• Robert Hollar

Pirates Take Aim at Shepherds

Fresh off a win against the top team in the prestigious California Collegiate League, the Ventura County Pirates (17-5, 10-4 Sunset Baseball Leage) return to their own league for a double header against the SoCal Shepherds (9-3, 9-3 SBL) in a battle of division-leading teams.


The Pirates, who lead the SBL North division, have never won 20 games in a single month. They have 17 wins this June with three games remaining before July. Ventura County has won eight of its last nine games.


Hot bats have stolen attention from the Pirates’ high-quality pitching so far this year. Eric Crouse is among the more dominant pitchers on the team and could take the mound against the Shepherds. He was expected to pitch in the win Friday, but a five-inning save from Deandre Carter spared him from being used in the non-league game.

Crouse earned a quality start in his only start this year. He has a 1.53 WHIP in 15.2 innings pitched this summer.


Ethan Durant could make an appearance out of the bullpen and also has the tools to baffle Shepherds hitters. Durant has a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings pitched this year and owns an 18-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.


Shortstop Frank Garriola continues to thrive in the batters box and leads the team with 25 RBIs. He is 16-25 at the plate during his six game hitting streak which began June 22. Garriola’s 1.445 OPS is also a team high.


Second baseman Kyle Soberano has a team-high nine game hitting streak and leads the SBL with a .548 batting average among batters with over 40 at-bats.


The Pirates have allowed only seven home runs all summer while hitting 17 round-trippers off opposing pitching.


The Pirates face the Shepherds 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Biola University in La Mirada Saturday, June 29.