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  • Robert Hollar

Pirates Seek to Cut Down Oaks

The Ventura County Pirates (20-6) will face a California Collegiate League opponent for the second game in a row when they travel to Thousand Oaks to face the Conejo Oaks Friday.


Ventura County is 17-9 all time against the CCL and 2-1 this season. In June, the Pirates lost to the Arroyo Secco Saints before beating the Santa Barbara Foresters behind a five inning save from pitcher Deandre Carter. The Pirates overcame a 6-1 deficit to defeat the OC Riptide on a walk-off home run by first baseman Jason Ajamian on July 2.


The Pirates have been swinging a hot bat all year. Second baseman Kyle Soberano and shortstop Frank Garriola have earned the club two consecutive Sunset Baseball League Player of the Week designations. Garriola is on an eight game hitting streak and is 20-34 during that span.


Ajamian’s walk-off homer was his seventh dinger of the year, extending a team lead. Ajamian, who is batting .434 on the summer, is one of seven Pirates’ hitters with more walks than strikeouts.


Carter is available to pitch against the Oaks and has been a problem for opposing batters all season. His 25.2 innings pitched is a team-high and his 0.70 ERA is the lowest on the staff. Carter has chiseled his WHIP down to a minuscule 0.86. Carter leads the staff in almost every statistical category including saves (2), strikeouts (26), and quality starts (3).


Jason Whaley and Eric Crouse are also available to pitch Friday. Whaley (3-1) leads the team in wins while Crouse sports an ERA below 2.5.


The Pirates face the Oaks 4:30 p.m. Friday at Cal Lutheran University.

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