Jesus Maldonado's RBI single with one out in the top of the ninth inning proved to be the game-winner as the Roadrunners held on for a 5-4 win over Compton College at the MLB Urban Youth Academy on Thursday in both teams' South Coast Conference opener.
The victory snapped Rio Hondo's four-game losing streak and improved the Roadrunners to 5-8 overall and 1-0 in the SCC. The teams wrap up a two-game conference series on Friday (Mar. 1) in Whittier.
The Roadrunners got off to a good start on Thursday, greeting Compton starting pitcher Adam Rosales by scoring three runs in the top of the first. Jimmy Portillo hit a RBI single while a pair of Tartar errors allowed two more runs to score.
Compton (3-10, 0-1 SCC) got a run back in the bottom of the first before Portillo came through in the clutch again with a run-scoring single in the third.
With Rio Hondo up 4-1, Compton chipped away by scoring single runs in the fourth, fifth, and seventh to tie up the game.
In the deciding ninth, Jorge Centeno hit a one-out single to get the rally started and moved to second when Ricky Akles was hit by a pitch. One batter later, Maldonado singled to drive in Centeno with the eventual game-winning run.
Compton didn't go down easy in the bottom of the frame. A pair of walks and a single loaded the bases with two outs. But Rio Hondo reliever James Wright struck out Aaron Kirchner to end the threat and secure the team victory and save.
Nick Juarez pitched well in the start for the Roadrunners. He allowed three runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings in a no decision. Isaiah Vasquez was the winning pitcher in relief, tossing 2 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just one hit.
Portillo led Rio Hondo at the plate, going 2 for 5 with 2 RBI and a run scored while Centeno (3 for 5) banged out three hits and scored twice.