Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Rivera’s five RBIs lifts Hornets to fifth straight

After a 22-3 victory over Grossmont on Thursday, the Hornets came into Saturday’s home game against Mt. San Antonio College flying high and sporting a four game winning streak to start the season. The Mounties almost knocked Fullerton from the ranks of the unbeaten, but catcher Julio Rivera had a game that will not soon be forgotten.

The Mounties jumped on the board early after a bundle of miscues in the field by the Hornets.

After getting beaned by Hornets starting pitcher Kyle Lazcano, Mountie right fielder Nathan Alam promptly stole second base. With the next batter at the plate, Rivera chased down a wild pitch by Lazcano then tossed the ball into left field to bring home Alam and give Mt. SAC an early 1-0 lead.

The Mounties held on to a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the eighth inning, but Fullerton wouldn’t quit.

The Hornets offense received a spark when pinch hitter David Miranda walked to leadoff the inning. The Mounties defense helped out Oscar Heredia as the second baseman missed an easy grounder. Justin Row brought in Miranda with a sacrifice-fly. The comeback was capped by Rivera, who came up with a clutch double that knocked in the both the tying and go ahead runs, 5-4.

In the ninth Fullerton brought in closer Randall Ortiz, who had been perfect in save situations this season, to shut the door on the Mounties. However, poor defense and a wild pitch allowed the Mounties to tie the game. Ortiz was credited with a blown save despite the run being unearned.

Rivera was not done yet. After Lane Huffman singled and Row walked, up stepped the man of the hour. Rivera half-heartedly turned to bunt on the first pitch, but didn’t offer. After a brief meeting with third base coach Nick Fuscardo, Rivera stepped back in the box and decided it was time to swing away, drilling the ball into the outfield bringing Huffman, the winning run in from second.

“I pulled Julio aside after that first pitch and I said ‘why are you looking at me like you don’t know the bunt sign, you know what, forget it just go win the game’,” Fuscardo said.

The entire team rushed the field and swarmed an ecstatic Rivera near second base. For Rivera it was just another day at the office.

“I wasn’t nervous. I was just happy because I did my job and helped my team win,” Rivera said.

Offensively the Hornets relied heavily on Rivera, who finished with four hits, a stolen base. and five rbi including the game winner. In each of his final three at bats, Rivera came through with clutch hits driving in runs that brought the Hornets back into the game or gave them the lead.

Row also had a productive game, reaching base all five plate appearances, collecting two hits, three walks and one rbi.

Lazcano looked good in stretches, going 6 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and two earned runs. Changing speed and good movement allowed Lazcano to keep the Mounties off balance and navigate through a couple difficult innings that featured poor defensive plays and his own struggles finding the strike zone.

Next up the Hornets face off against Southwestern College at home on Tuesday February 10, at 2 p.m. A couple days later they will be at home against Palomar on Thursday at 2 p.m.

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