Baseball: Rio Hondo can't hold ninth-inning lead, falls to Oxnard

Baseball: Rio Hondo can't hold ninth-inning lead, falls to Oxnard

The visiting Oxnard College Condors rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth inning to erase an 8-7 Rio Hondo College advantage as the Roadrunners dropped a 12-8 non-conference game in Whittier on Friday afternoon.

Rio Hondo has lost consecutive games for just the first time this season and dropped to 8-4 overall.

Early in the game, the Roadrunners appeared to be on their way to the easy victory after scoring two runs in the first and adding three more in the second.

But Oxnard came right back in the top of the third to tie up the game. Francisco Tostado hit a three-run home run as part of the five-run rally. The Condors jumped ahead with two more runs in the fifth before the Roadrunners rallied late to take the lead back.

Trailing 7-6, Nick Ybarra's double scored Randy Buenrostro in the sixth to tie up the game while Buenrostro lined a go-ahead RBI single to drive in Danny Marquez in the eighth.

With the Roadrunners' up by one run, Anthony Franco couldn't hold the lead in the top of the ninth as three Rio Hondo errors led to five unearned runs.  

Despite the melt down in the ninth, the Rio Hondo offense totaled 13 hits in the contest, including three each by Buenrostro and R.J. Romo. Buenrostro and Ybarra both drove in two runs while Marquez and Alex Rodriguez went 2 for 4.

Chris Velasquez pitched well in relief by tossing three perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts. Franco took the loss to fall to 4-1 this season.

Rio Hondo will look to halt its losing streak on Thursday (Mar. 2) when the Roadrunners open South Coast Conference play hosting Cerritos College at 2 p.m. The two-game interdivision series wraps up on Saturday (Mar. 4) at Cerritos at 12 p.m.