Saturday, March 3, 2018

Grossmont College Griffins at College of the Desert Roadrunners

COD (4-15; 1-2) received some fantastic pitching and timely hitting as they knocked off the defending state champion Grossmont Griffins (10-8; 2-1), 6-5 in the 3rd and final game of the series.

College of the Desert sophomore right handed starting pitcher Austin Clifton tossed an impressive game and sophomore catcher Matthew Hernandez called a great game as Clifton threw eight strong innings against the Griffins.

Grossmont would get on the board first, in the top of the second, plating two runs, on a double by Kiichi Sato (Rancho Bernardo High, CA), which scored a run for Koby Fleck (Valley Center High, CA) and a passed ball which scored a run for Aiden Rasmusson (Santana High, CA) from third base to give the Griffins and early 2-0 lead.

The Roadrunners would cut the score in half in the bottom of the fourth as sophomore short stop Jerred Soriano would lead off the inning with a single to left and was brought home later in the inning on a sacrifice fly to right by sophomore third baseman Nick Follett.

Desert would take the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when freshman center fielder Adam Lopez collected a one out hit-by-pitch, stole second base and was hit in the helmet by the throw by the Griffins catcher, therefore advancing to third base. Lopez would dart home on a sacrifice fly to deep left field by freshman left fielder Joshua Hernandez to tie the game at 2-2. The Roadrunners would take the lead when freshman right fielder, and lead-off batter, Nathanael Tiaga hit a two out single to center and Soriano reached base on a hit-by-pitch. Then freshman second baseman Nathaniel Lopez clobbered a shot, which completely ate up the Griffins first baseman and Tiaga scampered in for the go ahead score.

The Griffins would tie the game up at 3-3 in the top of the sixth with a double by Aidan Rasmusson to bring home Koby Fleck, but Desert would regain the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Josh Hernandez would lead off the inning by reaching base on a hit-by-pitch, then advanced to second on a ground out to the Grossmont pitcher and hit third base on a passed ball. Nate Lopez would walk, then steal second base and freshman first baseman Jonathan Mejia hit an opposite field double to right field that bounced just inside the foul line and squirted diagonally away from the Griffins right fielder. The double scored Hernandez and Lopez to give Desert a 5-3 lead.

In the top of the ninth, Clifton was lifted and the duty of closing out the game was given to freshman right handed relief pitcher Daniel Connelly. After getting the first batter to ground out to the second baseman, the Griffins hit a double and then Jake Sim (Scripps Ranch High, Ca) clobbered a wind-aided home run to right field to tie the game at 5-5. Sophomore right handed relief pitcher Isaiah Kinder came in and put down the final two batters to hold the game.

In the bottom of the ninth, the first batter popped out to right field and then Tiaga singled to center, reaching second base on a steal, to get a runner in scoring position with one out. A ground out to the short stop, put Tiaga at third base and Nate Lopez punched a shot towards the third baseman who looked at home plate then gunned the ball wide of first base, pulling the Griffins first baseman off of the bag and Tiaga scored to win the game.

Next home game for Grossmont College Griffins baseball will be March 13th at 2:00 p.m., where they will continue Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) play by hosting the San Bernardino Valley Wolverines. Hope to see you there.

Information, Photos & Story provided by COD Sports Information.