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Roosevelt Splits Two With Garfield In “East L.A. Diamond Classic”

Riders & Bulldogs Near End Of Season With Playoffs Ahead

The Roosevelt Rough Riders held a summit on the mound during their (3-1) Game 1 victory over the Garfield Bulldogs on April 19th. This high school baseball arch-rivalry game, has become known as the "East L.A. Diamond Classic" equally intensive as the battles on the football field ("The East L.A. Classic") and the basketball court, ("The East L.A. Hardwood Classic"). Both games were played at the neutral field site of East Los Angeles Community College (ELAC). The second game was played on Friday, April 22nd with Garfield winning it (9-1). Game 2 marked "Senior Appreciation Day" for both squads. Roosevelt remained in 1st place in Eastern League play, while Garfield stays in contention for a playoff bid with a league record of (6-3). Photo: Erik Sarni

(East Los Angeles, CA) April 28, 2022 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Roosevelt Rough Riders, of Boyle Heights, with their (16-6) overall record and currently ranked #2 in the CIF/L.A. City Section (LACS) Division 1 standings, split a pair of  Eastern League games with their arch-rivals, the Garfield Bulldogs, last week. Both games were played at East L.A. College’s home field and in Game #1 on Tuesday, 4/19, the Riders managed to win the game by the final score of  (3-1).

The teams had a couple of days to rest and recover before returning for game #2 of the set which was played on Friday, 4/22 at 6:00 pm. This was a rare night game for the season and more fans than the usual attendance turned out, compared to the game #1 start time of 3:00 pm.


[Photo Gallery]: Erik Sarni, East L.A. Sports Scene Productions, LLC

The outcome of this game was a big plus for the Bulldogs as they won by the score of  (9-1) and moved their overall record to (13-9). And, although it was “Senior Appreciation Night” for both schools, the Riders  took it in stride, as the Seniors on this season’s team will once again advance to the CIF/City Section’s “Open Division” Playoff  round in early May. Garfield and its group of seniors  may also get a shot at the playoffs as they are currently in 3rd place in the Eastern League with a (6-3) record and should qualify for the Division 1 tournament. 

With the single win Roosevelt improved their season record to (16-6) and their Eastern League leading record to (7-1). The Riders certainly have a good shot at winning 20 games, if they can run the table, with just four remaining on their regular schedule at this time.

Next up for the Riders will be games against South Gate, San Fernando, Huntington Park, and Venice before ending the regular season in Division I and then moving on to the CIF/L.A. City Section’s Playoffs in the “Open” Division.

Rough Riders Head Coach, Ray Ruiz, now in his 13th season at the helm, had this to say about his team’s season, the rivalry games with Garfield, and their approach to the playoffs.

“This season felt like we were returning to normal, but as we all know, we did not and had to be very aware of each day because of the COVID pandemic still not completely under control. With that, we performed very well and will make a return visit to the playoffs as we’ve done in our recent past.


The ‘back-to-back’ Garfield games are always a competitive situation, regardless of whoever wins. We took the first (3-1) but lost the second, (9-1). All of our Seniors were acknowledged by the large crowd that turned out to support them and the team against Garfield, so it was great to see it happen under those circumstances. And, if I can add, their season is not yet over. We finish up the season against South Gate, San Fernando, Huntington Park, and Venice, and then get ready for the start of the CIF/L.A. City Section playoffs.

Now, I want to take time and acknowledge our group of  fine Senior ball players, beginning with our pitcher, Lino Zepeda, Andrew “Pudge” Contreras, Adrian Godoy, Chris Blanco, Elijah Salazar, Ramon Peraza, Beno Olmeda, and Angel Garcia.The rest of our team was truly led into battle every game by these outstanding young men. Think of our team as an extended family and a young band of brothers who really enjoyed playing for our school, our community, ourselves, and our Coaches.  

Thanks to all of our team coaches as well. They always give a 1,000% effort to help our team, and each player with any extra time they can offer. We’re a better team because of that sacrifice which comes  from Coach Francisco Figueroa and Coach Jaime Valle.

And last, but certainly not least, thanks to Erik Sarni and Bob Bernal, Jr. for all of the fantastic media coverage they provide to us. It’s great to have such a caring asset like them that adds to the significance of why they are a pride and joy to our team.”

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