Taft College Cougars Men's Baseball

About Taft College Baseball

Vince Maiocco begins his 12th season as the Cougars head baseball coach. Maiocco came to Taft College in 2001 and served as an assistant coach until 2004.  Before coming to Taft College; he coached at Gavilan College in 2001, Delano High School in 2000, and Porterville College in 1999. Maiocco spent the most of his coaching career at College of the Siskiyous from 1988-1998.

The Cougar baseball program has a rich history of developing players for the professional and 4-year collegiate level of baseball. The vast majority of Taft College's graduating sophomores have went on to play at the 4-year collegiate and professional level. It is the coaching staff's obligation to develop players to play at the 4-year collegiate or professional level.

The philosophy of Taft College Baseball is: "Take the academic aspect of college serious, maintain an image on and off the field that sheds a positive light on Taft College, and work hard while practicing and playing the game of baseball!"

TC vs Reedley College
L 1-6
by Kaivon Kealoha
April 29, 2016

Taft College Baseball wrapped up the 2016 season at home against Conference foe Reedley College. Missouri Baptist University commit Robby Brewster took the bump for his last time as a Cougar and gave up no earned runs with 8 strikeouts in his 6 innings of work. Brewster cruised through innings 1-4, then gave up a 5 spot in the fifth on 3 errors and 3 hits. All five runs were unearned. Then in the sixth, Brewster retired the side to end his day.

Luke Lubiniecki and Robert Higgs both went 2-for-4 with a double and triple. Richard Ortiz collected a double. Ricky Sottile and Dayton Wilson collected singles.

Brett Haney, Alfred Souza, and Caleb Newman each got work from the bullpen in the later innings.

TC @ College of the Sequoias
W 5-3
by Kaivon Kealoha
April 28, 2016

The Cougars traveled to Visalia on April 28th to play their final road game of the season. Seth Sorensen tossed 4 innings and gave up 3 runs on 7 hits. Matt Rogers came out of the bullpen to earn the win carving 5 innings, and allowing no runs on just three hits.

The Cougars manufactured 5 runs on 12 hits. A big fifth inning was the gateway to win on Thursday. Richard Ortiz singled to drive in Austin Pendergrass, then Brenden Halstrom doubled to drive in 2, and Ricky Sottile hit a deep fly ball to drive in Ortiz for the game’s final run.

Travis Turner, Luke Lubiniecki, Ortiz, and Halstrom all went 2-for-5, and Austin Pendergrass collected 3 hits in four at bats to lead the cougars offensively. Dayton Wilson also collected a line drive single in the 8th inning.

Taft College wrapped up their baseball season at home on Friday April 29, against Reedley.

Fresno Shuts Out Cougar Baseball

Taft Midway Driller
by Dennis McCall
April 28, 2016

The Taft College baseball team took another step to winding down their season Tuesday afternoon when they were shut out by Fresno 4-0 at home.

With the loss, the Cougars head into their final game of the season Friday with an overall record of 13-21 and a Central Valley Conference record of 6-16.

The game turned out to be a pitcher’s duel for most of the game. It was only until the top of the sixth inning when Fresno finally broke through with a run on Tucker Salles run scoring single.

Fresno followed up with another one in the seventh with another run scoring single before capping it off with two runs in the ninth to seal the victory with one of the runs coming on a wild pitch. All totaled, Fresno had seven hits in the game.

Meanwhile, the Cougars only had five hits in the game. Brendon Halstrom, Travis Turner, Dayton Wilson and Austin Pendergrass each were 1-for-3 with Pendergrass’ hit coming on a double.

On the pitching side, Will Moore pitched six innings allowing three hits, a run (earned) while walking five and striking out six batters.

Matt Rogers threw an inning allowing two hits and a run (unearned) while Caleb Newman threw 1 1/3 giving up two hits and two runs (both earned). Newman also walked and struck out a batter.

Alfred Souza pitched the final two thirds of an inning while walking a batter in the process.

Cougars Drop 2 of 3 as Baseball Season Winds Down

Taft Midway Driller
by Dennis McCall
April 25, 2016

It was a rough week for Taft College baseball as hope of a strong finish in the Central Valley Conference was derailed.

The Cougars lost two of three games and will finish the season this week with three more – two of them at home beginning with today’s clash with conference champ Fresno (18-3 CVC, 23-10 overall). They travel to Visalia Thursday to take on College of the Sequoias (10-11, 12-21) and wrap up the season at home Friday against second place Reedley (15-7, 22-12).

Freshman catcher/designated hitter Brendan Halstrom had a big series for the Cougars, going 6-for-12 with two homers, two doubles and five runs batted in.

Porterville 4, TC 3
The Pirates overcame solo homers by Halstrom and Richard Ortiz to eke out a victory in a pitcher’s duel between TC’s Seth Sorensen and Porterville’s Lucas Hugie.

After Porterville took a 3-0 lead into the seventh the Cougars fought back with two runs, one of them a Halstrom homer, to get within one, but the Pirates scored an unearned run in the home half of the inning.

Ortiz slugged a two-out homer in the eighth to again pull the Cougars to within a run but Pirate reliever Edgar Reyes shut the door.

Halstrom was 3-for-4 with a homer and double, and Robert Higgs 2-for-3.

Seth Sorensen worked six innings, giving up three runs on 10 hits, struck out two and walked one.

