WHITTIER, CA - A steady flow of runs capped by a three-run ninth inning got the job done for the Ventura County Pirates, who defeated the SoCal Shepherds by a 9-6 score. The win clinched the head-to-head series against the Shepherds, as it was their third victory out of their five scheduled regular season meetings.
The Pirates' bats were hot all day, as the team connected for 17 hits, with all but one Pirates batter appearing in the hit column. The Pirates' offensive effort was further aided by five walks, one hit batsman, and five errors by the Shepherds defense.
Standout performances came from Darren Taylor, who went two for two with a pair of RBI doubles, and three runs scored. Grant Schoen went four for five with two singles, two doubles, one RBI and two runs. Kyle Soberano also scored twice, hitting two singles, a double, and batting in a run. Jacob Ortega and Johnny Pacheco each had two RBI, and Bradley Chesterton batted .500 on the day with a single and a double.
Pirates starter Trevor Garcia was in line for the win, allowing just three earned runs with eight strikeouts in six innings pitched. However, his 6-4 lead evaporated in the bottom of the seventh as the Shepherds scored twice to make it a 6-6 tie. Channeling his frustration from the seventh inning, closer Derek Potts worked quickly and fiercely through the eight inning, striking out the three Shepherds batters in order. He would hold them scoreless again in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the new lead and get the win.
The Pirates host the Shepherds at LA Valley College on Wednesday at 4:30pm.