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BASEBALL: Porterville pitcher throws 14 strikeouts

Porterville junior Louie Torres throws 14 strikeouts in six innings to beat rival Monache Marauders

PORTERVILLE – The Porterville Panthers scored five runs in the first two innings to defeat the Monache Marauders 6-2.

The Panthers beat the Marauders 6-2 in their first meeting of the season on Tuesday, April 18. The Panthers started pitcher Louie Torres, who shut down the Marauders completely until the sixth inning. On offense, the Panthers started early, scoring five runs in the first two innings and forcing the Marauders to bring in a relief pitcher.

“When our team gets confident, we can compete,” Porterville head coach Pete Carganilla said. “It’s just a matter of getting there and staying there.”

Torres shut down the first three pitchers in the Monache lineup in the first inning, with one strikeout and two fly outs. The next two innings, he struck out three batters in a row. By the end of the sixth inning, he had collected 14 strikeouts and held the Marauders to a single run. He walked only a single batter the entire game and it was at the end of the sixth inning. Torres was relieved in the seventh inning after the Panthers were up 6-1 in order to give another pitcher some practice.

The Marauders started junior Colton Isom on the mound. In the first inning, two Porterville runners scored, batted in by Torres. While the first runner got a hit on the first pitch, Isom walked the second to put them both in position to score. In the second inning, the Panthers scored three more runs, two of which were on errors by the catcher. In the third inning, freshman Brody McCoy came in to pitch.

“McCoy did a great job today on the mound in relief,” Monache head coach Jacob Williams said. “That was huge for us and that’s something that we can definitely build on and work from.”

McCoy threw four strikeouts over the four innings he pitched and the Marauders defense didn’t allow the Panthers to score again until the fifth inning. Second baseman Alfredo Martinez and shortstop Ty Baxter worked hard to cover the center of the infield while Isom fielded several pop ups to right field for outs.

Playing a rivalry game on the road may have contributed to the Marauders’ shaky start. By the end of the game, they were much more coordinated and confident, while at the beginning they were making fundamental errors that cost them several runs. For their game against the Panthers at home on April 20, they’re actually planning to back off on their play and focus more on the basics.

“It’s a rivalry game,” Williams said. “Everybody wants to be the guy who gets the big hit. Everybody wants to do something that will get us on the board. We just ended up pressing a bit too much and then things went a little haywire.”

The Marauders and Panthers will play the second game of their series on April 20. The Panthers remain confident in their victory, but Torres will not be starting as pitcher. While the Marauders took a tough loss, they know what they need to do to beat the Panthers next time.

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