TC 7, Merced 5
After falling behind 2-0 the Cougars scored four runs in the fifth on Ortiz’s sacrifice fly and Halstrom’s three-run blast.

TC put the game away in the seventh with a three-run burst on doubles by Travis Turner and Ricky Sottile, a single and stolen base by Dayton Wilson and squeeze bunt from Austin Pendergrass.

Turner was 3-for-3

Sophomore Robby Brewster notched his seventh win of the season by working eight solid innings. He gave up just two earned runs on eight hits, struck out six and walked one. Matt Rogers earned his second save.

West Hills 14, TC 3
The last-place Falcons have had Taft’s number all season, winning three of the four games between the teams.

A seven-run second inning put the game away early.

Falcon starter Justin Vlotho earned his first win of the season by working seven strong innings. He gave up one run on four hits, struck out five and walked two.

Halstrom led the Cougars again with a double, single and an RBI. Sottile banged a two-run double and Ortiz also had a double.

The Cougars used six pitchers.

After 500 Wins (former Cougar) Brian Whitaker Still Teaches Baseball 'the right way'

by Ed Graney

The game wasn’t going all that well — one of those days, is all — and yet every player wearing a Silverado High baseball uniform sprinted on and off the field as if his future on the roster depended on setting personal bests in the 100-yard dash.

The last time I saw kids exert this much energy around a diamond was years ago, when my son’s T-Ball team discovered someone had delivered cupcakes to the dugout. One kid actually swung at the ball, took a step toward first base and bolted for the double-chocolate with sprinkles.

Might have been my kid.

I’ll never tell.

Brian Whitaker didn’t do much running last week, and I’m not sure he was in the mood for sweets as his team lost to Basic 11-3, instead making lineup and pitching changes with the sort of calming stroll of a man confident in his approach.

You know, because 500 wins will do that for a guy.

Full Story Click Here

TC @ Fresno City College
L 2-10
by Kaivon Kealoha
April 12, 2016

On Tuesday, Taft College baseball went toe to toe against the Fresno City Rams, in Fresno. Seth Sorensen took the loss on the bump tossing 4 innings and allowing 3 runs on 4 hits with 2 walks. Matt Rogers came out of the bullpen to toss 3 innings. He allowed 2 earned runs on five hits. Jordan Hart and Will Moore got work in the ninth giving up an additional 4 runs.

Offensively, The Cougars manufactured 2 runs on 6 hits. Fabian Gutierrez singled to score Luke Lubiniecki in the top of the first, and Kaivon Kealoha hit a solo home run in the fourth. Five total Cougars collected singles.

Taft looks to bounce back when they host Fresno, Thursday April 14, at 3:00 pm on Cougar Field.

Cougar Baseball Pounds 23 Hits, Beats Cerro Coso
W 14-5
Taft Midway Driller
by Dennis McCall
April 11, 2016

RIDGECREST – Taft College hit safely in every inning here last Thursday and cruised to a 14-5 non-conference baseball victory over Cerro Coso College.

Behind a 23-hit attack the Cougars avenged a 4-3 loss to the Coyotes in an early season game played in Taft.

TC (5-10 CVC, 12-15 overall) has won five of its last six games but will be hard pressed to maintain that level of success when the Cougars go up against Central Valley Conference leader Fresno City College (12-2, 17-9 overall) in a three-game series that begins today on the Rams home field. Thursday’s 1 p.m. game will be played at Cougar Field on the TC campus and the series wraps up Saturday in Fresno.

Designated hitter Brendan Halstrom, the team’s batting leader, led the way at Cerro Coso with a run-scoring double and three-run homer.

Luke Lubiniecki, Fabian Gutierrez, Richard Ortiz and Dayton Wilson all had three hits apiece. Ortiz banged two doubles and Wilson a triple. Robert Higgs had two hits and drove in two runs and Austin Pendergrass and Kaivon Kealoha each singled twice.

Head coach Vince Maiocco pressed six pitchers into the action.

Staff ace Robby Brewster worked the first four innings to notch his sixth win of the season against three losses. He allowed two runs on five hits, struck out two and walked one.

Matt Rogers, Tyson Canfield, Brett Haney and Shane Kotz didn’t allow a run in their brief stints but Alfred Souza was touched for three runs on three hits in the seventh.

After spotting the Coyotes a run in the home half of the first, the Cougars took the lead for good in the third with a pair of runs, then scored five times on seven hits and an error in the fourth. It could have been a bigger inning but the Cougars left the bases loaded. Eleven batters came to the plate.

Like Brewster, Cerro Coso starter Chase Stebbins went four innings but unlike his counterpart gave up seven runs on 14 hits.
After getting off to a slow start Fresno City came to life once the conference wars began. The Rams were 5-7 in pre-conference games but have won 12 of 14 in the conference. They are ranked No. 8 in northern California.

Merced (13-4) and Reedley (10-5) are chasing Fresno. Taft, Porterville and Sequoias all enter the week 5-10 in the conference with West Hills-Coalinga (3-12) at the bottom.

TC @ Cerro Coso College
W 14-5
by Kaivon Kealoha
April 7, 2016

The Cougars traveled to Ridgecrest on Thursday of their conference bye week to square off against the Coyotes of Cerro Coso College. Robby Brewster collected his sixth win on the season pitching 4 innings, allowing 2 runs and striking out 2.

