Opening Day 2016
by Kaivon Kealoha
January 29, 2016
vs Feather River College
The Cougars squared off against 5th ranked Feather River for the 2016 season opener at Cougar Field. Robby Brewster took the mound, allowing 8 hits and just 2 runs on home runs while striking out 4 in his 5.2 innings of work.
Taft took an early 2 run lead in the first inning as Richard Ortiz hit an RBI triple driving in Travis Turner, then later scored on a ground ball to second by Shane Kotz.
An RBI double by Robert Higgs along with 2 wild pitches gave Taft another 3 runs in the third.
Jeremy Peterson solo homered and Trenton Stowe hit a 2 RBI double for the Eagles to make it a 1 run game in the sixth. Any doubt was erased in the bottom of the inning when Turner singled in 2 runs then scored on a bases loaded walk worked by Kotz to make it 8-4.
Ortiz, Turner, and Kotz each had 2 RBI's a piece.
The Cougars manufactured 9 runs on 8 hits largely in credit to the 2 sacrifice bunts laid perfectly by Ricky Sottile, a stolen base by Turner, and a sacrifice fly by Ortiz in the 8th.
Will Moore pitched a solid 2.1 innings out of the bullpen giving up only 1 hit to set up Shane Kotz who earned the save.
vs Barstow College
In game 2 of opening day at Cougar Field, Taft took on Barstow College falling behind early with Matt Rogers giving up 2 runs on 7 hits in the first 4 innings on the mound.
Kaivon Kealoha's fake steal forced an error by Barstow’s Dustin Mc Nicholl scoring Austin Pendergrass from third base in the 5th.
Robert Higgs drove in Fabian Gutierrez with a sacrifice fly to center field, Pendergrass singled in Richard Ortiz, and Kyle Wedel singled in Pendergrass to make the score 4-2 after the sixth.
Defensive miscues hurt the Cougars in the 7th inning as Caleb Newman gave up an unearned run on a fielder’s choice.
This set up the 9th inning when 3 unearned Bartow runs cost the Cougars the lead, and ultimately the game as the Cougars could not answer in the bottom half of the inning.
Austin Pendergrass went 3-for-4 and Travis Turner went 2-for-5 to lead the Cougars offensively.
Tyson Canfield pitched the 5th and 6th innings out of the bullpen, and Alfred Souza pitched the 8th inning, both giving up no runs. Shane Kotz took the loss in the 9th inning.
Taft College looks to bounce back when they host College of the Siskiyous on Friday, February 5th at 10:30 am.