By Jorge Campos
Dons freshman starter Kevin Clementi got payback of sorts after pitching five and one third innings and allowing one unearned run Thursday, beating the visiting Riverside City College Tigers 5-2.
“I was supposed to go there and play for them but they [RCC] told me I couldn’t pitch for them, and I just really wanted to go out there and show them my stuff and pitch a good game for us,” Clementi said.
Clementi faced 18 batters and gave up three hits while striking out three. His unearned run came on a fielding error by freshman left fielder Cesar Serna in the top of the first inning.
“I utilize my change up to fool the batters, and I would use my fastball in the corners to confuse them,” Clementi said.
Santa Ana College scored two runs in back to back innings, with the first coming in the second inning when freshman designated hitter Troy Baird scored off a left-field double from freshman catcher Frankie Nogales. Freshman right fielder Nestor Linares scored the second Dons run in the third inning on an unassisted ground out to first base from sophomore center fielder Ryan Aguilar. The Dons would go on to score three more runs, one in the fifth inning and a pair in the eighth.
“This team is very tenacious, they come back and battle. Many times we have been down early and we get it close and come back to win games,” SAC Co-Head Coach Bryan Harris said.
Tigers freshman righty Tyler Rowe started out strong but tapered off in the latter half of the game, pitching seven innings and giving up a trio of hits and runs. He struck out three but also gave up five walks. Four came from the third to the seventh innings.
“He [Rowe] did OK, threw OK but wasn’t real good,” Tigers Head Coach Dennis Rogers said.
The Dons (15-7) next play Saturday at Orange Coast College (18-5) at noon.