Taft College did a superb job of pitching and playing defense in last weekend’s three-game home series.
It wasn’t enough to overcome weak hitting as the Cougars dropped two of the three.
“Our pitching is good and our defense is good, but we just can’t hit at all,” said head coach Vince Maiocco. “We had just one error and have only four total in seven games, and two of those were by pitchers on pick-off throws.”
TC split with College of the Siskiyous, losing 2-0 on Thursday and spoiling a complete game, 11-strikeout effort by Allan Sanchez before coming back Friday to shut out the Eagles 3-0 behind Brandon Van Stone’s seven strong innings.
The Cougars capped the weekend with a heartbreaking 3-1 loss to Barstow on Saturday – a game in which Kevin Little and P.J. Matha allowed just one hit over eight innings. A three-run homer in the ninth off reliever Michael Vaquera was the clincher.
“Still, when you get pitching like we did you should be able to score some runs,” Maiocco said. “We were swinging at bad pitches and letting good pitches go. We’ve got to figure out some things offensively. We hit the ball hard, but I think maybe the guys are trying to do too much.”
The only Cougar hitter making an impression was freshman centerfielder and leadoff batter Travis Tessandori, who went 5-for-11.
That’s a .455 average. The rest of the team went 9-for-78 – a .115 average.
In the series opener Siskiyous got all the runs they needed in the fourth on a leadoff single, sacrifice bunt, double, error and bloop single.
Sanchez gave up just one other hit, walked one and struck out 11.
Tessandori had two of Taft’s four hits – Michael Moorehead and Josh Hickle the others. Tessandori also stole three bases.
Van Stone, Matt Gunderson and Vaquera combined for a six-hit shutout in TC’s lone win.
Luis Trinidad, Clint Jorgensen and Shane Sudsbury had RBI singles.
The Cougars scored two in the first when Tessandori led off with a triple down the right-field line, Trinidad singled, stole second and rode home on Jorgensen’s hit.
Roman Testani lined the first pitch in the seventh into left field, moved up on Adrian Rodriguez’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Sudsbury’s single to center.
The Cougars (3-3-1) will look for better offense when Monterrey Peninsula College comes to town for a three-game set that begins with a single game Friday at 1:30 p.m. and a Saturday doubleheader at 10:30 a.m.