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  • Writer's pictureRobert Hollar

Pirates Cut Down by Foresters

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Derek Potts pitches against the Foresters. Photo by Brian Mellblom

The Ventura County Pirates (5-9, 5-2 SBL Best-of-the-West) missed crucial opportunities Sunday, as they fell to the Santa Barbara Foresters (12-3, 6-3 California Collegiate League), 5-1, at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara.

“We had several leverage counts [with runners in scoring position] where we did not take good approaches at the plate,” Pirates GM George Vranau said.

Ventura, which outhit Santa Barbara, had no trouble getting runners on base. Five different Pirates earned a hit and four reached base safely at least twice.

However, Ventura was 1-8 with runners in scoring position, the lone exception being Sean Mann’s infield single in the sixth inning, driving in the only run on the day for the Pirates.

On the mound, Pirates starter Cole Dale had trouble preventing stolen bases in first couple of innings. However, he grinded through his four innings and would have allowed only two runs if not for a single bad pitch that resulted in a 2-run blast to left field.

Vranau plans to hold a workout specifically focusing on controlling the running game of Ventura’s opponents.

Dale’s successor, Derek Potts, neutralized the running threat immediately. He also hurled with great efficiency which allowed him to pitch the final four innings of the game, preserving the Pirates bullpen for upcoming league opponents.

“His A-move is a better A-move to first base than our other pitchers’,” Vranau said. “As such, their runners couldn’t take as much license.”

Potts used three different pitches in two-strike counts and also mixed locations, keeping the formidable Foresters hitters off-balance. He allowed just two hits, one run, and no walks while fanning five in his four innings bringing his season ERA to 2.84.

“I told myself before my first inning, ‘get ahead, stay ahead, throw off-speed pitches for strikes and let them get themselves out.” Potts said.

Ventura County, which is in first place in the Best-of-the-West Division of the Sunset Baseball League, will return to league play on Tuesday, July 6th against the Inland Valley Bucs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30p.m.


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