The Rio Hondo College baseball team bounced back from a tough 11-0 loss to win the final two games of a three-game South Coast Conference series against Pasadena City College. The Roadrunners edged the Lancers 7-6 at home on Thursday and closed it out with a 3-1 victory at PCC on Saturday.
Thursday's win snapped a nine-game Rio Hondo losing streak to Pasadena that dated back to the 2017 season.
PCC appeared to be on its way to extending that streak to 10 games after scoring three runs in the second and another in the third to go up 4-0. But Rio Honda broke another streak finally in the third inning. Pasadena pitchers had held Rio Hondo scoreless for 29 consecutive innings, but Matt Hickman and Jesus Maldonado hit back-to-back RBI singles to cut the Lancers' lead in half.
Pasadena got those two runs back in the top of the fourth before Rio Hondo again added two more of its own in the bottom of the frame. Garrett Shumaker scored on a wild pitch before Ricky Akles drove in Justin Torres to get Rio Hondo back within two runs at 6-4.
Rio Hondo took advantage of a pair of PCC miscues to go ahead for good in the sixth. Torres was hit by a pitch to open the rally and moved to second on a sacrifice by Joseph Scotvold. Akles followed with a sacrifice to third base, but an error allowed him to reach base and Torres to score.
A wild pitch allowed Scotvold to score the tying run and moved Akles to third base. With one out, Hickman's sacrifice fly to center drove in Akles with the go-ahead run.
Rio Hondo reliever Garrett Paschal did his part, shutting out PCC the rest of the way to close out the win. He picked up the victory, tossing the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing no runs and just one hit with six strikeouts. Nick Acedo also tossed 2 1/3 scoreless relief innings, giving up two hits.
Hickman went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI to lead Rio Hondo at the plate while Akles went 2 for 4 with a pair of runs and RBI.
On Saturday, six different Rio Hondo pitchers held Pasadena to a run in the 3-1 victory to close out the series at PCC.
Starter Evan Foor went 3 2/3 innings, allowing the lone Lancer run in the bottom of the fourth. Nick Acedo (1 1/3 innings), Robert Valdez (2/3 inn.), Tim Carter (1 1/3 inn.), Cody Haley (2/3 inn.), and Nick Juarez (1 1/3 inn.) held Pasadena scoreless the rest of the way to shut the door. Acedo was credited with the win while Juarez earned the save.
Rio Hondo totaled nine hits in the ball game. Charles Sousamian's RBI single drove in Jacob Lang with the Roadrunners' first run in the second inning. A bunt single by Akles in the sixth brought home Sctovold, and another bunt, this time off the bat of Sousamian, allowed Maldonado to score in the ninth.
Lang (2 for 3, 1 run) and Shumaker (2 for 3, RBI) both had two hits to lead the Roadrunners' offense.
With the wins, Rio Hondo improved to 8-6 overall and 2-1 in South Coast Conference play. The Roadrunners begin another three-game SCC series on Tuesday (Feb. 25) at 2 p.m. at Long Beach City College. Game 2 is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 27) at Rio Hondo with the finale back at LBCC on Saturday (Feb. 29) at noon.