Greyson Barrett smacked a pair of triples on his way to a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate for Taft College in a 7-2 victory over visiting Porterville College on Tuesday in the opening game a of three-game Central Valley Conference series.
Game 2 is set for Thursday (Apr. 11) in Porterville at 2 p.m. with Saturday's (Apr. 13) series finale scheduled for 1 p.m. back in Taft.
Taft struck for two quick runs in the bottom of the first off Pirates' starter Ricky Reyes and added two more in the third. Andres Rolon came in to score on a wild pitch before Barrett got the first of three RBI with a single to drive in Jade Smoot.
Barrett made it a 4-0 Taft lead with a two-run triple in the second that brought home Smoot and Jake Pearson.
Porterville got a run back in the fourth thanks to a RBI single by Justin Turner that scored Matt Cox.
The Cougars closed the game out with a two-run double by Rolon in the sixth and got a sacrifice fly from Javier Ramirez to bring in Barrett in the eighth.
Porterville threatened in the ninth inning, getting a leadoff single by Isaiah Moscorro and consecutive walks by Leeland Crawford and Brandon Dodd to load the bases with no outs.
Ryan Meng came in to pitch for the Cougars and quickly struck out Nico Portillo and induced a shallow fly ball by Moses Garza. With two outs, Meng hit Lane Page with a pitch to bring in a run. But Meng was able to recover and got Chris Brandon to fly out to end the game.
Making his first start of the season, Blake Tiede (1-0) tossed five solid innings to earn the win. He allowed just one run and six hits while striking out five. Ryan Brown, Leo Fontanez, and Meng all threw scoreless innings of relief.
Reyes (0-3) took the loss for the Pirates after giving up four runs and three hits over the opening 2 2/3 innings.
Adding to Barrett's big day at the plate, Pearson went 2-for-4 with a run while Rolon (1-for-3) had 2 RBI with a walk and a run.
Porterville outhit Taft by an 8-7 margin and got two hits each from Dodd (2-for-4) and Cox (2-for-3).
With the win, Taft improved to 19-12 overall and currently sits in third place in the CVC standings at 12-4. Porterville dropped to 1-32 overall and 0-16 in conference play.