Freshman’s walk-off single seals a comeback win for Bear Cubs


Abraham Fuentes

Santa Rosa Junior College’s freshman outfielder only had one hit in his four at-bats Tuesday in Santa Rosa, but that hit came in a walk-off single to win the game for the Bear Cubs.

Grayson Edgemon, Staff Writer

The Santa Rosa Junior College baseball team’s outfielder John Green singled past Sacramento City College’s shortstop to send home the Bear Cubs’s winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning—securing the 3-2 win Tuesday at Cook Cypher Field.

Santa Rosa’s (27-8 overall, 14-5 conference) starting pitcher Vinny Riggio had somewhat of an uneasy start after giving up one run in the first inning, and another in the third, but he found a successful rhythm and took control of the mound for the Bear Cubs for eight innings.

Riggio, and the Bear Cubs, did not concede another run after the third inning as the right hander pitched an impressive game with four strikeouts, two runs allowed and only five hits given up.

“I saw my guys battling. At the plate we were taking good at bats, Jon believed in the pitch calling and Ethan, he caught a great game,” Riggio said, crediting his catcher Ethan Payne and pitching coach Jon Nadale.

Sophomore right-hander Trenton Darley relieved Riggio halfway through the eighth inning. Darley earned a strikeout and forced a ground ball to shortstop Santa Rosa’s Peter “PJ” Raines who made quick work of getting the out.

Santa Rosa’s sophomore pitcher Devin Kirby closed out the ninth inning with a strikeout and one hit allowed.

Offensively, the Bear Cubs had a slow start with only two hits in the first six innings.

But in the bottom of the seventh the batting finally broke through. First the Panther’s pitcher hit Santa Rosa’s outfielder Jo Bynum with a pitch and advanced him to first. Then third baseman Colin Prince continued the inning with a sacrifice bunt to advance Bynum to second.  

Raines followed that with a single to put runners on first and third base. Sacramento picked off Bynum at third right before Aidan Morris belted a homerun over left-center field to tie the game 2-2.

“I was just thinking, get a pitch, hit it hard and get the job done for my team,” Morris said.

In the bottom of the ninth inning Sacramento walked both Raines and Morris to first and second.

Next, the Bear Cubs’  infielder Lawson Faria hit a ground ball to shortstop that promised a double play for the Panthers to send the game into extra innings. But Faria sprinted and dove into first base to barely beat the throw.

With two outs and Faria at first and Raines on third, Green hit a line drive over Sacramento’s shortstop to drive in the winning run.

“Everyday at practice, we work on situational hitting and when I came up to the plate, I was mentally ready for it,” Green said.

The Bear Cubs continue their series with the Panthers playing game two of a three Thursday in Sacramento.