WHITTIER, CA — The East Los Angeles College baseball team won 9-3 at Rio Hondo College, played three solid ballgames and swept the three-game series while winning its second straight South Coast Conference North Division series.
The No. 20 (CCCBCA South Poll) Huskies improved to 19-13 overall and 9-6 in SCC North play while Rio Hondo (11-18, 4-9) dropped its fifth straight game.
Zech Jarrard (Temple City HS) was effective in his six-inning start for the Huskies. The 6’ 3” freshman right-hander limited Rio Hondo to two runs, one unearned from a Husky error, walked three and struck out two. Jarrard improves to 6-1 overall. His six wins rank him at No. 19 in the state.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the bases loaded and the Rio Hondo home crowd hooting and hollering, Jarrad handled the pressure with a strikeout to center fielder Lucas Rocha (Fullerton HS) and ended the Roadrunner threat.
Rio Hondo darted out to a 2-0 lead with the unearned run in the first inning and another run in the second, both off three hits. Jarrard followed with four scattered hits in four more innings in the circle while keeping Rio Hondo scoreless. The Huskies scored a run in the fourth on three hits that included a single (RBI) from freshman catcher Julian Zermeno (Alhambra HS).
ELAC took a 3-2 lead in the seventh on two singles, one each from Jarrard and freshman first baseman Bryan Duenas (Warren HS) who had two RBIs. Rio Hondo tied it at 3-3 in the bottom half of the inning with an unearned run, with freshman Troy Maki (Mark Keppel HS) on the mound. With two on, Maki ended the Rio Hondo rally with a strikeout.
ELAC scored three runs each in the eighth and ninth innings highlighted with singles from Jarrard (2 RBIs) and Duenas (RBI) in the eighth and two singles in the ninth from sophomore short stop Gabriel Figueroa (Alhambra HS) and freshman right fielder Ruben Hernandez (Walnut HS).
Rio Hondo’s sophomore right fielder Josh Sabajan (Warren HS) led the Roadrunner bats with three singles and an RBI. Rio Hondo pitcher Andy Garcia (Warren HS) was charged with the loss. The Rio Hondo reliever (2-4), who pitched one third of an inning, allowed two runs. Rio Hondo starter Jake Gaudet (Downey HS) allowed two runs on six hits, walked one, hit two Husky batters and struck out three in 6.2 innings pitched.
Sophomore Steven Nuno (Warren High School) struck out one in two innings of pitching for the Huskies while teammate and sophomore pitcher Thomas Escobedo (Northview HS) effectively earned his first save of the season.
Duenas led the Husky offensive barrage for the sixth time during the months of March and April. He recorded three hits, all singles (3 RBIs). On the season he totals 41 hits with a team-high 39 RBIs. Duenas leads the Dawgs on offense with a batting average of .373.
Four Huskies singled twice today, Zermeno (RBI), Jarrard who hits .366, Hernandez and freshman left fielder Brandon Acosta (California HS). Figueroa singled. Jarrard and Hernandez each had a two-RBI night. Jarrard stole second base in the first inning and again in the fifth.
In the series, Jarrard hit a team-high eight hits including a double with eight RBIs, Duenas doubled twice, singled five times with 3 RBIs and sophomore center fielder Elias Maldonado (Northview High School) hit four times.
ELAC begins a three-game series with Pasadena City College on Tuesday at home. The second game of the series is at Pasadena’s Brookside Park on Thursday with the series finale set for Saturday, April 14 at ELAC.
Follow ELAC Athletics at http://athletics.elac.edu/landing/index or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia