PC goes 0-2 in doubleheader

The first win of the season once again eluded Porterville College as the team dropped both games of a season-opening doubleheader to Lassen College Friday at Pirates Stadium.

Porterville lost the first game 13-3 and the second 10-2 but the win was there for PC’s taking in the first game. However the Pirates began unraveling in the top of the fifth inning and quickly lost the two-run lead they had earned in the bottom of the third.

Up 3-1 in the fifth, Porterville’s struggles began with starting pitcher, sophomore Matt Cox, loading the bases and giving up an RBI-double after getting the first two Cougar batters out. Sophomore Jason Romero relieved Cox, but neither he nor the Pirates defense could end things quickly.

With the bases loaded and two outs, an error by freshman shortstop Chris Brandon brought in the tying run. That was followed up by Romero giving up two more runs on a bases-loaded walk and two-run RBI-double that erased the Pirates’ lead. 

“We didn’t pitch well with two [outs], we didn’t play good defense,” PC head coach Rich Sorensen said. “We made a two-out error at shortstop and then that gave them five runs. So we’re there. We can compete with anybody as long as we play solid baseball. And today we didn’t do that.”

Sorensen added, “It’s inexperience. Lot of these kids are freshmen. Today we started nine guys — seven of them freshmen. So we’re young. And so they’re growing pains. They have to realize that we have to finish every inning. We can’t just get two outs and go the innings over, and it’s not. When the [Atlanta] Falcons are up 28-3 against the [New England] Patriots [in Super Bowl LI], you play the four quarters. That’s what I’m stressing to these guys. It’s three outs, it’s nine innings.”

Porterville’s problems continued for the rest of the game with the team only getting one hit — from sophomore second baseman Isaiah Gomez — through the last five innings while giving up seven runs to Lassen in the last three innings. 

At the plate, freshman Garrett Behrens went 2-for-3 with an RBI-double and a run scored to lead the Pirates. Sophomore Nico Portillo and freshman Justin Turner also had RBI-singles for PC while Gomez and freshman Jacobe Vargas also scored a run apiece.

Before being relieved, Cox went 4 ⅔ innings with five runs allowed on three hits, two walks, two batters hit, as well as the team’s only three strikeouts. Romero went 2 ⅓ innings giving up three runs on four hits and two walks. 

Freshman Luis Garay pitched 1 ⅓ innings, allowing four runs on three hits and one walk, but came out early after being hit in the arm on a line drive. Freshman David Jimenez relieved him for ⅔ of an inning and gave up one run on one hit.

Defensively, Porterville allowed only six earned runs but had seven errors. 

In the second game, the Pirates were down 8-0 after allowing runs in the second, third, fifth and seventh innings before getting on the board with a run scored by freshman Lane Page and freshman Isaiah Moscorro hitting an RBI-single.

Along with Moscorro, freshman Brandon Dodd and Jacobe Vargas all went 2-for-4 to account for six of PC’s eight hits. Chris Brandon also drew two walks and Nico Portillo scored a run.

Starting pitcher, sophomore Derek Steidly II, went 4 ⅓ innings where he allowed five earned runs on five hits, two walks and had one strikeout. In relief, freshman Alejandro Pacheo gave up three earned runs on five hits and one walk but had a team-high four strikeouts through 2 ⅔ innings. David Jimenez finished the game again, going two innings with two runs on one hit with one strikeout.

“I couldn’t be happier with our pitchers,” Sorensen said. “But they have to realize, we’ve got to play better defense meaning we need to hold runner on better.” 

Porterville has a chance to avoid a series sweep today when they host the Cougars at 11 a.m. for the final game of the series. Sophomore Alfredo Vasquez will get the start on the mound for the Pirates.

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