Taft College rallied for two runs in the seventh and eighth innings to pull out an 8-5 Central Valley Conference win over visiting Reedley College on Tuesday in the opening game of a three-game series.
After last week's three-game conference sweep of Cerro Coso College, the Cougars have won four straight and have moved into third place in the CVC standings at 5-2. Taft (12-10 overall) and Reedley (6-16, 3-4 CVC) continue their series on Thursday (Mar. 21) in Reedley at 2 p.m. with the finale back in Taft on Saturday (Mar. 23) at 1 p.m.
The Cougars totaled 12 hits on Tuesday, including an impressive 3-for-3 effort by James McCallum. His RBI single in the bottom of the seventh drove in Jake Pearson to tie up the game at 5-5. Two batters later, Jade Smoot doubled to bring in McCallum with the go-ahead run for the Cougars.
Zach Jones smacked a two-run double in the eighth to give Taft some breathing room.
Manny Guzman was outstanding in relief to pick up the win. He tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings to close out the game, allowing just one hit while striking out two. Cedric Corrales went 4 1/3 innings in the start and allowed four earned runs and six hits.
Andres Rolon (2-for-5), Jones (1-for-1), and Smoot (1-for-5) all drove in two runs each to help lead the Cougar offense.