Four-run rally in eighth propels ARC to second victory


Miranda Bolar

ARC left fielder Jimmy Lunardelli slides into third base during ARC’s victory against Solano. Lunardelli went 4-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored in the game.

Matthew Peirson and Matthew Peirson

American River College’s baseball team defeated Solano Community College 7-4 Tuesday, taking the lead in the bottom of the eighth on a Colton Freeman single before adding some insurance later in the inning when Steven Mercado cleared the bases despite getting caught in a run down to end the frame.

For ARC left fielder Jimmy Lunardelli, it was a big day as he went 4-4 at the plate with an RBI, and scored two runs including the go-ahead run off the Freeman single, as he had reached third base by way of a single, stealing second, and advancing on a wild pitch.

It was the team’s second win of the season and improved its overall record to 2-3.

ARC starting pitcher Matt Gunter had another solid outing following his first win of the season in the previous start, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out five in seven innings on the mound.

Tommy Balmain relieved Gunter in the top of the eighth, getting Solano out in order before heading back out in the top of the ninth.

Balmain allowed the first two Solano batters to reach before being pulled for Mike Marlar, who got the save.

Solano did manage a run that was charged to Balmain, but never truly threatened to stage a comeback.

For ARC, it was a comeback win as it allowed three second inning runs to Solano after a scoreless first.

ARC countered with one of its own in the second, and tied the game in the fifth on a bases loaded walk to third baseman Kirby Broadbent and a single by Lunardelli.

Broadbent, on fire in the first few games of the season, did not manage a hit against Solano but was pitched to very carefully in the resulting bases loaded walk for his lone RBI of the game.

Broadbent is still batting with a .500 average and a slugging percentage of .938 this season despite the hitless game.

Solano managed to keep the game tied at that point despite having the bags full, before succumbing to the eighth inning rally.

ARC will now play six straight away games over the next two weeks, with stops at five different colleges.

This stretch includes a trip to Mission College in Santa Clara on Feb. 17, with a game at Shasta College in Redding the following day.

ARC returns home on Feb. 26 to play Diablo Valley College at 2 p.m.

ARC head coach Doug Jumelet declined to comment on the game and did not make players available for comment.