Fullerton couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities as the Hornets drop game 1 of the 3-game series versus the Riverside Tigers 10-4.
During the top of the first inning, things went well for the Hornets. Hornet sophomore starting pitcher Taed Heydinger worked a clean inning by striking out the first batter he faced and getting next two batters to pop up to end the inning.
However, Fullerton went down in order with the score all tied at 0 still after the first inning.
Hornets Heydinger ran into trouble in the top of the second when Tigers Andrew Talkington worked a walk. Tigers catcher Angel Mendoza rippped a double off the left field wall to put runners on second and third base. Two runners came in on a single from Matthew Happ to put the Tigers on top 2-0.
After loading the bases, Heydinger got Alex Moreno to strike out to end the inning.
Fullerton missed a huge opportunity with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning when the next two batters struck out and the inning ended with a slow roller with the Tigers up 2-0.
“I thought our veterans didn’t come through for us today, very disappointing,” Fullerton Head Coach Nick Fuscardo said.
The Tigers put their foot on the gas as after having two runners on with one out in the top of the third. Once again Tiger’s Happ burned the Hornets with a single to score more 2 runs. Heydinger limited the damage by striking out Junior Coleman to end the inning.
In the fourth inning, the Tiger’s brought in Pinch hitter Dylan Morace who lined a single up the middle to bring in another run giving Riverside a 5-0 lead.
The Tiger’s added two more runs in the fifth inning giving them a 7-0 lead.
“I just gotta come out sharper next time,” Heydinger said on his performance.
Fullerton did not go down easy, after getting to runners on second and third bases. Fullerton’s PJ Gordon lined a single to left field to score a run.
After adding two more runs, the rally was cut short when Alex Gonzales grounded out to the pitcher with the lead cut down to 7-3.
Tigers slammed the door shut on any comeback attempt for the Hornets during the sixth inning, as they responded to Fullerton’s rally with two more runs to give them a 9-3 lead.
Fullerton would respond again and added another run in the bottom of the 6th inning, but that would be it for the Hornets. The Tigers were able to add another run in the top of the ninth which would lead to the final score in favor of Riverside 10-4.
We should have a chance against their two and three if we were battling against their number one,” Monte Montenegro said.
Montenegro accounted for 3 of the 8 hits for the Hornets.
The loss drops Fullerton’s record to (6-12, 1-3).
“We have to develop a baseball mentality,” This message was echoed across the players by Fuscardo for his team after the game.
Next Game: The Hornets will head to Riverside on Thursday, March 14 for game 2 of the 3-game series with first pitch slated for 2:00 P.M.