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  • Writer's pictureRobert Hollar

Pirates Hunt Redbirds in SBL Finals

The Ventura County Pirates face the Solana Beach Redbirds in Game 1 of the Sunset Baseball League Finals 7 p.m. Saturday June 27 at Cal State Fullerton. The Finals consist of a best of three series.

Ye’ Dare Return. . .

The Pirates are 6-0 against the Redbirds this summer and have outscored them 70-7 in the process. The last meeting occurred this postseason when the Pirates beat a fully-staffed Redbirds squad, 8-1 July 26.

Efficient Travels. . .

Ventura County has played just two games this postseason, the shortest path possible to the Finals. They earned a first-round bye for clinching their division. They defeated their first playoff opponent, the OC Legends, 19-2 July 25 before downing the Redbirds the day after. Ventura has a 27-3 postseason run differential.

The Pirates have used just seven pitchers the entire postseason while the Redbirds have used 10. The Pirates saw five of those 10 pitchers while the Redbirds have only seen three Pirates take the mound this postseason.

The Sharpshooter. . .

Deandrey Carter is one of the Pirates’ pitchers the Redbirds did not see July 26. He is expected to pitch at some point Saturday. he owns a 5-0 record and 1.27 ERA this year while leading the team with 42.2 innings pitched. His next strikeout will be his 40th and tie him with Shohei Umeki for the team lead in that category.

All four of Carter’s starts have been Quality Starts, the second most on staff behind Curren Larson who has 5. Carter carries a 0.91 WHIP giving him jaw-dropping numbers in virtually every statistical column. He earned the win with two walks, three strikeouts and no earned runs in three innings pitched in his only outing against the RedBirds, June 15.

Looking up from the stat-sheet, Carter’s composure on the mound is immediately noticeable. He keeps an even keel at all times which prevents rocky outings.

Leading the Offensive. . .

Catcher Bradley Chesterton is 4-7 this postseason and has been heating up for several weeks. He has raised his batting average to .372 and now has 31 RBIs, good for fourth most in the SBL. He credits his recent outbreak to not overthinking while at the plate.

Chesterton was 1-3 with an RBI against the Redbirds earlier this postseason.

Not one to be outdone, Pirates’ second baseman Kyle Soberano is 5-7 with five runs in the playoffs. He went 2-4 against the Redbirds. Soberano leads the team with a .475 batting average and 11 stolen bases this year.

First baseman Jason Ajamian leads SBL with nine home runs this season including one this postseason. He scored all three times he reached base against the Redbirds July 26. Ajamian is batting .420 with an OPS above 1.200 this year.

After Saturday’s game, the SBL Finals continue 3 p.m. Sunday at Cal State Fullerton.


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