Baseball team can't get past Riverside in OEC series finale

Baseball team can't get past Riverside in OEC series finale

Irvine Valley's baseball team dropped the rubber game of an Orange Empire Conference series in a pitcher's duel at Riverside on Friday afternoon.

Riverside came out on top, 4-0, to take two of the three games.

Both squads found themselves in a tight ball game that saw strong pitching through the first half of the game.

Riverside, ranked No. 6 in the state, jumped ahead in the sixth inning by etching two runs on the scoreboard and never looked back.

Brent McDonald climbed the hill for his second start of the season and his first conference outing of the year.

He cruised through six innings and allowed just one hit in all but one frame where he retired the side in order following a lead off hit-by-pitch.

The Tigers broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning after Jacob Barham and Andrew Jurado led off the frame with consecutive base hits. Jacob Rodriguez pushed across the first run with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Barham. Joseph Hodapp knocked in Jurado with a single to center field two batters later leading to a 2-0 Riverside lead.

Alexander Salazar relieved McDonald in the top of the sixth inning and Riverside's strong pitching. He forced the first batter he faced to ground into a double play.

The Tigers added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

McDonald earned his second win of the season after tossing 5.1 scoreless frames and scattering five hits. He fanned four batters in the process. Salazar earned the save after allowing a mere hit.

Freshman righty Chad Burchit started the game on the mound for IVC. He went three innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks with two strikeouts.

Freshman right-hander Noah Bradford then entered in relief and went five innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts.

IVC finished with just six hits on the day. Sophomore designated hitter Zack Stack and freshman second baseman Brett Long each went 2 for 4 on the day.

Barham led Riveride by going 3 for 4 with a run scored, while Rodriguez, Hodapp and Rayford each notched RBI.

Riverside improved its record to 18-8 overall and 5-4 in conference, while Irvine Valley slipped to 14-12 overall and 4-5 in conference.

Irvine Valley plays again next Tuesday at home, hosting LA Harbor in a nonconference game at 2 p.m.

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