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RHS Baseball Players Outmatched In Trio Of League Contests
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It was not a good week for Riverbank High School ball players.

On Monday, the Bruins lost by 8-5 to Ripon. On Wednesday they drew a blank in a 9-0 game against Hilmar. And on Thursday, they were again shut out 6-0 by Patterson.

The away Ripon game was a make-up for one postponed by rain the previous week.

We were leading, 5-3, going into the fifth," said Riverbank coach Mike Carrigg. "I pulled Mike DeCroix off the mound, put in Zac Swanson. Then, with the bases loaded and two outs, the Ripon batter hit a blooper and scored all the runners. They got five runs that inning."

Riverbank scored one run in the fourth and four in the fifth while Ripon posted one run in the first inning, another in the second, another in the fourth and five in the fifth.

Ripon claimed nine hits, and Riverbank three.

Drew Villalobos had two hits, Mike Dal Porto two hits and two runs batted in and Kyle Rotan two hits. Swanson went one-for-three with an RBI.

"They threw Danny Price at us," said Carrigg. "He's a very good pitcher, came up to varsity as a sophomore, and is headed for UOP on a baseball scholarship. We got him off the mound in the fifth. Thought we were doing OK. But it didn't help."

Riverbank came up against another star pitcher on Wednesday in its away game against Hilmar.

"That (Robert) Alcala is Hilmar's best pitcher and probably the best in the league,'' said Carrigg. "Swanson was our starter, but could not get going. He struggled. It was probably the worst game we've played this year."

Scattering 12 hits to Riverbank's two, Hilmar scored one run in the second inning, two in the third, two in the fourth and four more in the fifth.

Eric Rodriguez and Rotan each went one- for -three at the plate for Riverbank.

For the week's final away game against Patterson, Carrigg also attributed the Riverbank failure to score to their opponent's superior pitching.

"Noah Palacios, a very talented pitcher, a transfer from Clovis down Fresno way where they know baseball. He struck out 10 and gave up only two hits."

The Livingston batters scored steadily, posting three runs in the second inning, another three in the third, one in the fifth and two in the sixth.

"Villalobos has always been one of the best (pitchers), but he can't get going this season. I thought the game was going to be a pitcher's duel, but we were outmatched."

Carrigg said he knew going into the season that Riverbank had only two strong pitchers and is not as strong in offense as last year.

"We need tough pitching to keep the scores down. But we didn't do that this week," he said, noting that there are a lot of good pitchers in this year's league.

Now 2-3 in league and 3-8 overall, the Bruins will face Escalon today and Ripon Christian on Friday in home games. The Escalon game is slated to start at 4 p.m., but the RC game is at 3 p.m.