Wildcats blow past Shafter by 19

SHAFTER- All that stood between the Taft varsity baseball team and their first sole league title in a couple of years were the Shafter Generals. It turned out not to be much of a challenge Friday afternoon when the Wildcat bats came alive during a 20-1 victory over the Generals.

“It feels really good,” Reed said of winning the league title. “This is great all around. It gives us a ton of confidence.”

With the victory, Taft wraps the regular season with overall record of 19-19 overall and a league record of 10-2.

Austin Pendergrass set the table for the Wildcats break through in the top of the first inning with a leadoff walk. Will Moore followed with a single before Danny Romo singled in both runners a couple of outs later.

Shafter got one of the runs back in the bottom of the first. Toro Lucas got the Generals rally going by beating out a throw at first base for an infield single. Lucas went on to steal second before advancing to third on a groundout. Lucas eventually brought in the run thanks to a passed ball.

Taft opened the offensive floodgates in the top half of the second inning by sending 11 batters to the plate while scoring six runs. Kyle Jameson had one of the highlights by getting two singles with the second at bat driving in two runs. Alex Guzman had the other highlight with a run scoring double. All totaled, the Wildcats had six hits in the inning.

After scoring two runs in the third inning, the Wildcats came to life again in the fourth when they put up six more runs while sending 12 batters to the plate. Pendergrass, Moore, Guzman and Anthony Rodriguez (the second time around) each had a run scoring single to lead the charge.

Taft capped their run in the top of the seventh inning with four additional runs. Dillon Botts led the charge with a two run double while Joseph Sanchez had a run scoring single.

While the Wildcats were building their lead, Shafter only had four hits following the first inning. They also had a walk in the third inning and Eric Munoz reached on a passed ball third strike in the second inning.

Taft shortstop Moore also had a defensive highlight in the sixth inning when he caught a line drive and stepped on second for a double play.