Coming off a 7-5 win Sunday, The Ventura County Pirates (17-13-1, 16-5 Best of the West) pitching dominated the Inland Valley Bucs in a 4-1 win at Cal Poly Pomona Tuesday, putting the Pirates in first place in the Best of the West standings.
With just three games remaining in the season, Tuesday’s victory gives the Pirates firm control over their own destiny in the postseason seeding.
For the Pirates, RHP Alex Abbot (W, 4-2) was making his third start of the season. Abbot did not miss a beat as he was completely locked in from the first pitch. He constantly got ahead of hitters, overpowering them with his fastball following that up with his off speed. Throughout his start Abott worked well with runners on base, only allowing 1 earned run through 6 innings of work.
“I wanted to go out there and set a tone,” said Abbott. “I stuck to what Quintt and Andrew were calling and it worked out really well.”
Overall, Abbott had his best start of the year finishing with 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER and 2 K. The Quality Start was his third of the season, likely ensuring he will finish the regular season having thrown a Quality Start in every game he started.
As for the offense, the scoring came early in the first inning when the Pirates hottest hitter, Robbie Treto, delivered a solo shot marking his seventh homerun of the season and third homerun in two games. After that the bats stayed quiet up until the top of the seventh when Treto and designated hitter Andrew Tovar both singled putting runners on first and second. Center fielder Dan Laughery would follow that up with a sacrifice bunt leaving runners in scoring position for first baseman Eli Paton.
Paton up to this point was 1 for 2 with a double and a hard groundout. Paton drilled the first pitch he saw in the 7th over the center fielder's head bringing around both runners to score and making it to third standing. It wouldn’t stop there as extra hitter Quintt Landis would single the opposite way to bring in Paton, making the score 4-1.
“With runners in scoring position nothing changes,” said Paton. “I stayed through the middle of the field and it worked out today.”
After Abbott entered two-way LHP Andrew Tovar. Tovar did get himself into some trouble when runners found themselves in scoring position with 1 out in back to back innings. However, Tovar was able to make quality adjustments to get out of the innings unharmed picking up where Abbott left off.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth with a 4-1 lead, the Pirates turned to RHP flamethrower Andrew Dusablon to come in relief for Tovar and notch the save. Dusablon was coming off a masterful performance Thursday, and today it was no different as he struck out the side, blowing fastballs right by each batter. Dusablon notched his first save of the season in this 4-1 win.
Ventura County will look to keep it going Wednesday as they’re back at home versus the Inland Valley Pirates at Los Angeles Valley College. This game has major implications as a Ventura County Victory would all but ensure they will finish first in the division. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. PST. For more information visit the @vcountypirates on instagram, @vcountypirates on twitter, and @venturacountypirates on facebook.