PC roundup: Baseball wins, women's basketball falls
The Porterville College baseball team will head into Central Valley Conference play on a high note after a 15-3 rout of Imperial Valley in the Cuesta Crossover on Saturday at Cuesta.
PC took advantage of a wild Imperial Valley pitching staff on its way to the win. “We did a great job taking advantage of the opportunities they gave us and taking advantage of the mistakes they made,” said PC coach Jake Kiser, whose team improved to 4-3. “We feel good about the start we’re off to. I just think we need to be more consistent.”
Kurt Rathjens pitched seven innings for the win. Among the offensive leaders for PC were Rory French, who had three hits, and James Bingaman, who added two hits.
Porterville will open CVC play at 2 p.m. Tuesday at conference power Merced. “I like our momentum going into conference,” Kiser said. “This week will be a good measuring stick to see where we’re at.”
MERCED 68, PC 64
Porterville gave Central Valley Conference power Merced all it could handle before falling just short at PC. Merced went on a 16-0 run to take a 16-2 lead to begin the game before the Pirates hit five three-pointer in the first half on their way to coming back.
Maria Bravo began the comeback with a three and Alia Alvarez followed with a three to pull PC to within 17-8. Eva Gutierrez hit a three to bring the Pirates to within 21-13 and Bravo hit another three to bring PC to within 24-22. Destiny Zarate followed with a three to give PC a 25-24 lead before Merced went on to take a 36-33 halftime lead.
After Merced went up 42-35, Bravo hit her third three to bring Porterville to within 42-38. Merced went on to build a 55-32 lead before Jackie Padron scored on an acrobatic runner and was fouled. Padron converted the three-point play to pull the Pirates to within 53-45.
Merced led by as much as 60-47 when Porterville mounted one more comeback. Gutierrez hit a three to pull PC to within 63-54 and then Alvarez scored on a drive and was fouled.
Alvarez converted the three-point play to bring the Pirates to within 65-59. Gutierrez hit two free throws to pull PC to within 66-63 before Merced held on.
“We had a great effort,” PC coach Dave Kavern said. “I thought we did some good things offensively.”
But in the end, Merced was able to rely on its size advantage. “They just pounded us inside,” Kavern said. “That was the difference of the game. We battled back. That’s the type of girls I have. We just fell a little bit short.”
Another key to the game was Merced’s huge free throw advantage as Merced was 17-of-36 from the line while Porterville was 11-of-14. Bravo had 15 points and eight rebounds, Gutierrez scored 15 points and Alvarez added 10 points for PC.