The American River College baseball team finally got the bats going, coinciding with some outstanding pitching to sweep the two game series from Hartnell College in Salinas this past weekend. The Beavers won game 1 on Friday 9-2 thanks to a pair of home runs from freshman DH Justin Borchard (Woodland) who also doubled in the game. He drove in four runs on the day. Sophomore LF Justin Hanlin (Whitney) slugged his first homer of the season, a mammoth shot to left center in the 8th inning. Freshman RHP Hayden Josephson (Granite Bay) threw a complete game, facing just 35 batters on the day. He scattered 6 hits and only faced more than 4 batters in an inning twice.
It was the first time the Beavers have hit three home runs in a game since last February 25th at Mission College when Hanlin and Alex Dodd both went deep and Tyler Swank hit an inside the park home run. It was the first two home run day for a single player in recent memory for the Beavers.
Game 2 on Saturday was the Beavers first shutout since they blanked Shasta College 5-0 on February 4th last year. Freshman RHP Collin Carriger (Bella Vista) threw 7 shut out innings and was aided by some key defensive plays. Carriger allowed 6 hits over 7 innings, and two of them were the first two batters of the game. A couple of fly outs and a strike out left the runners at 1st and 2nd though. Hartnell got a one out double in the 4th, then an error by 3B Ray Henry (Colfax) put runners at 1st and 2nd. Carriger got a ground ball to 2B Christian Murua (Grant) which turned into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat. The Panthers again got a pair of singles to open the 5th inning, but after a pop-up to 2nd failed to advance the runners, the next batter lined out to Murua who flipped the ball to SS Matt Clarke (Bella Vista) to double up the runner. The real excitement came in the 6th however, after the leadoff batter reached on an error by Carriger and the next batter walked. On a 2-2 pitch with the runners moving, the Hartnell batter hit a line drive right at Clarke who stepped on 2nd then threw to first to complete the triple play. It was the Beavers first triple play since they got out of a bases loaded no out jam against Shasta College in 2016 thanks to a couple of runners who left early on a fly ball.
Offensively the Beavers got some help again from Justin Borchard and Justin Hanlin. Borchard laced a two out, two strike single up the middle to score a pair of runs in the 3rd inning to put A.R.C. up 3-0. The Beavers added a pair of runs in the 7th inning to go up 5-0. LF Justin Hanlin then lined his 2nd home run of the season just inside the left field foul pole to plate three runs and put the Beavers up comfortably 8-0.
The Beavers are off until Thursday when they begin a three game set with Butte College, Thursday and Saturday in Oroville, Friday at home at Beaver Field.