The West Hills College Falcons Baseball Team finally got the monkey off their back and won their first game of the season, beating Taft College in walk-off fashion 5-4. Things did not start out well for the Falcons, as starting pitcher Dillon Moran gave up a leadoff walk in the first, followed by consectutive singles. Moran walked the cleanup hitter to bring home the Cougar's first run, which was followed by a wild pitch bringing home another run. A RBI groundout by Robby Brewster made the score 3-0 in favor of the Cougars. Cougar's starting pitcher Tyson Canfield kept the Falcon offense in check, as he threw 6 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits while striking out 5. After a leadoff double in the 3rd inning by SS Fabian Gutierrez and a RBI groundout by Designated Hitter Richard Ortiz, Taft took a commanding 4-0 lead. The Cougars turned to reliever Matt Rogers in the 7th, and the Falcons got to him right away. Torin Miller reached on a fielder's choice, which was followed by a double by LF Alante Uribe, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out. Adrian Flores grounded out to SS, which brought home Miller. With two outs, Mckay Glines hit a dribbler to SS which was misplayed by Gutierrez, allowing Uribe to score, making the score 4-2. Falcons reliever Zach Seaney came into the game in the top of the 4th and threw 5 shutout innings, giving up only one hit while striking out 4. He ran into some trouble in the top of the 9th, as he walked the first two batters he faced. Falcon manager Stefan McGovern turned to his bullpen and brought reliever Mack Morford into the game. After a bunt brought runners to 2nd and 3rd with only one out, Morford got pinch hitter Dayton Wilson to strike out looking and forced a groundout by 1B Shane Kotz to end the inning.
Down 4-2 in the bottom of the 9th, Torin Miller led off with a single up the middle. Taft went to the bullpen and brought in reliever Alfred Souza who walked Uribe, the only batter he faced. Taft then went to closer Shane Kotz to face Flores, who sacrificed the runners over on a perfect bunt to third base. Mckay Glines then hit a soft flyball to 2b, which was lost in the sun by Dayton Wilson, which allowed Miller to score. With runners at 1st and 3rd, Kotz attempted a pickoff which got by new first baseman Richard Ortiz, which brought the tying run home and put the winning run on third base with only one out. Falcons turned to pinch hitter Preston Riley who came up big, as he singled home the winning run on a line drive to right field. Mack Morford got the win and pushed his record to 1-0, while Kotz got the loss, falling to 0-2. Both West Hills and Taft are now 1-4 in conference, and will play the final game of this three game series Friday at Taft College, starting at 2:30pm.