It could've been Porterville College's fourth win of the season.
Instead Tuesday's Central Valley Conference home game against the Fresno City Rams turned into a disappointing 18-3 loss, the sixth-straight for Pirates' baseball.
After giving up two runs in the second inning, Porterville kept things close with the state's No. 6 ranked team and even got back on level ground with Fresno when PC's Isaiah Gomez (Porterville High) hit a two-run, RBI-single in the fifth to even the score.
But from then on, Fresno City controlled the game. The Pirates' struggles on the mound intensified and the Rams scored seven runs in the sixth and seventh inning to take a 16-2 lead.
“What happens is our staff will give up hits, I have no problem with giving up hits, but what happens to us is that we're giving them 18 free bases,” PC head coach Rich Sorenson. “We gave them (14) walks and (four) hit batters. We can't beat any team in the state if we do that. So I've stressed all year with my pitchers is that we don't have a lot of guys that strike guys out, so we have to pitch to contact.”
Landon Jordan (Washington) took the loss on the mound after going 5 1/3 innings with four runs allowed on nine walks, three hits and seven strikeouts. Jordan came out after reaching 110 pitches and giving up a two-run home run in the sixth but Sorenson said he did well pitching out of some jams.
In relief, Mason Wilken (Alaska) saw seven batters over 1/3 of an inning but gave up five runs on four hits and hit two batters. Alejandro Pacheco (Delano) went 2/3 with six runs allowed on two walks, one HBP and two strikeouts. Matthew Cloyd (Monache) pitched 2 2/3 innings; allowing three runs on five hits, three walks, one HBP and one strikeout.
“Hard thing is that the pitchers have to believe that...they don't have to be so fine to get college hitters out,” Sorenson said. “They don't trust themselves if they're good enough. … You don't have to throw the ball down the middle but you can work inside and outside of the plate. Hit those spots and unfortunately we don't do that and we miss six inches off.”
The Pirates finished with just six hits and picked up a final run in the eighth inning. However they gave up two more runs to the Rams in ninth.
“Defensively we've actually played OK all year,” Sorenson said. “Defensively we've done OK. So hitting-wise and pitching-wise have been our bugaboos lately. But we come back hard, and if they just believe.
"That score doesn't indicate how close we were. For five innings we were right there," he added.
Porterville (3-20, 1-6 CVC) continues their three-game series against Fresno City (17-3, 7-0 CVC) with a 3 p.m. game Thursday in Fresno. The two team's return to Porterville for a 1 p.m. game Saturday.
Strathmore High School baseball defeated Laton 10-1 in a non-league game on the road.
William Reece pitched three strong innings, striking out seven for the win. Aidan Jackson closed it with four strikeouts in two innings.
Reece was 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored and five stolen bases. Jacob Flores was 2-for-3 with a triple, three runs scored and two RBIs. Angel Topete had two hits with a double and two runs scored. Taylor Lollis also had two hits and two RBIs.
Strathmore plays away this Friday at Granite Hills. Game time is 4 p.m.
Sacramento City 0
Porterville College women's tennis defeated Sacramento City 9-0 in Tuesday's Big 8 South Conference match at home. City only had four players so PC won the No. 5 singles, No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles by default.
In singles, PC's No. 1 Claire Nuno won 6-2, 6-1; No. 2 Eileen Rooney 6-2, 6-1; No. 3 Raquel Calo 6-0, 6-0; and No. 4 Zoe Vasquez 6-0, 6-0. For doubles, No. 1 Nuno and Rooney won 8-0 and No. 2 Calo and Vasquez won 8-0.