Taft erupts for 17 runs

Heading into this past week, the Taft varsity baseball team was looking for ways to get their offense going again.

The Wildcats completed the awakening of their bats Thursday afternoon when they handed the Wasco Tigers a 17-2 loss in Wasco.

"That's what happens when we get good at bats early on," said Taft coach Anthony Reed. "We've been hitting the ball really well."

With the victory, Taft improves to 21-2 overall and 8-0 in the South Sequoia League with four games remaining.

Taft got off to a fortunate start when Steven Gee led off the top of the first inning by reaching first base on an error by the Wasco third baseman. Following a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch, Gee scored on Kevin Espinoza's deep fly ball to deep left field.

Kyle Adkins added a second run in the first inning with a walk, a wild pitch, a stolen base and a passed ball.

The Wildcats doubled their lead in the top of the second inning.

Danny Romo led off the rally with a single to left field before stealing second base. After a hit batter and a fly out, Gee and Anthony Rodriguez hit back-to-back run scoring doubles.

Wasco attempted to get back into the game in the second inning with Josh Hoinajosa's one out single, a two base error and a ground out to shortstop.

Taft opened the floodgates in the third inning. Like the first inning, the Wildcats caught a break when the Wasco right fielder couldn't catch a fly ball allowing Austin Pendergrass to take third base on a sun triple. After a walk, Pendergrass scored on an error.

Jeremy Harmer, Zack Brown and Gee strung together three straight run scoring singles to up the 7-2. Two batters later, Adkins capped the scoring outburst with a run scoring single to right field.

Wasco doubled their run total in the bottom of the third with a leadoff walk and Kyle Wedel's single to left field.

The rest of the game belonged to the Wildcats. Following a run in the fourth inning, the Wildcats opened the floodgates in the fifth by scoring seven runs highlighted by two run singles by Gee and Miguel Rodriguez.

Anthony Rodriguez and Adkins chipped in with run scoring singles while Taft had four walks in the inning. All totaled, Taft sent 12 batters to the plate.

Reed feels the offensive performance and sweep will help the team heading into their showdown with Bakersfield Christian this week.

"It gives us a lot of confidence," said Reed.

Taft will host Bakersfield Christian Tuesday before traveling to the Eagles on Friday. Both games begin at 4 p.m.