Baseball: Roadrunners split two-game set with Antelope Valley

Photo by Byron Devers/AVC Athletics
Photo by Byron Devers/AVC Athletics

LANCASTER --- Coming off a big 18-7 win on opening day Thursday, Rio Hondo College kept that momentum going on Friday by defeating Antelope Valley College 13-6 to begin a two-game series. Looking for the sweep on Saturday, Rio Hondo came up short falling 10-9 to the Marauders in Lancaster.

The Roadrunners set the tone early at The Jungle in their home opener on Friday, putting up seven runs in the bottom of the first inning. Joshua Perez smacked a bases-loaded double to drive in the first three runs of the game and a triple by Jordan Salgado scored two more.

Rio Hondo added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings before wrapping up the victory with four final runs in the eighth. Perez added two more RBI with his single that brought in Rafael Flores and Diego Flores to score.

Perez went 2 for 5 with a game-high 5 RBI to lead Rio Hondo at the plate. Salgado went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and 3 runs while Dylan Schumacher (2 for 4) also drove in a pair and had two hits.

David Medrano went four innings in the start, allowing two runs and seven hits. Camden Cooper picked up the win in relief, as he allowed one earned run and two hits over two innings. And Blake Johnson earned the save, tossing three scoreless innings to close out ball game. He gave up one hit and struck out four.

Rio Hondo jumped on the Marauders' pitching early again in Saturday's finale at AVC, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first to take a quick 2-0 lead. Rafael Flores triple to bring home Stephen Chavez with the first run of the game and two batters later, Perez' RBI ground out scored Flores.

But Antelope Valley responded with three runs of its own off Rio Hondo starter Tyson Patrick to go back out in front.

The Roadrunners scored single runs in the third and fourth. Josep Angul0 hit an RBI-single to drive in Flores and Salgado doubled to bring in Gabriel Rico.

The two squads exchanged leads over the next few innings. Rio Hondo scored two runs in the sixth and seventh innings while AVC put together a big four-run rally in the sixth.

In the eighth, the Roadrunners tied up the ball game at 9-9 thanks to a clutch two-out RBI single by Rico that scored Angulo.

But the Marauders made one final push to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth to pull the win. In the top of the ninth, Chavez led off the frame with a single to put the tying run on base for Rio Hondo, but he was erased with a double play.

Rio Hondo banged out 15 hits in the contest, getting three hits each from Rafael Flores (3 for 5, 2 RBI, 3 runs) and Salgado (3 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 run). Chavez (2 for 4, 1 run), Angulo (2 for 4, 1 RBI, 2 runs), and Rico (2 for 4, 1 RBI, 2 runs) all had productive days at the plate.

Johnathan Siwiecki took the loss in relief for the Roadrunners. He allowed five runs and four hits over 2 1/3 innings.

Rio Hondo, now 2-1 overall, returns to action on Wednesday (Feb. 2) when it hosts Citrus College in a non-conference game. First pitch is set for 1:45 p.m.