The team fell 10-5 to the Central Valley Hawks at home Tuesday, March 19, in the Western Athletic Conference opener.
Holding a slim lead after four innings, Patterson (0-7 overall, 0-1 WAC) capsized in a four-run fifth. An inability to score runs, coupled with an error-prone defense, left the team still searching for its first win.
The Tigers picked up two runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Senior J.T. Aguilar led off the inning with a double to right-center field and scored the first run of the game when a sacrifice bunt by junior Zantino Bustos was mishandled and thrown away by Central Valley pitcher Ruben Casas.
Patterson loaded the bases against Casas and plated another run when the catcher tried to pick a base runner off second base but overthrew the infielder, allowing junior Jacob Gomez to score from third.
The momentum did not last, however, and the visitors’ bats came alive in the top of the fifth inning.
After retiring the first batter, Patterson junior pitcher Jake Thompson surrendered three straight hits, including a two-run double by Casas, which tied the game at 2-2.
With runners on first and third and one out, Thompson fielded a Central Valley bunt and tried to throw out the lead runner at home, but couldn’t get the ball out of his glove in time.
Instead, Thompson gathered the ball and tossed out the runner at first — but not before Casas crossed home plate with the go-ahead run.
Hawks batter Juan Plascencia later picked up an RBI with a single to center field, opening up a 4-2 Central Valley lead.
The visiting offense went back to work in the top of the sixth inning, pounding out four more hits.
Central Valley’s six-run sixth was aided by three Patterson errors and capped by a three-run home run by Plascencia down the left-field line.
With one out, Thompson keyed a seventh-inning rally with a two-run, opposite-field double.
After advancing to third base on a passed ball, Thompson scored on an RBI fielder’s choice groundout off the bat of junior Andrew Basaldua, but it was not enough for a comeback.
Patterson continues the league season with a road game at Central Valley at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 21.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.