Taft struck for 2 runs in the third, fifth, seventh, and ninth innings. As well as 5 runs in the fourth, and 1 run in the eighth.

Taft College feasted on Cerro Coso pitching, hammering 23 hits, and scoring 14 runs on a total of 4 Coyote pitchers. Every member in the lineup collected at least 2 hits, with Luke Lubiniecki, Fabian Gutierrez, Richard Ortiz, Travis Turner, and Dayton Wilson all getting 3.

Brendan Halstrom collected a double and a homerun to straight away center field for 4 RBI’s. Ortiz hit a pair of doubles, and Wilson smacked a triple. Austin Pendergrass, Lubiniecki, Gutierrez, and Ortiz all collected an RBI while Higgs had 2.

Matt Rogers, Tyson Canfield, Alfred Souza, Brett Haney, and Shane Kotz all got work out of the bullpen to preserve the lead.

The Cougars will play at Fresno on Tuesday, April 12, then host Fresno on Thursday, April 14 at 3:00 pm.

Cougar Baseball Team Tades one-run Wins with COS
Taft Midway Driller
by Dennis McCall
April 4, 2016

Taft College and College of the Sequoias traded one-run Central Valley Conference baseball victories last Thursday and Saturday, but the Cougars won the series 2-1.

On Thursday in Visalia the Giants scored six times in the sixth winning to come away with a 7-6 victory, but two days later in Taft it was the Cougars scoring twice in the eighth and once in the ninth for a 4-3 win.

The Cougars, who have won three of their last four and five of seven, draw the conference bye this week but travel to Ridgecrest Thursday for a non-conference outing with Cerro Coso College (12-14). TC is 10-15 overall and 5-10 in the conference.

Sequoias broke open a pitcher’s duel with its six-run burst on Thursday. The Giants got just four hits but took advantage of two walks, a hit batter and two stolen bases. The Cougars were leading 3-1 at the time and rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth to get within a run.

With three runs in and runners at second and third with one out, Sequoias reliever Alex Garcia induced two ground ball outs that clinched the win.

The top of the Giants lineup did all the damage, going 8-for-17 with five RBIs.

Cougar second sacker Luke Lubiniecki went 3-for-4, Travis Turner doubled and singled and Austin Pendergrass hit two singles.

Seth Sorenson shut out the Giants over the first five innings but ran into trouble in the ill-fated sixth, giving up three runs before leaving in favor of Tyson Canfield, who also allowed three runs and took the loss.

Saturday’s series finale began as a pitching duel between Taft’s Robby Brewster and Sequoias’ Reid Feeley. Both went six innings and left with the Giants leading 3-1.

TC tied it in the eighth when Pendergrass singled to center field to get things going. Libiniecki walked and following a fly ball out both runners moved up on a groundout. Designated hitter Brendan Halstrom lashed a line drive double to center field to drive in both runners and tie the game.

In the ninth the Cougars loaded the bases on a leadoff single from Travis Turner, a hit batter and a walk. Catcher Richard Ortiz also was plunked by a pitch to send the winning run across the plate.

Halstrom had a double and single to drive in a pair and Turner had two singles. Pendergrass, Lubiniecki, Kealoha and Ricky Sottile had the other Cougar hits.

Brewster allowed just one earned run on five hits, walked four and struck out four. Reliever Matt Rogers worked the final three innings, shutting out the Giants on three hits a walk and a strikeout.

TC vs College of the Sequoias
W 4-3
by Kaivon Kealoha
April 2, 2016

The Cougars emerged victorious through a dramatic finish against conference rival, College of the Sequoias Giants, in the series rubber match.

Richard Ortiz took a fastball to the elbow with a tie game, 0-2 count, and two outs with bases loaded in the ninth to bring home Travis Turner; who represented the game’s walk off run.

A single by Turner, Austin Pendergrass getting hit by pitch, and a base on balls for Luke Lubiniecki set up the game’s final plate appearance.

Early in the game, defensive miscues hurt the Cougars when the Giants snagged two unearned runs in the first off sophomore starting pitcher Robby Brewster. However that didn’t shake him at all, Brewster cleaned up well allowing no runs and just one hit in innings two and three.

This momentum created a big scoring opportunity in the third. Kaivon Kealoha, Ricky Sottile, Austin Pendergrass, and Lubiniecki manufactured Taft’s first run on four consecutive singles to start off the inning. However the inning ended with bases loaded.

Brewster continued to shove innings four through six allowing 1 run on 2 hits to keep his team within striking distance before being relieved. He struck out 4 Giant batters.

Matt Rogers pitched innings 7 through 9 allowing no runs on just 3 hits to hold Sequoias.

Brendan Halstrom drove in Pendergrass and Lubiniecki with a clutch 2 out, 2 RBI base hit in the eighth to tie the game at 3, settin up the home half of the ninth.

Turner and Halstrom each collected 2 hits apiece, Halstrom had a double and four other Cougars collected a single.

The Cougars will square off against Cerro Coso College at Ridgecrest on Thursday April 7 before heading into their final conference stretch starting Tuesday April 12 at Fresno City.

