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  • Writer's pictureRobert Hollar

SBL Bucs Improve Postseason Standing with 4-3 Win

Jackson Briscoe pitches against the Cage Rats. Photo by Robert Hollar

The Ventura County Bucs (16-12, 13-9 Sunset Baseball League) secured a crucial 4-3 victory over the California Cage Rats (13-11, all SBL) at Pote Field in Griffith Park Sunday.

“We got way into their bullpen, and that helped.” Bucs head coach Evan O’Meara said.

The win put the Bucs one game ahead of the Cage Rats for second place and also gave Ventura the tiebreaker with the Cage rats for that position in the standings. With just two games remaining on their schedule, the Bucs control their own destiny in terms of earning a first round playoff bye.

Jackson Briscoe (2-0) earned a quality start and the win on Thursday, going five innings allowing just one earned run on four hits, three strikeouts, and three walks. Drew Atherton (3) finished the job, holding the Cage Rats at bay during his four-inning save in which he allowed one earned run.

“Neither Jackson nor Drew were terribly sharp today on the mound,” O’Meara said. “But they did enough to get the job done and keep hitters off balance.”

Briscoe has now earned the win in each of his two most recent appearances. After realizing his strikeout command was lacking, he pitched to contact and mixed speeds, shortening the length of at-bats against him.

“It was just one of those grinding days,” Biscoe said. “I was just trying to trust the defense and throw a couple more changeups.”

Ventura County jumped out of the gates offensively, scoring two runs in the first inning on RBI singles from second baseman Andrew Cordero and first baseman Troy Anderson.

Third baseman Thomas Keller drove in the eventual winning run with an RBI double in the fourth inning. He was one of eight different Bucs with a hit on Thursday.

The Bucs weigh anchor for Cypress college to face the first-place OC Pirates Saturday, July 24th at 1:00pm. With a first-round playoff bye hanging in the balance. The two teams are first and second in the standings, making Saturday’s matchup a potential preview of the SBL Championship series.

“I think we’re in a good spot,” Briscoe said. “I think we’re the best team out here.”


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