• Robert Hollar

Pirates Beat Shepherds, Secure Postseason Seeding


Joel Tornero pitches against the Shepherds. Photo by Robert Hollar

The Ventura County Pirates (11-19, 11-9 Best of the West) closed out their regular season with a 6-2 Victory over the SoCal Shepherds (5-17, 5-13 BOTW) at LA Valley College on Sunday.


The win strengthened the Pirates playoff position and also came on General Manager George Vranau’s birthday.


“It’s always good to win on any day, but even better on my birthday,” Vranau said.


Ventura took a combined no-hitter - spearheaded by starter Cole Dale - into the seventh inning. Dale (1-4) hurled five hitless shutout innings with two walks and five strikeouts in a winning effort.


“The slider felt really good today, it was just coming out super easy,” Dale said. “I just wanted to get ahead of batters, work fast, and get outs.”


Dale was on a limited pitch count in order to save him for the playoffs on Tuesday, July27th.


“We wanted to keep him under sixty pitches and he finished at 63,” Vranau said. “He definitely could have gone at least one more inning, but we have the playoffs coming up.”


Kyle Soberano led the Pirates offensively, driving in four runs including on a three-run home run in the fifth inning. The blast was Soberano’s second home run of the year.


“I got beat on fastballs my first at bat, so I knew he was gonna come back to it,” Soberano said.


David Reyna was the only Pirate with multiple hits, going 2-3 with an RBI. Darren Taylor, who hit two home runs the day before against the Shepherds, also recorded an RBI single on Sunday.


With the win, the Pirates clinch the #2 seed and will be the home team when they play the Long Beach Legends in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday, July 27th at Claremont HS at 4:00pm.


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