Fresh off their impressive 30-4 rout at Antelope Valley College on Saturday, Taft College was named the No. 13 seed for the upcoming California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Northern California Regional Playoffs. The Cougars will travel to face No. 4 Sacramento City College in a best-of-three game series that starts on May 3.
The opening game of the series is set for 4 p.m. on Friday. Game 2 is Saturday (May 4) at 1 p.m. with a third game, if necessary, also scheduled for Saturday at 4 p.m. All games will be played at Sacramento City's Union Stadium.
Taft returns to the postseason for the second consecutive year under head coach Vince Maiocco. Last season's berth ended a 26-year playoff drought by the Cougars.
Taft enters the 2019 postseason with a 25-14 overall record and finished just a game out of first-place in the highly-competitive Central Valley Conference with a 16-5 mark. The Cougars roll into the playoffs having won six of their last seven CVC contests and are winners of 17 of their last 21 ball games.
The Cougars have stayed competitive all season thanks to the long ball. Their 47 home runs this season currently ranks No. 2 in the state. Taft has outscored its opponents by a 351-238 margin.
Leading the power surge are sophomores Wes Herbert and Andres Rolon with nine homers each. Herbert leads the squad with 41 RBI while Rolon is hitting .346 with a team-best 12 doubles. James McCallum is also having an impressive standout season, batting a team-leading .362 with 11 doubles, 3 home runs, and 33 RBI.
On the mound, freshman Cedric Corrales as well as sophomores Michael Barker and Cassius Shy head the rotation.
Corrales was impressive in his first season with the Cougars, going 6-0 with 50 strikeouts in 58 2/3 innings and has a 4.14 ERA. Barker is 6-2 this season with a team-high 78 strikeouts. He has compiled a 4.55 ERA over 63 1/3 innings. Shy checks in with a 4-4 mark and struck out 55 batters over with 50 innings with a 5.22 ERA.
Sacramento City enters the postseason with a 28-11 overall record and finished tied for third place in the Big 8 Conference at 16-8. The Panthers have outscored their opponents 294-197 this season and have won 11 of their last 14 games.
Sophomores Kevin Saenz and Anthony Galati lead the Panthers' offense. Saenz is hitting .331 and leads Sac City 7 home runs and 37 RBI. Galati is batting a team-best .336 with 5 home runs and 31 RBI. Freshman Ryan Costelu tops the rotation for the Panthers, checking in with a 4-1 record 3.77 ERA with 72 strikeouts over 57 1/3 innings.
The winner of the best two-out-of-three series advances to Round 2 of the Northern California Regional Playoffs on May 10. Teams are battling for a spot in the CCCAA State Championship, set for May 25-27 in Fresno.