PC baseball beats highly-ranked Cuesta
It’s arguably the biggest win for the Porterville College baseball team in the Jake Kiser era.
PC came away with an 8-5 win at Cuesta College on Thursday, beating one of the state’s traditional powers. Cuesta is a top-10 or top-five team in the state year in and year out, and the team came into this season rated fourth in Southern California, sixth in the state and eighth on the West Coast in the preseason ranking.
“Oh yeah, it’s a big win,” said Kiser, who’s in his third year as PC’s coach. When asked if it was the program’s biggest win since he’s taken over as coach, Kiser said, “I think not playing in a week and being on the road and fighting adversity, I think so.”
Porterville (3-2) took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, but Cuesta had its share of breaks in taking a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Jamie Good, who shut out Cuesta through four innings, allowed two singles that weren’t hit that hard.
With runners at first and second, Cuesta popped up a bunt, but Good had the ball bounce off the heel of his glove for an error that loaded the bases with one out. After a sacrifice fly scored a run and moved Cuesta runners into scoring position at second and third, Good issued an intentional walk to load the bases.
A ground ball that should have ended the inning then scored two runs to give Cuesta a 3-2 lead. The two errors in the inning were the only two errors PC committed in the game.
“That’s when in the past when things went downhill for us,” said Kiser about the fifth inning.
But PC came back to scored four runs in the seventh to take a 6-3 lead. Mitchell Villarreal’s RBI single tied the score 3-3, James Bingaman’s RBI single gave PC a 4-3 lead and then James Lopez hit a two-run double to give the Pirates a 6-3 lead.
It was the only hit for Lopez, but he made his presence felt in each of his at bats. “James hit the ball hard every time up,” Kiser said.
Good gave PC his second-straight solid outing, allowing one earned run on four hits through five innings. Tyler Czech picked up the win, going four innings, allowing two runs in the eighth that permitted Cuesta to close to within 6-5. But, Kiser said Cuesta also didn’t hit the ball that hard in that inning. Czech allowed three hits in his second straight solid outing.
Bingaman had a big day, going 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Zack Watson also had a big day, going 2-for-5 with a double and two runs. “Zack had a great day,” said Kiser, who added Watson hit the ball hard every time he batted.
Also for PC, Kyle Verdergaal was 1-for-3 with a run, Christian Hammett was 2-for-5, Andrew Lopez went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI, and Zach Johnson added an RBI.
PC will play at Cuesta again at 2 p.m. today. Kiser said he hopes Thursday’s win can build momentum for his program. “Maybe this will be kind of the turning point,” Kiser said.