MSJC Baseball sweeps Antelope Valley in doubleheader

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Former Temecula Valley High School standout, Max Rangel, starts on the mound in the second game of Mt. San Jacinto College’s doubleheader last week against Antelope Valley College. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The Mt. San Jacinto College baseball team, which is comprised of quite a few recognizable former local high school names, did not think they would have a season this year. With the declining rate of positive COVID-19 cases, an increase in vaccinations and a tier system that has allowed for the return of sports, the Eagles played their first home games of 2021 last week, scoring 29 runs on 28 hits to sweep visiting Antelope Valley College 15-10 and 14-6. Ricky Nunez, who was coming off a five RBI day earlier in the week, had another huge day as he drove in nine more runs and collected six hits on the day, including a pair of homeruns.

In the first game of the day, Nunez hit for the cycle as he went four for five with a single, double, triple and homerun, driving in six MSJC runs. Aaron Harper also had four hits in game one with a pair of singles to go along with a triple and a double, knocking in three runs. The Eagles blew open game one in the bottom of the third when they scored eight times to push their lead to 12-1. Antelope Valley would fight back scoring six runs in the top of the fourth inning to cut the lead to 12-7, but a pair of runs by MSJC in the bottom of the fourth, and another in the sixth, gave MSJC the win in the seven-inning contest 15-10.

Patrick McDonald Jr. started game one on the mound and went three and two-thirds innings for the Eagles while also driving in a pair of runs at the plate. Jacob Covington earned the win on the bump, going two innings in relief and Robert Barrett got the save with his one and a third innings, allowing no runs and no hits. Andrew Rivero, Ryan Grinnals, and Russell Mitchell each added an RBI in the win.

In game two, the MSJC offense went right back to work as Nunez hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the first to set the tone. The Eagles would score seven runs in the bottom of the second inning to take early control of the game. Jaden Jones, Nunez and Rivero each drove in three runs a piece while McDonald drove in two. Harper and Grinnals also had an RBI in the victory.

MSJC pounded out 13 hits in the 14-6 win. Max Rangel got the start on the mound for MSJC in the second game and went four complete innings. Mitchell moved from left field to the mound in the fifth and went four innings of his own allowing just one run to earn the victory. Barrett pitched a scoreless ninth inning for MSJC to close the game. The Eagles moved to 3-0 on the season with their sweep.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.