Taft College freshman right-hander Brandon Van Stone matched Porterville’s Jamie Good pitch-for-pitch until tiring and giving up two runs in the bottom of the eighth Tuesday to give the Pirates a 3-1 Central Valley Conference win.
Van Stone had given up just three singles – two of them in the first inning – until the late Pirate rally.
Porterville’s lead-off hitter – Christian Hamett – doubled to lead off the eighth, Kyle Verdegaal followed with an RBI double and James Lopez drove in an insurance run with a single.
Those three accounted for six of the seven Pirate hits.
Van Stone struck out four and walked one while Good gave up one earned run on eight hits through his eight innings of work. Dakota Kirkman gave up a hit in the ninth to get the save.
Left-fielder Josh Roelofs led the Cougars with a 3-for-4 day and drove in Luis Trinidad with the lone Cougar run in the fourth.
Adrian Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with Travis Tessandori, Luis Trinidad, Loren Cutolo and Shane Sudsbury each getting one hit.
The loss drops the Cougars to 1-6 in the conference and 4-12-1 overall while the Pirates improve to 3-7 and 7-10.
The Cougars will host Reedley (3-4, 6-10) twice next week (Tuesday and Saturday) in a three-game conference series with the Tigers hosting Thursday’s game.