TC @ College of the Sequoias
L 6-7
by Kaivon Kealoha
March 31, 2016

The Taft College Baseball team traveled to Sequoias on Thursday to square off game two of three. A big 6 spot was put up in the sixth inning with 2 outs from a hit by pitch, 2 singles and a double with bases loaded for the Giants.

Seth Sorenson got the start on the mound tossing 5.2 innings and giving up 3 earned runs. Tyson Canfield took the tough loss from the bullpen, and Will Moore got work to keep the Cougars close.

Luke Lubiniecki led the Cougars offensively squaring up a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Austin Pendergrass and Travis Turner each collected 2 hits apiece. Turner had the only extra base hit with a double. Richard Ortiz and Ricky Sottile each collected 2 RBI’s apiece.

The Cougars will host the rubber match of the series on Saturday March 2 at 2:00 pm.

TC vs College of the Sequoias
W 7-4
by Kaivon Kealoha
March 29, 2016

On Tuesday, Taft College hosted the rival Giants of Sequoias for the three game series opener. Caleb Newman took the start on the mound tossing 2.1 innings and allowing 2 earned runs on 6 hits. Matt Rogers came out of the bullpen to earn the win shoving nine strikeouts and allowing just 1 run in his 6.2 innings of work.

The Cougars feasted on Sequoias pitching. TC hammered 20 hits and scored 7 runs in eight innings of offensive opportunity. Nearly everyone in the lineup had multi-hit performances at the plate.

Luke Lubiniecki led the way collecting 4 singles in 5 at bats, and scoring 2 runs. Ricky Sottile went 3-for-4 with a triple, and Brendan Halstrom went 3-for-5 with an RBI.

Austin Pendergrass and Dayton Wilson each went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI’s apiece.

Taft will travel to Sequoias on Thursday for game 2 of the series.

TC Cougars Spring Break Games
by Kaivon Kealoha

March 24, 2016
@ Riverside L 7-10
The Cougars traveled to southern California over spring break for 3 games in three days. First up on Thursday, Riverside College Tigers. Matt Rogers took the loss on the bump tossing 4 innings, and allowing 8 runs on 8 hits. The Cougar offense scored 7 runs on 10 hits. Brendan Halstrom and Richard Ortiz had 2 hits and 1 RBI apiece. Shane Kotz hit a 2-run home run and Luke Lubiniecki doubled for an RBI. Fabian Gutierrez had 2 RBI’s. Brett Haney, Tyson Canfield, and Caleb Newman all got work out of the bullpen in the later innings.

March 25, 2016
@ Pasadena City W 8-7
The Cougars won against Pasadena City College on Friday. Seth Sorensen collected his second win tossing 6 innings and giving up 2 earned runs while striking out 4. Shane Kotz collected his third save of the season and three other Taft pitchers got work in the middle innings. Travis Turner went 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple and 2 singles while the rest of the lineup collected 1 hit apiece. Fabian Gutierrez and Shane Kotz collected 2 RBI’s

March 26, 2016
@ Antelope Valley W 6-1

Taft finished their spring break trip to Southern California on a good note. A big 5 run eighth inning secured the win against Antelope Valley College of Lancaster. Robby Brewster earned his fifth win on the season tossing 7 innings and allowing just 1 run while striking out 5. Tyson Canfield pitched the eighth and Jordan Hart threw the ninth. A double by Travis Turner, 2 bunt singles, a walk, hit by pitch, sac fly, and RBI single to center field by Robert Higgs gave Taft the late lead. Fabian Gutierrez and Luke Lubiniecki collected the bunt singles, and Richard Ortiz hit the sacrifice fly. The Cougars will return to conference play on Tuesday March 29 when they host College of the Sequoias at 2:00 pm.

TC vs Porterville
W 9-3
by Kaivon Kealoha
March 15, 2016

On Tuesday, Taft opened the 3 game series against Porterville with a solid victory. The Cougars struck for 3 in the third, 1 in the fourth, and 5 more for insurance in the eighth.

Seth Sorensen earned a win on the mound throwing 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits with 3 strikeouts. Matt Rogers got 4 innings of work out of the bullpen sparing no runs.

Brendan Halstrom hit a 3-run home run in the third inning to put the Cougars on the board.

Travis Turner went 2-for-4 and Richard Ortiz went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Austin Pendergrass and Luke Lubiniecki also collected 1 RBI apiece.

A wild pitch, a balk, and a double by Ortiz with runners in scoring position manufactured the 5 runs scored in the eighth.

The Cougars will travel to Porterville on Thursday March 17 to play game 2 of the three game set.

TC @ Reedley
L 3-6
by Kaivon Kealoha
March 12, 2016

The Cougars dropped game 3 of the series against conference foe Reedley College. Grant Farris, of Reedley, walk off homered to left field off Will Moore in the 13th inning to end the game. Moore pitched 4.1 innings keeping his team tied through 3 extra innings before the big hit.

Robby Brewster started on the mound tossing 8 innings scattering 10 hits and sparing 3 runs.

Robert Higgs drove in 2 runs with a sacrifice fly and fielder’s choice. Luke Lubiniecki doubled in the 4th for an RBI.

Brendan Halstrom collected 3 singles in 5 at bats while Fabian Gutierrez and Ricky Sottile each went 2-for-6.

Taft College will host the Porterville College Pirates on Tuesday March 15.

