T-Duck baseball team sweeps Mountain View; extend win streak to 12 games

Following an opening 11-5 win in a three-game sweep at home against Mountain View on Saturday, Richland College baseball coach Joe Wharton said he was extremely happy with his team’s start to the season.

And why shouldn’t he be.

With a 14-2 record to start the season and having won 12 games in a row, the T-Ducks are off to their best start in team history.

“We are playing well and our offense knows we can score runs,” Wharton said. “We have had a big inning in every game we have played.”

Against Mountain View in Game 1 of their series, the T-Ducks had more like three big innings.

After entering the top of the fourth inning trailing 1-0, Richland scored all of its runs in its ensuing three innings, starting with three in the fourth.

Sophomore Sean Ablett started the scoring with an RBI triple before touching home plate, courtesy of a wild pitch. Later in the fourth inning, Jeff Sakowski hit an RBI double to put Richland up 3-1.

In the fifth frame, after Leighton Rush scored on an error, Jon Masch connected on a single that scored two runs to up the T-Ducks lead to 6-1 before an infield single by Josh Christenson scored another run.

Mountain View responded in the bottom half of the inning with three runs to cut its deficit to 7-4 but the T-Ducks wouldn’t let their opponent get any closer as Travis Latz capped a four-run sixth inning with a three-run home run. Robert Barbosa scored the other run in the inning on a wild pitch.

“We are hitting the ball OK and we had 19 hits [in Game 1],” Wharton said. “When we need hits, we get them.”

Richland’s hot bats continued throughout the series as the T-Ducks followed Saturday’s win with 19-2 and 25-9 victories on Sunday.

The weekend sweep also gives Richland a 10-2 Metro Athletic Conference record, which is good for first-place.

The T-Ducks, who have scored 10 or more runs in 12 of the 16 games they have played, next play at home at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 3 against Paris before hosting Tyler in a three-game series starting with a game at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 7 and two games starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 8.