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Local roundup: Panther baseball falls ot Union
Monache loses in nine innings
When an East Yosemite League showdown comes this early, it’s a chance to make a defining statement. But now in defeat, the Porterville High baseball team now has to make sure it doesn’t define its season.
Porterville finds itself in a hole already in the EYL after a disappointing effort in a 5-1 loss on Friday at Dave Frederick Field to Tulare Union, which made a statement that it doesn’t plan to give up its place as the EYL’s top dog.
The Panthers actually outhit the Redskins 8-5, but Union’s Russ Ortiz was able to scatter those eight hits in pitching a complete game. “No timely hitting,” Porterville coach A.J. Watts said. “Pretty indicative of the loss. We’ve got to play better and we will. It’s not going to define us. We’re going to come back.”
It looked like Porterville was ready to make a statement in the first inning when Anthony Flores walked and advanced all the way to third on Tyler Davis’ sacrifice bunt. Flores then scored on Robert Burcham’s RBI single to give PHS (5-3, 1-1) a 1-0 lead.
But in the second, the Panther defense broke down behind Matt Watson as Union scored two unearned runs on the strength of four errors and a drive to the outfield that was misplayed into a triple. In the third, Watson struggled with his control as he walked two, hit two and Union also used an RBI infield single to score three runs to take a 5-1 lead.
Watson ended up allowing three earned runs while striking out four in three innings. “Give them credit,” said Watts about Union. “They put some pressure on us.”
Davis was outstanding in relief, pitching four scoreless innings while striking out five and walking two, allowing just one hit, a leadoff double in the sixth. After walking the first batter he faced, Davis retired six straight.
After allowing the leadoff double in the sixth, Davis cut down the runner at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Union ended up with runners at second and third with one out, but Davis got a strikeout and a grounder to escape the jam.
Davis also had an outstanding day at the plate, going 3-for-3. In addition for PHS, Watson had two hits and Angel Flores and Chris Beltran each added a hit.
MISSION OAK 5, MONACHE 4
It was a bittersweet loss for Monache, which fell in nine innings at Mission Oak against another EYL power. It was an impressive week overall after it opened the EYL with a 5-3 win over Tulare Western. Monache, though, had a golden chance to go 2-0 in the EYL, but went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position against Mission Oak.
“We prefer, of course to come out 2-0,” Monache coach Anthony Gale said. “We had our chances offensively. We had our shots. We had our opportunities to go 2-0 and really put some pressure on some teams. As a coaching staff we’re encouraged.”
Monache took a 3-0 lead in the second. Martin Guzman singled, Dariyon Barrientos was hit by a pitch and Matt Steventon followed with a single to score Guzman and Barrientos also scored on an error on the play. Stephen Alba followed with an RBI double to make it 3-0.
Mission Oak went on to take a 4-3 lead before Nick Aguilar tied the game 4-4 with an RBI sacrifice fly for Monache in the seventh. Mission Oak won it in the ninth on the strength of a hit batsman and an error.
Derek Pharis started on the mound for Monache, going 3 1/3 innings. Jordan Vasquez was the tough luck loser for Monache, allowing one earned run over five innings. “He pitched well,” Gale said. “We just couldn’t push any runs across.”
Alba and Steventon both had two hits for Monache.
CHAVEZ 10, GRANITE 1
David Flores went 2-for-3 and Clay Congdon pitched three solid innings for Granite Hills against Cesar Chavez.
GRANITE FROSH 5, CHAVEZ 3
Juan Sanchez pitched four scoreless innings for Granite’s freshmen (2-0 in the EYL).
LINDSAY 7, CARUTHERS 2
Lindsay continued it impressive start, improving to 2-0. In singles, Josue Magana won 8-2, Nestor Varela won 8-6, Angel Rusiles won 8-4, Jaime Frias won 8-5 and Tony Mendez won 8-5 for Lindsay. In doubles, Magana and Nelson Guiza won 8-7 (8-6), Vincent Arguelles and Joel Hernandez won 8-6 and Nick Buckridge and Leng Yang played well in a 6-8 loss for Lindsay.