After a tough trio of games against CCL opponents to open the Ventura County Pirates' 2021 campaign, the 2019 Sunset League Champions notched a close win in their first Best of the West Division contest.
The Pirates opened up the scoring against the SoCal Shepherds in the third inning. Josh Cerpa opened the frame with a leadoff triple, and two pitches later, Kyle Soberano drove him home on a sacrifice fly. Then in the fourth, a Danny Veloz single scored Trenton Pallas, and Bradley Chesterton came home after Cerpa got hit by a pitch. And in the fifth, Ian McIntyre raced home on a wild pitch.
Pirates starting pitcher Joel Tornero went for three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out five batters. Winning pitcher Jason Starrels pitched two perfect innings, assisting on two ground outs and striking out two Shepherds. Reliever Derek Potts shut the door with two strikeouts to earn the two-inning save.
The Pirates will face the Shepherds again on Monday at Whittier Christian High School.