• Robert Hollar

Pirates Raid Redbirds in Doubleheader


First Baseman Jason Ajamian is congratulated by teammates – Robert Hollar June 22, 2019

CORONADO — Powered by strong starting pitching and a season-best performance from shortstop Frank Garriola, the Ventura County Pirates (14-4, 4-3 in Sunset Baseball League play) clobbered the Solana Beach Redbirds 10-1 and 16-2 in an SBL doubleheader Saturday in Coronado.


The sweep extends the Pirates’ hold on first place in the SBL North to one and a half games.


Garriola collected nine RBIs on the day. He started the show early with a deep two-run homer in game 1. He collected two more RBIs the next inning with the first of his four total doubles on the day which gave the pirates a 6-0 lead. Garriola went six-for-ten in the doubleheader.


Jerry Aguilar batted 10th in game 1 and was two-for-four with a homer, two runs scored, and two RBIs. Leadoff man Kyle Soberano was three-for-five that game with two runs and a stolen base.


First Baseman Jason Ajamian is congratulated by teammates – Robert Hollar June 22, 2019.


The fence down the left field line sat just 297 feet from home plate and the Pirates took advantage with four homers on the day, all of them to left field. Second baseman Brendon Vela hit his first home run of the season in game 2. First baseman Jason Ajamian also put his fifth blast of the year over the fence.


Game 1 winning Pitcher Josh Howitt did not let his teammates’ offense overshadow his best start this year. He shutout the Redbirds for the duration of his six innings on the mound allowing two hits. He did not allow a runner to reach second until the fifth inning and never allowed a runner to reach third.


Eric Crouse threw five innings in game 2 earning the win. He allowed seven hits but only one run while throwing seven strikeouts with no walks.


Ventura County continues the road trip against the South Bay Sliders 5 p.m. Sunday, June 23.