TC vs Reedley
L 4-5
by Kaivon Kealoha
March 10, 2016

The Cougars hosted game 2 of the three game set against conference foe Reedley College. Tyson Canfield took the mound tossing 4.2 innings and suffered a taxing loss giving up 5 runs with just 2 of them earned. Matt Rogers came out of the bullpen to pitch 3.1 shutout innings, and Kaivon Kealoha got work in the ninth.

Taft struck early in the first when Richard Ortiz singled to drive in Austin Pendergrass. Taft’s last 3 runs were tacked on in the fourth inning when Fabian Gutierrez singled to drive in Ortiz, then a balk along with a ground ball by Shane Kotz created 2 more runs.

The Cougars will look to avoid the sweep on Saturday at Reedley College.

TC @ Reedley
L 3-4 / 16 innings
by Kaivon Kealoha
March 8, 2016

Taft College dropped game one against Reedley through a walk off RBI suicide squeeze in the bottom of inning 16.

Taft scored 2 runs on bases loaded walks in the 5th. Austin Pendergrass worked an error by the catcher to drive in one more run in the 7th.

Cougar starting pitcher Seth Sorensen threw seven solid innings preserving his team’s 3-0 lead until the 8th when Reedley tied the game on 2 hits, a walk by Sorensen, and a walk by Alfred Souza. Will Moore minimized the damage by getting a double play ground ball and a strike out.

Will Moore pitched the 9th & 10th innings in addition, giving up no runs on no hits in all 3 innings.

Matt Rogers and Shane Kotz combined to throw innings 11-13 giving up no runs.

Caleb Newman kept his team tied for the last 2.2 innings of the game including getting out of a bases loaded- no out jam in the 15th. Then took the tough loss in the 16th.

Kotz plated 2 hits in 7 at bats, and 6 other Cougars collected 1 hit each for the total offensive production.

Game 2 of the 3 game series against Reedley will be played Thursday March 10, at 2:00 pm on Cougar Field.

TC vs West Hills
L 4-5
by Kaivon Kealoha
March 4, 2016

On Friday, Taft College hosted the series rubber match against West Hills Coalinga. Robby Brewster took the loss conceding 4 earned runs on 8 hits while striking out 6. Seth Sorensen kept the Cougars close getting his team out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the eighth and cruising through the ninth unscathed.

Taft had a fair amount of hits, but could only put up 4 runs.

Richard Ortiz led the way hammering 4 hits in 5 at bats. Ortiz had 3 singles and a 2-run home run.

Luke Lubiniecki, Brendan Halstrom, and Ricky Sottile each had 2 hits apiece. Lubiniecki and Halstrom also collected an RBI.

The Taft Cougars will look for conference redemption next week against Reedley who is currently in first place.

TC @ West Hills
L 4-5
by Kaivon Kealoha
March 3, 2016

Taft College dropped game two of three against West Hills at Coalinga in the ninth inning by way of walk off. Falcon catcher Preston Riley singled into right field to drive in Mckay Glines with one out in the bottom of the ninth to complete the late comeback.

The Cougars stuck for 3 runs in the first and 1 run in the third inning but were stumped the rest of the game.

Cougar pitcher Tyson Canfield held the early 4 run lead tossing 6 shutout innings giving up just 2 hits while striking out 5. Matt Rogers pitched 2 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and Shane Kotz took the loss in the ninth.

Fabian Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with a double while Shane Kotz and Austin Pendergrass each had a single. Richard Ortiz and Robby Brewster collected an RBI on groundouts.

TC vs West Hills
by Kaivon Kealoha
March 1, 2016

The Taft College Baseball team secured their first conference win at home against West Hills College. Coalinga. Nine runs were scored for the Cougars on 13 hits, two of them doubles.

Will Moore, Matt Rogers, and Caleb Newman combined to throw the first 7 innings, sparing 5 runs on 7 hits. Alfred Souza pitched 1.2 innings out of the bullpen to set up Shane Kotz who collected the final out in the ninth and earned the save.

Fabian Gutierrez got 3 hits in 5 at bats with 2 RBI’s to lead the way offensively. Luke Lubiniecki scored 3 times out of the leadoff spot with a 2-for-3 day at the plate. Kotz, Richard Ortiz, and Robby Brewster all collected 2 hits and 2 RBI’s apiece.

The Cougars will look to win game 2 of the 3 game set against West Hills College in Coalinga on Thursday March 3.

TC @ Merced
by Kaivon Kealoha
February 27, 2016

The Cougars fought hard, yet fell to Merced College in game 3 of the series, on Saturday afternoon. Taft took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning when Shane Kotz tripled to drive in Robert Higgs then scored on a 2 out double by Kaivon Kealoha.

Merced was quick to answer back putting up a 3 spot in the third inning on a triple, and 2 Cougar errors.

Kotz doubled to drive in Richard Ortiz with one out in the fourth inning and Ortiz singled to drive in 2 during the fifth to retain the Cougar lead.

Merced answered back in the 5th on a 2 RBI single by Darren Trainor.

This led to the eighth inning, when Merced scored the final runs of the game to seal the win on 2 walks from Cougar relief pitcher Brett Haney and a 2 run single by David Vidauri.

Robby Brewster pitched 7.1 innings, and gave up 5 runs on 7 hits while striking out 4, and Haney took the loss by walking the 2 batters he faced in the eighth. Alfred Souza came in after Haney to record the final out of the inning.

