Six-run eighth inning sparks Riverside City to 11-9 win over Folsom Lake at CCCAA Baseball Tourney

Riverside City will take on Ohlone in a winner's bracket game on Sunday. (Photo by David Sanborn)
Riverside City will take on Ohlone in a winner's bracket game on Sunday. (Photo by David Sanborn)

Tournament Central l Photos

FOLSOM - In a back-and-forth slugfest, Matthew Bardowell delivered the knockout punch to highlight a six-run eighth inning and lift Riverside City College to an 11-9 win over host Folsom Lake in Game 2 of the California Community College Athletic Association Baseball State Championships on Saturday night at The Lake.

Bardowell, the Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year, delivered his lone hit of the night at the perfect time for the Tigers (36-12), ripping a two-out, bases-loaded single, breaking a 9-9 tie in the eighth.

Both teams had multiple leads in front of a capacity crowd at FLC and it looked like the hosts - who played the game as the visitors - were going to send their fans home happy with a four-run top of the eighth that put the Falcons up 9-5. Jeff Blauser started that frame off with a solo home run to center to put FLC up, 6-5. From there, an RBI-double by Logan Sutter and a two-run double by Jacob Elias brought the crowd to their feet as the Folsom Lake lead grew to four.

But the Tigers showed the heart of a lion in the bottom of the eighth. Bardowell led off the eighth with a walk and came around to score on a throwing error by the Falcons on a grounder to short by Brett Bowers. A single by Daniel Garcia and a Jordan Ruiz hit-by-pitch loaded the bases. Two batters later, Maxwell Shor singled up the middle to score Bowers to make it 9-7. A wild pitch scored another RCC run to make it 9-8 and two batters later, a Sebastian Flores HBP re-loaded the bases. Ignacio Alvarez put together a strong at-bat before getting plunked in the back to force in another run, tying the game at 9 and setting up Bardowell’s heroics.

Flores finished the night going 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI, while Alvarez added a pair of hits, a run scored and an RBI for the Tigers.

Blauser and JT Waldon each had three hits, three runs and an RBI for Folsom Lake, while Cole Tremain went 3-for-4 with a run and three RBI.

With the win, the Tigers will advance to the championship semifinals where they will face Ohlone College at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The Falcons (38-7-1), who saw their winning streak get snapped at 16 games, will try to remain in the tournament in a 10 a.m. elimination game with Palomar on Sunday.

(Tony Altobelli, CCCSIA)