• Brian Mellblom

Pirates Win Two in a Row Over Shepherds


For the second time in three days, the Ventura County Pirates emerged victorious in another close game against the SoCal Shepherds.


After a scoreless opening frame, the Pirates opened up the scoring in the second inning, as Bradley Chesterton hit into a bases-loaded fielder’s choice that scored Steven Gonzalez. A Shepherds throwing error on the same play also allowed Tovar to run home.


The Sheps answered in the bottom half of the inning, with Zacharias belting a double that scored Laframboise. It was the only run that pitcher Trevor Garcia would allow in his seven-strikeout quality start, aided by his defense turning double plays in the fourth and fifth innings. Ventura never relinquished the lead in the remaining innings to preserve Garcia’s win.


Darren Taylor extended the Pirates’ lead with a leadoff home run in the sixth, and he is the first Best of the West player to hit his second home run this season. Steven Gonzalez, Jacob Ortega, Kyle Soberano and Trenton Pallas each contributed doubles. Ortega’s bat also accounted for two RBI.


Eric Crouse was solid in his three innings of relief, striking out four Shepherds and only allowing one run. Deandrey Carter made his 2021 Pirates debut with a pair of strikeouts to open the bottom of the ninth, and Danny Veloz needed just three pitches to earn the final out.


Ventura County faces the Inland Valley Pirates Tuesday afternoon at LA Valley College.