Taft College will seek conference redemption when they host West Hills College of Coalinga on Tuesday, March 1, in the 3 game series opener.

TC vs Merced
by Kaivon Kealoha
February 25, 2016

Taft dropped their conference home opener against the Blue Devils of Merced College on Thursday, February 25th. The Cougars eked out just 1 run on 6 hits with Luke Lubiniecki hitting a deep fly ball to left field in the 7th inning with 1 out allowing Richard Ortiz to tag up and score from 3rd base.

Robert Higgs, Travis Turner and Shane Kotz all collected singles with Ortiz hitting 2, and Brenden Halstrom hit a double.

Matt Rogers took the loss on the mound giving up 6 runs on 10 hits in 6.2 innings of work.

The Cougar Baseball team will travel to Merced on Saturday in pursuit of winning game 3 of the series.

Cougar Baseball Blanked in Season Opener
by Dennis McCall
Taft Midway Driller
February 25, 2016

MERCED – Merced College made the most of eight hits backed up by solid pitching to earn an 8-0 victory over the Taft Cougars Tuesday in the Central Valley Conference opener for both schools.

The Cougars got six hits off Blue Devil starter Evan Estes (1-2) but couldn’t get anything going. Estes struck out six batters in six innings of work. Three other Merced hurlers worked an inning each and didn’t allow a hit.

Blue Devil leftfielder Dalton Beatty had a big day, going 4-for-4 with a homer and four runs batted in.

For the Cougars, designated hitter Brendan Halstrom and first baseman Robert Higgs had two hits apiece.

TC had few scoring opportunities.

The Cougars loaded the bases in the second inning on Halstrom’s one-out single, a walk and a hit by Kaivon Kealoha.

Halstrom had a two-out single in the sixth and moved up on Robert Higgs’ hit to right field. Both runners advanced when the Merced fielder bobbled the ball. Again, Estes got out of the jam.

Merced’s bullpen allowed just two runners on a walk and hit batter over the final three innings.

The Cougars hosted Merced Thursday in the second game of the series. Check taftmidwaydriller.com for the outcome. The teams close out the series Saturday at Merced.

Next week the Cougars will host two of the three games against West Hills-Coalinga.

In other conference openers Sequoias needed 11 innings to beat West Hills 9-5 and Reedley blanked Porterville 7-0. Fresno had the conference bye and will play at Hartnell College twice.

TC @ Merced
by Kaivon Kealoha
February 23, 2016

Taft College Baseball began conference play on the road at Merced College on Tuesday. Robby Brewster took the bump and had a tough outing as his defense committed 3 costly errors. Brewster gave up 5 runs with only 3 of them earned on 4 hits. 

Offensively, the Cougars were shutout collecting just 6 hits while striking out 9 times. Robert Higgs and Brendan Halstrom collected 2 hits apiece, while Austin Pendergrass and Kaivon Kealoha each had 1. 

Brett Haney worked 2 innings of relief allowing 3 runs, and Caleb Newman threw 3 shutout innings.

The Cougars will host Merced in game 2 of the 3 game series on Thursday, February 25 on Cougar Field beginning at 2:00 pm.

TC @ Victor Valley
by Kaivon Kealoha
February 20, 2016

On Saturday, Taft wrapped up their pre-conference tune up with a convincing 16-0 win on the road against Victor Valley College.

The Cougars collected a total of 15 earned runs on 18 hits with catcher Brendan Halstrom leading the way going 4-for-4 at the plate with 3 doubles, a triple, and 6 RBI's.

Fabian Gutierrez and Richard Ortiz each collected 2 singles and 1 double while Ricky Sottile and Travis Turner went 2-for-4 with singles.

Seth Sorensen took the mound throwing 3 shutout innings with no hits and Will Moore got the win pitching innings 4 and 5 giving up no runs on 2 hits. An additional 4 Cougar pitchers got work out of the bullpen to preserve the shutout in the later innings.

The Cougars are now 4-4 heading into CVC action Tuesday, February 3rd at Merced College.

TC @ West LA
by Kaivon Kealoha
February 16, 2016

On Tuesday, Cougar sophomore ace Robby Brewster took the mound in Los Angeles tossing 7 innings and giving up 3 runs on 7 hits while striking out 5.

The Cougar offense scored 10 runs on 15 hits with Robert Higgs leading the way, going 4-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. Travis Turner went 3-for-5, while Fabian Gutierrez and Brendan Halstrom each drove in 3 runs apiece.

Brett Haney, Caleb Newman, and Spencer Throgmorton combined to pitch the last 2 innings and gave up no runs.

The Cougars play their final pre-conference game on Saturday February 20th at Victor Valley College.

TC @ Monterey Peninsula
by Kaivon Kealoha
February 13, 2016

On Saturday, the Cougars dropped the second game at Monterey Peninsula College. Tyson Canfield took the mound coming off 7 solid innings pitched from previous outings, and gave up 4 runs on 6 hits with 1 walk. Brett Haney pitched innings 3-5 and gave up no runs on just 1 hit while striking out 2. Then 7 more runs were given up by a total of 6 Cougar pitchers throughout the last 3 innings.

All 11 runs were earned for Monterey.

