Ventura County Pirates Drop First Loss of the Season to Arroyo Seco Saints
Pasadena, CA - The Ventura County Pirates traveled to Pasadena to face off against the Arroyo Seco Saints at Brookside Park in Jackie Robinson Field on Thursday, June 8th. In a highly anticipated regular-season game, the Pirates, who entered the game with a flawless 4-0 record, looked to continue their winning streak against the Saints, who were playing their first game of the season in the prestigious California Collegiate League.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, the Saints emerged victorious with a final score of 11-5, handing the Pirates their first loss of the season. However, the game ended with a larger deficit than their effort warranted. The Pirates demonstrated unwavering determination throughout the night, constantly battling back and refusing to surrender.
Despite the Pirates' overall off night, there were some standout individual performances that bode well for the team's future. Omar Cisneros showcased his defensive prowess at second base, recording an excellent fielding percentage with 7 putouts out of 7 chances. Catcher Quinn Landis also played a crucial role behind the plate. He demonstrated excellent defensive skills by habitually blocking balls and controlling the game flow, irrespective of inconsistent bullpen performance.
The Pirates rally unfolded in the 5th inning when they trailed 4-0. Artin Biageyian led off the attack with a single to center field, followed by a double from Quinn Landis. Dan Laughery then delivered a clutch hit to second base, scoring Biageyian and advancing Landis to third. In a pivotal moment, a wild pitch from the mound allowed Landis to score, while Laughery advanced to second base on the same pitch. Jesse Gadd continued the momentum with a double to left field, bringing in Laughery and closing the gap to 4-3.
In the following inning, Biageyian's single to left field drove in Jake Schwartz, who reached base on a single. This tied the game at 4-4. However, it would be the last time the Pirates were within reach of victory.
Pirates pitching struggled for the first time this season, with 9 walks and 5 batters hit by pitch. The Saints capitalized on these free bases, scoring 11 runs. Despite the tough outing, the Pirates showed resilience and determination throughout the game, with Coach George Vranau providing continuous encouragement and making timely lineup changes to ignite a potential comeback.
Reflecting on the game, Coach George Vranau shared his observations about the Pirates' pitching performance. He noted, "We didn't pitch the ball very well tonight, we didn't pitch as well as we did Tuesday against the other CCL team, the Orange County Riptide. That night our pitchers only walked one and struck out 15. Tonight, we had way too many walks. Just in the last two innings we walked 5 and had a hit batter, so that's 6 free passes. You can't set the table like that for this good of a hitting team and think that you are going to get out of each inning without runs being scored."
The Pirates had more hits than the Saints, recording 13 hits compared to the Saints' 10. However, the inability to convert these scoring opportunities left 11 runners on base. The Saints took advantage of their opportunities, delivering timely hits, leaving the Pirates down late in the game.
Despite the Pirates' first loss of the season, their unwavering determination and never-quit attitude was evident throughout the game. Coach George Vranau praised his team, stating, "Well, first of all, I thought the guys did a good job. The fact that there is no quit in this team, we did a good job in that regard." Despite the challenges they faced, the Pirates continued to fight and showed remarkable resilience. Their unwavering spirit will be a driving force as they look to bounce back in their upcoming games.
With this loss, the Pirates' record now stands at 4-1 for the season. Looking ahead, the Pirates will return to Los Angeles Valley College for their next game against the Sentinels on Friday, June 9th, at 4pm. The team aims to bounce back and get back on track following their first setback of the season.
Stay tuned for more exciting games and noteworthy performances from the Ventura County Pirates as they continue their journey.