• Robert Hollar

Pirates Seek Season Sweep of Sliders

The Ventura County Pirates (23-7, 14-6 Sunset Baseball League) hit the road Thursday to face a familiar foe, the South Bay Sliders (17-12, 10-8), for the final time this season.


The first-place Pirates lead the Sliders by three games in the SBL North, a gap which could be accounted for by Ventura’s 4-0 record against the Sliders this year.


Ventura comes into the match well rested, having played just five games in the month of July. The energized Pirates are 6-1 in their last seven games and are clicking both offensively and on the mound.


Pirates’ shortstop Frank Garriola has an active 13 game hitting streak and launched grand slams in consecutive games last weekend. His performance has taken some attention away from the depth of Ventura’s lineup, which consists of five batters hitting above .400.


First baseman Jason Ajamian is called upon to hit more often than any Pirate. His 105 plate appearances, 90 at-bats and seven home runs are all team-highs.


Ajamian is also highly skilled defensively. He has no errors this summer despite having more total chances than any of his teammates.


Thursday’s game is expected to be a bullpen day for Ventura. As a staff, the Pirates have a 3.29 ERA and opposing batters are hitting .191 against them. Ventura has allowed eight home runs this year.


The Pirates face the Sliders 6 p.m. Friday, July 11 at Valley Christian High School in Cerritos.