Reedley College's baseball Tigers opened the 2021 season with an impressive doubleheader victory over the Merced College Blue Devils in Merced on Saturday.
After facing Cerro Coso in non-conference games on April 13 and 14, Reedley hosts the 2-0 College of the Sequoias Giants on Friday in a doubleheader, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 pm. As of this writing, no spectators are allowed.
Next Tuesday, the Tigers travel to Taft College for a 2 pm game before hosting Taft at 2 p.m. the next day.
Against Merced, the Tigers won the opener 4-1 behind the seven innings of shutout pitching by Matthew Mathis. The right-hander allowed only three hits and struck out five. BJ Vela led the offense with three hits, including two home runs and two runs batted in. Jesse Holguin (Grand Terrace) added a key double while Cameron Gallardo (Redwood, Visalia) picked up the save.
We didn't hit with runners in scoring position," said Tiger head coach Steve Pearse.
But in the second game, the Tigers rolled to a 13-5 victory. Freshman Leonardo Arreguin (Selma) led the way with five hits in five at-bats, including three doubles and three runs scored.
"Leo had a heck of a day," said the coach. "He is a good hitter from the leadoff spot. He sees a lot of pitches."
The Tiger brothers, older brother and returnee Justin, and younger brother Ryan Tiger of Clovis had a big day at the plate. Justin Tiger drove in five runs and had a home run and a single in four at-bats while Ryan had a home run and a single. Holquin had two hits and drove in a pair of runs.
The Reedley bullpen did a super job, allowing no runs in eight in third innings. Jayden Jones (San Joaquin Memorial) got the win, striking out three in 3.1 innings while Ryan Garza (Central) fanned six in three innings. Zach Dennis (Sierra) and Isaiah Gastelum (Selma) also worked on the mound for the Tigers.
Last week, Tigers Cameron Gallardo (relief pitcher), Jake Renteria (outfielder), and Danny Gamez (catcher) were selected JC All Americans in the state of California by Collegiate Baseball magazine.
By: Will Goldbeck