The Ventura County Pirates (20-13-1) (18-5 league) used a big 2nd inning to defeat the Socal Shepherds 7-3 and clinch the 1st seed in the Best of the West playoffs Saturday afternoon at Los Angeles Valley College.
After the Shepherds took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the 2nd inning the Pirates responded in a huge way. With the bases loaded and nobody out, RF Nolan Lingley delivered an RBI single to score 3B Darren Taylor and cut the Shepherds lead to 3-1.
CF Dan Laughery then scored on a fielder’s choice by 1B Troy Anderson, leaving runners on first and third with 1 out and cutting the lead to 3-2. With the bases loaded, SS Angelo Aleman stepped up to the plate and destroyed a ball for a grand slam that gave the Pirates a 6-3 advantage.
“Good count three to one, I looked for a good fastball and I found it. I wasn’t thinking about a home run but I found a way to elevate it and it went over the fence,” said Aleman.
Starting RHP Dylan Goodrich and relievers Josiah Castillo and Kellan Montgomery combined for 7 scoreless innings and 8 strikeouts the rest of the way. Montgomery recorded 4 of those strikeouts and Goodrich earned the win.
The victory gives the Pirates the best regular season record and a first round bye in the Best of the West playoffs. Their second-round playoff game will be at 6pm Wednesday at Cal Poly Pomona.
“Well that’s what you work for, you want to get that number one seed because that should be the easiest path for the playoffs,” Coach George Vranau said.
The Pirates will host the Arroyo Seco Sentinels (12-9-1) tomorrow at 11am at LAVC for their final regular season tune up prior to the playoffs.