American River College’s baseball team defeated Solano Community College Tuesday 9-7, battering Solano’s pitching staff with seven runs in the first third of the game before holding off a late rally that saw the tying runs come to the plate in the eighth and ninth innings for Solano.
The game wrapped up a string of six straight road games for ARC, of which it finished with a 4-2 record over that span.
The win also pushed the team above .500 for the first time this season, as it now stands with a 6-5 overall record through its first 11 games.
ARC’s offense continued its strong play shown since the season began, and Solano had four pitchers take the mound in the first four innings of play.
ARC left fielder Jimmy Lunardelli led the scoring charge early, clearing the bases with a three-run triple in the first inning.
In the second, two more runs came in for ARC on singles by center fielder Brandon Raposa and right fielder Alex Gaskin before Solano starting pitcher Austin Abernathy was pulled from the game.
Abernathy allowed five runs on six hits in just over an inning of work before being replaced by reliever Dustin Labit.
Lunardelli got his fourth RBI of the day on a sacrifice fly that scores Raposa from third, and ARC tacked on an additional run in the third inning on another single by Gaskin that was not charged to Labit due to messy fielding by Solano center fielder Joey Dodson.
ARC starting pitcher Matt Gunter was solid again on the mound, pitching 6 ⅔ innings while striking out five en route to his third win.
Gunter did not allow more than one base runner at a time through the first five innings, and finally hit trouble in the sixth but allowed only one run in the frame despite Solano loading the bases.
Gunter returned in the seventh with a 9-1 lead after a two-run double by Gaskin in the top half of the inning, but was relieved from the game after he walked Solano’s Garlind Webster immediately following a mound visit, after which Solano had already scored two runs to make it 9-3.
Kyle Beardsley recorded the last out for ARC, but the team ran into more trouble in the eighth after getting the first two outs.
Kyle Grant started the inning on the mound, but Solano would rally to score four runs in the inning, all after the second out, before Mike Marlar relieved Grant and recorded the last out despite the tying runs reaching base.
Marlar took the mound in the ninth looking for the save, and despite the tying runs again on for Solano, the game ended on a groundout to short by Dodson.
ARC now returns home to play Diablo Valley College today at 2:00pm in its first home game in over two weeks before going right back out on the road to play at Modesto on Mar.3.
ARC head coach Doug Jumelet declined to comment on the game and did not make players available for interviews.