Baseball: Rawhide hosts local baseball tournament

Jermaine Johnson II

Mt. Whitney wins upper division as local teams compete in 36th annual PRO-PT Tulare/Visalia Invitational Baseball Tournament

VISALIA – After the Visalia Rawhide canceled their 2020 season, baseball has finally returned to Recreation Ballpark. The team’s upcoming season doesn’t start until May 4, but they were one of several sites to host the 36th annual PRO-PT Tulare/Visalia Invitational Baseball Tournament which featured over 15 high schools from across the Central Valley.

The park was open to 500 people for each game as all tickets were general admission.

There was pod seating of no greater than six people and seats were first come, first served. Masks were required inside the stadium at all times.

Mt. Whitney High School were the winners of the upper division with a 3-0 record. In their first game they defeated Tulare Western 7-5. Their second game went to extra innings against Bakersfield Christian, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to pull out the victory. Their third game was a 9-2 win over Porterville. They seemed to catch fire in the third inning as they scored five runs in the first game and eight in their last.

Taft High School in Sanger won the lower division with a 4-0 record. Their first and last games were comfortable victories as they defeated both Corcoran 13-2, and Lindsay 9-0. In the middle of those two games were narrow victories over Central Valley Christian (CVC) and Mission Oak as they won both games 6-5. In the bottom of the fifth inning, CVC scored two runs to tie the game at four runs apiece. Taft added two runs in the top sixth and then held CVC to just one run to earn the win.

Against Mission Oak, Taft opened the game with four runs in the first inning and added another in the third to go up 5-0. The Hawks finally got a run on the board in the top of the fifth, and then rallied back at the top of the final inning with four runs to tie the score. Taft held on for the win scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Golden West went 2-2 during the tournament as they opened with two lopsided wins. They defeated Mission Oak 11-3 and beat Exeter 10-1. They followed that up with a 4-2 loss to Tulare Western and an 8-6 loss to Tulare Union. After opening the season with an 8-0 loss to Bakersfield Christian and 15-4 loss to Sanger, the Trailblazers were 3-4 heading into last night’s matchup with Dinuba which occurred after press time.

Exeter has had a strong start to the season with two bumps in the road during the tournament. They started the year with a 5-2 win over Fresno Christian and a 14-3 win over Granite Hills. They then lost the first two games of the tournament. In addition to their loss against the Blazers, they also fell 4-0 to Porterville. They bounced back with an 8-0 win over Lindsay and a 15-5 win over Hanford West. They were 4-2 heading into yesterday afternoon’s game against Taft. It was their first game of the Mills-Vogt Classic which occurred after press time.

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