Cougars win 23rd game of the season
Ney Perez slugged a three-run, pinch-hit homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday to give Taft College a 6-4 Central Valley Conference victory over visiting Porterville College.
Until the Cougar sophomore’s late heroics, it appeared as though Porterville’s four unearned runs in the fifth might stand up.
The Pirates got a walk and single with two-outs before and an infield error kept hope alive.
The miscue was followed by three consecutive singles that plated Porterville’s only runs of the game and erased a 2-0 Cougar lead.
TC got one in the second when Jeremy Burleson was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on Wilfredo Rodriguez’s double and scored on a groundout by Jeremiah Twisselman.
Gentry Mitchell smacked a solo homer in the fourth.
Mitchell also had a single and drove in Taft’s third run with a sacrifice fly just before Perez bashed his game-winner.
Darby Ventura ignited the rally when he whacked a first-pitch double over the right fielder’s head.
Designated hitter Greg Taylor swung at the next pitch and sent a sinking liner Pirate center fielder Steven Jones couldn’t get to.
Mitchell’s fly ball to center got Ventura home to make it 4-3 and set the table for Perez.
Garret Jenson pitched the first seven innings for the Cougars. He gave up eight hits and four runs, but all were unearned.
Kevin Chapman pitched the eighth to get credit for the win, his seventh of the season against two losses.
Closer Zach Biehl got his 12th save of the year.
Jonathan Medina (3-4) went the distance for the Pirates.
The game was a quick one – just an hour and 55 minutes.
The win was the 23rd of the season for the Cougars, who improved to 13-9 in the conference with two games remaining.
Porterville, in fifth place in the conference behind Taft, is 6-17 in the CVC and 9-30 overall.