13 hits not enough for Porterville in 4-3 loss at Merced

Alex Sarmienta
Alex Sarmienta

Second baseman Jose Narvaiz and designated hitter Ryan Hewes both had three hits each to lead Porterville College in a narrow 4-3 Central Valley Conference series-opening loss at Merced College on Tuesday. Game 2 of the three-game series is set for Thursday (April 26) in Porterville.

The Pirates totaled 13 hits but stranded nine runners on base in the setback.

Both teams got off to good starts, scoring a run in the first inning. Andres Garza and Alex Sarmienta combined for a perfect double steal of second base and home to get PC on the board.

Merced went ahead with two runs in the second before Porterville got RBI singles from Nicolas Portillo and Sarmienta in the third and fourth to once again tie up the contest.

But in the fourth, Christopher Steeley hit a solo home run off PC starting pitcher Daryn Dashner to put the Blue Devils up for good. Dashner took the loss after allowing four runs and seven hits over 5 2/3 innings. Ricky Reyes pitched well in relief as he tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball to keep PC in the game.

Offensively, Sarmienta went 2-for-4 with 2 runs and a RBI while Garza also picked up a pair of hits for the Pirates.

The loss dropped the Pirates to 6-32 overall and 5-14 in the CVC. Merced improved to 20-18 and 10-9 in conference play.