Pirates Strike Back Against Inland Valley Counterparts
Just as their pitcher Ethan Durant turns his back to opposing hitters in his delivery, the Ventura County Pirates (22-7, 12-6 Sunset Baseball League) similarly put a game 1 loss behind them as they trounced the Inland Valley Pirates (10-15, 7-11 SBL), 16-1 Saturday afternoon at LA Valley College.
The home win in their return to league play earned the Pirates a split of the double header series.
Durant (2-0) executed the finest pitching performance Ventura County has seen this season. He twirled five innings of shutout no-hit ball and faced just one more than the minimum through four innings. His misses were confined to the outside of the plate, an area where hitters have trouble doing damage. The lefty finished with four strikeouts and earned the win.
Ventura County’s lead shrunk to 3-1 as soon as Durant exited the game, but the offense responded to the need for more runs.
First baseman Emilio Morales made his Ventura County debut and saw 18 combined pitches in his first two at bats while reaching in both of them. The effort galvanized his team and depleted Inland Valley’s pitching.
Ventura County took advantage of the fatigued staff and pounced for 11 runs in the eighth inning. The frame was highlighted by a grand slam from leadoff hitter Frank Garriola, his fifth homer of the year.
Garriola roped base hits in both games Saturday extending his hitting streak to 12 games. No Ventura County Pirate has had a hitting streak of that length this summer.
Right Fielder Eddie Pietschmann had three hits in game 2. He and center fielder Keaton Glover both had three RBIs.
In game 1, Inland Valley scored all of their runs in the second inning. Ventura County kept their opponents off the board for the remainder of the game, but fell 6-3.
The Pirates continue the home stand 11 a.m. Sunday July, 7 against the OC Legends at LA Valley College in Valley Glen, CA.