Rio Hondo College continued its unbeaten run to start the 2019 season. On Friday, the Roadrunners rolled to their third straight victory, a 7-3 non-conference win at Citrus College.
Leadoff hitter Ricky Akles set the table for the Roadrunners, going 3 for 4 at the plate while scoring three runs with a RBI. He scored on a bases-loaded, fielder's choice in the top of the first inning for the first run of the ball game. Moments later, Jimmy Portillo came in to score on a passed ball to give Rio Hondo an early 2-0 lead.
The Roadrunners loaded the bases again in the third inning, but only managed to score one run on a double play.
Up 3-0, Citrus rallied to tie up the contest with a three-run, third-inning. The Owls took advantage of a two-out error to extend the frame, allowing three unearned runs to score off Rio Hondo starting pitcher R.J. Van Kampen.
Van Kampen recovered and limited the damage. He went on to toss six innings, allowing no earned runs and five hits for his first win of the season. Van Kampen struck out six and walked two.
The Roadrunners went ahead for good in the fifth thanks to a RBI single off the bat of Jorge Centeno that scored Jordan Salgado. Christian Tinnin smacked a RBI double in the eighth, Akles added a RBI single in the ninth, and Portillo closed out the scoring with single that drove in Akles.
Jesus Maldonado also had a big game at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a pair of walks and a run scored.
Nick Juarez earned his first save of the season, closing out the win with three scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and struck out three.
Weather permitting, Rio Hondo (3-0) returns to non-conference action on Saturday (Feb. 2) with a 12 p.m. game at Victor Valley College.