The 2021 Cerro Coso Baseball season opened in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon with a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning. Saturday's game against Taft College was a well played contest by both teams showcasing consistent pitching, exciting offensive opportunities, and timely defense.
Sophomore, Jacob Gregory took the mound for the Coyotes and demonstrated great control of the strikezone. Gregory went 6.0 innings for the Coyotes and earned 9 Ks along the way. Although he wasn't credited with the win, his performance allowed the Coyotes to keep the game in reach upon his exit handing the ball over to the bullpen with a 3-1 lead.
After a shaky seventh inning, Jaxon Holzem (1-0) took the mound in the top of the ninth shutting down the Cougars and allowed the Coyotes to enter the bottom of the ninth trailing Taft College 3-4. With one out in the ninth, pinch hitter Matthew Payne came to the plate and delivered a huge double off the right field wall to spark a Coyote rally. Michael Doerr followed Payne to the plate and earned an infield single with a ground ball toward second base, moving Payne to third base. Johnny McHenry came to the plate with one out and runners at the corners, trailing the Cougars by a run. In a 1-0 count, McHenry hit a sharp line drive towards the left side of the infield allowing Payne to score and tie the game at 4-4. With 1 out and runners at first and second, Jaxon Holzem stepped into the box. He promptly hit a line drive over the second baseman's head and allowed pinch runner, Ezrah Ponce to score from second base for the game winning run, and earning the Coyotes a home opening, walk-off win 5-4.
The Coyotes will return to action this week with a two game road series against Reedley College on Tuesday and Wednesday.