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  • Robert Hollar

Pirates Face Shepherds in Heavyweight Clash

The SBL-North-Leading Ventura County Pirates (25-9, 15-8 in Sunset Baseball League play) travel to Biola University to face the SBL-South-leading SoCal Shepherds (15-7 in SBL) 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 12 in what could potentially be a preview of the SBL championship game.


Ventura County is 2-1 against the Shepherds this season. All three of the previous games were also played at Biola University. The Pirates have been dominant on the road this season, with a 13-7 record away from home.


Ventura was shutout for the first time all season in their last game, a 2-0 home loss to the Orange County Legends in game 2 of a doubleheader Saturday. Ventura County is 7-1 this year in games following a loss.


Shortstop Frank Garriola is spearheading the Pirates high-powered offense. He has hit safely in 17 consecutive games dating back to a 13-3 win over the Shepherds June 21. He still made his presence felt that game by walking twice and scoring both times.


Last week, Garriola was 8-21 at the plate with seven RBIs, three doubles, two home runs, and three stolen bases in four attempts. He leads the SBL with 37 RBIs.


Second baseman Kyle Soberano leads the team in batting average among players with at least two at bats per team game played. He is hitting .474 and was 4-4 in his last game, a 17-13 win over the Legends in game 1 of a Saturday doubleheader.


Catcher Bradley Chesterton has heated up offensively of late and is now batting .337 on the year. He has four RBIs in his last three games. He also leads the team with a 0.27 caught stealing percentage.


Deandrey Carter is expected to start Monday and has put up dazzling numbers all year. His 3-0 record is the best on staff. Among players with at least 20 innings pitched, Carter leads the team with two saves, 32 stikeouts, three earned runs, a 0.88 ERA, and 30.2 innings pitched. He has a WHIP of 0.85 and three quality starts.


Carter’s last outing was July 12 against the OC Riptide of the California Collegiate League. He pitched three innings of hitless relief with four strikeouts to end the game and earn the win.


Ventura County may use position players in relief of Carter. The five position players the Pirates have used this year have combined to allow a single earned run in 6.1 innings pitched.

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