By Sonny Tapia
Baseball beat Rio Hondo College 12-11 in a close game at home on Saturday making the Huskies 15-18-1 overall and 8-10-1 in the conference.
ELAC was able to put up 12 hits in the game, while Rio Hondo had 16.
“There’s no one to pick you up. You gotta do this now.” Hines said to freshman infielder Daniel De La Pena during his at bat. Pena laid down a bunt to be called safe at first and scoring the game tying run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Rio Hondo started the game off early with four hits, including three runs batted in by freshman left fielder Jordan Salgado, freshman center fielder Sal Tabullo and sophomore designated hitter Carl Hudson.
ELAC sophomore right fielder Ruben Hernandez got his first hit of the game in his first at bat by singling to the right center gap.
Freshman first baseman Aj Gama doubled to right field recording two RBIs after sophomore catcher Gabriel Jimenez walked in his at bat to load the bases.
The Huskies were down by one run at the end of the first inning. ELAC head coach James Hines made the first pitching change of the game by replacing freshman pitcher Steven Villagran for freshman pitcher Michael Mendoza after Villagran gave up four runs.
Rio Hondo took a three run lead in the second inning but ELAC quickly shrunk the lead to one before the end of the second after two RBIs came from sophomore third baseman Andy Rodriguez and Villagran.
Freshman pitcher Alex Castellanos took the mound as the third pitcher of the game for ELAC, he threw a pitch that caused Gabriel Jimenez to lash out. “What are you looking at? C’mon let’s go,” Jimenez said.
In the top of the fifth inning the lead for Rio Hondo was stretched to five after a two RBI hits by freshman catcher Jesus Maldonado.
A three-run homerun to right field by Jordan Salgado immidiately followed Maldonado’s hit.
This surge of scoring resulted in the final pitching change for ELAC, putting freshman pitcher Mario Huizar in the game.
He gave up a walk and recorded a strikeout to end the top half of the fifth inning.
James Hines came out to argue a call that was overturned by the umpire, calling the Rio Hondo runner safe at first saying Gama’s foot was off the bag.
“That’s really bad man, that is bad,” Hines said. Before the start of the seventh inning the home plate umpire had to deal with heckling and personal opinions from ELAC fans.
He quickly dispersed these comments by telling the fans he did not want to hear it from them.
Two runs were added to the board for the Huskies when sophomore second baseman Anthony Soto hit the ball past the outfielders for a RBI triple. The Huskies were down by one run going into the final three innings of the game.Rio Hondo was shut down for the rest of the game when ELAC’s defense recorded two consecutive one-two-three innings.
Mario Huizar caused Rio Hondo to fly out four times and groundout twice in the seventh and eighth innings.
ELAC took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning by starting the inning with a single up the middle by freshman center fielder Erick Espinoza.
Soto had discipline at the plate by walking in his at bat.
ELAC took the lead off of a RBI by Ruben Hernandez with two outs in the inning.
Huizar closed out the game only giving up one hit in the top of the ninth and ending the game with a flyout to center.
ELAC will play its next game today against Allan Hancock College at Allan Hancock at 2:30 p.m.