June 13, 2018 -
LOS ANGELES - Designated Hitter Jimmy Smiley’s victory cry in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday capped off not only his solo-homer to right, but also the team’s 6-0 victory over the Eagles. The blast saved what would have been a frustrating day for the 10 hitter, who previously struck out twice.
In fact, were it not for the four wild pitches and a balk thrown by the Eagles' Starter in the first inning, the game could have been described as a pitcher's duel. Four of the six runs came in the opening frame, three of them on misplays by the battery.
Head Coach Keven Whitehead’s lineup worked mechanically on Wednesday, with all three RBI coming from the bottom five hitters in the order, and five of the six runs scored by the top five hitters. Still, offensive perfection remains elusive. While the Pirates brought seven men to the plate in the first inning, they failed to send up more than five batters in any of the remaining innings.
Josh Arkin was a non-scheduled starter for Ventura and turned in a gem considering those conditions. He threw five innings of three hit ball with no walks. Steven Burke closed the game, pitching the ninth and earning two strikeouts. The swagger of both pitchers was palpable to those in attendance, a good sign for a team in need of strong pitching. Going into the game, four Pirates pitchers had thrown more than four innings on the season, and none of them had an ERA better than 4.50.
The Pirates will host the Solano Beach Redbirds for a double header at LA Valley College on Saturday, June 16. Game one will begin at noon.
*A previous version of this article reported that the Pirates' next game was June 14, but that game was postponed.