Taft oounces back from loss to Feather River Friday to pound Barstow on Saturday

Taft College got mixed results when the Cougar baseball team opened the season at home last weekend.

After dropping a 6-3 decision to Northern California power Feather River on Friday the Cougars bounced back the next day to take out their frustration on Barstow College in a 16-3 romp. Both games were played at Cougar Field.

The Cougars will play a home-and-home with L.A. Harbor, traveling on Friday and hosting the Seahawks Saturday at 1 p.m. at Cougar Field.

FRC 6, Taft 3

The game was a pitcher’s duel for the first four innings with FRC’s Samson Abernathy matching TC’s Tyson Canfield, before the Golden Eagles struck for three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to take a 5-0 lead.

TC got one back in the home half of the sixth when Luke Lubiniecki walked, moved up on Nick Kawano’s sacrifice bunt and rode home on a Richard Ortiz single.

After FRC got a run in the seventh to make it 6-1, Ortiz crushed a solo homer in the eighth and Lubiniecki cracked a triple in the eighth to score Dayton Wilson, who got aboard with a one-out single.

Canfield took the loss, giving up three earned runs on seven hits in four and two-thirds. He struck out six and walked none. Will Moore, Dominic Tating, Seth Sorensen and Kaivon Kealoha finished up, giving up three unearned runs on two hits.

Taft 16, Barstow 3

The Cougars broke open a close game with a 10-run fifth inning, sending 16 batters to the plate. TC banged six hits and took advantage of four walks, two hit batters and one error. When the final out was recorded the bases were loaded.

Leftfielder Nick Nakamura a 6-4, 225-pound freshman from British Columbia, drove in six runs with a homer, double and single and sophomore third baseman Kealoha homered and doubled twice for three RBI.

Ortiz doubled and singled and Travis Turner and Wilson each had two singles. Kyle Guara had the other Cougar hit.

Freshman left-hander Nick O’Conner worked the first four innings, giving up two unearned runs on six hits, striking out one and walking one. Kilyer Shiflett, a freshman right-hander, pitched two scoreless innings to get the win, sophomore Bryan Santiago gave up a run and a hit in two innings and sophomore Chase Nistor worked the ninth, giving up a hit.

Feather River (3-1) edged Barstow 8-7.

Overall, teams in the Central Valley Conference went 7-and-12 in the first week of the season. Reedley (3-0) and Sequoias (2-0) are the only teams still unblemished.

Cerro Coso College of Ridgecrest joins the conference to give the CVC eight teams.

Other weekend scores: Fresno defeated Siskiyous 6-0 but lost to Skyline 3-1, Reedley beat Laney 8-2 and Sierra 5-3, Lassen beat Porterville twice 11-1 and 7-1, Merced lost to Monterey 5-4 and Solano 9-7, Hartnell defeated West Hills-Coalinga 13-4, Sequoias beat Barstow 4-1 and Cerro Coso lost to Chaffey 7-2.