Pirates Break Team Record in Statement Win
The Ventura County Pirates’ (27-9, 17-8 in Sunset Baseball League play) pitching staff hurled a season high 16 strikeouts in a dominant 15-0 victory over the Solana Beach Redbirds (18-14, 15-9) at LA Valley College Wednesday. The win ended the Redbirds’ 14-game winning streak.
Ventura County powered past the hottest team in the league without using its power hitters. The match was not a league game, so Ventura rested many of its every-day players. In doing so, the first-place Pirates showed their depth heading into the playoffs.
Pitcher Shohei Umeki added subtle variations to his windup to disrupt the Redbirds’ timing at the plate. Umeki also displayed his ability to paint the corners and tallied eight strikeouts with no walks. He allowed just two hits in five shutout innings of work.
Umeki (1-0) improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 34-4 on the season earning a quality start and the win.
Ethan Durant pitched the sixth inning and stuck out two while retiring the Redbirds in order. Sebastian Zepeda followed with five strikeouts in two innings of no-hit relief.
Second baseman Matthew Sox kickstarted the offense by punching a line drive the other way into right center field scoring left fielder Kaleyl Anderson. Anderson led off that inning with a single. Sox added a solo home run, his second of the year, in the seventh inning.
Center Fielder Keaton Glover showed his speed in the third inning with a bunt single. He advanced from first to third on a single by extra hitter Nick Henry and scored on a passed ball.
Henry was 3-5 with two RBIs, two runs, a double, and a stolen base. He is 5-9 with two doubles and four RBIs in his last two games.
Catcher Bradley Chesterton drove in Henry with a high two-run blast to left for his second dinger of the season. Designated hitter Eddie Pietschmann became the third Pirate to hit his second homer of the year in the eighth inning. He lined a fastball over the wall in the left field power alley for a 3RBI round-tripper.
The Pirates travel to Brookhurst Park in Anaheim and return to league play against the Orange County Legends 7 p.m. Friday, July 19.