The Cougar bats managed 3 runs on 5 hits. Brendan Halstrom, Travis Turner, Fabian Gutierrez, and Luke Lubiniecki all collected singles, and Ricky Sottile hit a double while Gutierrez, and Kaivon Kealoha had 1 RBI a piece.

The Cougars have 2 more games on the road against West LA on Tuesday, and Victor Valley on Saturday before beginning conference play at Merced on Tuesday February 23rd.

TC @ Monterey Peninsula
by Kaivon Kealoha
February 11, 2016

On Thursday afternoon, TC opened a 2 game set on the road against Monterey Peninsula. Robby Brewster took the mound for the Cougars and suffered a tough loss of a pitcher’s duel as his offense could only manufacture 2 runs on 5 hits. 

Brewster pitched 5 innings, giving up 3 earned runs on 8 hits while striking out 4. Matt Rogers came out of the bullpen to pitch 2.2 innings giving up no runs on just 2 hits, with Alfred Souza recording the final out of the 8th inning.

Shane Kotz drove in Fabian Gutierrez from 3rd base with a ground out in the 1st and Ricky Sottile drove in Kaivon Kealoha with a double play ground ball in the 7th inning.

Robert Higgs led the Cougars offensively going 2-for-4, Gutierrez and Kealoha both went 1-for-4 with singles, and Richard Ortiz went 1-for-2 with a double.

Cougars Split Non-Conference Baseball Games
Taft Midway Driller
by Dennis McCall
February 8, 2016

Taft College baseball passed the midway point in its pre-conference tune-up by splitting a pair of weekend home games.

The Cougars (2-2) rolled over College of the Siskiyous 17-6 but were frustrated in a 4-3 loss to Cerro Coso of Ridgecrest when they stranded nine runners over the last four innings.

TC feasted on Siskiyous pitching, hammering 21 hits with freshman third baseman Kaivon Kealoha leading the way with five hits in six at-bats and driving in four runs. He had two doubles and three singles.

Leftfielder Ricky Sottile went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and a double for three RBIs.

Ten different Cougars recorded base hits with Fabian Gutierrez, Richard Ortiz, Shane Kotz, Robert Higgs, and Austin Pendergrass all getting two. Ortiz, Kotz, Travis Turner and Kyle Wedel all hit doubles.

TC gave up three runs in the top of the first but tied it with one in the second and two in the third.

After that the Cougars scored four times each in the fourth and fifth and three times each in the seventh and eighth.

Sophomore southpaw Robby Brewster got his second win, working five innings. He gave up three hits and no earned runs, struck out three and walked one. Five other pitchers also saw action.

Cerro Coso 4, Cougars 3
There were plenty of hits (Cerro Coso 11, Taft 10) but not a lot of scoring.

Both teams left a lot of runs on the base baths – Cerro Coso 13 and Taft 11. What hurt the Cougars most was leaving the bases loaded in the sixth and seventh and two on in the ninth.

Gutierrez was the only Cougar with two hits – both singles. Dayton Wilson smacked a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth for the game’s final run. Ortiz had a double.

Pendergrass, a Taft High product, had a single and stolen base.

Will Moore, another former Wildcat, pitched the third and fourth innings and was tagged for the loss. He gave up three hits with a walk and strikeout.

The Cougars play twice in Monterey Thursday and Saturday against Monterey Peninsula College (2-3). Both Lobo wins were against Central Valley Conference foe West Hills-Coalinga.

The Cougars have four more non-conference games, all on the road: two at Monterey and single games Feb. 16 at West L.A. and Feb. 20 at Victor Valley before opening CVC play at Merced okn Feb. 25.

TC vs Cerro Coso
by Kaivon Kealoha
February 6, 2016

On Saturday morning, the Cougars fell behind 2-0 in the 2nd inning as starting pitcher Matt Rogers walked Sharkie Hurst on 5 pitches with the bases loaded then gave up an RBI single to Kal Gray who drove in one more run.

In the bottom half of the 2nd inning, Dayton Wilson roped a line drive to the left side for TC,  that found its way into the outfield driving in Ricky Sottile and Austin Pendergrass to tie the game at 2.

Cerro Coso answered back picking up earned runs off relief pitcher Will Moore in both the 3rd and 4th innings on RBI singles.

Dayton Wilson hit a solo home run in the 5th to cut the deficit to one but the Cougars could not pull through due to their inability to score their base runners. Taft left a total of 8 runners stranded with 5 of them in scoring position.

Fabian Gutierrez went 2-for-5 and the rest of the lineup got just 1 hit a piece.

Tyson Canfield pitched innings 5 - 8 out of the bullpen giving up no runs on just 1 hit and striking out 3 to keep the Cougars close.

Taft will seek redemption on Thursday at Monterey Peninsula College.

TC vs College of the Siskiyous
by Kaivon Kealoha
February 5, 2016

On Friday, Taft hosted College of the Siskiyous Eagles. The Cougars fell behind in the first inning after giving up 3 unearned runs on 2 errors.

It didn’t take long for Taft to answer back as Ricky Sottile hit a solo blast in the 2nd inning which sparked an offensive surge as the cougars collected a total of 17 runs on 21 hits in 8 innings of opportunity.

Robby Brewster cruised through 5 innings on the mound giving up no earned runs on just 3 hits while striking out 3 in route to his 2-0 record.

