Freshman Justin Torres drove in three runs, including what proved to be the game-winner for Rio Hondo College in the top of the ninth inning, to help lead the Roadrunners to a 7-6 victory at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita on Friday.
Rio Hondo snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 4-3 overall with the win. The Roadrunners return to COC's Cougar Field on Saturday (Feb. 8) to take on Allan Hancock College at 2 p.m.
Torres had a big game, going 2 for 4 with 3 RBI. His two-run single in the top of the first drove in Jesus Maldonado and Matt Hickman to give Rio Hondo an early 2-0 lead.
But that didn't last long as the Cougars responded with four runs in the bottom of the first off Rio Hondo starting pitcher Matt Herrera. After a shaky first, he went on to toss 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He ended his day going 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs and seven hits with two strikeouts.
The Roadrunners got a run back in the top of the second thanks to a Ricky Akles RBI single and scored three times with two outs in the sixth to jump ahead 6-4. Akles doubled for his second RBI of the game while Jacob Lang came through with a two-run single.
Canyons (2-5) again came right back to score, getting a pair of unearned runs thanks to two Rio Hondo errors to tie up the game 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth.
But in the top of the ninth, Diego Perez reached base and advanced to second off a Canyons errors to lead off the frame. Torres promptly followed with his run-scoring single to put Rio Hondo back out in front for good.
Canyons got the tying run to second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Rio Hondo closer Nick Acedo struck out COC pinch hitter Jesse Parraz to end the ball game. Over 4 2/3 innings, Acedo has yet to allow a run and has struck out nine batters.
Relievers Robert Valdez (1 1/3 innings) and Ruben Del Castillo (1 1/3 inn.) both had scoreless outings to keep the Roadrunners in the contest.
Akles also had a productive day at the plate, going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and a run. Lang also drove in two, going 2 for 4.