Taft College loses their tenth one run game

“This is the perfect definition of snake-bit.”

That’s the way Taft College baseball coach Vince Maiocco describes his team’s web of one-run losses.

It happened again Tuesday in Fresno when missed chances kept the struggling Cougars mired in an improbable slump.

Oh yeah, the final score?

Fresno 3, Taft 2.

It was TC’s 10th one-run loss this season and the fifth and third in a row by a 3-2 score.

The Cougars banged out 11 hits but managed just two runs, compounded in part by having a runner picked off second during an eighth inning rally and having another cut down at the plate on an attempted steal.

They had a chance to reverse their 10-game losing streak after Fresno took a 3-1 lead by bunching four hits for a pair of runs in the sixth.

In the eighth second baseman Kevin Rocha lined a one-out single to left and moved up when Roman Testani grounded a single into left.

Before first baseman Chris Hopballe singled for TC’s third hit of the inning, Rocha was picked off second. 

Dayton Kurian singled to left to drive in Testani but a groundout ended the threat.

The Cougars had four hits in the inning but scored just once.

While Cougar starter Nick Risucci was no-hitting Fresno through the first four innings, his teammates struck first.

Kurian lined a one-out single to get things going in the fourth and scored the game’s first run when Josh Roelofs’ double was mishandled by Rams right fielder Ryan Soares.  Roelofs went to third on the miscue but was cut down at the plate trying to steal home.

Fresno, by contrast, produced two runs with four hits in the sixth to break a 1-all tie.

Risucci took the loss, giving up three earned runs on six hits with four walks and a strikeout in 5.2 innings.

Fresno’s Dominic Topoozian went the distance, yielding two runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

The teams will finish the three-game series in Fresno on Saturday.

The Cougars will play Porterville three times next week, home games on Tuesday and Saturday and a road game on Thursday.