The crowd chattered in disbelief as shortstop Frank Garriola launched a grand slam to left field at LA Valley College for the second straight day helping the Ventura County Pirates (23-7, 13-6 Sunset Baseball League) defeat the OC Legends (18-14, 11-7), 7-2 in an SBL matchup Sunday.
The win extends the Pirates’ hold on first place in the SBL North and gives them a winning record (2-1) on the short homestand.
Garriola’s offensive clinic is now several weeks old. His slam was his sixth homer of the year and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He is 24-49 since his streak started. His blast was part of a five run fourth inning that salted the game for the Pirates.
Center fielder Keaton Glover reached base four different ways and was 2-2 Sunday. He had a bunt single, a double, a walk, and was hit by the pitch. With him near the bottom of the order, his plate appearances enabled the top of the order come to the plate with runners on base.
For the second straight game, the Pirates got a stellar outing from their starting pitcher. Curren Larson mystified opposing batters with incredible movement on his pitches. He often got ahead in counts and used that advantage to make hitters chase out of the strike zone for strike three.
Larson (4-1) pitched five shutout innings allowing just one hit. He struck out four while walking none and hitting one batter. The win he earned gives him sole possession of the team lead in that category and lowered his ERA to 0.90.
The Pirates face the SoCal Sliders 6 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at Valley Christian High School in Cerritos.