Baseball: Roadrunners can’t hold late lead, fall 7-4 to Long Beach

Baseball: Roadrunners can’t hold late lead, fall 7-4 to Long Beach

Ricky Akles went 2 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI but Rio Hondo College couldn't hold a seventh-inning lead and lost by a final score of 7-4 to visiting Long Beach City College on Saturday in Whittier.

The South Coast Conference defeat dropped the Roadrunners to 6-10 overall and 2-3 in conference play. The two squads close out the two-game conference series on Tuesday (Mar. 12) at LBCC.

The ball game got off to a good start for Rio Hondo as the Roadrunners quickly scored a run in the top of the first to take an early lead. Jimmy Portillo hit a RBI single to bring home Jorge Centeno to get Rio Hondo on the board.

LBCC tied up the game with a run in the fifth before the Roadrunners went back out in front thanks to Akles two-run homer with one out in the bottom of the frame.

A solo home run by Long Beach's David Balboa in the sixth cut the Rio Hondo advantage to one run. But Rio Hondo got that run back thanks to a single by Jordan Salgado that scored Sal Tabullo in the bottom of the sixth.

With Rio Hondo leading 4-2, the Vikings rallied to five runs in the seventh to overtake the Roadrunners for good. Long Beach (9-10, 3-2 SCC) pounded out six hits off a pair of Rio Hondo pitchers in the deciding inning.

Andrew Martinez took the loss after allowing five runs and 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked none. Robert Valdez was excellent in relief, closing out the game for the Roadrunners with a pair of a scoreless innings.

Jesus Maldonado and Tabullo also had two hits for Rio Hondo.