College of the Sequoias' baseball team sits tied for first place in the Central Valley Conference heading into a series this week against Taft.
The Giants (14-2, 2-1) are set to play at Taft (3-11, 1-2) at 2 p.m. Feb. 25, host the Wildcats at 2 p.m. Feb. 27 and return to Taft to complete the three-game series at 1 p.m. Feb. 29.
COS emerged tied with Reedley and West Hills-Coalinga for first place following the first week of CVC play after splitting the final two games of last week's series against Merced.
The Blue Devils (6-7, 1-2) rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eighth -- capped by Chris Steeley's two-run home run -- to erase a 2-0 deficit en route to a 5-2 win over the Giants on Feb. 20.
COS had opened a 2-0 lead in the sixth when Elijah Munoz (Redwood High) and Payton Allen (Golden West), who had both singled, scored when a grounder to the pitcher by Casey Miller (Tulare Western) was played for an error.
The Giants bounced back with a 9-1 win over Merced on Feb. 22 behind a strong start from Benjamin Pedersen.
The Tulare Union product allowed one earned run on six hits and no walks over 7 1/3 innings. Pedersen (3-0) struck out five before giving way to Anthony Torres (Exeter) and Jaylen Rodriguez (Redwood), who combined to pitch 1 2/3 perfect innings.
Cade Sakamoto (Highland-Bakersfield) got COS off to a quick start with a two-run triple in the first inning.
An RBI groundout by Isaac Gonzalez (Redwood) in the second made it 3-0.
Flavio Perez Jr. (Hanford) helped the Giants pull away with a run-scoring single in the fifth and a two-run double in the seventh.
Munoz' three-run double put COS ahead 9-0 in the seventh.
After Taft, the Giants play a three-game conference series against Reedley with a road game at 2 p.m. March 3, a home game at 2 p.m. March 5 and a road game at 1 p.m. March 7.