Baseball win conference opener

The Pierce College Brahmas opened conference play with a 12-3 victory over the Valley College Monarchs on Saturday.


The win brings the Brahmas’ overall record to 4-11.


Mike Scolaro led off with a single in the bottom of the first and found himself on third after a two-base error from Valley. Alexis Miranda promptly brought him home with a groundout to second.


Another defensive miscue from Valley in the second inning would bring home three more Brahmas. Pierce ended the second inning with a five-run cushion for starting pitcher Chris Kovach.


“We just came out to play today, everybody collectively,” Kovach said. “Getting a lead off hit with an error in right field, getting somebody on third right away helped us out. To score a run early gave me the confidence that I needed to go out there.”


While Valley struggled defensively, the Brahmas held strong. Solid defense from the infield helped keep Kovach perfect through three innings.


Kovach performed well from the mound until the fourth inning where Valley scored its three runs.


Head coach Bill Picketts kept Kovach on the mound for longer than he planned.


“I don’t let my pitchers pitch too long early in the season,” Picketts said. “I wait on them to get stronger and healthier, so today I left him out there a little bit longer than I had previously. He’s one of my better guys, so that definitely helps.”


Kovach was strong through the eighth inning, and according to Picketts, wanted to go back out for the ninth despite throwing 110 pitches.


“As the game went on, I was getting more comfortable on the mound and was getting more into my groove,” Kovach said.


Second baseman Jorge Navarrete’s bat was hot, going 4-for-5 with three singles and a double, collecting three RBIs and a run scored along the way.


“I feel like I was helpful to this victory,” Navarrete said. “I’ll do whatever I can to try to get the victory at the end. I know everyone has my back and I just have that confidence with me.”


The Brahmas started off the season losing their first six games. Pierce was able to come together as a team to turn their season around by winning in conference play.


“I’m proud of my team,” Navarette said. “We had a rough start, but we’re in together as a team and starting to play like one unit. It takes everyone, not just one, to get a victory in the end.”

The Brahmas’ next game will be away at Ventura College on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m.