgame after pitching 3 ⅔ innings for the Roadrunners and would hand the ball off to pitcher Nick Juarez. Juarez would continue on in a very solid showing only allowing two hits in 2 ⅓ innings keeping the score level.   

It was not until the top of the seventh until there was a change in the scoreboard. After getting two quick outs to start the seventh, relief pitcher Tim Carter proceeded to give up a two-out walk and two-out base hit, leaving runners on first and third with two out. Carter was out, and relief pitcher Nick Acedo was in to try and shut the door. Things escalated quickly for Acedo as he gave up two two-out base hit RBI’s to LBCC batters that gave them the jump on a 4-2 lead. 

That lead would never come back for the Roadrunners as they would end up allowing a home run to LBCC catcher Diego Altamirano in the top of the ninth and would lose by a final score of 5-2.  

Not efficient enough

The story of the ballgame for the Roadrunners was not being to capitalize with runners in scoring position. A total of nine men were left on base throughout the entirety of the game. Chance after chance slipped for the Roadrunners. This included leaving runners on first and second both in the fifth and sixth innings against Soto who pitched six strong and leaving runners on second and third against LBCC reliever Mitchell Knight, who wound up getting the save. After the game, Rio Hondo Baseball Head Coach Mike Salazar said, “the game was a fistfight, we got knocked down, but couldn’t get back up,” pointing out how the team would need to make adjustments to get back on track. 

The loss put the Roadrunners at a 2-2 record in the South Coast Conference, meanwhile, LBCC improved to 4-0 in SCC play.

 

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