Travis Turner, Richard Ortiz, Shane Kotz, Ricky Sottile, Kaivon Kealoha, and Kyle Wedel all collected doubles.

Austin Pendergrass, Ortiz, and Wedel each collected 2 RBI's a piece.

Robert Higgs went 2-for-5, Sottile went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI's, and Kealoha went 5-for-6 with 4 RBI's to help stream the offensive attack.

Tyson Canfield, Caleb Newman, Spencer Throgmorton, Alfred Souza, and Brett Haney all got work on the mound to preserve the lead throughout the last 4 innings.


Cougars Split Baseball Season Home Openers
Taft Midway Driller
by Dennis McCall
February 1, 2016

Taft College got its baseball season off on the right foot Friday with an impressive victory over the No. 5 ranked team in northern California, but the Cougars stumbled in the second game of opening day.

The Cougars, ranked No. 19 in the pre-season poll, defeated Feather River 9-4 in Friday’s morning game but gave up three unearned runs in the ninth inning in a 6-4 loss to Barstow.

In the opener, sophomore Robby Brewster worked 5.2 innings to get the win. He scattered eight hits, struck out four and walked two.

Freshman catcher Richard Ortiz led the offense with a triple and single and a sacrifice fly to drive in two runs.

Travis Turner had two singles to drive in a pair and Shane Kotz had a two-run singled.
Fibian Gutierrez and Robert Higgs had doubles and Austin Pendergrass singled twice.

Ricky Sottile laid down two sacrifice bunts.

Will Moore, a freshman from Taft High, worked two and a third innings, giving up a hit and striking out one.

Barstow loss
The Cougars seemed headed for another victory in the afternoon game but gave up three runs on two errors, a hit batter and one base hit in the top of the ninth.

Pendergrass, a sophomore center fielder from Taft High, was the offensive spark, going 3-for-4 at the plate, 3-for-3 in stolen bases and scored two runs.

Turner had two hits and Guitierrez, Kotz, Sottile and Kyle Wedel one apiece. All nine Cougar hits were singles.

Matt Rogers worked the first four innings, gave up two earned runs on seven hits and struck out two batters. Tyson Canfield, Caleb Newman, Jordan Hart, Alfred Souza and Kotz all got in some work. Kotz took the tough loss.

The Cougars will host another three-team round-robin Friday and Saturday, playing College of the Siskiyous on Friday and Cerro Coso on Saturday. Both games are at 10:30 a.m. at Cougar Field.

Opening Day 2016
by Kaivon Kealoha
January 29, 2016

Taft vs Feather River College

The Cougars squared off against 5th ranked Feather River for the 2016 season opener at Cougar Field. Robby Brewster took the mound, allowing 8 hits and just 2 runs on home runs while striking out 4 in his 5.2 innings of work.

Taft took an early 2 run lead in the first inning as Richard Ortiz hit an RBI triple driving in Travis Turner, then later scored on a ground ball to second by Shane Kotz.

An RBI double by Robert Higgs along with 2 wild pitches gave Taft another 3 runs in the third.

Jeremy Peterson solo homered and Trenton Stowe hit a 2 RBI double for the Eagles to make it a 1 run game in the sixth. Any doubt was erased in the bottom of the inning when Turner singled in 2 runs then scored on a bases loaded walk worked by Kotz to make it 8-4.

Ortiz, Turner, and Kotz each had 2 RBI's a piece.

The Cougars manufactured 9 runs on 8 hits largely in credit to the 2 sacrifice bunts laid perfectly by Ricky Sottile, a stolen base by Turner, and a sacrifice fly by Ortiz in the 8th.

Will Moore pitched a solid 2.1 innings out of the bullpen giving up only 1 hit to set up Shane Kotz who earned the save.

Taft vs Barstow College
In game 2 of opening day at Cougar Field, Taft took on Barstow College falling behind early with Matt Rogers giving up 2 runs on 7 hits in the first 4 innings on the mound.

Kaivon Kealoha's fake steal forced an error by Barstow’s Dustin Mc Nicholl scoring Austin Pendergrass from third base in the 5th.

Robert Higgs drove in Fabian Gutierrez with a sacrifice fly to center field, Pendergrass singled in Richard Ortiz, and Kyle Wedel singled in Pendergrass to make the score 4-2 after the sixth.

Defensive miscues hurt the Cougars in the 7th inning as Caleb Newman gave up an unearned run on a fielder’s choice.

This set up the 9th inning when 3 unearned Bartow runs cost the Cougars the lead, and ultimately the game as the Cougars could not answer in the bottom half of the inning. 

Austin Pendergrass went 3-for-4 and Travis Turner went 2-for-5 to lead the Cougars offensively.

Tyson Canfield pitched the 5th and 6th innings out of the bullpen, and Alfred Souza pitched the 8th inning, both giving up no runs. Shane Kotz took the loss in the 9th inning.

Taft College looks to bounce back when they host College of the Siskiyous on Friday, February 5th at 10:30 am.



Head Coach: Vince Maiocco

Assistant Coaches: Chris DeFreece, Chris Wedel, Michael Hayes

Athletic Trainer, Bruce Ferguson


Interim Superintendent/President: Brock McMurray

Vice President of Student Services:  Darcy Bogle 

Athletic Director:  Kanoe Bandy 

Athletic Secretary: Jennifer Edmaiston