The Brahmas battled the Renegades of Bakersfield College Thursday, with the game ending 9-6 in favor of the Renegades.
Pierce College is now 3-4 across their last seven games, which date back to Feb. 21.
“We left it all on the field today and unfortunately we didn’t play well enough to win,” said Joe Arnold, head coach of the Brahmas.
Bakersfield has continued to thrive on their potent offense. They are now 6-1 across their last seven games, averaging 13 runs per outing.
“Offensively, we did what we needed to do…both teams struggled defensively today, but I’m just happy with the outcome,” said Tim Painton, head coach for Bakersfield.
The game opened with a scoreless first inning. By the bottom of the second, Pierce had taken a 1-0 lead after catcher Steve McGrath took Renegades starting pitcher Kyle Witten deep to left field.
Two innings later, Bakersfield tied the game with an RBI groundout and proceeded to go up 3-1 in the fifth inning after Brahmas starting pitcher Nate Perlitch surrendered four hits – two for extra bases.
Pierce answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning with four runs. Infielder Josh Reese blasted a two-run home run with two outs that broke the tie and put the Brahmas back on top 5-3.
The lead didn’t last long. The Renegades’ first two batters of the seventh inning reached after a hit-by-pitch and a double. After two consecutive line outs, third baseman Jeff Burleson cleared the bases with a two-out triple, tying the game 5-5.
The Brahmas’ pitchers struggled in the eighth inning. Freshmen Mike Nesbit and Casey Fry dealt with control issues while the defense misplayed two balls, eventually leading to costly unearned runs.
After eight innings, the Renegades led 9-6.
Bakersfield starting pitcher Kyle Witten threw seven plus innings, allowing five runs – though not all were earned – and striking out six. Though he was visibly rattled at times, the Renegades stuck with their number one pitcher.
“He’s our guy…we know what he’s capable of doing,” said Painton.
“He’s a guy that’s always going to come back and throw strikes and give you a chance.”
The Brahmas’ bats cooled in the ninth inning and could not lead the team to a comeback victory.