Barker's Stellar Pitching Performance Pushes Falcons Win Streak to 2

The Falcons proved on Friday that winning can be contagious, as they won their 2nd game in a row versus Taft 5-4. The Falcons got great pitching from their starting pitcher, Brandon Barker, who threw 6 innings, giving up 7 hits and allowing 3 earned runs. The Cougars got to Barker in the first though, as an error by Shortstop Andrew Bladt allowed Shane Kotz to reach first base. After a fielders choice gave the Falcons two outs with a runner on first, Barker gave up a single and double to the Cougars to make the score 1-0. The Falcons answered right back in the top half of the 2nd inning as cleanup hitter Evan Walter tied the score with home run to left, his third of the season. The score remained tied 1-1 until the top of the 5th when Falcon's centerfielder Adrian Flores led off with a hit by pitch, and was quickly moved to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt by Mckay Glines. After a walk to catcher Matt Siedem, and a single by Bladt, Scotty Ingle hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Flores, putting the Falcons ahead 2-0. 

The Falcons added to their lead in the top of the 6th as DH Torin Miller led off with a double to right, and advanced to third on a single by Flores. Mckay Glines came up big as he doubled to deep right field, scoring both Miller and Flores, and giving the Falcons a 4-1 lead. The Cougars wouldn't go quietly though, as they finally got to Barker in the bottom of the 6th. After walking the leadoff batter Fabian Gutierrez, Barker gave up a towering blast to left by Catcher Richard Ortiz, making the score 4-3. The Falcons added an insurance run in the top of the 7th as Scotty Ingle led off with an infield single, and advanced to 2nd on a passed ball. Jake Lorenzini hit a ground out to third, and heads up baserunning by Ingle allowed him to advance to third base with one out. That brought up Evan Walter who hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Ingle, and putting West Hills College up 5-3. Taft would inch closer in the bottom of the 7th, as Barker gave up a leadoff single followed by a double, making the score 5-4. Barker was taken out for reliever Ian Manzo who got the next three batters out, leaving the tying run at third. Manzo ran into some trouble in the 8th as he gave up a leadoff single to DH Brendan Halstrom. After a bunt moved him to 2nd, Manzo got Kaivon Kealoha to flyout to right. After a walk and a single loaded the bases, Manzo was relieved by Jacob Evangelo, who got leadoff hitter Luke Lubiniecki to strike out, ending the threath. Evangelo closed the door in the 9th for his first save of the season.

Brandon Barker improved his record to 1-1 on the season. The Falcons will look to remain hot, as they will host Fresno City College on Tuesday afternoon at 2pm at Keith Scrivner Field.